September 18

How We BYOD

I can’t believe we’re already into our third week of school and this is my first post. I take it as a good sign that we’re so busy and engaged in class that there hasn’t been any time for an update!

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been documenting our learning!

One new addition to our school policy this year is the soft launch of our Bring Your Own Device initiative for grades 4-8. Understandably so, there has been lots of conversation about what this means in terms of screen time for our students. I thought a good first step would be to show you how we’ve been using the devices in grade 5 to help enhance our learning. Technology is being integrated in meaningful ways, not simply for the sake of using a device. While we may have these devices in our classrooms, they are by no means being used ALL the time, and we are pretty deliberate about what they are used for.

First, we’ve made a few additions to our weekly classroom jobs. This summer I read, Who Owns the Learning by Alan November. In this book, he talks about the Digital Learning Farm, and how by giving student’s jobs within the classroom that are integral to the learning, they will take more ownership of their learning and become meaningful contributors to the class culture. This fit in perfectly with the work I, and a cohort of OJCS teachers did, last year with Silvia Tolisano. This matches our own OJCS North Star that We own our own learning. Therefore, three new jobs in our classroom are the researcher, the documenter, and the habit finder. The researcher helps answer our questions in the moment when they come up. I am the first to admit that there is A LOT I don’t know. In our classroom, students are curious and if questions come up we don’t know the answer to…the researcher will find it for us! The documenter captures the learning happening in the room and in the school. They take pictures and videos of important learning. This is great practice for when we launch out Student Blogs (grade 5 students did this last year, if you’d like to read more about it. The habit finder pays special attention to how we are following the 7 habits in our classroom, captures these moments and documents it for us. These will be great examples to share with the whole school at our monthly Rosh Chodesh assemblies.

 

Let’s see what some of our documenters have captured so far!

 

We were introduced to EdPuzzle, a place where we can watch videos and answer questions to check for understanding. These “flipped lessons” will most often be watched at home, but we did a quick lesson in class to make sure everyone knew what to do.

 

 

We also spent some time practicing our Math critical thinking skills by choosing a question to answer, solving it with our partner, and then documenting our thinking process on Flipgrid. We used the video feature and also the new whiteboard feature to create tutorials. By focusing on what we learned and what we found challenging, we’ll be able to use that learning for next time!

 

 

 

 

We also started reading our first class novel, Wonder, by R.J Palacio. We’ve already had some great discussions about friendship, acceptance and kindness. Even though some of us have already read this book before, we know that books are like gifts (simile alert! We also started talking about literary devices 😉). You can find something new each time you open it!

Finally, today students started watching video feedback from me on their first paragraphs. Using Screencastify, I was able to record myself editing the students’ work, offering tips and suggestions for improvements they could make. This personalized feedback allowed students to focus on the specific skills they are working towards, and make any necessary changes at their own pace. Afterward, one student said she couldn’t believe how helpful it was to be able to have the video open in the corner of the screen, while her document was open as well. She was able to pause the video at appropriate times and edit her work as necessary.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg! It’s so exciting to see how much we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time. It’s clear that this is going to be a great year!

June 7

Science Quiz – June 13

We will be having a science quiz on Wednesday June 12, reviewing the respiratory and circulatory systems.

Here’s what you need to know:

Respiratory System:

  • Vocabulary (trachea, right lobe, left lobe, bronchioles, bronchus, alveoli)
  • Be able to label these on a diagram
  • What happens in the bronchus, bronchioles and alveoli?

Circulatory System:

  • How does blood move through our body and in what direction.
  • What does blood carry?
  • 4 main components of blood (plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets)

 

All the information you need is on the sheets in your Science Notebook.

 

March 7

Thank you!

Thank you to all the incredible grade 5 students who worked so hard to produce incredible STEAM Fair projects. I loved walking around, hearing all that you learned, and seeing all you created.

Thank you to all the incredible families for taking the time to come and visit our class and share is our work. (If anyone took any pictures, please send them to me!)

 

Later in the afternoon we had the chance to go and see what the grade 6, 7 and 8 students had produced. Given that next year grade 5 students will be among those projects in the gym, each student was asked to look with a critical and inquisitive eye at all the projects. They needed to take a picture, video, or any other form of documentation to reflect on which projects inspired them and why. These annotated pictures or videos are due on Monday. How fortunate they’ll be next year to have this documentation to look back on as a memory for inspiration!