Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
It was also great at the end of the process when I asked the students what tool they liked better -- Wallwisher or Lino -- and why? All of the students agreed that they liked using Lino more. They said that it was, "easier to grab the sticky note than to double-click and make it appear." The Lino sticky note is also "bigger," so it's "easier to type on and post." Students also enjoyed all of the "colour choices." They had so much fun using this tool that they almost forgot that they were reading and writing too!
So for now, all I'm thinking is, what can I try out next week? If you have any ideas to share, I would love to hear them. Thanks for your help!
Use your mouse to move around the canvas and see the different sticky notes. Feel free to add one of your own too.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
For parents out there, I'd love to hear about how your child demonstrates metacognition when completing different literacy and math activities at home. For teachers out there, I'd love to learn about different metacognitive activities that you've done with your class before. Hopefully we can all learn from each other.
Friday, November 5, 2010
We used this video to discuss why we celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11th. Then the students got to discuss with each other what peace and freedom means to them. We used the information from this discussion to create our own slideshow on What Freedom Means To Us.
This slideshow will be shown at our Remembrance Day Assembly on November 11th. We would love to know, what does freedom mean to you?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I love all of their various ideas and how they explained all of their answers too. What do you like about these spaceships? What would you add or change too? Any positive feedback would be much appreciated!
P.S. My apologies about some of the photographs! I still have much to learn about how to become a better photographer.:)
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today was fantastic! About 10 minutes into our Reading Buddy time, the Grade 4 teacher said to me, "Isn't this amazing, Miss Dunsiger?!?! Look at the students. They're all engaged, they're all reading, and there are no problems either." It really was great to see!
Throughout our Reading Buddy time together, the students are also going to get a chance to respond to books together using different technology tools too (including blogs, Wallwishers, VoiceThreads, and even our Palm Treos). The Grade 1/2 students will get to teach the Grade 4 students how to use these tools, and both groups of students can experiment and learn together.
What are some different activities you've done with Reading Buddies in the past? I would love to hear your ideas!
Friday, October 29, 2010
The Story We Wrote (Illustrated By Mr. McDonald's Class):
The Story Mr. McDonald's Class Wrote (Illustrated By Our Class):
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thanks for your help with this graphing activity!
P.S. I learned that we need to make smaller tally charts the next time because neither the document camera nor my camera can capture the entire graph.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Today, my students worked in partners to illustrate the stories. They needed to work together using one piece of paper to create a picture that matched the text in the story. Here is a short Animoto slideshow of this great teamwork. I was so pleased with what the students did! Please use this slideshow to help talk to your child about this exciting Language and Art activity, and then check back on the blog on Halloween weekend to see our completed VoiceThread stories.
Friday, October 15, 2010
As my students are using a variety of tools more often, they are quickly realizing the different purposes for each of these tools too. Today, one student was getting ready to start her Show and Tell, and she said to me, "Miss Dunsiger, can I use the document camera? I want everyone to see the pictures in my book as I explain them." What a great reason to use this tool! I happily agreed, and she opened up the Notebook software (on my laptop), clicked on the document camera button on the toolbar, and turned on the document camera too. I love how independent my students are becoming at using these tools as well!
After she started her Show and Tell, I realized what great information she was sharing, and we decided to use the recording feature (from that point, on) to record her presentation. Hope you enjoy it as much as my students did!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Have a great long weekend, and I look forward to seeing all of you again next week!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I took this video footage this morning of one of my students explaining our Read to Self Centre. Listen as she discusses the Reading Strategies (you may need to turn up the volume). This video clip makes me realize that students of all ages can be leaders. We just need to give them the power to do so. I hope that you'll share your great little leaders' experiences here too.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
During our PA Day on Friday, my principal was talking about Student Led Conferences. I've heard of these conferences before, and they've always intrigued me, but I've never thought about settting them up with my students and parents. After my principal's talk though, I've spent a lot of time thinking about these conferences. Then I saw this blog post by @smartinez all on Student Led Conferences. Reflecting on my principal's talk and then reading this blog post led to these questions of mine:
1) How can I prepare my Grade 1 and 2 students to lead these conferences with their parents?
2) What would they discuss?
It was as I was brainstorming these questions that I started to think about the rationale for having these conferences in the first place: they give students independence and control over their learning. I have started to do this a lot in the classroom already. I have the children take turns reviewing math and literacy centres with the class. I ask them questions to get them thinking and talking about their learning.
I use the scaffolding approach a lot in my teaching, and I'm starting to think that what I'm doing now will help my students as we try to prepare for student-led conferences in November. The next step is to get the children to self-assess their work: what do they like about it, and what do they need to improve on? I can't wait to hear what they have to say!
For those of you that have tried out student-led conferences before, I would love to know your thoughts on them. What are your words of advice? It's great when we can learn together!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
After catching this moment on video the other day, I was walking around yesterday during literacy centres, and I saw these two students reading together again. They said to me, "We're going to finish Andrew's Loose Tooth today. You can get the rest of it on video now." They were so excited for me to videotape them again that I just had to add the update here. Enjoy!
Seeing this wonderful learning, problem-solving, and collaboration in action is really what teaching is all about!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Today, @plnaugle was tweeting about Mixbook. She really just had a question about it, but having never heard of Mixbook before, I thought that I would take a look at her link. She just started a class yearbook on it, and her photographs and captions are amazing. I loved the idea of documenting our year in the classroom, so I thought that I would try it out too.
Paula just blogged about her Mixbook, and I was so inspired, that I thought that I would blog about mine too. I really just created the cover, but here is what our Grade 1/2 Yearbook is going to look like. I'm excited to add in more photographs throughout the year and document what is sure to be a very exciting year in Grades 1 and 2.
Thank you, Paula, for teaching me something new today and creating such a wonderful memory for my students!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This Voki is for you:
Get a Voki now!
Since I can't mention all of your names in this brief message, and since even when I do mention them, I may not pronounce them correctly, here's a glog of all of the wonderful educators that I follow on Twitter. Happy #FollowFriday to all of you!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Have a great summer!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Since I team-taught SK last year, I basically taught all of the students that are now in my class. Saying "goodbye" to these students after two years is a very difficult thing to do, and while the excitement of the summer is definitely looming, so is the sadness of the end of the year. I want to dedicate this blog post to my amazing students that have taught me so much over the past two years.
Here are the top five lessons (in no particular order) that I have learned from you:
1) Don't be afraid to try something new! It's okay if it's hard the first time, for it won't be as hard in the future. My students learned lots of new concepts this year and tried lots of new tools, and despite any difficulties they may have had, they knew that what they were doing would be easier in time.
2) Never give up! I remember a few times that my lesson wasn't working according to plan, and my students chimed in with, "Don't worry, Miss Dunsiger! You can do it!".
3) Set expectations high, and students will meet everything that you expect of them and more! If I ever mentioned that an activity might be difficult, my class always replied with, "We're in Grade 1 now. We can do it!" And you know what? They always did!
4) Be genuine. Show you're having fun because you really are having fun! Six- and seven-year-olds are always genuine -- they always tell you what they're thinking and feeling -- and they can tell if you're not being genuine too! If they see you enjoying yourself, they will as well, and the learning will come through this enjoyment.
5) Don't be afraid to admit that you don't have all the answers! Let your students teach you something new, and let them teach each other new things too. I learned something new from my students every day, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Thank you, Grade 1's, for an incredible two years of learning and laughter! I will miss you next year, but I wish you all the best in Grade 2!
Aviva, or as my students would say, Miss Dunsiger :)
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I hope that all of you have had some wonderful experiences like this one, and I hope that you'll leave a comment here and share them too. Can't wait to read about some of the highlights of your year!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11th was Spring Fling, and it was quite the night! The weather was perfect, the attendance was great, the variety of activities was fabulous, and the food was yummy. It was an evening to remember, and one that would not have been possible without the amazing volunteers on our Home and School Association. These volunteers worked for months to plan the activities, order the tickets and prizes, arrange the food, and ensure that the evening was a great success! Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with these same volunteers on a number of different activities, and I cannot say enough positive things about them and what they will do for the students at the school. We could not have had this event without you, and the countless hours you put into it have not gone unnoticed. Many thanks for all that you do and all that you continue to do to ensure the best for all of the students at the school. This blog is for you!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Hope you enjoy this slideshow as much as the students enjoyed the designing and building process! Who knew school could be so much fun?!?!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thanks to the generosity of the Home and School Association, all of the primary students received two dance lessons last week. The Grade 1 students learned jazz and hip hop. Above is a short video clip of our hip hop lesson. Talk to your child about this dance lesson. Did your child enjoy it? What did your child prefer: learning jazz or hip hop? Why? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
For the past month, we have been working on mapping skills in class. The students have learned how to create and read a legend, as well as learned how to create and read a map. They now know the important information to include on a map, as well as information that does not need to be included on a map. They understand the importance of a scale, and they know why objects on a map are smaller than objects in real life.
Today my students worked in partners to create community maps. They needed to include at least five street names on their maps and use the items that we created in our group legend on their maps.
It was amazing watching the students work together on this activity. Every child was engaged, and every child was contributing to the final product. The incredible thing about this activity though was that it was about so much more than Social Studies. When students were asked to reflect on their maps, they all thought that they did a "great job," and when asked why, they commented on the fact that they helped each other well, they worked together to create one final piece, and they learned that it's okay to not always get your way. Who knew that a Social Studies activity could be as much about mapping as about character education?
I'm so proud of what my students did today, and here's a little slideshow that they made -- from uploading the photographs to choosing the music -- to showcase their amazing work. After watching this video, please leave a comment here with any feedback you have on this mapping activity as well as any mapping activity suggestions that you may have. I would love to hear what you have to say!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Next Day ...
As a follow-up to this activity, we did a more formalized self-assessment the next day at school. All of the students contributed their thoughts to a couple of Wordles: one where they looked at what they liked about their maps and one where they looked at what they would add to or change about their maps the next time. These Wordles will be up for display at Open House on Thursday, May 6th. I was so impressed with my students' reflections.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
We hope you like our movie!
Miss Dunsiger's Class
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The second part of this slideshow does not involve the use of technology at all, but instead, uses art to engage the children and have them develop their problem-solving skills as well as their artistic abilities. Students are creating their own plasticine pictures as part of an author study on Barbara Reid. They are learning how to mix colours and add texture to their art work. All of the Grade 1 students are excited to show off their completed plasticine pictures during Open House in May!
Please watch this slideshow with your children, and talk to them about these different activities. What did your children learn while engaging in these activities? What did they enjoy the most? Why? Please let your children add a comment here to share their thoughts.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
One of these connections is with @rmcdonald17's Grade 2 class. When my students first started their own blogs, Mr. McDonald's students commented on all of their blogs. These comments helped encourage my students to continue to write. I am now fortunate enough to be at the point that when my class is given the choice to either have 15 minutes of time to draw or write in their creativity books or 15 minutes to blog or comment on blog posts, all of them choose the latter. Wow!
Since my students are so excited about blogging, yesterday I signed out the laptop cart, and I had my students work in partners to comment on @rmcdonald17's student blogs. Each group of students was given one or two student names, and they read a variety of the posts, and chose which one they wanted to reply to. We wrote a sample reply together first, and we even included a question in it. When reading through the posted replies, I noticed that some of my students included questions too. Yeah!
The best part of this blogging activity though was that when it was time to stop responding and shut down the laptops for lunch, nobody wanted to tidy-up. The students were so engaged that they wanted to keep on reading and writing. Isn't this what learning should be all about?
Here's a short video of my students writing these replies to Mr. McDonald's students. Please talk to your children about the blogs that they read, and then let them leave a comment here to share their thoughts on this activity. I would love to hear their feedback!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We have been working for a while now on self assessment, and in follow-up to an art activity completed on Friday, I had my students reflect on their work. They were asked to answer these two questions:
1) What did they like about their picture?
2) What would they like to add or to change about their picture?
Here is the completed VoiceThread with their self assessments. I was really pleased that everybody thought of something that they could do to improve their work!
I'm sure that my students would love to hear some of your positive feedback too, both on their assessments and on their work. Please feel free to leave a comment here with your thoughts or add one to the VoiceThread. Thank you for encouraging my class to learn and to want to learn too!
Friday, April 2, 2010
Some students feel more comfortable than others in sharing their thinking orally, but as you can hopefully tell from the slides, all students got to use pictures and words to brainstorm their ideas first. The assessment of this activity is based on both what the students share orally and share in their graphic organizer too.
We hope that you enjoy our first attempt at getting all of our Grade 1 students to record their ideas in a VoiceThread, and talk without the use of a script but just with some ideas brainstormed first.
If you have read The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist, please comment here and let us know what you think Sister Bear is thinking now (being the end of the story) and how you know this. We would love to hear your ideas too!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
What do you think of this project? After viewing the slideshow, does your definition of "a community" change? How? Please leave a comment here and let me know.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Miss Dunsiger's Class
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Today I got a chance to participate in the Google Wave that was taking place as part of the Community Project. Many of the different schools involved in the Community Project contributed to this wave. It was interesting to hear about the similarities and differences between these communities.
Since we're off on March Break this week, I knew that my students couldn't participate, but I wanted to give them the "live" experience. I used the SMART Recorder to record part of the Google Wave (see the video above or click on this link to view it in a bigger window). Once we get back to school next week, I'll go into the Google Wave with my class, and we can read what the other schools said and contribute some more ideas too. I'm interested in hearing what my class thinks about this tool when they're not "waving" in real time. Will the students like it as much? Why do they feel this way? I will definitely be sharing their thoughts with you!
After watching this recording though, please let me know what you think about this Google Wave experience. What do you like about it? Is there anything that you wish was or was not a component of Google Wave? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks to @mcarls and @jgriffith2 for making this Community Project Google Wave such a success today! I'm glad that I could take part in it!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Have a great March Break!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Grade 1's
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Have a great evening, and we look forward to seeing you at school tomorrow for Day 101!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
My students are really excited about this project! They have already used Google Docs to contribute to a slideshow about communities and Google Forms to answer questions about the importance of different community helpers. As long as we can work out the timing issues, they will be involved in a Skype call next week with @jgriffith2's class to discuss communities and community helpers. @jgriffith2 is a Grade 2 teacher in Randolph, New York, and she is the person in charge of this project.
In the upcoming weeks, my students will get to use Google Earth to find these different communities on the map, and Google Wave to talk in real time with students at these different schools in the United States to pose and answer questions about communities and community helpers.
Involvement in this project has really showed me the power of communication on a global level. My students are so engaged in this Social Studies Unit because they're not just reading about it in a book, but experiencing it with other students too. It's amazing to me that my students are now proficiently using tools that six months ago I didn't even know existed. While these tools are fascinating in their own right, more than that, they are allowing my students to learn and making them want to learn too.
What do you think about this project? What are your child's thoughts on this project? Please comment here and share your opinions. I would love to know what you're thinking!
Have a great weekend!
Friday, February 5, 2010
This morning we had a dental presentation from one of our parents and two other students who are attending the Ontario Dental Education Institute. The students learned about good brushing and flossing habits as well as healthy foods for teeth. The presenters came dressed in Tooth, Tooth Fairy and Dental Hygienist costumes which excited the children and helped them to better understand the importance of good Tooth Care!
Here are some of the comments the students had after the presentation:
Maleeha liked when she saw the Tooth Fairy.
Victoria and Nicholle said, "I liked when we got the loot bags with new toothbrushes".
Shay's favourite part was when she brushed Bob the Builder's Teeth.
Milan liked when the Tooth Fairy told us the story.
Jenna liked seeing the tooth.
Zain said, " I liked when I got to see my mom helping the Tooth Fairy".
Sabrina said, "I like when the dentist brushed off the sugar bugs".
Here is a VoiceThread presentation that we made to comment on some of the photographs that we took today. You can comment on this VoiceThread too. We hope you do!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
At the Brock Tech Showcase on Friday, @mrjarbenne taught me about Jing: an online tool that allows you to record screencasts. I used this tool today to make a video screencast of a Symmetry Wordle that a group of my students created last week during math centres. I would love for you to comment here and let me know about other symmetrical items that could be added to this Wordle.
Thanks for your help!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The Internet has changed this though. Now I can tweet about daily activities, add classroom information to the Grade 1 Website, and blog about exciting classroom and school events. I love the fact that parents know about what's happening in the classroom and can reinforce the skills learned in school at home too. Talk about the ultimate home-school connection.
This all became apparent to me last night though. I got a tweet from one of my students commenting on a Wordle that we made in class. It was apparent that she looked at this Wordle with her parents and discussed it with them too. Talking about our Wordle was a great way to review our read aloud activity from the week. This single tweet showed me that our classroom activity was no longer just an activity for the classroom.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic too. Has the use of the Internet (and more specifically, the use of the Twitter account, website, and blogs) changed how connected you feel to the classroom environment? What else can I do to strengthen this home-school connection?
Monday, January 18, 2010
All of the Grade 1 classes got together today to try out the Math Tool Chest Activity that is being assigned for Wednesday's homework. The students need to create a symmetrical picture. Watch this short video to see how the Grade 1's created their symmetrical picture, and watch them use the Notebook tools to draw on their lines of symmetry. Awesome job everyone!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
In an attempt to show the power of an online community, we are asking for some comments here from your children about activities that they enjoy the most during literacy centres and what they think the purpose of these activities are too (e.g., I like the listening centre the best because it helps me become a better reader by thinking about what I'm reading.). If your child would rather e-mail us their comments, they can send their e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your help with this!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
When I was in the Faculty of Education and completing my teaching placements, I always wanted to learn more about my students and find out what motivated them in school. I feel the same way now too. While I will be sharing some of this information with Mr. Rancier, I'm sure that he would love to hear some of this information directly from you too.
Here are some questions for you to think about:
1) What is your favourite subject (i.e., Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Drama, Health, or Phys-Ed)? Why?
2) What classroom activity do you enjoy the most (e.g., literacy centres, using the SMART Board, tweeting, Show and Tell, agendas, etc.)? Why?
3) How do you feel about coming back to school tomorrow? What are you looking forward to the most? What are you looking forward to the least?
With your parents' permission, please post a comment here answering as many of these questions as you would like. Even if you are not in my class, feel free to comment here, as through various group activities, Mr. Rancier will be working with all of the Grade 1 students during his time at Ancaster Meadow School.
I can't wait to read what you have to say!