Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Story VoiceThreads

A couple of weeks ago, my students wrote a Halloween Pattern Story that Mr. McDonald's class in Manitoba illustrated. They then wrote a story that we illustrated. Today, we connected with Mr. McDonald's class via Skype and read the stories together. Below are the VoiceThread stories. I hope that you enjoy them as much as the students did!

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

Math VoiceThread: Creating And Commenting On Graphs

Last week, we had a Skype call with @jgriffith2 as part of our Grade 1 and 2 graphing unit. The students in her class surveyed my students on a variety of topics, and my students surveyed her students on a variety of topics. Today my students worked in groups of four to take the results of the survey and record them in a tally chart. Then they looked at these results and offered some commentary on them using VoiceThread. Listen to their comments below and feel free to add some of your own. We would love to hear your response to these results.

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

Our Special Collaboration: A Halloween Story

For Halloween, my class decided to join with Mr. McDonald's class (from Manitoba) to write a Halloween story. Each class wrote their own pattern story, and then we exchanged the stories to illustrate. We are going to take these stories and put them into VoiceThread to create digital storybooks that we will read together on Halloween. This will be a very special shared reading activity brought to life thanks to Skype.

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

Animal Story Show And Tell

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

A Typical Day In Our Grade 1/2 Class

For the Meet the Teacher Night on Thursday, October 7th, I created a short Animoto slideshow to show a typical day in our classroom. I hope that you're able to watch this slideshow with your children and discuss what they are learning in our new Grade 1/2 class. Please add a comment here, so that we can all share our learning together.

Have a great long weekend, and I look forward to seeing all of you again next week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Little Leaders

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

Leading Up To Student Led Conferences

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!