Half way through our learning project?!?! Where is the time going?! Now that I am given some time to reflect on this journey, I have to say, I am so incredibly thankful that I was given the push to change my current classroom practice. I think sometimes we get in a rut once we have taught for many years and it’s hard to step outside of what we know and out of what works. My Facebook page, although I adore it as a tool to help engage parents and allow them to have meaningful conversations about their child’s day, it was a routine I was very comfortable with and therefore was never motivated enough to change. I always wanted to have the kid’s write and take photo’s for our page because I value what the kids notice in our day that I might not. When I am running the show I frame the day however I choose, everything is through my eyes only. When the kids take over we all get the opportunity to experience things through their eyes – see what they see and what is engaging to them. The joy they find in the small things is so refreshing. I think this project, even in its early stages has reminded me that my classroom needs to be a student centered place full of exploration and inquiry.
Image via: Here! 🙂
I have given my littles very few guidelines as to what they can take photos of, or what they can include in their writing aside from : be kind, be creative, be appropriate and tell us something cool about your day. The results have been amazing and the kids are so excited for their turn. The parents have been incredibly receptive to the experience too – they have expressed how much they love seeing what interests their children throughout a day. I had 19/24 families send back the permission slip I sent home for this project – I was really happy with that as I was unsure if families would be comfortable with images of their child being shared online in a more open concept. Once I posted our “Internet Safety Tips Video” I received 2 emails from families who then wanted their child to participate. Sometimes I think families need to see the technology and practice in action to know that it is worth while, connected to curriculum and meaningful.
Now, everything hasn’t been just butterflies and rainbows – I have absolutely ran into bumps along the way! Below are a couple:
- Kids are using a VERY expensive piece of technology.
- I am entrusting one of our brand new Ipads with the kids – we spent a whole class learning how to use it, how to handle it, what to do and what not to do. Time well spent as if something happens to it, we don’t get another
- I can’t email or text myself photos off the Ipad.
- For whatever insane reason, we as a school do not have control over what programs/functions the Ipads have. If we want a new program, or to change any function on the Ipads we have to email support, wait, wait, and keep waiting and then have them approve it and then it goes onto all the division purchased devices. That being said, I can’t conveniently send myself the photos and videos from the Ipad once the kiddos take them – I have to Google Drive them a few at a time, download them, save them and then upload them to my facebook. There are also no editing tools on the Ipad if I needed them…
Below are some examples from my first few authors, they have all been asked to use nick-names for this project as my permission slip mentioned no names would be directly associated with photos:
Today we welcomed “Star” as our Facebook Author/Photographer! Enjoy her photos! “Star” got the opportunity to take photos of whatever she chose today – here are 11 of her choices. “Star” was very responsible with the Ipad and made everyone feel welcome by being included the process. 🙂
“I just loved tacking all off the piters” – Star
(I just loved taking all of the pictures)
Today we welcomed “Inky” as our guest author/photographer! “Inky” had so much fun taking silly photos all day long with his friends.
He says: “I want to play games. Math and free gym and recess and morning work and agenda were my favourite. I liked the story too!”
Thanks for taking over for the day “Inky”. 🙂
Today we had “Karate Kid” take over our Facebook page! He was a sneakster with the camera catching lots of friends on camera and video. Thanks so much “Karate Kid”, it was so cool to see what you noticed throughout our day.
He says, “Ole the kides on fasboke are qiyit. Bo not go on the site you bot now.”
(All the kids on Facebook are quiet. Do not go on the sites you don’t know)
- Have my kiddos video tape themselves reading – either level appropriate books or their own works!
- Cycle through more amazing author/photographers.
Thanks for checking in on my learning journey,
“Educating the mind without educating the heart,
is no education at all.”