SOL17 DoodleaDay 27 Text


Kids text a lot. My granddaughter could text without looking. I don’t know how she does that.

I remember one of my “hunt and peck” students, put his hands in his lap and looked up at me. He said, “Ms Edwards, if I had a thumb keyboard I’d be a lot faster.” Then he gestured typing with a phone. So true. So funny.

The most difficult thing for my students was to capitalize the letter I. They could catch all other “txt” typing in their work, but that ‘i’ really bothered them.

We have a family chat for sharing. Sometimes, one of us will say, “selfie.” And then we add selfies to the chat. Very fun. Very fun now that every grandchild but one has an iOS device; makes sharing with the grandparents easy.

Which brings up the #doodleaday: my favorite txt. I don’t usually type LOL or OMG or any of those. I always have to look them up if I see them. But I love pressing a picture and sending a heart. It’s so fun to push a little love across the universe.

So, I have two songs today.

Elton John: Your Song

Because I say to my grandchildren, “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

And Across the Universe, because it seems we are connected from wherever we are, across the universe.

Beatles: Across the Universe. Click to Listen.

https://soundcloud.com/acrosstheuniverseost/across-the-universe

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee‚ÄĒ today: What is your favorite ‘txt’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To My Children an Grandchildren

Across the universe

Shines the light

From your smile

Across the universe

Flows the music

Of your song

Across the universe

Ripples the love

From your kindnesses

And the universe

Magnifies your sparkles as

How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ūüôā ¬†‚̧ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOL17 DoodleaDay 20 Graph a Walk


Walking is required for good health; a dog makes that walk enjoyable, and a must twice a day. 

“Walk?” Is all that’s needed and the dog’s ears pop up, his body jumps up, and his tail wags a “Ready! Let’s go!”

Happiness is a walk with the dog; I get excercize and mediation, and the dog checks her messages — you know, all the smells left by everyone else within 30 feet of the human’s path, as you can see in the map above of dog walking.

Always alert to any new message, that nose to the ground sniffs every possible inch where that message came from to determine exactly who was where when. At least, that’s what I suppose. 

I miss those walks.


While reorganizing during my retirement, I found this note from a granddaughter to Grampa:


The note was written on an old typewriter the grandkids loved; a favorite way get a message out.

Our grandkids miss that little white dog too. At the lake, she would swim with them, and even pulled them around while they held her tail. Precious. A walk with Pooka and Grandpa to the bat cave was a summer favorite. The cave was an old railroad tunnel, now fenced off, up the road from us; bats live there now, and the grandkids love that!

[sigh]

Wherever kids were; so was Pooka: playing, watching, protecting gently with her kind eyes.

[sigh]

Now, go pet and hug your creatures– thank them for the memories and love they’ve given you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Patient.

Sprawled out

Across the floor,

Bored.

Tail

Flops once

And eyes watch

Hoping.

“Walk.”

Ears up, sit up,

Head turns aside,

Listening.

“Walk.”

Jump up

Tail wags

Ready.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee‚ÄĒ today: Graph an Idea

Doodling Song: Don’t Worry; Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

21st Century for Families #immooc

architectscreateexperiences

Teachers: Always Learning– Communicate to Families

As I strive to become a better teacher, coach, and learner, I search for resources that help me grow, offering ideas that I can adapt to my situation. In changing my teaching to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s worlds, I need to share with and bring parents and families into the journey. After all, they were taught the old, factory model way; it’s all they know. Teachers today take the best of yesterday and move it forward.

One of the resources I review is the P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

I discovered there two important resources for families, so they can understand why schools are moving to more collaborative and connected lessons and projects:

Education for a Changing World: What is 21st Century Learning and Citizenship?

Family 21 Century Citizenship Tips 

I found these blog posts:

Blog Post with parent resources: What is 21st Century Learning all about?

Blog Post on Thinking Classrooms and Student Self-Assessment: How to Build An Empowering Classroom Culture

What about the basics?

What about the 3Rs? ¬†We still teach the foundation, but in different, more personalized ways with the help of technology, and¬†include the 4C’s –the 4Cs — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Learning today, fully sixteen years into the 21st Century, includes the three ‘Rs’ of reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic, but also focuses on skills now essential to a connected world, essential for the adult world of our students: the 4Cs — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Here’s how we’re moving forward:

Instead of standardized, sequential lessons completed by oneself, students learn by doing, by asking questions and working together to solve problems and present their learning in ways “above and¬†beyond” the paper and pencil strategies of last century.

Of course, that means¬†21st Century Learning is as much process as it is static information and final product; it’s more than anything “google-able”: it’s a whole lot of risk-taking, questioning, struggle, and feedback from teachers and peers to guide the process so students achieve success.

Feedback rather then grades?

Feedback is not a grade, it’s a guide. Feedback is a guide much better than a grade because the feedback shows what is done well, and what steps would lead to improvement and success. It truly is no child left behind, and without the need for tests.

But if there are no tests or grades, how do we show our students are learning?

The Journal: Panel: Ditch Grades Now: Focus on Student Learning shares the work of Mark Barnes:

Instead of grading students on their work, Barnes had “a conversation” with them. He used an online gradebook, but instead of applying grades or points or percentages, he recorded feedback and discussions with students. Instead of judging his students’ abilities at an arbitrary point in time by assigning a score, he guided them through a checklist that was designed to help them progress to where they needed to be. [emphasis added] ¬† ¬†~Mark Barnes

With a checklist and a conversation, students can self-assess their work, discuss with peers and teacher how to improve, and therefore, build their success. In the same article, an explanation:

“We have something far better than scores when report card time rolls around,” he explained. “We have artifacts and feedback that provide a clear picture of learning. When a teacher reviews the body of work from a student and asks, ‘Where does this fit on a traditional grade scale?’ the student understands and provides accurate responses in almost every instance ‚ÄĒ at least as accurate as a traditional grade can provide.” ¬†~Mark Barnes

Many schools still give grades, but it’s not an average, or filled with zeros for unfinished work, it’s based on high expectations personalized to students in conversation with students and teachers. It’s rather like your supervisor or team member at work explaining what is needed, checking that your work fits, and offering suggestions when needed — so that the product is as expected and needed with quality. That’s much better and more realistic than a one-time test or assignment; it honors the goal¬†and the student; it is good teaching.

For an example of how that works in the classroom see “Idea for Rubrics.

And think about it, how do we really learn? We talk to others and share after we try. We keep trying until we get it. The research supports this, especially with feedback. To know what to expect, here’s an article on how to give feedback¬†by John Hattie, the author of¬†Visible Learning, where Tony Buzan’s work is also included:

eminent psychologist Tony Buzan points out, practice only helps people to repeat what they are doing. If what they are doing is incorrect, people internalise the wrong thing. Feedback lets students know how they are doing while there is still time to adjust and perfect their efforts.[emphasis added]

The great part of this is student understanding of the process, the content, and the purpose. So when grade time arrives, students can share their work, explain what they did well, how they revised, and what could still be done to improve. As your child explains this, listen. You will hear knowledge and skills, content, confidence, humility, pride, and a command of their own learning.

So, to our families, we invite you into our classrooms to see:

  • projects and work wrapped in foundational skills in process and basics with authentic ¬†purposes and audiences
  • the four Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity
  • checklists and steps to guide success, personalized for students
  • ongoing feedback from peers and teachers [and families] to guide success
  • mutual grading from student and teacher founded in expectations learned and developed¬†with feedback
  • an open door for families to visit and volunteer, offering their own feedback

I think, if families think back to those school days remembered most, it will be the times where people worked together, a project, a collaboration. That’s the goal everyday: to have authentic learning with deeper learning.

I hope this clarifies the transformation of classrooms for families.

If you have comments, questions, or any other resources, please share below.

Slice of Life Volleyball

Volley ball angelo gelmi 01.svg
By Angelo Gelmi – http://openclipart.org/, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1421341

For three days, a tournament captures the hearts and minds of players who truly team together on and off court. ¬†They share their successes and their goofs, encouraging each other verbally and ¬†in spontaneous dance-cheers in the game. It’s fun to watch. Wins are great, but the real win is the teamwork and support the players give to each other.

I’m looking forward to my granddaughters tournament this weekend.

See you at the courts!

#sol15 Gramma’s Weekend

gettheball

Regional Volleyball tournaments in Spokane brought a busy weekend for my granddaughter and because it’s so close — we got to go too. ¬†It was awesome watching all the games and seeing such teamwork and cheers by the girls who were all still learning their skills. ¬†Some teams were there from Texas and California to get “flights” towards nationals. ¬†I have no idea what all that means, but the weekend meant so much to our family. ¬†Ashlyn lives across the state, so dad, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents arrived to cheer her on.

So, if I haven’t replied to your comments, my dear blogging friends, it’s because I was able to spend the entire weekend with our volleyball – playing granddaughter. I wrote my weekend posts on Friday and scheduled them for Saturday and Sunday posting. ¬† Ha. Got that figured out!

Thanks, Ashlyn, for a very fun weekend.

ashselfieme

justash


sol

For more slices, visit the gracious hosts atTwo Writing Teachers to read other ‚Äúslices.”

What’s Next?

Fifth grade and sixth grade still focus on elaboration in writing. However, we will dabble in applying our elaboration skills on election issues. I hope to introduce them to working together on wiki work to explain 1) How a person can become president and 2) Which candidate meets their solutions on the the student’s issues?

Seventh grade will finish their introductory research on Arctic global warming. We’ll break for a similar focus on elections as five/six since the topic is relevant and current.

Ditto for grade eight: they’ll complete their Who Are You art/media/text work in computers and the library study hall while our writing class begins the election focus.

All classes will vote: On September 23rd for Weekly Reader and on October 29th for the National Mock Election, which will include State elections also.

Students will have choices in daily and project work as they begin their role:

You are an informed citizen volunteer whom others will call upon for information. You volunteer at your candidate’s headquarters. As a volunter, you must thoroughly research the election process and the issues supported by your candidate and his opponent. You must create the information that voters need to make their choices.

Younger students will receive more support and guidance in writing project completion as they discuss the issues in class and with families to form and write their own opinions. Older students will make more design/product decisions on their own.

Will their products be accepted by the local headquarters? We’ll see.

http://whatelse.pbwiki.com/Election-Project