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Category Archives: global
Posted on June 2, 2018
Sharing Our Story:@vermontkkids123
Recently I had the opportunity as a former Ignite award winner to work with an amazing storyteller, Sue Schmidt. I, along with 3 other talented educators was able to share our stories at a recent Vita-Learn conference. For me, this was really hard at first! As I practiced my story, wrote it down and then shared with a live audience I was struck by the ease at which my words and passion came through. I learned that when we share a personal story, it has such deep meaning because it represents a journey, a beginning and a place where we end up but still evolving.
The other thought I have about this process is how reflective it was. My reflection was both backward and forward about my experience. I thought a lot about my inward reflections as well about my journey and what I thought others might be thinking about what I was sharing, my story. As reflective and challenging as this process was, I felt very inspired and confident in my story and hope that it inspired others too.
Telling our story….
Back in Kindergarten, I started to think about when and how my Kindergarten students have opportunities to share their stories and when. One of the opportunities in our class is to create an iMovie about the Global Goals for Sustainability. One of my colleagues and awesome ELL teacher, Patti Tursi offers her expertise in being a director for our movie. She shares how we are going to talk about why we want people to know about the goals and why. As we begin this work collaboratively we meet and come up with a plan of action. The plan provides us a way to organize our thoughts and ideas but is also flexible if we need to change things. We use Google Docs because we can both add and change things anytime, anywhere. If we have questions we can post and support each other in our thinking. So we begin…
- What are the goals?
- Individual photos with words
- Voice over photos
- How are we learning about the goals?
- Service-learning connection/experiences
- Think: goal(s)
- Create photo/illustration
- individual/small group
- Background of the world with our identity(color, collaborative)
- Exploration of the filming” studio”/stage we created with the children
- Explore microphones
- Rehearsal/Filming: Practice using student voice to tell their story and connection with the goal they choose
- Filming Cutaways:
- A small group of students works with Patti to edit and make decisions about what we want to keep and/or retakes
The children learned so much from Ms. Tursi. She has special expertise in creating movies and as our director, we all learned how to create a movie and what was involved. Through this process, the children were collaborative and very respectful and supportive of each other. They learned how to use technology in an authentic way with a strong purpose to inspire others. Thinking reflectively about what they thought of themselves as storytellers about what they are passionate about, helping the world. As an educator this really is amazing and how wonderful that we can all learn alongside each other to create a story/message about why others need to engage in the goals.
Through the use of a microphone, iPad, iMovie, Google Docs, Ms. Tursi’s time, energy and expertise, and flexible space we were able to collaborate with each other to create something wonderful. The process is easy to think about: a plan, design, create/produce and publish.
So because of this experience, one of my students thought it would be a great idea to tell the school about the goals and ask for others to help us collect food one more time before school ends and then walk and deliver the food before school ends. So we did! Small groups of Kindergarten students are visiting interested classes to speak about their goals and why they are important. They share our work around Global Goal #2 Zero Hunger as a way to share how collecting food connects. Then something wonderful happens. Another Kindergarten teacher reads the story; “On Market Street to her students and shares that her students decided to do something kind for others and that they also wanted to collect food for the food shelf. Awesome! So now students from both classrooms are making a morning announcement at our school to explain what we are doing and why we need everyone’s help.
When we share and invite others to help we create a positive culture of learning and a culture that encourages kindness and builds empathy. I am proud to be an ambassador for the global goals and feel privileged to work and learn alongside so many inspiring educators, students, and their families globally.
Check out one of my kindergarten students’ writing she created during a playtime.. What if we all felt this way? How can we all make this happen?
Posted on May 22, 2018
Today I had the opportunity to share my story as an ignite teacher. What a pleasure it was to share and listen to my fellow Ignite teachers stories. I shared my story about how my learning evolved with the support of technology and how opportunities for developing meaningful and deep relationships were created. I believe that because of the connectivity and my willingness to be transparent in my own learning, I am able to learn alongside my students daily as we share our voices globally.
Here is my story………
I am learning how to connect and learn about the world alongside my students. Together we are exploring how digital tools and platforms offer opportunities to have conversations with others, who like us want to make the world a better place.
In the beginning, I had computers in my room that I did not want. I asked to have them removed because I wanted the space for other things. The computers stayed, collecting dust. I did not understand how technology could be used and why did we need computers anyway? I kept thinking about why do I need these machines, what purpose do they have, and how will they help with my learning and that of my students?
In 2008 I participated in a blogging workshop. I was immediately intrigued by how I could use blogging as a way to share what we are doing in Kindergarten, why it is important and how learning evolves. So I started a class blog and immediately my students and their families connected and our conversations and relationships deepened and learning became the focus. Blogging helped me experience the value of the audience and how by sharing a variety of perspectives, relationships develop and we open up opportunities to have conversations about our learning. Now parents, students and others globally can read and listen to what we are learning about and how. I thought about how wonderful this will be for parents especially. Families had access to our day of learning, our stories…Families were in a way being invited, daily to see what is happening inside and out of Kindergarten anytime they wanted to, no more losing and misplacing endless pieces of paper about our days. Our learning was always available. Parents and their children would have a way to begin a conversation about their day.
One of my students was from Africa. He traveled by himself to the United States where he met his new family and school. With the help of his mom, we were able to use Skype as a way to say hello and learn a bit about Africa. My student introduced his Mother to us as his African mother, Rita. The children were mesmerized by this conversation, and as my student introduced his classmates, I watched the expression on Rita’s face, one of happiness. Then his mother asked her son, “How are you? Do you like your school?” Right then, at that moment it struck me about how important conversations are and the value of developing relationships that share who we are and where we come from. So at this moment, we all learned about how technology can be used to create a bridge to connect. Later my students asked why this child had more than one mom. He shared; “I am lucky because I have an American mom and an African mom.” We learned about the value of acceptance… and our perspective of family widened, we learned that families look different.
Later another child’s parents were traveling in Japan. They shared videos and photos of what life was like there. The children were really intrigued by the speeding trains. When the child’s parents connected with us using GoogleHangout, their child was able to say hello. As he softly cried, when he saw his parents on the screen. he told his parents how much he missed them. In those moments he was reassured that he would see his parents tomorrow. The other children immediately spoke kind words and told him that it would be okay. At that moment we experienced empathy and the webcam that was once put in mouths and licked was now a portal to connect and speak with people who care about us and our learning. Through our interactions with each other, we learn about the importance of friendship and empathy.
As we explored Global Goal #13 this past year, and previous years, Climate Action, the children were able to learn about waste. As we explored what waste, how it is created and what might be some possible solutions we connected with Recycle Rhonda from the Chittenden Solid Waste District. We learned about ways that we could be less wasteful through hands-on workshops. We created a padlet to ask others globally what they were doing to be less wasteful. Then during one of Recycle Rhonda’s visits,s one of the children asked if she was on Twitter. She replied, “No.” So the children explained to her what Twitter was and if she joined Twitter we could talk to her. So she joined! The children now share their positive actions around waste with her via Twitter. The children, at the ages of 5 and 6 are modeling and teaching an adult about how to use this social platform in a safe, kind, and responsible way. The children begin to experience and understand how this platform can help us make connections, share our learning and have conversations with others who are interested in our learning. Now we, together with experience understand how we can deepen our learning through the use of technology. Twitter becomes a platform to have conversations.
I’ve decided not to try to keep up with it all, but to focus on the things I’m using while being open to new ideas. Another challenge is being explicit and intentional about what digital platform to use and how. I have been inspired by the authentic, personal experiences that I, my students, my colleagues, and their families have shared in regard to how technology has enriched and enhanced their understanding and connection with each other and the world. For me, learning is for everyone. I have hope that technology will offer endless opportunities for everyone to share their voice and connect with others who have a passion for what is important to them. Learning is always the focus… technology is a tool that offers a bridge to the world. Through our ability to be transparent, we model how we can all learn from and alongside each other in positive ways to make the world a better place.
Posted on November 29, 2017
As a kindergarten teacher, I have the privilege of working each day with young children who are eager to learn and connect with their learning environment. I look forward to being inspired by our busy days together.
In the beginning days of school, I began to build a learning culture with my students through a big idea. This year our big idea was sustainability. We began by asking what we could do to help sustain and keep the world healthy. As we began to explore this idea I introduced the Global Goals for Sustainability because these goals were at the center of our learning. We put a poster of the Global Goals in our classroom and it became an easy way to weave the goals into our daily learning explorations. I explained to my students that these goals are promises we can make to make a difference in the world. I shared that if we make a promise to help, we are pledging our help to save the world. My students immediately become excited about this idea and wanted to know what they could do to help. I began by asking a simple question, “What do you do if you are cold?” The children responded with: I get a jacket, snuggle with a blanket and put a coat on. I used their examples as an opportunity to connect the goals. I asked my students to imagine that the goals were a large blanket that wraps itself around the world. The blanket represents the goals. The goals are around so we can all help sustain the world for everyone to enjoy.
Why does this matter?
The world needs everybody’s help. Global Goals provide endless opportunities to build awareness and create a plan of action. The goals also translate to my local community as I began thinking of possible needs and opportunities we have and ways my students could engage in a positive manner to build awareness for change. Children want to be a part of solution-based problem solving, and this can begin in kindergarten. A good place to start is with teaching how our actions of kindness can help create people who care and have empathy for others.
There are seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, and I chose to begin with Goal #16 because it is about being kind, advocating for others who may need help and promoting fairness. A good place to learn more about the goals on the #TeachSDGs site, there is also a Twitter conversation around this hashtag.
This goal sets a positive tone for risk-taking, support, and encouragement. Young children need experiences and opportunities to feel what it is like to support others and be kind. Through establishing these ideas at the beginning of Kindergarten we all begin to understand that it is about what we can do together, not as individuals that offer invitations for everyone to participate.
Creating a Culture of Learning
We created a culture of learning, by noticing and sharing our actions of kindness towards each other. Through our actions of kindness, patience, and collaboration my students felt connected to Kindergarten and each other. As we built trust, took risks and learned from each other we created a culture where all students feel safe, valued and inspired. Once my students felt connected to a classroom, we painted a map of the world as a way to show that other people live outside of Vermont and this Kindergarten class. I also began connecting with other educators and people around the world using Padlet, Skype, Google Hangout, and Twitter. As we connected with people I took photos so my students were able to see where people are from globally, but also how we were having conversations with them.
Connections with Content:
As I began exploring how to teach about the SDGs, I looked towards the content I was teaching to determine where the goals and the content meshed. I first looked at the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), these standards are a wonderful way to begin to think about where you want to start and what goals you will explore. As we explored Goal #13 Climate Action and Goal #15 Life On Land, my students were able to connect that through our ability not to be wasteful, we can have a positive impact on land and climate. Since the goals are displayed on my wall, the students make connections about being responsible for waste every time we recycle, compost, and reuse. This helps my students make a connection with authentic action. I found a good place to start is by simply putting up a Global Goal in your classroom where your students can make a connection. Just by adding Goal #6 to our sink area my students are being more responsible for not wasting water. These visual reminders are helping to build their awareness.
Another idea is to ask your students to make a pledge or promise to the world. I have found this to be very impactful in my Kindergarten class, as students highlight the goal and what their action will be. I then ask my students to read their promises aloud, as if to the world, and they all feel proud. We created a board outside our classroom as a way to highlight our promises.
In my class, we are currently exploring forest life, and this offers opportunities to explore and expand on two Global Goals: #13 Climate Action and #15 Life On Land.
Through our weekly nature walks and explorations outside, my students are beginning to develop an awareness of the outdoors and why we need to take care of it. Through Padlet we were able to share what a tree/forest looks like in Vermont as well as what trees look like and need in other countries. To get started with this activity, we first shared our Padlet on Twitter, and I also asked families to share with family members and on their Facebook pages. I also shared on my Facebook pages with other teachers. We received responses from Hong Kong, Egypt, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, London, and Australia. My students were so excited to see that people from 5 continents added to our Padlet! I printed the photos off from each country and we made observations about the trees and forests, then we put the images on our map of the world. This allowed my students to see where the trees grew globally.
Through our forest exploration, my students were able to reflect on what things trees need to grow and survive no matter where they are in the world.
This is what they came up with:
- All trees need a seed.
- All trees need water.
- All trees need soil.
- All trees need sunlight.
- Trees need people to care
My favorite response was #5 because when we take care of things we are modeling and demonstrating how we care. This idea comes back to no matter what the content. These ideas turned into a belief statement for my Kindergarten students. We now connect all of our learning explorations to the global goals.
As an extension to this project, we made a connection with a Kindergarten class in Hong Kong because my sister is a teacher there and she put me in touch with other teachers who are interested in connecting globally with another class. Now we connect monthly using Padlet and/or Twitter to share what we are exploring. Twitter and Facebook teacher groups are also great places to post projects and ask if others are interested in joining my class to explore a specific learning idea.
The goals can be woven in and out of all content, standards, and learning. Regardless of the age you teach, the world needs everyone to care, now! What are some themes of study you are exploring? Ask your students how they can make a difference. What is important to them? Think about a global goal that would connect with their learning. Then take it a step further and think about a community need or school need you to have. How can you build an awareness alongside your students and their families?
Posted on May 30, 2017
Collaborative efforts bring awareness, engagement, and advocacy from even young children in helping develop an appreciation for the natural world. It starts through an exploration of what the goals are, why we have them and why it might be important for others to know about them. Then we create a plan of action.
This is our journey…
We created awareness and listed our goals, talking about why we thought they were important and what they meant to us. What was interesting is that while we explored them and hung a poster in our classroom, they became part of our classroom culture. By doing this it was easy for me to connect conversations that we were having with a specific goal. Through our authentic and genuine curiosity about the global goals, we have all become more aware of not only what they are but why they are important. “The why” is most important because it helped drive deeper thinking and the children then had an opportunity to be reflective.
We have been exploring all year ways that we make a difference for ourselves, our school, our family and community. We started with an essential question… Where does waste go? So we created an awareness of what we thought and then created a padlet that we could share globally to find out what others in the world are doing. This was easy to tie into the global goals because as we created our own awareness, we also were able to think about how our actions could impact the climate and life on land. Yup! There just happens to be two global goals, Climate Action #13 and Life on Land #15.
Another way we helped make a difference for others was to build awareness of hunger. We were curious if people were hungry, Did children have enough food? What happens if people need food? Who helps them? Again, this is another opportunity to refer to the global goals, goal #2 zero hunger. My students collect food twice a year. Then we walk to our local food shelf and make a delivery. This is always exciting for children. They have direct experience with what it means to help others and have empathy. This is easy to do. Think of a need that your community has, build awareness and then create a plan of action that includes your students, families, and communities. Together, everyone begins to connect and weave a thread of caring because it directly impacts a need.
Now the Global Goals are a part of my classroom culture. They remind us all of what the world needs. My students understand why they are important and are creative in their ideas to find ways to make the world a better place. Even in Kindergarten, these ideas have an impact. My students are really genuinely invested in making the world a better place. I think about the impact this could have if more and more young children were familiar with making goals. Just by building awareness, through the content I explore, we are finding ways to connect to the goals. It raises awareness of the world and really, my students love learning about the world! Kindergarten seems like the perfect place to begin thinking about how we can collaborate globally to make the world a better place. We all need each other. The world needs all of us to care and make wishes come true for everyone. Why not start collaborating with your students today!
My ELL teacher, Patti Tursi collaborated with me around the goals. As an ELL teacher, she has special expertise and perspective about students who are from places other than the US. She becomes a director of our 1st documentary on the Global Goals. She sets up a filming studio in my classroom with the children and then the children begin to explore the filming equipment and play so they experience what it can be used for. Later when we film, Patti teaches us about being quiet on the set and other languages used for creating a film. This experience is real life and offers my students an opportunity to learn a new language with a new expert.
Here is our 1st documentary!
I paint a map of the world each year with my students. We add places we visit and people we connect with. We share how we are having conversations with others and what we are learning about. Now that I am aware of the Global Goals I can add the goals to our map, as well as when we explore them. This is another way we can build awareness, inspire others and think deeply about what we are doing and how. The why of our ideas is through our own reflection and how we share our voices.
As our year comes to an end I ask my students to think about why we connect globally? Why is it important? Do you think others need to connect globally too?
Here are some of their reasons…
- When we connect we show we care.
- We learn from others.
- We solve problems and learn new things.
- We like global goals because the whole world cares about everyone.
- I love the world.
- We help the world. We love the world. We connect globally because we care.
- I love to learn about the world.
- It is fun.
I believe in people and have a passion for learning. I have hope that through our collaborative efforts we will be able to make a difference globally. This means we all can begin taking 1 step at a time, building an awareness of what we can do. I am inspired by my Kindergarten students. They give me hope that we can all learn from each other and work together to keep the world healthy.
Posted on May 14, 2017
I have the privilege of being a Kindergarten teacher. I work in a public school where I am completely supported by my own learning and the learning of my students. I mention this because as an educator when I am supported by my school, students and their families a very magical synergy begins in a seamless way. This synergy is what supports many different parts connecting and collaborating together to make a difference.
A couple of months ago I became aware of the Global Goals for Sustainability. This really inspired me and challenged my thinking about how I could bring these ideas to Kindergarten in Vermont. So I made a large copy of the goals and shared them with my students. I told them that in Kindergarten we all have goals. One of my goals for each of my students was to teach everyone to read. This was an example of an individual goal. When I asked my students about what do you think global goals might be, I was surprised and inspired by their ideas…
“It is when you share your idea with the world.”
“It’s like everyone wants to be kind.’
“I think it is working together.”
“Maybe it is sharing and helping people.”
Then I was able to build on their ideas. My explanation was simple.. I said; “The world needs our help. Together with if we share our ideas we can make a difference.” So we began exploring Life Below Water, then Life On Land and Peace & Justice. Through our work and exploration of these goals, all my students were able to learn new content and also begin thinking about how life on land and life underwater is important for everyone. We created murals, collages, shared our ideas on Twitter and even created a passport where we are collecting stamps of the global goals we explore.
I now have an opportunity to connect and collaborate with my talented ELL teacher, Patti Tursi, who has a unique perspective and insight. She offers her time and expertise to have small discussions with the students around the goals we have explored. Through these small discussions, we are now able to create smaller dyad groups where the children can turn and talk about what these goals are and why everyone in the world needs to know about them. Now we have another opportunity to create a movie about these goals and why they matter.
How do I know if these ideas are making a difference?
One of my students was on vacation with her family. She and her family looked at the global goals and decided that picking up trash in a park was part of goal #15 Life On Land. Children are naturally curious and want to be a part of solutions where they can make a difference. I share this with my students and they are all now even more interested in making connections with what we are exploring.
I am grateful for the flexibility and support I have as a public educator. Through my relationships with my students, families, and colleagues I have many opportunities to collaborate and connect. It is when we work alongside each other, that we are able to make a difference. It’s not about what we’ve done, but how are we inviting others to learn with us. Relationships develop, inspiration appears and all ideas are valued and challenged.
Just by having a poster up in my classroom of the global goals I am able to reference them throughout the day. Giving my students opportunities to make connections and talk about what they understand. This is an opportunity for me to model ways to care in a global way about the world. Through our ideas and experiences, we are able to share and hopefully, others will be inspired by our actions and create their own plan. I think about what the possibilities are to make the world a better place when we all work together. Endless….
Posted on December 20, 2016
Posted on September 5, 2016
A very exciting time of year for me is the beginning of Kindergarten. Summer ends and I find myself interacting and learning new ways to connect, engage and enhance learning. Creating a culture for learning is always a challenge because I get new students each year and we explore our new classroom inside and out alongside each other. I am watching and listening to see what interests my students have as well as how they might be learning and sharing their ideas that they are curious about.
An idea I tried this year…. and it was so successful, was to read The Dot by, Peter Reynolds as out 1st story together. I choose this story because it illustrates so easily the value of sharing your idea and even more importantly how a teacher needs to be ready and engaged with what is “there”. The imagination of a child is wonderful and this story captures how I can, as a teacher, take time to notice what each of my students is capable of, the gifts they have and to always celebrate what they know and are willing to show me. Through what we celebrate, more will come and I hope my students will grow confident through their ideas and by taking risks with what they want to share.
As I read the story I kept referring to what do you want to make? create? and design? I was specific with this vocabulary because I want my students to begin to explore how their ideas matter and how together we can collaborate and inspire each other. I also created cards and laminated them so that these words become part of our culture, words we will use to support and inspire each other.
When I asked my students questions while I was reading the story I began with phrases like; What do you notice… I wonder….. Again the vocabulary is important because it offers everyone an opportunity to share an idea, rather than an answer to a specific question.
After reading the story we sang the Dot Song together. It was really magical. I played it on the Smartboard and afterwards I had a quick opportunity to let parents know about this great author, but also that I see safeshare.tv as a way to play videos safely. Again, I am trying to weave and thread through a variety of ideas in a meaningful way.
Then as we were getting ready to take our first bus ride I had an opportunity to share our class blog. Again I am trying to highlight things that we, the parents and students will be using to highlight our learning. When sharing the blog I am able to connect the story we just read. Letting the children know that the book has text and pictures just like our class blog. So as we begin to create, build and design our learning like the child in the story, we will be “making our mark” on our class blog where we can share our ideas with the world.
A great opportunity to participate in an international celebration of creativity. Join others globally to celebrate International Dot Day. Go here to join. When I shared this with my students they were very excited. This offers us all an opportunity to share and celebrate our creative spirt. Through our willingness to share, we can all become inspired…..
So after 2 days in Kindergarten we have created book bins with author names and names of themes.
This way the children become familiar with book names and authors. I am now beginning to let them them know they will also be authors this year just like…….
Children begin to get excited about books and reading. We begin by reading to self. In Kindergarten we have a variety of spaces, places and books to read. We need different things….. Creating a culture needs to be flexible, but also make room for children to shine as individuals… Not an easy task……
I invited parents in to create science journals for our outdoor classroom and hand painted aprons too. It is important to include parents whenever you can so they can also be a part of their child’s learning. Even in the beginning days parents feel connected and a part of their child’s journey.
We “tweeted” and painted a map of the world to reflect where we will be able to post who we are connecting with and how. This is important because I want to model how we can have conversations globally in a safe, kind and responsible way.
Creating a culture of learning is the most important thing I do as a teacher. The culture reflects what we are doing, why it is important and how we will be sharing what we are exploring globally. Teaching is a privilege and an opportunity to offer hope and inspiration. This year I am thinking about the value of opening my classroom globally and ways I can learn alongside my students and families. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has ideas to share about how you begin to develop a learning culture…..
Thanks for reading and sharing.
Posted on July 10, 2016
Kindergarten is a magical place where dreams come true, celebrations are everywhere and children learn “how to” learn through their ideas and what they are curious about. Young children have a natural ability to help, support, care and ask questions. They innately want to be a part of things and offer encouragement through their exploration of ideas they are engaged in.
As an educator I have a responsibility to make every effort to support my students and their families. Being a teacher is a privilege and an honor. My presence online and face to face needs to be professional, supportive and kind. The heart of my work is with my students.
Thinking about the fall I am exploring more opportunities that I can offer my students and their families to not only engage in what we are exploring, but ways I can continue to offer hope and invitations to learn alongside each other. These ideas are vital for our success and the success of my students.
So how does this happen?….
- I open my classroom globally. I use social media, Kidblog, blogging, Seesaw and Skype as platforms to connect my students with familiar and new faces globally who are interested in our learning. Modeling “how to” have conversations is important because we all learn about perspective and how we can all benefit from others ideas.
- Reading stories that highlight kindness and empathy are important. Through stories children make connections and want to share their ideas and have conversations with each other about what matters. Again, this is another opportunity to widen perspective and experience how we can all benefit from others ideas. Click here for a great book list that promote kindness.
- Offer invitations for your families and their children to celebrate together about what their child is learning. I try to have 4-5 celebrations of learning a year. I do this because it is an easy way for parents to visit the classroom and also meet other families and have conversations with each other and their child about what they are exploring in Kindergarten.
- Take time to meet and have conversations with your students families. They are important stakeholders and want to be involved. It is important to offer hope and to be positive and share solutions for needs that arise. Seek to get resources that your families need to support their child’s success in school.
- When exploring the Next Generation Science Standards find ways to invite families to be involved in solution based needs that impact the communities you teach in. Click here to read about what I explored last year. When you offer opportunities for parents to engage in new learning, you are modeling “how to” collaborate and learn alongside each other. Rich, engaging and meaningful conversations develop strong relationships. We all matter.
- Take time to notice what is around you and highlight your students in ways that empower them. Saying: “You did a nice job” is one way, but if you elaborate why they did a nice job you empower and recognize their thinking.
- Mindfulness is a wonderful way to help children take time to breathe and get clarity when they need it. This way we all learn strategies that help us recognize what we need to relax, rethink and redo when we are confronted with problems. Click here to see a video I share with my students throughout the year.
- Find ways to collaborate with each other. Through collaboration you and your students experience “how to” connect and engage in conversations that inspire and challenge thinking. We all have much to learn from each other.
- Explore identity and learn where your students are from, the languages they speak and where they have traveled. This offers opportunities to learn about different cultures and perspectives. Celebrate each of your students identities through a project about their unique culture.
- Explore the natural world often and look for patterns. Using inquiry as a way to learn about what you notice inspires deep thinking and promotes questioning.
These are just some ideas I have been reflecting on. I think about the importance of modeling alongside my students and how to solve conflicts in meaningful ways. I think this offers us opportunities to learn from others perspective as well as the value of sharing our ideas to solutions with a global audience so we can all benefit from each others thoughts.
Making a difference is a theme I weave in/out of my interactions with my students. I try to find moments when we can all shine and share our voice because we all matter, our students matter and their families. Through positive, solution based problem solving and a smile we can all make contributions that benefit each other and the world.
Looking forward to another wonderful year in Kindergarten. This is where I get another opportunity to open my classroom globally, to meet and learn alongside others who are also interested in making a difference. I am a teacher, an educator, a learner, an innovator, a learner, a creator and a friend. I believe in offering hope because it lets my students know that I care, I care about them. I want all of my students to be successful… I believe in them…
Posted on May 25, 2016
Earlier this week I had the pleasure and privilege of bringing 7 of my Kindergarten students to Dynamic Landscapes to present why coding is important and how we use Bee Bots to teach us about code. It was an amazing experience. I have been thinking about the value also of student voice and how my students were able to share theirs in a very authentic way.
My students collaborated, answered questions, reflected on their thinking as they shared, demonstrated “how to” operate a Bee Bot as well as show how they support our exploration of coding. Some things really struck me…..
- All of my students were confident when they shared throughout the audience. All of my students displayed confidence and were great supporting each other.
- My students spoke up clearly and confidently.
- They added their own ideas and thoughts throughout my presentation about coding without my prompting them.
- They really understood what coding is and why it is important.
- They all worked in small collaborative groups with adults demonstrating “how to” use Bee Bots as well as answered the questions that came up.
- They introduced themselves with confidence and were genuinely excited and so proud to be alongside me sharing the love of coding.
- This was a great example of student voice. I am so proud of my students. They did a wonderful job using their voice to inspire others as well as opportunities for people to think about coding.
- My students remembered and understood the importance of covering their name when photographed because this is how we are safe when we share ourselves and our ideas online.
These are just some of the things I noticed. I am also thinking about how seamless this was for them. They were not nervous, but confident in their knowledge and thinking about what we were sharing and why. This has me thinking deeply about how important it is to have our students voices heard. Our students have so much to say and I am thinking about the opportunities that I have as an educator on a daily basis for student voice. Creating opportunities for our students to use there voice to share, reflect and design what they are exploring and learning creates a very rich culture for learning.
Thinking about next year and how I will begin to have student voice present in all of our learning offers me opportunities to be reflective and also begin to think about what I will be designing, why it is important and how will it look and sound? Lots of platforms and digital tools “out there” to think about incorporating…
My students are at the heart of my work. Their families are important stakeholders and need to be a part of our busy days together. I am thinking also about when my students are invited to share their voice, it becomes confident, inspiring and helps us all think deeply about the what of our work.