I am a Kindergarten teacher (starting September 2015) that enjoys blogging about my thinking and learning. This blog is really a way for me to share my learning journey with you and reflect more about my teaching practices. Thanks for being a part of this journey!
I would like to share your blog at FETC this week… is that okay with you?
Absolutely! I feel honoured.
I came across your blog during a search for great teacher sites/blogs related to my website and had to stop and leave a comment about your post reminding us of the power of of saying “thanks”. We often get so busy in our lives, that we forget that the simple gesture of a genuine “thank you” is not just an acknowledgment of someone’s kindness or work, but it’s also the easiest way to encourage people to keep doing good and nice things, and we need as much of that in the world as possible!
Have a great day, and thanks for taking the time to share your insights and knowledge with others! You make the world a better place!
Thanks Amiee! I feel exactly the same way about saying “thanks.” Your comment just made my day!
I enjoyed reading about all the wonderful things that your students are doing. Kids really can do amazing things when we let go of the controls and step out of the way. Congratulations – that is a brave step on your part. But now I question, as I seek “the light”. I was introduced to Twitter a couple of years ago and am still struggling with finding a good pedagogical reason for using it. To what advantage? Technology should not be the end but rather the means. Why exactly do your students need to tweet about what they are doing? What are you trying to accomplish? I am a very tech savvy educator but am struggling with this one. Please share your thinking with me. Thanks, Chris
Thanks for your comment, Chris! I did a lot of thinking about this too, as I started to use these tools with my students. When I have my students tweet about what they’re learning, I have a couple of different goals:
1) Have them apply what they have learned in class. Can they use the spelling and writing strategies that we have learned in class to write in a meaningful context? Will they remember to check their work for spelling, punctuation, and good ideas before pressing “tweet?” Will they edit their work? All of these questions match up to expectations in the Grade 1 and 2 Curriculum Document, so I’m assessing their learning as these students are interacting with others.
2) Have them use active listening skills in the classroom. Active listening is an Oral Language expectation, but it’s often one of those expectations that’s difficult to assess. When I have the students “back channel,” I really am assessing just this. Can they hear what is being discussed in the classroom, think about what they are learning, and communicate this information to an audience through their tweets?
Sometimes the tweeting activities match up to just one of these expectations, sometimes they match up to both, and sometimes there’s even a third expectation not mentioned here (e.g., when we were learning about living things in science, students shared what they learned. I was then using what they shared almost as an “exit card” as part of my formative assessment). Students also apply their decoding and comprehension strategies when tweeting. We get lots of replies to our tweets, and the students have to read these replies (using various strategies to figure out difficult words), think about what is being asked, and reply accordingly. They are reading and thinking in a meaningful way!
I hope that these ideas help! Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.
I have just found your blog via a ink posted in diigo education. I’m quite excited to have chance to read your blog and see all the neat things with your students. I am especially happy to see that you are Canadian. While I have found many useful blogs by American teachers, sometimes Canadian content is what I need.
I am a teacher-librarian in British Columbia in a K-5 school. I teach library classes to each of our classes once a week and a computer class to our Ks, and 3-5s. I am looking for exciting ideas for lessons to do with my students. I am also really trying to build a PLN with elementary school teacher-librarians. I’m wondering if you can help me with that. I am on twitter as KimERobb, but I haven’t used it much as I find I get lost following interesting things, that really aren’t pertaining to my needs :-)! Suggestions would be helpful.
So far, reading your blog has created a few questions in my mind:
1. How have you (or your school or your district) managed to have so many tech. tools available to your students? We seem to be so far behind in this area.
2. I would like to know more about setting up students with Gmail accounts. Do you have control of the accounts? Did you seek parent permission first? I think using Google documents is a great idea!
Thank you for any help you are able to send my way.
Thanks for your comment! I am definitely happy to help in any way that I can. I use Twitter quite frequently (I’m known as @grade1 on there), and I will definitely follow you. If you want, send me a tweet letting me know the type of person that you’re hoping to connect with, and I can make some suggestions.
As for technology, I have lots of my personal technology tools in the classroom (i.e., iPod Touches, iPads, a Livescribe Pen, a laptop, etc.), and I’ve also shown my principal how I use various tools to help my students learn. Seeing this, the principal has also done everything she can to support getting more technology in the classroom. She uses school funds and fundraising too.
As for GoogleDocs, I’ve set up on class account that all of my students use. If you have Google Apps For Ed, you can get student accounts too. This is something to look into. All of my parents have signed permission for using these tools in the classroom, and I’m very up front with how I’m using them too.
I hope this helps! Please just let me know if you have any other questions.
I have followed you for several years and adore your blog and learning with the children! My family and I are looking to relocate to Newfoundland. I am wondering if you know any educators from there or could connect me with someone? I know you’re busy!!! Thank you so much for your time!!
Thank you so much for your nice comment! I’m so glad that you enjoy reading these blog posts. I don’t have any current contacts in Newfoundland, but if you’re on Twitter and want to tweet me at @avivaloca, I’m happy to see what I can do to try and connect you with some other educators. Have a great move!
I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge with the outside world. I wanted to send you a private message as I don’t want to discuss it in public, tried twitter but it wouldn’t fit 🙁 would you mind providing any email address or any other way to contact you?
Thank you so much,
Thanks for the comment, Negar! What’s your Twitter name? I’ll send you a direct message with my contact information.
Have a great night!
It’s @activetextbook .
Thanks a lot =)
Thanks! I just sent you a message with my email address.
We connected briefly through twitter about using the Livescribe Pen. I am currently involved in a project that we titled, “Be Your Own scribe” in the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. I was wondering if there was anyway for you to skype with myself and 3 others of the team about the LIvescribe pen on Thursday April 11th, in the morning?
Would that be a possibility? We have some questions that we are hoping we could ask you about and be able to have a conversation about the livescribe pen with you.
Please let us know ASAP!
Thanks for your comment! I’d be happy to Skype with you on Thursday morning, Leslie! I can do so anytime on my nutrition break, which is from 10:30-11:10. Would this work? If you want to contact me through Twitter at @avivaloca, we could work out the details.
Thanks Aviva! That sounds great! 10:30 am it will be! I will send more details to you via twitter!
Perfect! Glad this will work out. I may be closer to 10:35, as I’ll have to get set-up in the meeting room.
For one of my M.Ed courses, I am creating a blog about people who are influential in the domain of technology and curriculum, and I would like to include you. I have also included the Courosa brothers, Royan Lee, Scott McLeod, Will Richardson, and others. I think that you would be a great fit for my project because of the great work you are doing both in the classroom and in sharing your experiences with others so that we might learn from you. I will send you a link to my blog when it is finished.
Keep up the great work!
Okay, so I just realized that I called them the Courosa brothers – too many late nights obviously. 🙂 My apologies to Alec Couros and George Couros.
Thanks so much, Ellen! I’m honoured to be recognized along these fantastic educators. I look forward to seeing your blog!
You can check it out here http://teacherswithreach.wordpress.com/.
It’s still really in its infancy, and there are several more fabulous educators that I would like to add, which I will do as time permits.
Thanks for being part of my professional learning journey!
Thank you so much for the link! I definitely will check it out.
Your blog about using evernote was SO helpful! Thank you! 🙂
We are working on going paperless in our school, and I have been looking for a way to keep ALL of my notes/ideas/student work/assessments/documents all in one area and organized for the kids. I am not organized myself with paper, but also can’t imagine giving up all the little detailed notes I take on my first graders! This was very helpful. I may be emailing you when I get to setting this up for next year! 🙂 Thanks for all the info!
You’re very welcome, Allison! I’m so glad that you found this helpful. If you have any questions, please just let me know. I’d love to know how you use Evernote at school.
Thanks for creating a blog where I as a student have to keep on thinking.
There is a variety of topics that I have enjoyed, and now have started commenting on.
Thank you for chiming in on so many of the discussions here. It’s great to hear this student voice!
We at TVO are interested in featuring your blog as part of a new online initiative. Could you please message me so that I can share more details?
Thank you so much, Nikki! I’d be honoured if you did this. I just emailed you, so hopefully you can share more details that way.
Have a great night!
Thank you so much for creating this blog. This is really great for a new teacher like me who loves to use technology and inquiry based learning. I confess that I plan my lessons based on your blog ideas and let me tell you they are always helpful for me to engage students. Thank you for being so nice to share your ideas and thoughts.
I was wondering Aviva that how did you engage students in your Math provocations( related to baking, sewing etc.)?
Thanks for the kind words, Hema! The math provocations actually went quite well. You can see more of how they worked here: http://missdunsiger.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/category/daily-shoot/ (Days 14 and 15). Hope this helps!
Hello! I would love to work with you! What board are you with?
Thanks Melissa! I’m with HWDSB.