Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Checking the List; Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century!

I read an interesting post tonight on  Cyndi Danner-Kuhn's blog Technology Bits Bytes And Nibbles that gave me pause for a moment.  It was a list of 21 things that indicate you are a 21st century teacher. I was delighted to see I have accomplished many, including:

1. You require your students to use a variety of sources for their research projects…and they cite blogs, podcasts, and interviews they've conducted via Skype.

Just beginning to but... room to grow for sure!  My students blog regularly, and have recently begun to collaborate in pairs and small groups to add to a second Class Blog.  They are beginning to look at other sites for research purposes as we continue with our Heritage Fair projects. (More on that in a later post, for sure!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How Fast Should We Be Going?

We're definitely on a highway.  Some of the cars have powerful engines and can zip around our reliable model and zoom ahead, quickly disappearing ahead in the distance.  I understand.  I, too, have been in the car when my husband passed the driver hunched over the steering wheel trying to drive straight ahead at the same steady speed.  I have often wondered if there is anything to be gained by the five minute difference in arrival times!  Is there any advantage to getting there first?  I have pointed out (not too often!) that we're all headed in the same direction.  Do we really know what lies ahead?  What if there's something unexpected around the bend?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Collaborative Blogging, Sheep's Wool and Lots of Correcting

Ah, the reality of how I want to teach and how I am (sometimes) required to teach!  Two conflicting aspects of our teaching profession have both been quite evident today!

My students and I have decided to add another 'class' to our Kidblog site and use it to upload pieces they work on together.  They have lots of thing in mind: group book responses, our Beothuk projects, perhaps a 'newspaper' about our shared class experiences, Public Service Announcements, digital stories and so on. To walk around my room this morning and see the kids huddled at tables, on the floor and out in the hallway making plans is the kind of rewarding response I get in my classroom on a regular basis.  My kids are not expecting me to lead in all areas, to tell them what they want to learn about (all the time), nor do they think anymore I expect them to complete the same assignment on the same material.  And so I get things like this happening:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Feedback Is Fantastic

Thanks to and the Twitter hashtag #comments4kids I sent out and /or adding our blog URL to Sue Walter's & team's great site The Edublogger , our Kidsblog site has heard from other teachers! And I thank those two teachers who took the time to drop in and respond to my post and to some of the writings of the children.  I don't know who was more excited - them or me!