I started out this school year in some kind of a funk. I was wanting a change in my grade level but, that didn't happen. The teacher of a grade 3/4 class that my grade 3s usually collaborated with moved to a higher grade so our collaboration hasn't been the same. Other issues had made the start of the year not as smooth as it usually is.
Awhile ago, I started thinking about what I liked doing the best with my students and obviously the answer was collaborating using technology. I thought abo8t how I could do this on a more regular basis than just with my online #plngelato (a great group of teachers that I connect with-perhaps a blog on them in the future). I made the decision to connect with our new term grade 2/3 teacher who was teaching the same social studies unit as I was. We get along great and my love of technology integration didn't seem to scare her off. This was a new territory for me because for various reasons all of my collaboration had been online based. I hadn't collaborated with my grade partner. I, also, realized I need to stop worrying about this and other things I had no control over and work with what I can control. I knew I need to do something that would let my passion come back out. I decided to go for it and asked her if she was willing to try doing some technology based collaboration. She willingly decided to join me in my technology collaboration madness. I am not sure she knew what she was getting herself into but, I am sure glad I got her involved. Our students have loved collaborating with each other as we use technology to learn about our friends at the Maple Grove Hutterite Colony. The experience of success in school based collaboration has been amazing. It has proven to me that using what I love to revamp my teaching practices is what I needed. Next term, will find us having our students create iMovies centred around the continents and oceans. My students will show her students how to blog as there is nothing better than students teaching other students how to do something. I'll be sharing the power of Twitter with her this week too! Things are so much better know that I have the ability to collaborate with another teacher on staff. Our students are better off for it as they are learning together and bonding through this collaborative learning adventure. This is really all that one can wish for as nothing beats learning with and from each other. Their learning experiences are much more enriched because of our use of technology. Not many students in grade 2 or 3 can say they are learning in real time from other students especially students living on a colony. In the end, I am glad I stuck where I am.
I, also, need to say thank you to my #plngelato for starting my passion for collaboration. The things I've learned from you have allowed me to succesfully collaborate within my own building. It is because of you that my students are having such enriched learning experiences with fellow students at our own school and at others. Thank you for everything!