Thursday, March 19, 2015

Student-Led iConferences


By this time of year, parents have a clear understanding of how their child is doing academically as well as socially. Students need the opportunity to show their parents what they are have been learning in the classroom.  Each child needs the opportunity to take a leadership role and teach his/her parent.  My fourth graders prepared, organized and led the conference with their parents.  Since my students are the experts, they were proud and excited to share their accomplishments. Our district has had student-led conferences for as long as I remember, but this was the first time I truly took the backseat.  

One of the most important goals I had was to have student presentations tie in with district curriculum and expectations. My students do so much each day to show their learning, we had to decide what were some of the most important components to share. I also knew I had to keep it manageable for my students and myself.  

As a class we brainstormed what we would include in our student-led iConferences.  After the guidelines were established,  students were on their own.

Parents signed up for a one hour block of time. There were about four families attending conferences each hour. The showcase of learning took place in the hallway and classroom.
iConference Agenda

View our IConference Agenda

Student-Led Conferences can happen in any classroom.  We took our learning objectives and then the students began collaborating, sharing, creating, and learning as a team. So how did it work? Below is an example of what my students shared with their parents.

Greeting our Parents
Augmented Reality
Students used augmented reality to welcome their parents and thank them for attending conferences. They created two pictures on the iPad they created for conferences. I set up a public channel on Aurasma and let the creativity and learning begin. To see each's child's parents face light-up was priceless.
Being my first time using Aurasma +Erin Klein's site and video were extremely helpful.

Words their Way - Spelling
Stick Around
One of our favorite apps to use with Words Their Way is Stick AroundStudents create puzzles for their word patterns each week.  Students selected a puzzle for their parents to solve.  It was amazing watching my students explain to their parents what they had to do. 
Tips for using Stick Around by iPad Educators

My fourth graders use different apps throughout the day to show their learning.  For math we have been learning about multiplying and dividing decimals.  Students created videos showing their learning of this concept.  They sent their video to iMovie to edit before sending to our classroom YouTube channel.

Brie's Math Video

Greek and Latin Roots
With our new curriculum, Greek and Latin Roots are a big part of our curriculum. My fourth graders have been creating a year-long book of all the Greek and Latin Roots they are learning.  Students shared the books with their parents during conferences.

Writing Genre of the Week
Each week, my fourth graders have a different writing genre. They use different apps to share their learning depending on the genre.  The week they wrote adventures, we knew Toontastic would be the perfect app to share their adventure.  Students read the adventure they wrote before scanning the QR code and sharing the adventure they created on Toontastic.  Students use Kidblog as a platform to share their writing and learning.

Eme's Adventure

Sean's Video on The Declaration

Our YouTube Channel to Watch all my Students Videos
Summarizing and Sharing Favorite Book for Third Quarter
Students selected their favorite story from third quarter.  After students created a picture from the story, they summarized the selection and read an excerpt from the story. Parents listened to their fluency and automaticity.

Reading Fountas and Pinnell Level
Our district uses Fountas and Pinnell to track students reading levels.  I love Literably and parents were very impressed with the information shared about their child's reading level.  Students scanned a QR code which took them directly to their child's individualized reading site from the literally site. Parents listened to their child read and were able to see their child's fluency and comprehension data.

Overview of How Each Student is Performing
Specific Data for Each Student
Students' Running Records

After scanning the QR Code parents commented on one of their child's posts.

Other Learning Taking Place
Goal Setting

As time permitted students shared other ways they show their learning each day.

Since all my coursework is formed in iTunesU, my fourth graders taught parents how they used it on a daily basis. Students use Notablity each morning to complete their Daily Language as well as their Math Spiral and Problem of the Day. Students also shared with parents how they send work to Google Drive.

Several students shared the video they created on the Parts of Speech.

My fourth graders created a Movie Trailer of our iConferences

Students taking the Leadership Role in their Learning is...
 21st Century Learning at its Best!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Creating a Global Classroom

Connecting Outside the Walls of Our Classroom

It is so important as educators, who connect daily with a classroom full of 21st Century Learners, that we provide global learning opportunities for our students.  Teaching in a "World Classroom" makes learning relevant and engaging for our students. Breaking down the walls of our classroom helps students develop a respect for different cultures and ideas. There are many simple and easy ways for educators to connect globally. You don't have to be a 1:1 Classroom to go Global!!

My fourth graders and i love Mystery Skypes, and we have connected with other classrooms from around the globe. It is a perfect learning opportunity for all involved.

My Students Created a Video Trailer on the Jobs Involved in a Mystery Skype

How to Find Classrooms to Participate in a Mystery Skype
 Google+ Communities - Connected Classrooms
Skype Classroom Website - Skype in the Classroom Classroom
Mystery Skype Website - #MysterySkype
Mystery Hangout Community on Google+

Tweet Out for Specific States/Countries - You can get a huge response from classrooms around the world.  Also follow @MysterySkype and @SkypeClassroom on Twitter. Also use #MysterySkype to get responses.  
During the Mystery Skype my students create Movie Trailers of each Skype we participate in.  If the other classroom has a Twitter account we share our video with them. 
Example of a Mystery Skype with Mr. Wigmore's Class from Canada by Kenzie

We recently participated in a GHO with classrooms from Nebraska and Iowa to complete in a Dr. Seuss Kahoot.  It was a wonderful afternoon of learning and a great way to celebrate Read Across America. They have had opportunities to visit with new teachers and building tech coordinators to share our global experiences.
4th Graders teaching our District Tech Coaches 

Competing Against Schools from Nebraska and Iowa

My students have had GHO's with authors, and even two of the best tech Guru's out there +Tony Vincent and +Adam Bellow.  Learning from the experts makes learning engaging and relevant for our students.
List of Authors who Skype and Have GHO with Classrooms for Free
Edudemic 4 Ways to Enhance Your Class with Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts in Education Community Google+ Community
Collaborating with Classrooms from Around the World - Google+ Community

There are a lot of amazing people in the world who can make a huge impact on your students.  My students worked with Ms. Jena Ball, author of CritterKins and Mr. Marty Keltz, producer of The Magic School Bus.  Ms. Jena gave them lessons on how to draw and we also wrote and blogged.  We had the opportunity to have a GHO with other classes to celebrate our Blog Swap.
CritterKin Blog Swap-Classes Connect - Student Created a Movie Trailer

There are so many learning opportunities for students when they participate in Virtual Field Trips.  Plus it is absolutely free!
Connected Classrooms on Google+ is a great community to connect and attend a Virtual 
Field trip.  

I use Twitter all the time to connect with other amazing educators from around the Globe.  I also share all the wonderful learning my fourth graders are doing in our classroom.  One of my goals is the get my students more involved in using my Twitter account.
                                                                    12 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
Education Week
60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter in the Classroom Global Digital Citizens Foundation

Justin Tarte

Create a YouTube Channel to display your students' work. We have a YouTube Channel that showcases the learning and work my students are doing.  People from around the globe can connect and learn from our classroom as we use YouTube to learn from others.  One of my goals is to set up a channel for each student so the videos they create are organized.
Link to our YouTube Channel

20 Useful Ways to use TodaysMeet in Schools  Matt Miller-Ditch That Textbook 

Give your students a voice by using Today's Meet.  A great site for students to have discussions with each other in their own class or with classrooms from around the world.  It is great to use during Mystery Skypes and Google Hangouts. 
Students Using Today's Meet during a Mystery Skype
TodaysMeet Teacher Tools

When blogging students get to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings.  Students get to share our voice with the world! Everyone can share their own voice.  My fourth graders love to blog because they get to blog with kids from all around the world. They are creating global connections, and they are learning from each other.  Last year, our class had the opportunity to blog with author Ms. Jena Ball.  This year, we have made friends with classrooms throughout the United States, from Shekou, China, and Canada. Students love the global connections and the comments they get on their posts from around the world.
Here is a comment one of my students received from China. 
Personal connections are made when student's blog.

Twitter is also a great place to connect with other classrooms from around the globe to comment on your students' posts.  
Student Blogging Network - Google+ Community
Hashtags on Twitter
#4thchat (or # any grade level and chat)
We would love comments on our Blogs!

Tia's, Caitlyn's, and Olivia's Video on the Importance of Blogging

Janine Crain-Global Blog Challenge
Be looking for global learning opportunities for your students.  We participated in a Global Blog Challenge created by +Janine Crain last year which was a huge success.  Students from all over the world participated in this global writing activity.  Student had topics to write on and commented on other students' posts. Once again she is hosting this event.
Janine Crain's Post on Global Blog Challenge
Follow along this year on Twitter 
Janine Crain on Twitter @janinecrain

Projects by Jen - Jen Wagner
My students have been participating in Jen Wagner's global projects for years. She has so many awesome projects that engage students' thinking, learning, and creativity.  From the Oreo Cookie Stack, Pumpkin Seed Project, and Macaroni/Spaghetti Project, to the upcoming St. Patrick's Day Project. Learning is Fun and Happening at its Best!
Results from our St. Patrick's Day Project from 2014 
A Google Map and Spreadsheet are also included on the Results Page  
Follow Jen Wagner on Twitter @jenwagner

Padlet is an amazing platform to create and collaborate globally.  A colleague and friend of mine, +Garrett Sims, has recently created a wonderful global project connecting his students with the world.  In conjunction with Read Across America, Garrett asked classrooms and individuals from all around the globe to add their favorite childhood book to his classroom Padlet wall.  The outpour of support was unbelievable.  
It is not too late to add your favorite book to his classroom wall.
Mr. Sim's Padlet Wall - What is your favorite childhood book?
Curl Up With A Good Book For Read Across America Week - WOWT Channel 6  News features Mr. Sim's Class
Garrett Sims onTwitter @GTwitSims

Room Ten from Lac du Bonnet, Canada has Created Several Global Padlet Walls
Please Add to Their Classroom Walls
Random Acts of Kindness
Love to Read Celebration
Room Ten on Twitter @room_ten

Other Global Activities we have participated in the year are listed below.  Digital Day is coming up this Friday. You can also sign up for the Global Read Aloud and Global Play Day for the next school year. There are so many amazing educators creating Global Learning Projects for out students.

My student had an amazing learning experience by participating in the Global Read Aloud organized by +Pernille Ripp.  We selected the book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  We connected with Melissa Dowling's class from Sunnyvale, CA. We Skyped and blogged with our new friends from California while reading the book.  Skyping our blog buddies for #GRA14! Our final questions about Edward Tulane. #graedward
Pernille Ripp on Twitter @pernilleripp

Natalie created a Movie Trailer for our GRA

The Bendley Brothers @BedleyBros are the creators of the Global School Play Day.  Due to a snow day we were a day late to participate, but that didn't stop all the fun we had.  We shared our day on Twitter using #GSPD.  I definitely plan on participating again next year.

For Global Learning Day my fourth graders will be using multiple digital platforms to show and teach their parents what they are learning in our 1:1 classroom. From using augmented reality to QR, to sharing YouTube videos they created their parents are in for an awesome evening of digital learning.  Follow Digital Learning Day on Twitter @OfficialDLDay and also follow #DLDay.
Students Leading iConferences for Digital Learning Day
Movie Trailer 4th Graders Created

Some Great Resources for a Global Classroom
Tech Tools 4 Teachers
by Bellevue Public Schools' Tech Coaches 
Tech Coaches on Twitter 
Ann Feldmann @annfeldmann1
Jennifer Krzystowczyk @jennykbps
Jeanette Carlson @MrsJCarlson 

Mind/Shift - For Students, The Importance of Doing Work that Matters

eduTopia - Global Education:Resource Roundup

My students had the privilege of participating in a GoNoodle Video with classrooms from around the world.

"I Get to Move It, Move It"

One of my favorite quotes written by Jane Goodall! 
Students having the opportunity to connect globally is Learning at its BEST!

I would love to hear how others are connecting their classrooms globally.