“If you wish to be a writer, write.” -Epictetus

Image Via: Here   Feature GIF Via: Here 

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)

Image may contain: 1 person   Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and indoor No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: 20 people, people smiling  Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: indoor  No automatic alt text available.

 

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”. 🙂

Image may contain: 1 person  Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: drink and indoor  No automatic alt text available.  Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table, child, indoor and closeup  Image may contain: 2 people, closeup and indoor

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)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling Image may contain: one or more people   Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

 

To come:

  • 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,

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

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6 thoughts on ““If you wish to be a writer, write.” -Epictetus

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  1. This is awesome, Dani!

    It is great that you have selected a learning project that you students are, evidently, having so much fun with! What would you say has been the biggest challenged with your learning project to this point? Does it make a lot more work for you on a daily basis? or is it a sustainable project?

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  2. Thank you so much for the response! 🙂 I think my biggest challenge currently is making sure I am VERY conscious of who is what picture and what I post to my blog as I don’t have permission slips from everyone…and a couple have given permission for the author/photographer portion but not to be featured on the blog. Overall I think it is absolutely a sustainable project, it’s a heck of a lot of extra work but the kids who I sometimes have trouble engaging are all over it! I feel like I have had a positive shift in my mindset around my Facebook practice and I am more open to trying new things…even it’s more work than how I previously functioned. I think I will cycle through all the students who brought permission slips back and then maybe take a break, then try it again later in the year? I don’t think it’s something I would do everyday, all year long. Thanks again for popping by.

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  3. I know you had mentioned that you were not able to get permission forms back from some families, do you think that parents seeing other students post will help get a few of the straggling forms back? Maybe the next go round all students can participate!

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    1. Hi Kara! Yes, I had two forms come back after the parents were able to view the “Internet Safety Tips”! As I mentioned, sometimes I think parents need to see the technology and skills in action to make a decision. 🙂 I did have another family choose to participate as an author/photographer on our classroom Facebook page but not be posted to the blog, which I didn’t technically give as an option but I will honour it because he was excited to have his day to take pictures and write. I will always try and accommodate with the hopes of having the highest participation rate possible. Some families just need a reminder to bring it back as it’s not a safety or security issue too! This all makes it exponentially harder to keep track of but totally worth it.

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  4. This is so awesome Dani! I absolutely love your idea to include the students in your page and allowing to give them access. It gives you a very different perspective on your classroom, I’m sure! What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your students and your project so far? I’m assuming the students enjoy it and the parents are probably loving the inside view it gives them.

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    1. Hi Shelby! Thanks for checking in. 🙂 The most surprising thing I have come across so far is what the students find the most intriguing about the their day, their friends and the classroom. Everything that I would snap a photo of to show families is my perspective, it is what I think is most important in our day…often things to do with our learning! The kiddos want to show everything their doing, reading, their friends, their water bottle, their books, etc. So far, everyone involved LOVES it! I am teaching many siblings of kids that I have previously taught so I think it’s nice for their families to have a little something different too. This project has definitely been the catalyst I needed to change/adjust my practice.

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