Lesley's Lessons and Learnings


Posted on: March 5, 2011

First off, I have to admit that I began this post two days ago and am just getting back to it after a crazy week at school and many hours spent writing report cards…

As a Mom, I teach my children, aged 18 months and 3 years, to share everyday.

As a teacher, I share experiences and learning activities with my students to engage them and help further them along in their learning. I share knowledge and skills of how to make children become better learners.

As a colleague, I share lessons, resources, ideas, strategies, and stories.

Sharing is everywhere! Being able to share knowledge and experiences with others is part of connecting with others and having a relationship with them. On Tuesday evening, I had the honour of co-presenting with my principal, George Couros, to a parent group of about 15 at our school.  George spoke about the need for teaching our students in the way that aligns with the way their world is right now.  Education looks very different today than it did when we were in school because the world has changed.  We live in a busy, technological society where people connect through a variety of media.  Social media is everywhere.  Our job is to teach kids about using being responsible online and good digital citizens and involving parents in the process as models of this at home.

I was thrilled to have even a small part in the presentation!  I spoke about some specific examples of what Connecting and Sharing looks like in my classroom.  I shared a bit of my story of deciding to jump right into new technologies with both feet and learning as much as I could.  I shared my belief in demonstrating to kids that I’m learning right along with them.  I shared some experiences in the past six months of the school year, including having a classroom blog, beginning a “Blogger of the Week” program, Skyping in with teachers and students to answer questions in a research project, the effect and excitement that comments on blog posts bring, and connecting with new third grade buddies in the United States!  Thanks to these incredible experiences, my students have learned a lot about our world and continue to learn in engaging, meaningful, and authentic ways!

I joined Twitter over Christmas break, just over two months ago and am now addicted.  I love it!  It has completely changed the way I look at Professional Development and the need for a network of teachers available outside of the walls of my school.  I love the continual sharing!  Sharing of anything and everything!  I was approached by a teacher in Alabama who was looking for a grade three class to connect with in Canada, as her third graders were learning about North America.  Since our initial Video Chat via GMail, we currently have a very active Edmodo group where my students are connecting with other children their own age and learning about another community, with similarities and differences to our own community.  All because of a connection.

Tuesday’s presentation was the second time we presented to a parent group.  Despite the anxiety and nerves that I felt every minute leading up to the moment when my slide was next, I had a great time.  Once I began talking, I just shared.  Shared what is happening in my classroom.  Shared what I love.  Shared the experiences and the results on the kids.  Sharing is engaging.  It’s exciting.  For everyone!


4 Responses to "Sharing"

I’d love to hear more about your Edmoto group – I’m a third grade teacher in Pennsylvania. Sounds like you’re doing and trying awesome things in your classroom. We’ve Bern working a lot w/ voicethread, prezi, edublog, ppt, and glogster this year. I really want to branch out and connect w/ other students. Any advice?

Thanks for your comment, Beverly! We set up our Edmodo group to continue a connection made (after an initial GMail video chat). Our students communicate back and forth, ask each other questions, share information, and post pictures about our communities on Edmodo. It has been SO great!!! One common theme has been our climate differences! My students have enjoyed teaching the third graders in Mobile all about snow activities and what our town is like.
I have it open on my computer and also have the app on my iPhone… so if students finish work early or would like to post something, it’s available to them.
My suggestion would be just to tweet asking for a connection with third graders. Connecting to curriculum is always great… in Social Studies we are studying four different communities around the world and so this is great to see how communities are similar and different, how quality of life is affected, etc. Maybe a project like this would work? We have a small school, so there aren’t any other grade three classes available to connect with…. sorry. Good luck and keep me posted 🙂

Lesley – I too, have found Twitter and find it inspiring! It’s so nice to see educators sharing resources, ideas, and challenges — perhaps it’s hard for some educators to share challenges but with a community of like-minded sharers, it’s hard not to seek advice! I also blog with my students and would love to hear about your Blogger a Week set-up. Sometimes I worry that our blogging is inconsistent or mostly the same students. In either case, though, they are blogging, which is important. Thanks for the insightful post!

Hi Amy,
Thank you for your comment!! I appreciate it!
My Blogger of the Week Program was a way to get my students blogging on our classroom blog. I encouraged them to blog about a topic of their choice (they have included A Monday in Grade 3, Our Library, Why I Love Forest Green School, Our Social Project, etc.) I struggle with parent involvement and don’t have parents reading our blog regularly. I thought this might be a way to encourage them to if they see their children are writing posts on it.
Now, all of our students have their own blogs/portfolios. So far, they have written two blog posts and we are in the process of posting evidence of their work (pictures, etc.) on their subject pages of e-portfolios.
Hope that helps…. good luck and have fun 🙂

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March 2011
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