Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Confederation Co-op

What a great day we had in our Co-op session on Confederation. 

First we had our study of Hermeneutics. It is great to see all of the students bibles open and them studying. This session was all about - what is the bible and can it be trusted? I am so thankful that we have such a great pastor leading our children like this every co-op - what a great blessing!

Next it was on to Confederation. The first thing that I had the students do is draw a very "out of scale" map of Canada - they then worked together and added when their province joined Confederation and why from this site. 

I only had long thin paper to use so our Canadian map - good thing a scaled map was not the purpose of the exercise ;)
They then presented for their group each province and why they joined Confederation. There were definitely some reoccurring themes the students recognized.

After this the students broke out into groups of 3 or 4 and I gave them one of the reasons for or against Confederation  on this pageon this onethis one and this one. They then did a newscast skit based on their points. 
At the end of the class we then watched a video about before, during and after Confederation to reiterate the main points and review what we had learned. It was from Discovery Education.

The kids (and adults) enjoyed lunch and then it was off to art! The students finished up their Picasso based collages. It is so great to see them enjoying art!

They work together, chat together and enjoy each others company during this quieter time.

Wrapping up the day was PE with soccer at the indoor arena. It is so great that we have access to such a wonderful facility. 

A long wonderful day filled with learning and fun!! 
Blessings, Natalie

What I learned at the GAFE Summit

I had a wonderful opportunity last weekend to attend the GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit.
I must admit going into this Summit I thought that I knew quite a bit about Google Apps, after all I use collaborative Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and on top of that I have been a member of Google+ and have led many Google Hangouts for my Movies as Literature class.
GAFE however opened up a whole new world of add-ons, extensions and apps that I hope to start applying soon!

More than just apps, this conference was about changing thinking and learning to look at education (and life) in a different way. Learning to think and respond to others ideas in the context of Yes...and rather than Yes...but. Learning how to explore design thinking. Learning how one app can change an experience of learning and meet the needs of a variety of different students. 

One of the things that struck me was how visual we have become. The medium that impacts students is experiential  - mainly with video, but also with social media, artistic expression and hands on explorations.My own problem solving and critical thinking skills were challenged in many of the "learn by doing" sessions. I loved this! 

The icing on the cake was learning about some very cool apps! Here are just a few ;)
Kaizena- a program to use along side with Google Docs to be able to add audio feedback, links and much more. Very cool!
Ed Puzzle - to take video and add quizzes embedded in the video itself.
Jamendo - music that is in the public domain (please use caution - there is a wide range of music you may not want your students to listen to) - a very fun game for learning Geography 
I hope to share many more great resources over the next few months as I use them and apply them! 

Thank you GAFE Summit team! 
Blessings, Natalie

Tom Sawyer - Session 2

Today was the second session of Tom Sawyer and our main focus was on character.

The first thing I had our students do was brainstorm together what a hero is. They wrote down many different character traits of heroes on a large sheet of paper. 

I then had them work together in groups of 4 to come up with 5 of the top character traits from their brainstorming.

I wrote the traits on the white board and we compared them to Tom Sawyer. They voted on each of the traits and decided if Tom had the traits of being a hero.
I offered this worksheet for them to fill out and explore more traits and compare them to Tom.

Our next exercise was to have our students do a character web of some kind showing the characters and the relationship between them. The students added several characters right down to the “dead cat”!

Finally, I had some cards with opposites on them:
Honesty, Dishonesty
Integrity, Lack of Integrity etc…
I then had them find examples in the book of these traits, trying first to find examples of both in one character. This was challenging, but some of them found both in Tom Sawyer. We talked about types of characters - Round/Flat, Protagonist/Antagonist etc..

It is amazing how quickly an hour went by. It was then time for the dress rehearsal of Tom Sawyer - next week will be our final lesson and the performance! 

The students and our amazing drama leader were having a great time!

 Blessings, Natalie ;)

Tom Sawyer - Session 1

We started our first Tom Sawyer session and it was great to see these students thinking and working together. I love the fact that they all are willing to share their assignments without hesitation! 

The first thing we did was work in groups of 4 to come up with Two Truths and a Lie about Mark Twain. I had researched ahead of time interesting facts about Mark Twain and gave each group 8 facts - they then needed to come with a lie and present their Two truths and a Lie to the group. 

I made up this sheet for them to use. Here are the facts about Mark Twain. They did a great job and I think they learned a lot about Mark Twain in the process.


Next I had them work in pairs with this sheet comparing challenges children face today compared with challenges they faced in Tom Sawyer's time. We then got back together and filled a whiteboard with ideas! I was using a new camera so my pictures were not the best this session.

After this I had the students pull 8 different settings for Tom Sawyer - the graveyard, Aunt Polly’s, the Cave etc and the students played charades based on the setting. It was great to see how quickly they got these elements of the setting. You can find the cards here.

The students then started their first run through of Tom Sawyer. What I love about these dramas is that the students participating really know these stories well when they are done. It is so exciting how participating in the drama brings the novel alive. 

Another great start to a literature camp!! Blessings, Natalie