February 5

I cannot believe that it is already February and we are nearly half way through the bachelor of education program!

This Thursday was a typical busy day in division 4, our morning started as usual with us doing our Big 5 math warm up. As my students were finishing their Big 5 I noticed that many were done and getting restless, it was time for our morning run but there was a problem, it was POURING! There was no way we could go outside the field that we usually run around was threatening to turn into a lake and the rain was coming down hard. After a moment’s consultation with my SA, we made the call that we would do DPA indoors. I connected my ipad to the classroom speakers and found “Mousercise” on my ipad, I had used it with a group ranging from the ages of 5-12 last summer as a way to get some DPA in on rainy days and that group enjoyed it so with my SA’s approval tried it. The music is a bit silly at times but the light heartedness of the music brightened up a dreary rainy morning. I lead my students through a short routine that included cardio (jumping jacks, skipping and marching in place as well as high knees) and stretching it was a great way to wake them up and get the blood flowing in the morning. What I did with my students relates back to an Action Schools BC presentation I was able to take part in during the Fall Semester, it drew on some of the activities they taught us for rainy days ect. However, I did not have my action schools kit with me so I used the music I had on hand. I have a large selection of children’s music that I have used for dance and day camp programs, the songs touch on a variety of themes and I am hoping to be able to incorporate music like this into my classroom to reinforce themes and as a new/ exciting way of doing DPA to switch it up from the run. I observed that many of my students were appearing to put more effort into our fitness routine than they typically do into a morning run. I am wondering if a balance between DPA activities such as I did on Thursday and running would be beneficial, both have their own unique benefits physically but what affect do they have on the student’s mental and emotional states?

 

As I was finishing DPA, a guest arrived unexpectedly to do soap stone carving with the students. This was an interesting process; each student received a roughly square block of soapstone to carve. After a short safety talk the students were given files and chisels to start shaping their stones with, the students seemed to really enjoy the process of first smoothing out the stones then figuring out what shape they wanted to create. My students created a lot of hearts, circles, lemons, limes and footballs. They seemed to find that those shapes worked best in the individual stones and with the size of the pieces.  I was able to have some great conversations with the students about what they were noticing in the stones, the students were pointing out that the dust that came off the stone was the color of sand but the texture of flour, and they were observing that different pieces of stone were different colors. As I was helping and chatting with each group took this as a moment to talk about how rocks are made up of minerals and that different minerals give rocks different colors. The students were more excited about the different colors in the stone than they were interested in why those colors were there.

 

This week we also created and used our Kid Blog accounts for the first time, writing our about me posts and commenting on our class terms of use agreement. As a class, we took the time to co-create our Terms OF Use Agreement for our kid blogs the week before, part of this week’s blog session was to comment on the terms of use to show us that they had read them and agreed to follow them. This week the students posted an about me post that included writing about our soap stone activity from the morning.  The students appear to enjoy blogging and it is a great way to communicate with their parents / family members about what they are doing in the classroom. We have invited parents to create parent accounts to join us in our blog space and share in the classes learning and adventures. I would like to see our blogs become a communication tool between the school and families that lets the students decide what is important for the families to know.

 

I was very impressed with out co-created terms of use and have posted them below:

I will own my actions and take responsibility for everything I post.

I will always use my best writing including spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

I will always write in sentences and paragraphs.

I will keep my password private.

We will always post our own work on our blogs.

If I use any words or images from someone else’s work, I will say where they came from

I will only post images that do not show my friend’s faces

I will always post things that will make those around me feel good. I will not post anything that they would want kept private, or would embarrass them.

I will always get permission from my parents to post photos of myself.

I will use my blog to help fill other people’s buckets and make them feel good.

I will use school appropriate language and topics in my blog posts.

I am responsible for everything that is posted using my user name.

I am going to use my best writing skills for everything I post.

I will keep my log in to myself.

I will keep my address, phone number and other personal information private.

We only write things that will build other people up.

We will not bully others.

We will only post things that are true about other people, our school or events.

We will try to give comments to all of our classmates.

We will always use language that builds others up and make them feel good.

We will always write clearly, so that we can be understood.

We use our blogs to encourage other people.

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5 Responses to February 5

  1. Yvonne says:

    Terrific you were able to think in the moment and provide your students with an alternative to the morning run Amanda. Continue considering the value that ‘mixing it up’ has… While I know many of your students enjoy the opportunity for fresh air and running, some do not… so considering alternatives is important in the longer term. Varied forms of DPA can also take place outdoors on fine days!
    re: soapstone carving – unexpected visitor? I suspect you mean unexpected by you. I know your SA had been planning on this activity – perhaps the timing switched? Funny how things just ‘come upon us’ at school. You’ll find the need to be flexible only increases as spring arrives.
    It sounds as though you took the opportunity to connect with students and also to take a teachable moment. Well done.

  2. Amanda Younger says:

    My SA had been told that they will only do soap stone on ” nice” days due to the dust levels and they had had their session moved several times already. Given Thursday’s downpour , she was not expecting them to come.

  3. Milana Cecco says:

    I love the co-created terms of use your class came up with. It seems like such a great way to make your students aware of online safety and how to blog effectively. I’m sure they enjoyed making these with you and your SA. Additionally, since they helped to make the terms, I think they will be easier to remember as they blog.
    I also really like the idea of inviting parents to join KidBlog and comment on the student’s work. This seems like such a great way to engage parents in their child’s learning, but it also encourages the students to put that “extra” effort into their work since they are publishing to a wider audience. I’d be interested to hear about the discussions that take place between all members using the blog.
    What is your SA using the blogs for? Is it simply a way to educate children in the world of blogging? Or is she hoping to eventually use the blog for a specific assignment?

    • Yvonne Dawydiak says:

      An excellent point Milana about the co-creation potentially leading to students remembering the terms (and, hopefully, abiding by them)!

  4. Amanda Younger says:

    The co-creation of the terms of use has helped many of the students to follow the terms of use. I noticed that having them sign the post with the terms of use also gave them a sense of connection and was their digital signature that they would follow the terms of use. On my extended practicum I would like to take time to revisit the terms of use with the class and look at what terms do we want to keep, change or remove.

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