Grade 11 biology students recorded their findings during the pig dissection and shared them using Prezi.  Check out this work.
 
 
Yesterday I was invited to join a grade 3 class as they Skyped with one of their classmates who was visiting Costa Rica.  It was amazing to hear the students questions and see how excited they were to learn.  When the call was finished I was talking with the class and one little guy said to me:  "It was almost like we were learning...."  I couldn't help but smile.  That is the way learning should be.  We should be so into what we are discovering that we don't notice the passing of time.  Check out what the students had to say about their experience.
 
 
Although Blabberize has been mentioned before it is an awesome tool for the classroom.  What a wonderful way to engage all of your learners in their outcomes.  Come to our elluminate session in 2 weeks (Dec 20) and learn more about the tool and how to use it in your class.  www.blabberize.com
 
 
I have been using my Twitter PLN a little more this year.  As I learn from my peers and coworkers I inevitably come across amazing ideas that either save me time or that I would never have come up with on my own.  Pop lit was one of these amazing ideas.  @JulieeJohnsonn is the creator of an amazing teaching resource called http://www.poplit.net/ .  I recently shared this idea with Jayne Florence.  Jayne has just started to use this site with her class and although there are some bugs to work out both her and her students are finding it to be a positive experience.  Jayne said " We are studying  the elements of a short story and this fit in perfect for character, setting and plot line events.  Great practice and they were super engaged."  Creating Forms is a great use of google documents and I love how @JulieeJohnsonn has pulled together the idea of writing and google forms.    

 
 
 
Throughout October I have been working with a number of teachers and classrooms.  I would love to highlight the Grade One class in Condor.  Wow what a lovely group of kids.  They have been working on their Science Outcomes  for Topic B:  Seasonal Changes.  During a fall walk the students took pictures using digital camera's of the evidence of Fall.  After compiling all of the images the teacher realized that she wanted more of a reflection of what the pictures mean to the students.  She allowed for her students to create photo stories using the images.  Students recorded their voices using a headset with mics.  Mrs Kuhn was able to capture student learning and is excited to create videos for each season throughout the year.  Check out the videos on their class webpage http://condorschool.weebly.com/grade-1.html  Please don't forget to leave a brief comment.  Students (and teachers) love feedback.  If you are interested in creating a similar project contact Carol Smith Kuhn to ask questions about her project or Carmen Wedman if you would like some assistance in planning or implementing a project.
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During this project I worked with a teacher to plan a Galileo project that incorporated digital storytelling.  The focus of the project was to have students build assessment criteria for digital storytelling.  The teacher began by having students practice using their assessment criteria to give each other feedback for improvement.  Students practiced their poems with a partner while their partner gave feedback using the class created "Awful vs Awesome" criteria.  We put in place 3 feedback loops for students as they got ready for the "real" taping of their storytelling.  
These included:  
Feedback loop 1: Partner peer feedback  
Feedback loop 2: Class/teacher feedback (saying their story in front of the group)  
Feedback loop 3:  Partner video taped the story telling using a digital camera.  Viewed footage of their story.  Self and Partner feedback.
The final project was video taped by their partner in a "video recording room".  We then uploaded the videos onto their class website for others to view.
 
 
Almost daily I come across amazing projects completed by students around the globe.  Today was no exception and I wanted to share with you a project that got my wheels turning.  Could we do something like this in our division?  I think so!  Check out what these grade 4 students discovered about Chocolate milk.  I don't know about you but I found that with our milk programs often my students would groan when their parents ordered them white milk.  After watching this video by grade 4 students I wish I had been able to show this to my students when in the classroom.  Thank you Mrs. Swelander for your great project and for inspiring others.
Check out this link to their blog here
http://themilkrevolution.blogspot.com/2011/04/mrs-swelander-was-shocked.html 
 
 
This summer has been filled with alot of learning and I am excited to start the year once again.  This is truly the best time of year.  The New Years for teachers.  This is the time of year that I make new years resolutions and I have the highest of hopes for what the year will hold.  

We have made the switch over to Google and even though there is a learning curve that comes with this I am excited by the possiblilties it opens up for us.  My new favorite thing is igoogle.  If you haven't already checked it out make sure you do so. I have switched to using crome and was able to set it up as my home page.  Now when I open the internet (using crome) I can see my email inbox, my twitter, the countdown to my wedding, the weather and my google docs all in one page.  I LOVE it! Seriously go and check it out.  If you need a hand email me and I will get you going. 
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I am going to attempt to begin a blog.  I am not sure why I find this medium so intimidating but in some way I suppose it is.  Maybe it stems to our insecurities.  What if someone doesn't agree with me?  What if they don't like what I write? Seeing no way around these, I am going to dive in (insecurities and all).  I will start with something easy and hopefully over time my posts will become more thoughtful.

Top 4 Things about my Job
1.  I get to meet amazing people almost everyday:  I have gotten to meet some extraordinary people throughout this year.  I have been given an opportunity to expand my PLN (personal learning network) outside of my individual school to all of the schools in the division.
2.  I get to see master teachers at work everyday:  I get to have the opportunity to observe and team teach with some spectacular teachers.  The amount I have learned from these opportunities has impacted my teaching and I feel blessed to be able to work along side teachers of this caliber.
3.  I have a new understanding of professional development:  I feel like when I have a classroom again my professional development will look much different from how it did in the past.  I will seek out the opportunity to observe other teachers in my building.  I will ask for others to come and watch me teach and give me specific feedback on how to improve.  I will collaborate with others outside of my school.  I will seek out what I need to improve my teaching practice.
4.  I get to seek out ways to bring learning to life for students: perhaps this should be at the top of my list.  I feel like my experience with Galileo has confirmed my belief that learning can be deep, meaningful and fun.

Please feel free to leave a comment for me.  You could always share you top 4 list about your job.


 

    Carmen Slemp

    I am a teacher who strives to find new and creative ways of engaging learners. 

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