Letting The Students Shine

Student Taking A Leadership Role To Review Centres & Explain Learning

This week, my students had some amazing opportunities to share their learning with others. On Wednesday, November 24th, the Early Years Consultant for the Board came into the classroom to see how the students are using technology as a learning tool. There are a number of full-day, everyday Kindergarten classes in our Board, and for next year, some of these classes will also be involved in a special “technology pilot program.” I don’t know all of the details of this program yet, but the Consultant was looking to see what kinds of resources they should look at purchasing and how these tools can be used too. While this Consultant was in the classroom, she spent a lot of time talking to these students, and boy did they have a lot to share! They explained how to use all of the different technology tools in the classroom (from the computers, to the SMART Board, to the iPod Touches, to the Palm Treos, to the iPod Nanos, to the Livescribe Pen), and they really showed how these tools can be used to help them learn. These students were engaged in meaningful activities, and they were working independently as well as helping each other along the way. What I loved though is that this visit was not about me: I could certainly share my thoughts on these tools, and I did, but best of all, the students could take the leadership role here. I was thrilled to watch my “little leaders” shine.

Then on Thursday, November 25th, two of my students got an amazing opportunity thanks to my incredible principal: she asked these two Grade 2 students to share what they are doing in the classroom with eight visiting principals and a superintendent. These two students went up to the meeting room on their own, and they basically underwent a “mock Student Led Conference” with these administrators. The focus of this Student Led Conference though was on technology and how the students used the technology in the classroom to help their learning. They showed off their blog posts, the Blogger’s Cafe (on the iPod Touches), and even different websites that they use in the classroom too. These students told me that they had to answer some “hard questions,” but that they did, and they were so proud of what they were able to do on their own. One of the students came back from the meeting and said, “I thought that there were only two principals there, and then I turned around, and there were hundreds.” 🙂 She added though, “Miss Dunsiger, this was a bit stressful, but it was a lot of fun too! They didn’t even know how to use everything that I showed them. I taught them something new.” Wow! This is something that these two Grade 2 students will remember for a long time to come! A special thank you to my principal and all of the other visiting administrators too: you gave my “little leaders” a chance to shine.

This week was certainly full of some student success stories, and I would love to hear about your student success stories too! I think it’s important that we all celebrate the amazing things our students can do!


10 thoughts on “Letting The Students Shine

  1. Aviva,
    You convinced me to start blogging with my first graders early in the year, and I’m amazed by all they have accomplished. Most importantly, I am noticing how engaged they are in this work, how much ownership they have in this writing, and the way it is impacting our community by giving everyone an equal voice. We are using Pixie, Photobooth, and Kidblog regularly. I’m planning to tackle VoiceThread upon our return from Thanksgiving break. The possibilities are endless.

    Thanks for your inspiration,
    Cathy (justwonderinY)

  2. Thanks for your comment, Cathy! I love reading about your student success stories. While I use Kidblog and VoiceThread regularly, I’ve never tried Pixie or Photobooth. You’ve just inspired me to try something new too! I’ll have to check these out.


  3. As always, you have demonstrated – this time through your students – what learning should look like. I’m convinced that blogging is the way to go with literacy development and I wish that others – those in decision-making roles would put more emphasis on this writing than on prep for EQAO tests. Perhaps someone could do a study of ‘test scores’ comparing your students when they’re in Grade 3 and classes where the focus is on test prep.

    • Thanks for the comment, Cyndie! I’ve always been interested on how blogging and other Web 2.0 tools will help students in the long run, and I would love to take a look at their EQAO scores come Grade 3 and see if it makes a difference.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for all of your support with what I do too! I really am so proud of my amazing students!


  4. Aviva,
    I’m sure your students will fondly remember their presentation to the principals for years to come. Not only have they summarized what they’ve learned, but their confidence and presentation skills will grow as a result.
    It’s so great when we can step beside our students, rather than in front. This speaks volumes for your teaching!

    • Thanks for the comment, Heather! I think that these two students will remember this presentation for years to come. It was great to be able to sit back and let them lead a presentation like this. What happened on Thursday really convinced me of the importance of developing student leadership.

      Thank you for all of your continued support!

  5. Aviva,
    As usual, you are empowering your students. You give them so much love and encouragement they can’t help but succeed.

  6. Congrats on the success! It is always nice to have a little reinforcement. Our schools 8th graders have to assemble a portfolio throughout the year and at the end we have volunteers from the community come in and interview the students. They get so nervous to present their material, but are always excited afterwards. They think it is so awesome that someone (besides a teacher) takes an interest in what they have to say.

    • Thanks for the comment, Justin! I was really proud of my students. I love what your Grade 8’s do too! What a fantastic idea! I’m sure that the students must love sharing their work with a “real audience.”


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