Saturday, January 30, 2010

JING Blog Entry On Symmetry

Click on this link to view this week's video blog entry.

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

Opening Up The Walls Of The Classroom: Aviva's Thoughts

When I started teaching, it was always up to my students to let their parents know what they were doing at school. Since I have always taught Kindergarten or Grade 1, these discussions usually resulted in student responses such as, "nothing," or "playing," or "I can't remember." If I wanted parents to know about school events, I needed to call and tell them or send them a note. While I often did this, I knew that there were still big gaps in what parents knew about classroom activities and what was actually happening in the classroom.

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

Math Homework Tutorial

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!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

For the District Review

On Friday, January 22nd, various members of the Board (including principals and superintendents) will be visiting our school for the day. The Board representatives will be divided into teams of two and going into each classroom for about 20 minutes to talk to the students about their learning. We have been talking to the students about this visit for a while now, and we know that the children are excited to share their learning with these Board representatives.

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

Thank you for your help with this!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Request For Your Help

Happy New Year! Starting on January 4th, I will be having a student teacher in my classroom. Bryan Rancier is from Charles Sturt University, and he is completing one of his practice teaching placements at Ancaster Meadow School. My students met Mr. Rancier in Decemember, and they are very excited to have him return.

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!