Sunday, June 29, 2014

Third Graders Lead with their Hearts

Being a 21 Century Learner is all about learning from the outside walls of your own classroom.  It is about students connecting, creating, sharing, and not only being engaged in their learning, but taking ownership.  This happened at its BEST in just three weeks with our CritterKin Kindness Adventure. We had the opportunity to meet with author +Jena Ball of the CritterKins series, and her CritterKin Co-founder  +Marty Keltz after they worked with my students during the school year.

Fourth grade teacher, +Brittany Braasch, our tech coach +Ann Feldmann, and I embarked on our three week summer school journey focusing on Project Based Learning and Emotional Literacy.  Our adventure was based on Jena Ball's book, Lead With Your Heart which is a perfect title for intelligence with a heart. Kindness, empathy, being misunderstood, and prejudice were some of the topics we focused on; not only for discussion, but for the projects our students created. It is simply amazing what transcended in just three short weeks.

How was this global connection possible with a talented author,  producer of the Magic School Bus and Goosebumps, and a Hollywood actor?  We used Google Hangouts, a perfect way to connect and learn.

Together students practiced and enhanced their reading, writing, drawing, acting, singing, and dancing, skills! Students created and shared what they learned along the way! 

Reading Lead With Your Heart with Ms. Jena and Mr. Marty

Students 100% Engaged in their Learning

Creating our Fabric Quilt

Thank you +Dana Doran for helping our students make such an inspirational and beautiful quilt!  The next stop for our students' Kindness Quilt - The Bellevue Sarpy County Museum! It will be put on display until early August! Who knows where our quilt will travel to next?!
Sarpy County Museum

Watching our Kindness Grow

Kindness Quilt  

Yes, I Can!!
Learning to Quilt

PROUD of our Kindness Quilt

Creating our Paper Quilt that Comes to Life
Students used Augmented Reality and their dogs come to life with the use of Aurasma!  You will have to watch to see how students perceive themselves from the viewpoint of a dog. Thanks so much to +Ann Feldmann for helping and sharing her expertise on augmented reality!

Using Augmented Reality - Our Quilt Comes to Life

Great Prezi Presentation by Lauren Tate on Augmented Reality

Chalk Quilt  

Just another way to create a Quilt

Enriching our Writing Skills - Using Journals and Kidblog

Kidblog is a perfect site for students to share their learning.  Students not only practice their writing skills, but they can reflect on their learning, connect with others from around the world, and create a portfolio of their writing.  Students shared and reflected what they learned about kindness and empathy over the course of our CritterKin Kindness Adventure.  Brittany and I noticed huge improvements in their writing skills in three short weeks.
We LOVE to Write

Spreading Kindness with our Writing

Sharing our thoughts and what we are learning on Kidblog!

Learning to Draw with an Illustrator

Love my Dog
Artist in the Making
What each third grader drew and created was unbelievable.  We heard comments like: "Wow, I didn't know I was such a great artist!"  "Drawing is so much fun!"  Each student was proud of what he/she created.  What made this learning experience even more powerful was that Jena had all the third graders share their drawing with her.  There were huge smiles and feelings of pride as she commented on each drawing.  The Pinterest page Jena created showcases their talents!

Meeting Actor Jonathan Keltz for some Acting Tips 

Actor - Jonathan Keltz

What an amazing opportunity for our students to work with a real Hollywood Actor.  Learning doesn't get any better than this!

So Much FUN!

Dory the Dog Visits 
Students learned about kindness and compassion when Dory visited Bellevue, Elementary.  She was not treated proberly by her first owner, and now she is part of a loving family who cares for her unconditionally!

Practicing for our One-Act Play
Working Hard to Memorize our Parts

 Grand Finale
The Invitation Created by Jena Ball
The third graders had a packed house for their one-act play with Jena Ball
Students performed the play in front of a live audience at the school and via GHO
The students' Grand Finale came when they performed a one-act play with Jena Ball centering on the last chapter of her book Lead With Your Heart!  These 43 third graders were not only rock stars, but they had a global audience to showcase their learning.  Students performed in front of a packed house, and those not able to attend did so via their computer.

Enjoy the Third Graders One-Act Play

Principal, Dr. Robert Ingram posing with the Mutts!

This amazing learning experience couldn't be possible without connecting with others globally.  I would encourage others to connect with +Jena Ball and +Marty Keltz for an amazing learning opportunity that centers on Project Based Learning and Emotional Literacy. Students modeling and sharing kindness, compassion, and empathy is Learning at its Best!

Look at those Smiles!