In teaching there are high-five kinds of days and then there are other days that drive sleepless nights, but my goal is to create as many high-five kinds of days as I possibly can for myself, teachers, and students. Today, was a high-five kind of day. When students are proud, parents are excited, and learning has happened, it has to be a high-five kind of day.
Our school district has offered spring and fall intercessions for students to attend for free do to the balanced calendar that we currently follow. When I first heard about this I didn’t think I would be interested in teaching during my vacation, but I am so glad I changed my mind! This week I taught for 4 days from 8:30-11:00 AM and I had a mixed group of 25 first and second graders from different elementary schools. When they all lined up on the first day I realized how possibly crazy I was, but it turns out, I’m only kind of crazy. 🙂
We started off by reading Same, Same, but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw. We did a lot of turn and talks, thinking aloud, and were totally paperless this week. I modeled the Notability app via Apple TV and told them that they would record their notes on the app for reference when they started to create their iMovies. The students got into groups of their choice and started to find out how they were all similar and different. They were able to navigate and use Notability easily as I walked around and helped those that needed it. Once students were done taking notes, I modeled the iMovie app on the iPad and showed them how to create a trailer. The students quickly got started on their iMovies. We also had the opportunity to Skype @ginamertens who was on a mission trip in Guatemala to share our differences and similarities with their group.
There were moments throughout these two days where I was nervous, excited, thrilled, and stressed. Why? If you have ever facilitated 25 first and second graders video taping themselves and trying to keep your eye on all of them, you totally understand. It was INSANE, but AWESOME! The biggest struggle I had was when certain groups were finished and other groups were not, and a bit of control was lost. During that time I told the group about our next goal and got students researching poetry and writing notes on the whiteboard. Whew!
The next two days of the intersession where filled with researching different types of poetry, choosing their favorite type of poetry, showing the students how they could use Haiku Deck and Notability to create their poems and a spring photo scavenger hunt to capture images to use in their Haiku Decks. On the second day I also got the idea to invite parents to our last class to see the student work. I also offered to email the work if parents couldn’t attend.
So, today was a high-five kind of day because on our last day, the library was filled with parents, grandparents, and others along with my students. We displayed the student work via apple tv and everyone had their time to shine. When a real audience can see the hard work everyone has done it makes more meaningful to everyone.
Spring poem on Notability
Spring poem on Haiku Deck (At first I didn’t “get” this poem, but once I did I thought it was very clever.)
I hope you have a high-five kind of day today too!
“All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.” -Movie About Time