Thursday, 27 June 2013

We Can See...almost summer

Here is an updated pond book. Take a look at the way the milkweeds begin their life cycle. We saw a lot of birds on our pond walk.

 June Pond Video click link to view

What changes do you notice? Mrs. Harrison's and Mrs. Coombes K class

Sunday, 23 June 2013

We can see... Florida!

This week we are wrapping up our last week of school. Since joining this blog project in the fall, my students have conversed with students near and far.  I marveled at how quickly students began to think of their audience when writing or making videos. Not only do students understand that their works are being seen by peers and other followers, such as parents and Kindergarten teachers in Ontario and beyond, they also enjoy writing back to their far-away friends about the projects they see on the blog or on twitter. Together we have learned about different types of responses, and as such students offer a comment, a connection, or ask a question of their friends in other participating classes. Social media is such a prominent part of our lives, so it made perfect sense to introduce students to responsible internet use (netiquette) while also sharing our stories.

My students are used to me taking two types of photos or videos: firstly, those that may be used within the class, which may include names, faces, and identifying features of those in the photos; secondly, those which exclude all identifying features so that they may be shared with twitter followers, our classroom site, my blog, or other forms of social media. Students are well-versed in my safety protocols and even remind me when I'm taking video clips to be careful around showing names on artwork. It has lead to some interesting conversations, then, when we see students in other classes creating their own personal "I Can See" books with very personal details included. Taha's book about his trip to Egypt connected with so many students, not the least with several students in both the morning and afternoon classes who are also from Egypt and have had the chance to visit there, too.
I loved how they connected with the familiar images, but also how they noticed these differences.  We talked about the fact that in those particular cases like Taha's post, the teacher wasn't making a decision to break the rules. We read the "fine print" in those posts, and in each of those cases the teachers thanked the families for taking part in the project and allowing for their personal photos to be used. This lead to a conversation about "informed consent". Big ideas for young students, indeed!

We can see Toronto! Photo graciously shared by Tijana's family.
When our friend Tijana took a trip with her family to Florida during the first week of June, I asked her family if they would share any photos they took while away. Once back at school, Tijana showed the trip photos as a slideshow to her classmates, using the long pointer to point out interesting details from her trip. She did a wonderful job retelling her exciting days spent with her family. Then, inspired by the "I can see" books shared on this blog, and with her parents' permission, we set about creating her own "We Can See" book to share with our larger Kindergarten community and families. She and I worked together, a bit each day, to select photos, type messages, and record her story. Here is Tijana's Voicethread book: "We Can See... Florida!" (click to play).

Sunday, 9 June 2013

What Can You See? and Egypt!

With the "What Can You See?" project, our students at Lorna Jackson Public School have been able to not only develop a great understanding about the world around them, but in fact, the project has grown to the point where our students can learn about and appreciate different cultures around the world.

As part of this new and exciting chapter of "We Can See" books, one of our JK students (T.B.) recently got back from a trip to Egypt where he was visiting family. He was very excited to share his pictures with us and tell us stories about what he saw there and where he had visited. We had offered to compile his photos and create a digital book to share as part of the project on his family's behalf.

We thank T.B. and his family for collecting these wonderful photographs and for letting us put them together into a digital book to share with all of you!

This video, along with our video from A.C. and her family in China, has generated lots of discussion in our classroom as students have begun to see connections from these "We Can See" books to other books found in our library and at home. T.B. is very proud of where his family comes from and his ability to teach us new things about his culture and country!

Even though the end of the year is approaching rather quickly, we still encourage our families to participate in this wonderful learning opportunity well into the summer months!