Friday, November 9, 2018

Social Media Commenting ... on Paper

This year the third grade teacher and I are swapping classes once a week so my students can get a period of art, and her students can get a period of tech skills.

I agree with the decision to hold off on giving them their school email address for a few months, but it makes the lessons a little more challenging.

So, seeing as how they will, or most likely, are online I have spent the last few weeks doing offline responsibility activities. Talking about topics around questions like:
  • What does responsibility look like?
  • How can you be a good communicator?
  • What do you like people to say to you?
The Plan

Copy of the template.

I wanted the students to practice communicating online, and I had seen the fourth-grade teacher do an Instagram thing last year. Since Instagram is pretty popular, I went with it, but I didn't find an Instagram template mobile template I liked so I made the above one.

The students drew pictures of what they did over the autumn break. Next time they will add their avatar, choose an appropriate username, write a comment for their image and choose an appropriate hashtag for their post. 

After that, they will do a gallery walk and look at others pictures and write a comment. If we have time, they will reply.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Internet Comments

Good communication offline and online is very similar.

You should be cordial.
You should give compliments.
You should try to keep the conversation going.

What comment would you make about this picture?

Not finding anything in my own files for elementary students, I came up with the following guidelines.

If you are taking the time to write a comment, there must be a reason. Give the author a boost and tell them what caught your attention.

Connection (if possible)
Just like in reading, show a connection from the post to yourself or from another comment in the thread to yourself.

Ask questions in your writing
Conversations are like playing catch with a baseball. The game ends quickly if you don't throw it back. A question is how you can do that in your comments.

Think before you post. 
Ask yourself, is this something I want my parents, teachers, friends, strangers to see? What are the consequences if you post this?


Browsing through my files I found this gem from a friend sent to me a few years ago. I really like the one about proofreading and I think I will add that to what I give my students.

Make a compliment
Add new information
Make a connection
End with a question
Proofread your comment

Monday, October 22, 2018

Me as a Learner

This first unit has been interesting for me. I am back in the Grade 4 classroom after a six-year hiatus. But what a journey the last 6 years have been! I taught a combined Grade 1-2 class for three years, then an MYP Year 5 class for two, then last year I taught Grade 1. I never would have imagined that path when I moved out of the G4 classroom.

Our first unit has been Who We Are focusing on teaching and learning. The initial idea I had was for the students to share what they learned about themselves after/while doing their Passion Projects. I think that could have worked, but one night, in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, I had an idea.

Using the image above, students would write the factors that help them learn - external factors on the outside and internal factors on the inside. I am not even sure if "factors" is the right word, it might better be called "traits".

The idea is that this will be an ongoing (living) poster that can be added to and changed over the year.