The new calendar year comes in the middle of the school year and it has always a struggle between starting new and continuing what works. I haven’t done too much with this blog this year. It has mostly been a housing of links and a small window into what happens in our classroom. During the break I have had some time to revisit a few things, look around and tidy some things and think about how I want to continue using this site. I hope to post more frequently in 2016 and that you become a more frequent visitor. The primary audience for this site has been my students and families and that will continue; this is a jumping off place for the students in my class to explore new learning using the internet. The focus of this site will continue to be to share our learning with you.
As I look through the site, I reread the Learning Intentions page create in 2013 and those words still ring true.
I have struggled to find a way to communicate my learning intentions for your children this year without making them too specific and having to uploaded too often. Many of you may have heard about the Maple Ridge School Districts new report cards because they have been in the news lately. Maple Ridge has decided that they will not give intermediate students letter grades on their written report cards. This decision has caused much discussion around the province.
I have looked at the primary report card and like many things about it, most of all I like that their goals for inquiry learning. As I read these goals I find that they describe my goals for your children in our classroom. They are broad and general but they are ultimately what I hope for your children as they move through this year of learning. In our class we talk about learning to learn and these goals describe what that process looks like. I would love your comments and feedback on how you feel about these goals as a way to communicate your child’s progress.
These are our learning intentions for your child this year will be for them to;
Plan ahead and implement ideas Describe and reflect on experiences Make connection to extend knowledge Use a variety of information and resources to solve problems, investigate ideas and answer questions Use materials in imaginative and creative ways
These goals fit perfectly with our new curriculum being implemented in British Columbia and continue to clearly communicate my goals for your child. I hope that you see these traits begin to develop in your child as they move through the Primary Years in school. If you ever have questions or concerns about things that are happening in our school please contact me. 2016 is going to be an amazing year!
I have been using Remind101 to help send out reminders for important events at school
This is a safe, text messaging service in which all phone numbers are kept private. I usually send about 1 or 2 texts a week but I have found it very helpful for last minute reminders. If you are interested in receiving these text message reminders please follow the directions below.
I have had parents, teachers and students all ask me why I have Kindergarten and Grade 1’s blogging. I even ask myself in the beginning of each year, when the learning curve is steep and I feel a bit overwhelmed by new students, this same question. My answer to this has varied slightly as I read and connect with other teachers around the globe who also use this tool but my main goal continues to help students learn to write.
In Kindergarten and in Grade 1 we are learning the basics of writing and the purposes for writing, blogging gives us both opportunities. Communicating with the world is the main reason children write, these communication tools are changing for my young students. Through blogging they can see how powerful writing can be and a real purpose in writing for an audience. Their blogs are also a showcase for their learning . Their progress is clearly evident on these blogs, students can see it, parents can see it and I can see it. The interesting thing I find is that several students have been extremely motivated to use this tool to write while other students clearly enjoy the paper and pencil form. Why? I am not sure but I do always see an importance for giving students choice while offering a variety of forms of communication.
In my Sunday morning coffee/google reader/twitter/internet session I found this interesting post with some great links. Henrietta Miller’s blog Techie Brekkie was particularly interesting in her post about Blogging in a Primary School and one of her links include this great video from Rachel Boyd Why let our students blog? Rachel has said it well on this video I am sure I do not need to recreate this wheel. Thank you Rachel for sharing your ideas.
Do you see blogging as a useful way to teach writing skills? What challenges or concerns do you have with this writing form? Why you think some students are more motivated to communicate digitally than others?