Saturday, 28 December 2013

Craving Teacher Feedback

I think that I am craving teacher feedback. I didn't realize it until the other day when I was planning a research unit with a more experienced educator and she told me that I was doing amazing things.  It was most likely the first feedback other than “great art work on your bulletin board” that I had received from a more experienced educator since I had my last evaluation over 3 years ago. We, as teachers, give continuous feedback to our students but most teachers or administrators don't seem to give it to one another as much. I know that I am doing a good job with my students using technology and creativity to teach them, help them learn, and inspire them but, just like my students love getting comments on their blogs, I'd like to hear that I’m doing a good job or even what I could do better.

Don't get me wrong, I receive many thank yous when helping others out in their classroom with technology projects or activities but it isn't the same as hearing feedback about what you are doing in your own classroom. As a newer teacher I feel like I would benefit from feedback from my more experienced colleagues.  These first ten years or so are our crucial years in developing as a teacher and although I know I am doing a fine job  feedback is important in developing as a teacher. Our experienced educators have knowledge and insight that I may not have thought of especially a few years ago when my teaching evaluations stopped. I find myself turning to the newest teacher, who started teaching the year I stopped receiving feedback, to share my ideas and thoughts. We collaborate and share while, also, providing feedback in the form of; "I love that idea. How do did you do that?" or sometimes this colleague will ask "I am having trouble with this ... or do you have any ideas for this__?" and I'll do the same as well. This is the kind of feedback and discussion that I yearn for from experienced educators as although the conversations I have with this newer teacher are insightful, more feedback from others is always great. So thank you to the more experienced teacher that made my day by simply telling me I was doing amazing things.

I do, also, get feedback from my online colleagues on the projects I am organizing or on ideas I share. I must thank Dana Ariss (@danariss) for providing me with much needed feedback. She keeps me going and motivated. Dana, you are a role model and inspiration. Please keep on giving feedback and I will keep on providing it in return!

Feedback is crucial in student learning so I think in return it should be more prevalent amongst all educators. Even a simple "Oh I love that art project your students did. How did they do it?" provides some feedback. Perhaps, at lunch times and recess I need to start sharing what we are in doing in my classroom to get things rolling.  Maybe this will facilitate more feedback and discussion on what we are doing in our classrooms. This in turn could perhaps lead to how we could develop stronger team-work and collaboration in order to continue our positive climate and safe environment for all students and staff. I need some advice and tips or should I say feedback from my online colleagues, if you don’t mind. How do members of my PLN share feedback with your colleagues? How do you collaborate with your colleagues? How do you facilitate these discussions for sharing feedback in your work environments? What can I do to help create a sharing environment with my colleagues? Any other advice?

Thank you to the colleague who let me know that I was doing a good job. It may have just been a simple statement to you but to me the feedback made my day and got me thinking about teacher feedback. Both you and Dana have helped satisfy my craving for feedback and encouraged me to seek advice and feedback from my online colleagues.

Feedback, anyone?

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Power of Twitter Chat and My Journey to Starting #mbedchat

When I first starting using Twitter, I didn't join Twitter chats. This was not because I didn't understand them but because I found them too fast moving to get information out of them. Fortunately, I quickly realized the power of these Twitter chats. These chats give us a chance to connect with other educators who might share the same interests or views as us and also those who may not. I soon found that connecting with educators during Twitter chats allows me to share my passion for technology in the classroom as well as my views on education. It allows me to share my voice without rejection. I now have a voice that is heard. I can share my thoughts without a fear of complaints about my views on education that are not the traditional views. It is a way for me to feel less isolated up here in northern Manitoba.

The first Twitter chat I joined was #edchat shortly followed by a few #3rdchat discussions. These chats allowed me to connect with colleagues all over the world and at my grade level but they were missing one thing, they were created by American teachers so not all discussions were applicable. In April 2013 #cdnedchat jumped onto the scene and that problem was solved as there was now somewhere to connect with like mind-teachers that lived in the same country. People from other countries still join the conversations but the topics are all relevant to all Canadian teachers regardless of where you teach. BC (British Columbia) Edchat was founded this summer by some teachers in BC. It is a great chat that focuses on topics that most teachers can relate to but has some topics specifically related to education in British Columbia. This, of course, got me thinking about a Manitoba Edchat. I was connecting with other teachers and feeling less isolated but I still didn't have a group of people I could chat to about was going on specifically in education in Manitoba. We had our new province wide report cards coming up in November and teachers up here in Thompson were unsure about them and #cdnedchat couldn't weigh in. In September, I decided that it was time to take a leap and Tweeted out the possibility. Soon Manitoba educators were interested and I quickly had a co-founder. Tanis Thiessen (@tjthiessen) started helping me with the technical logistics and we were off and ready for a start up at the end of October. Georgette Nairn (@georgettenairn) joined us a co-moderator. These past two months of #mbedchat have been a great experience. I've connected with many like-minded Manitoba Educators and can't wait to start the chat up again after break.

Twitter chats and especially #mbedchat continue to give me the push to fulfil and pursue my passions in education. Thank you to all in my Twitter PLN. You make me a better educator.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Sunshine Blog

I've been enjoying the sunshine blog posts by people in my PLN. I found myself being tagged by two amazing people-Dana Ariss and Tanis Thiessen! Unfortunately, that means most bloggers I know and follow have been tagged already so I am going to share 11 things about myself and answering both sets of questions. I won't tag anyone but will invite people who haven't been nominated yet to jump on board. So if you are reading this and haven't been nominated yet, then tag your it and consider this your nomination. Just answer my questions and list 11 bloggers to answer your questions.
Here is how it works:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.
  6. Note: I won't be doing number 4.
My Nominating Bloggers
My first nominating blogger is the amazing Dana Ariss. We “met” on Twitter last school year and we've been connecting our classes ever since. I am so glad to have met Dana as she has helped my technology passion survive in a place where it is hard to thrive. I will always be grateful for her willingness to join me and my class on our crazy wild adventures in learning! Thanks Dana.
My second nominating blogger is Tanis Thiessen. I first "met" Tanis in September when I started tweeting out the idea for a Manitoba Edchat. Tanis was more than eager to help with the start of up what is now #mbedchat. Thank you for being an inspiration and for your dedication to #mbedchat.
11 Random Facts About Me
1. My three passions are teaching, travelling, and technology. I am the most happy when using technology to teach and when travelling in my time off.
2. I’m an introvert. Sometimes people mistake me for being a snob but, I just truly don't like big crowds and I am shy.
3. I love trying food from different countries. 
4. I have only every had three jobs. 1. KFC-Tacobell worker 2. Cashier at Sobeys. 3. Primary teacher at the same school since I started teaching right out of university. 
5. I love taking pictures on my trips but, I am not a good photographer.
6. Twitter has helped me keep my passion for teaching alive.
7. I love Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte. 
8. I am half Canadian and half Australian.
9. I love travelling to big cities but I could never live in one.
10. My favourite band and artists are always changing. I am currently loving: Imagine Dragons, Capital Cities, Justin Timberlake and Serena Ryder.
11. I hate hot weather which can cause trouble when travelling in Europe during the summer.
11 Questions For Me From Dana
1. Why teaching?
Until I was in grade 3 I wanted to be a teacher but then I had a bad experience with my grade 3 teacher that deterred me from wanting to teach for awhile. Although before wanting to be a teacher again I still wanted to work with teachers. My father, a retired teacher, inspired me to want to be a teacher again.
2. Who or what is your  greatest inspiration?
My father is my greatest inspiration. He taught a program called Student Support Program. When I was in grade 10 he became depressed due to the stress of his job and never fully returned to teaching. Later on, I asked him despite the stress that his job caused if he would do the same thing all over again. He didn't think for more than a second before saying yes. To me that showed a love and dedication to what he did. I have a friend who teaches something similar to what he did and despite their "war" stories of the job it was obvious the passion that they both had. This passion helps me survive when I am stressed out.
3. What is one new thing you have tried this year?
I started using Google Apps for Education to further the connections my students are making.
4. What would your ideal day look like?
My ideal day would be a day spent with friends or by myself exploring wherever I was travelling and then curling up with a good book at night time.
5. Who was the best teacher you ever had and why?
I think my favourite teacher would have to be Mr. Bartlette who I had for grade 9 and 10 English. His passion for his job was quite evident.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world other than where you currently live, where would it be?
I really don't know as I love travelling exploring European cities but I don't like big places for long. Maybe London?
7.  What is something you are looking forward to in 2014?
I am looking for new connections and further travels in 2014.
8.  Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am more of an early bird than a night owl.
9.  What is your favourite band or music artist?
I always seem to have a new favourite but probably right now it is a tie between Capital Cities and Imagine Dragons.
10. Why Twitter?
Twitter has allowed me to make connections with like minded educators like my frequent collaborator and the person who nominated me-Dana.
11. Mac or PC? Android or iPhone?
I am currently a PC  girl but looking into a Macbook Air. Phone wise I have an iPhone.
11 Questions For Me From Tanis
1. First memory of school?
Sadly, it is the one that turned me off of wanting to teach for awhile. In grade 3 I was in a class that wasn't the best behaved. I was one of the few well-behaved students and I got frustrated with my teacher being so strict and always being mad.

2. One thing to keep about current education system?
I think the move to be creative and critical thinkers is something we need to keep and push further forward.

3. One thing to change about current education system?
I think we need to move away from the need for testing (provincial/state testing).

4. Favourite site or app? is the best site/app.

5. Student who shifted your thinking?
Not really sure I have one other than a few students that shined when blogging and pushed me to advocate it more.

6. Leader who shifted your thinking?

I think a principal at another school  in my district has influenced me to continue with my passion and the way I think as a teacher.
7. Coffee, tea, or water?
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
8. Retirement dream?
To travel the world.
9. Next year dream?
School-Use more AR
Personal-Travel more
10. Why blog?
To share my thoughts and views on education.
11. New year resolution?
To continue to share and make online contributions.
11 Questions For Whoever Wants to Share:
1. What is your ideal job in the education field?
2. Why did you choose to become a teacher?
3. What is your favourite subject to teach and why?
4. Why is being a connected educator important?
5. Favourite snack-chips or chocolate?
6. What is your favourite movie and why?
7. What is the best place you've visited?
8. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
9. What is your all time favourite book?
10. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could take three items, what three would you take?
11. Which educational leader(s) inspire you and why?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Creativity in the Classroom

Every year I set technology goals to implement in my classroom and for my own professional growth. This year, two of those goals are to blog professionally, and to have my students express their creativity in many ways. 

Last Friday, I had the chance to hear Dean Shareski speak at my SAGE (Special Area Groups of Educators) conference at Manitoba's province wide PD day. Dean's amazing session on 5 Minute Creativity got the wheels turning in my head for simple ways to have creativity in the classroom in easy but thought provoking ways. It also made me realize that creativity doesn't just have to be arts related and that I was already giving my students chances to be creative with the videos we create and the point of view blogs we write amongst other projects. I decided that I wanted to focus on quick creativity activities using technology in achieving my goal as then we could be creative more frequently.

I decided to take Dean's idea of the what if videos , where people complete the sentence "what if everyone" and you make it into a video, and combine it with something my students use on a regular basis. I thought it would be interesting to create a what if blog and then get responses from around the world. My students each contributed their own what if to our class what if blog and I tweeted out our blog link asking for the world to join in by commenting back to us about their what if. 

We received a comment from Dean Shareski himself and comments from across North America, Australia, UAE, and the Netherlands. My students loved seeing how people around the world were looking at and sharing in their creativity. Quite a few teachers even commented on our blog and on Twitter about how neat this project is. 

 Here is the link to the what if blog if you wish to contribute: What if

I was all set to move on from this project when I thought; what if I switched it up and we drew our favourite what ifs out and wrote them out to share with our global audience. We decided that we would pick our favourite one, draw it, write about it, video record ourselves (on iPod touches) sharing what would happen, and then use Aurasma with them. The plan is to use the art as a trigger and then have our video-recorded explanation of the what if scenario as the overlay. We will be starting them this week and and they will be displayed on our bulletin board for student led conferences. I can't wait for the parents to see how creative we can be!

Through this what if project I learned how easy and quick creativity can be. Dean has inspired me to continue to try new quick creativity activities. Our quick creativity journey will continue after student led conferences with 6 Word Stories to share who we are with our blogging and tweeting buddies. Stay tuned for our creativity updates.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Why Can't I Blog?

I want to blog, trust me I do. I did blog a few posts but I just can't seem to keep doing it. I don't know why I can't seem to bring myself to write and publish blog posts. I am a huge advocate of students blogging in the classroom. In fact, my students blog at least three times a week. I just can't bring myself to do it. I've been trying to figure out what is holding me back since I have thoughts to share. Is it a fear of people thinking my thoughts are crazy? Is that I know I am not the greatest writer (grammar and structure wise)? Is it a fear that because I am not a great writer people will be put off by my blog or make fun of it?  Is it a fear that nobody will read it?

After pondering about it for a long time, I've started to realize that it is a fear of failure holding me back. As a classroom teacher, I try and make sure my students try new things and aren't afraid of these experiences but, yet my fear of failure is holding me back from something that I know I can do. I need to remove my fear barrier and share my thoughts through my blog. I am going to need some help from you though. Can you please help me out by giving me some tips or thoughts? Go easy on me and don't laugh. Thank you.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Power of Connecting

My students have been making some amazing connections lately. I have connected with quite a few teachers through Twitter. These connections have allowed my students to explore and learn through the power of connecting. I thought I shared these experiences so that others can see the amazing connections my class has made. We've made some smaller ones, like classes Tweeting with us or commenting on our blogs, but we have done some bigger connections, like our interactive literature circle blogs and our connecting with 4GH at Millgrove school on Skype and with Google Documents plant research collaboration.

The first major connection my class did was interactive literature circles with Dana Ariss' 3/4 Bears in Fort Assinboine. This project came to be when I was planning for literature circles the "old school way" in my classroom where students are in groups and meet to discuss their book. I wanted to try something that I had done a few years ago. I had my students do literature circles on a kidblog page with a class at another school in my city. The students all did the same bookmark reflection as the class members in their group, and then blogged. The students then commented on the bookmarks of the rest of their group. We had one group that was composed of members from my class and the class at the other school. They commented on the blogs that they wrote regardless of being in different schools. I wanted to try this again, but with all students in both classes not one group from each class. Dana was more than keen to start this adventure together. I set up some Google Docs of the bookmarks I had used for chapter reflections (predictions, connections etc) to share with her. We Skyped during Spring Break to plan things out and then, near the beginning of April, we started our interactive literature circle project. We had four groups comprised of students from both of our classes. The students in each group read the same sections and did the same bookmark and then blogged it. They would comment on each other’s blog through our connected kidblogs. The students on both ends were always excited when they got comments from their group mates in the other class. It was a hit and I can't wait to do it again next year. Perhaps, we will have more classes involved.

Our second connection is still on-going. We are working with Kelli Holden and Lindsay Graham's class of 4GH in Spruce Grove, Alberta. I had Tweeted out a request looking to connect with a class studying plants. Kelli responded saying her team teacher was doing plants with their students and they'd love to connect. We decided we'd Tweet and Skype our plant progress as well as do a collaborative research project with our students researching a topic together. Over the May long weekend Lindsay and I had a Google Hangout session to plan our outline of the project. We created a Google Doc topic planning sheet and decided we'd put two of their students with one of mine (as they have 48 compared to my 19). We assigned them topics and Lindsay created a list that had websites that corresponded to each topic. Her groups started the Google Documents and shared them with us. The groups are still doing the research, but when they are done they will start a Google Presentation to share what they've learned. We also decided to play a game on Skype with our classes as well as their two guests, called "You Know You're In ____ When..." They created slides for us to answer on Alberta (what they'd learned about in Social Studies) on Skype, as well as one on Canada, to do with their guest Michelle Baldwin, who was a teacher visiting from the United States. My class had studied Australia and their other guest, George Couros had just returned from Australia, so we created questions on a Google Presentation for him to answer. George is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for the division Kelli and Lindsay teach in, as well as an amazing technology workshop presenter. We played all of this game live through Skype. George was an amazing contestant in this surprise game show (he had no clue we had planned this) and my students immediately took to his enthusiasm. The students from both schools had great fun, as did I. For me, it was extra special as I have been following George on Twitter since I joined this winter and I am in awe of all that he does technology wise. It was neat to "meet" him. But back to the student connections. My class will continue to connect with 4GH as our plants grow and we explore different topics through connecting. We'll Tweet pictures of our plants and look at pictures of theirs as well as Skype about what we are learning.

We are living in a world where we can expand our classrooms beyond our school, or our community, even our province or country, so why not connect and learn with other students learning the same things.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Blogging and the Reluctant Writer

I am a big fan of blogging in the classroom. I love it for several reasons. 

1. Audience: After the posts are approved by me they are automatically out there for an audience to choose to read. My students are able to choose which classmate's blog they want to read and comment on. I don't force them to comment on any specific person other than during our interactive literature circles. 

2. Paperless: We  have a class set of NetBooks and are working on going somewhat paperless.

3. Global Connections: In grade 3 we study different countries so blogging allows us to connect with classes around the world. 

4. Reluctant Writers Love Blogging:  I don't really know why but my reluctant writers seem to enjoy writing if they can blog and will choose it in Daily 5 for that reason. I hadn't explored the why of this until  the other day when I was questioned on Twitter about why I think it transforms some of my students into less reluctant writers. I really didn't have much of answer other than my guess that it was that they find it easier to to type out due to issues with fine motor skills.  

After being asked about it, I decided to go investigate it the next day. We had Daily 5 in the morning so it was the perfect time to go and inquire. During Daily 5 I got down on the mat with one of my reluctant pencil and paper writers who loves blogging and picks writing often during Daily 5 and blogs. This time he was actually writing in his notebook but, that wasn't by choice. Our Internet wasn't working so he had to write in his notebook. I laid down on the floor and started recording his answers to why he liked to blog. I teach grade 3 so they aren't always able to explain why they prefer one method of writing or learning over another so with some questioning I was able to reach some sort of an explanation. He prefers it because he doesn't have to worry about being neat as he doesn't have the greatest fine motor skills. Blogging allows him to express his thoughts in  a more comfortable manner. My understanding is that it is easier  for him to type than print as he doesn't have to focus on the organization part. Then I moved onto another student who isn't a reluctant writer in the sense that he won't write but, that he won't write as much as he is capable of. His view was similar to the other student. He informed me that he finds it harder to write on paper because he has to worry about how the letters should appear and where they should go and he spends too much time doing this. When he blogs the letters are there on the keyboard and he doesn't have to worry about perfectly placing them in the right spot. He feels like he can get his words out faster when blogging and is worry free. I can definitely see this considering that within twenty minutes he blogged two well written blogs on his mother's iPhone while at the airport. 

After the interesting discoveries I planned on investigating with some other students the next day but, we got locked in our room for the second time that week so the students were a bit off for the rest of the day. I do plan on going back and investigating this week. I want to see if I get similar responses or some different ones. I'll be sure to share any new responses.  

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Blogging Rules!

My students love to blog. They love connecting and commenting on blogs of students from around the world. When they are blogging a pin could drop in the room and you'd hear it.  3B was blogging so quietly that I thought it of the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas (and the quiet mouses etc) by Clement Clarke Moore and I decided to adapt his poem for our situation even though it isn't Christmas time. Way to go 3B bloggers.

Twas the Morning before Blogging-adapted from Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore:
Twas the the morning in 3B, when all through the classroom
Not a student was making a sound, not even a mouse.
The netbooks were going tap, tap on the desks,
In hopes that I (Ms. Bettess) would love their blogs like she always does.

The children were nestled all snug in their desks,
While visions of stories danced in their heads.
And me in my scarf,

Had just said thank you for your great blogs.

When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the door I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and threw up  my hands.

The sunlight from the hallway
Gave the lustre of the shiny students outside
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature group of kids, eight tiny fourth graders wanting to blog with 3B

With a little teacher, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be the grade 4s.
More rapid than eagles their teacher they came,
And the teacher whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Bob! now, Jon! now, Patty and Victoria!
On, Colet! On, Carla! on,on Donny and Blair!
To the hallway, to the gym!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

Adapted from Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

Friday, 1 March 2013

Twitter Love and Teaching Digital Citizenship

Today  I was defending my love of  Twitter and using it in the classroom. I was talking about how I recently started using Twitter personally and in the classroom.The background story is as follows:  I created a class account to use with  my class. We have connected with three other classes that we Tweet with on a daily basis (3:15 is Tweet Time in 3B). The three classes share; what they are learning, anything interesting that happened, and ask each other questions. On our end, all of Tweets are composed by my students but, I type and send them through the social media manger site hootsuite (which allows for us to Tweet without having to have Twitter unblocked). We ask questions to students in other countries to help us with our research projects. This gives my students answers about what kids their age like to do for fun and what they think about their country. It brings the learning down to their level. We wouldn't be able to do this easily or as quickly as we can with Twitter. I understand that there are predators online but, I am very careful with the Tweets we send  and I monitor all Tweets sent to us. Of course, my showing them how to use these technologies can lead to them using them at home and not being safe but, it is my job as an 21st Century educator to show them how to be responsible digital citizens. I'd rather that they learn from me instead of doing it at home (considering some of them have already have various social media accounts) that aren't being monitored. Of course, some parents may not like this if they start doing it at home but, I have the curriculum outcomes to prove that it needs to be taught. As teachers in the digital learning world we need to expose them to all of these different types of media and make them become responsible digital citizens at an early age before they are exposed without the knowledge and understanding behind being digital citizens.

On another note, today we connected with Sean Quigley (singer of the empowering "Our Generation") on Skype (who I connected with through Twitter). My students asked him some great questions about making change and how we can help out with our make change social action project for our local homeless shelter. He answered all of our questions and gave us some great advice. You would never know he was only 17. It is nice to see a young person with such a drive to make change and make a difference in the world.

We will continue to use social media in our room as it is an amazing way to learn in this digital world.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

New Tech Love

This blog is going to be short and sweet. I discovered (through an article link posted on Twitter) an amazing word cloud website. We are reading James and the Giant Peach as a class so we made peach shaped word clouds with our thoughts on the book and character sketches. The peach shaped word clouds were a great hit with 3B. I can't wait to print them out and post them on our bulletin board! After showing one child how to save her word cloud she told me "We should call you Queen of Technology!" Kids say the darndest things! It made my day. Before I go, the site was Be sure to check it out if you haven't used it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Today's Thoughts

Today's blog is going to be a rambling of thoughts.

Thought 1: Twitter: Let's start with my continued love for Twitter. Some of my students have been using Twitter to ask questions to other classrooms about their country for our research project. They seem to think it is neat seeing the responses. On a professional level Twitter is amazing. I participated in my first Twitter chat tonight with the #Edchat session. It was great seeing all of the ideas and thoughts come out on it. I found it hard to keep but up , in time, I think will catch on.

Thought 2: Another student discovery: I love when students discover things when using technology. One of my students discovered that if you clicked on a button on an iPad app that you could hear the national anthem on the iPad. This excitement spread like wildfire in the room as the students all got out their headphones to listen to the national anthem of the country they were learning. What a cool learning experience!

Thought 3: Plagiarism in Grade 3, really?: Today it came to my attention that a poem that one of my above average writers blogged is really from the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The way I found this out is quite interested. We are connecting with other classes by commenting on their blogs. One student from the class we are connecting with in Ontario commented on this student's  blog and said it was from Diary of a Wimpy Kid but that it was good. I immediately copied and pasted the poem into Google and sure enough it was from the book. This brought the question of where do I start with this teachable moment. Soon I realized that I would connect it  to our discussion on being digital citizens. We will review how we know that we can't copy word for word when researching in books or on the Internet and then I will jump into how responsible citizens don't post or claim other written work to be theirs. It should be an interesting discussion. Oddly enough the student who made the iPad app discovery is the same one who blogged the piece from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. 

That's enough rambling for now. More thoughts later!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Where to Start?

I am having a hard time figuring out where to start. It is isn't like I haven't blogged before. I have used kidblog with my students for three years now. Also, I have been using some type of class website blog since I started teaching five years ago. I think this is just different as these are going to be my own thoughts and views on teaching out on the web and not what I am doing in the classroom. It is a scary thought that so many  people can see my thoughts and life out on the web or on the flip side  that nobody will read my  blog and it will have been a waste of time.  But, I guess if I don't jump into it whoever is reading this will stop.  So, here I go.

I have three loves and coincidentally they all start with a t: teaching, technology, and traveling. The first two will be the focus of my blogs. I am a Grade 3 teacher in Thompson, Manitoba. I love my job. There are great rewards that come with teaching students when incorporating my other favourite thing-technology. We love exploring and using technology to learn, reflect and assess in our classroom community know as 3B from now on. Our two favourite tools in 3B are Skype and kidblog. The students love connect to our classes through Skype and kidblog.  They love publishing their ideas on kidblog.  

In future blogs, I will share my favourite technology tools and adventures using them in 3B as well as share my views on technology in the classroom.