There’s something quite wonderful about April. You know Spring (March 20th to be precise) has sprung bringing with it warmer, sunnier days.
April is National Poetry Month. With that in mind, there are many ways to approach this. Here is an opportunity to consider ‘spoken word poetry’ or ‘poetry slams’. This is a combination of story-telling and performance. It usually involves collaboration and experimentation with both words and other forms of media such as music, theatre, audio/video. What’s great about this? It does not have to rhyme! Here are some examples: If You Give a Child a Word, Lemons to Lemonade, My Honest Poem. This type of poetry requires immediate feedback – enter Voice Record Pro. This professional grade app (apple or android) offers visual feedback (volume unit meter) of your voice in real time. The recording can be replayed to self reflect based on personal criteria.
Sometimes in writing you may need a jumpstart. I love using Story Cubes as a tangible way to engage in creativity and out of the box thinking. While this may be fine for in-class, it might not be the best in terms of online or learning “anytime, anywhere” options. This is when I go to my “go to”: Story Dice (by Dave Birss). Add the link to your Microsoft Team or class blog for students. I like the 9 dice version as it allows for choice (eg. choose any 5? of what is thrown). Once the decision has been made, screen capture the image and add it to an O365 Word document or PowerPoint and away you go. You can take advantage of the “dictate” option as well as “immersive reader” and dictionary – inclusion and equity.
Stuff You Might Wish:
- Early Primary Teachers – we have access to programmable BeeBot robots all living in hives, who can introduce K-1 classes to concepts of coding (stepped instructions, design, critical thinking skills). Commands are simple (straight, backwards, left, right) and instructions are here. Great for an entry level experience. Consider these possibilities:
- How many steps will it take to move your bee from where you are to where you want to be?
- Can they do a special dance when they are happy?
- Can you set up visual coding cards and have someone program the Beebot to follow the instructions?
- Micro:bit kits and peripherals – individualized organized kits so each student can have their own to work. Once coded, use them to expand your story, your engineering builds, your design process. Email Amanda Coutts if you are interested in working collaboratively.
- MineCraft for Education – use this to create your own adventure stories. Email Amanda Coutts if you are interested in experiencing this with your class.
- Student webspace as blogFolios? These are available for both elementary and secondary. Let’s talk about how we can develop and enhance voice and choice. Consider elements of design, digital literacy and multimodal communication. Contact Janet Chow for details on how this might work within your curriculum. And YES there’s ongoing support.
Stuff to Register in the Staff Development Calendar:
- Story Making Meets Digital Tools – Engage students in learning opportunities that foster global literate citizens in an increasingly digital world. We will explore lesson activities that focus on the literacies (writing, story, oral language) and inclusive practices using a variety of digital tools/platforms. Come and bring your playful self as we create, reflect, problem-solve and percolate ideas. Happening April 6.
- Exploring Learning Tools & Inclusive Practices in Office – In this session we will look at the various tools built in to your Office 365 applications that can support students with various learning needs. Happening on April 13.
- Psychology of Technology: Bridging the Digital Divide. Session presented by Everfi. Happening on April 13 or April 15.
- Microsoft 365: OneNote as ePortfolio. How to use OneNote Class Notebook as a digital portfolio for students of all ages! Happening on May 11.
- Microsoft 365: Teams – Best Practice and What’s New. Happening June 8.
If you tried any of the apps from the last post, we would love to hear how it is going. If you have any questions or wish to play/explore, or have a “I want to do this but…”, we would love to chat with you.