Mid November Reflections – Voices

It’s mid November and the leaves have displayed their Fall colours (either still hanging onto trees or splashed across the landscape). We truly live in a wonderful part of the world. 

One of our concentrations is to provide a written voice for every student. Six teams of classroom and LSS/ELL partnerships from six schools launched, each with their own set of laptops or ipads. These teams are using a variety of tools to support voice: Google Apps for Education, student blogfolios to reflect, Solo software (focused on CoWriter offering word prediction) or ipads with DoInk green screen, Explain Everything and padcaster. As part of the journey, the teams meet together to share and push their learning as well as document their ongoing story. Lessons learned and nuggets of connections will be shared here on our Teams page. Even better – ask them yourselves:

  • Maywood – Satpaul, Jason, Halina; 
  • Edmonds – Hayley, Angela;
  • South Slope – Grady, Deb, Jennifer A; 
  • Chaffey-Burke – Carlene, Alan; 
  • Suncrest – Balbir, Joe;
  • Parkcrest – Sheila, Scott;
  • UHE – Kristina (year 2);
  • Marlborough – Ann (year 2) 

We’re looking forward to strengthening our strategies. 

Math, Math and More Math

In partnership with Ron Coleborn (Math consultant), we are pleased to announce two Math softwares available for teachers to apply:

  • Dreambox Learning (Math)
  • Skoolbo (Math and Literacy basic skills) (Canadian version)

dreamboxDreamBox is an online Math resource (K-8) intended to support personalized instruction for students from intervention to enrichment. The ongoing formative assessments within the program can align classroom practices and lessons creating a blended model of instruction. Some of our schools have been using the program in pilot and can share their stories. A small number of purchased student licenses are available. More information can be found under WEB RESOURCES > DREAMBOX LEARNING.   Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page.

skoolbologoSkoolbo (Canadian version)(K-5) is now available for those who are seeking practice in basic skills in Math or Literacy (building blocks). This is an online resource that provides a “game type” environment to hone basic skills. Create your avatar and the program can take you through the skillsets (based on a set of pre-tests). Or a teacher can assign specific content where practice is needed. This may enhance (RTI) Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports. We’ve registered all schools (elementary and secondary). More information can be found under WEB RESOURCES > SKOOLBO.   Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page for a class account.

Watch for a full launch in September. Perhaps I see a coordinated song and dance in the future?

Stories Told: Risk-Taking and Connected Relationships

We left off last year with celebration events for all of our teams. Many things stood out from those gatherings: risk-taking is built on trust, possibility thinking and time to ruminate, ideas start from what we know (a launch page), integration of purposeful technologies requires focused play, assessment is not an afterthought, articulating clear goals and process with students offer a stronger chance at connected learning, explicitly sharing the learning offer opportunities normally not experienced by teachers (eg. standing in front of peers). None of these are new. In each instance, what rose to the top was the consistency of story.

Story plays a valuable role in both grounding a culture (as in the discoveries in Sheila’s class) as well as generating ideas and connections in others (as in Carlene’s or Vicky’s story). They tug at emotional heartstrings. Some may question the need for blogging as another “add on”. I will suggest however, as Clay Shirky put it, “Our ability to connect with one another is transforming the media for organized sharing…”
Our conscious use of blogging or sharing digitally allow our stories to fly to others outside of our brick-and-mortar walls; they invite conversation and grow ideas. imagineercollage640They are not meant to end with us but spark connected thoughts and creativity, going deeper and broader.

These stories are captured for you to explore (click here, or on the image). They are also found under TEAMS > ImagineerTech. If you would like more information, consider contacting the teacher so they can share their story.