I am sitting on the sofa on a Friday night and I am not inclined to move, so that might be an indication of the energy I expended this week. I am done! But it was a good week, a little hectic, but good. Between several “run-throughs” and rehearsals for our Christmas concert, we managed to do a little math and language arts. Earlier in the week we even took on writing computer code, with Khan Academy’s great “Hour of Code” tutorial. Despite a few difficulties getting all of our laptops to play the video tutorials, the students forged ahead and did a great job. I loved their enthusiasm as they accomplished the different tasks. And I loved how the activity self-differentiated. Students worked at their own pace, taking their time or flying through to tasks I hadn’t even tried, and were fully engaged. As Mr. Erker tweeted about our activity, there was problem solving, math, imagination and critical thinking involved in what the students were doing during this hour. When I tried it first at home the night before, I was aware of how I was being asked to think differently. It was very illuminating in that way.
Anyway, the weekend has arrived, and Monday brings us to our last few days before the holidays. We shall have to get back to our routine, at least through Thursday. Let’s hope for some dry weather and outside days. At least we will have our gym time back again! 🙂
My students have been using Haiku Deck lately, as a fabulous way to both enhance their own understanding of material we are studying, as well as to demonstrate learning. Haiku Deck is an app on our school iPads which helps students create simplified presentations on any topic they like. For example, we worked with our little buddies to make alphabet books, or decks, as they are called. In socials my grade 4 students made decks on the explorers and my grade 5’s made them on Quebec. Today we used them in science to review material from the first chapters of the units we are now learning about. For the 4’s this meant creating a deck on the properties of light and for the 5’s, force and friction. I find it is an excellent tool for students with different learning styles to be able to showcase their knowledge with pride. It also helps students retain the material they are learning, as they spend time creating a presentation that requires them to have an understanding before they begin. It’s a great way to prepare for a test too! I was super happy with the results from today. All the completed ones were uploaded to the website, and then I can review the students’ work at home. One hitch….most students did not put their names on them, and Josh K seemed to show up as the name on more than one. I know how to fix this though! 🙂 Check out a couple of decks here. The first is by Hannah, the second by Newton, and the third is by Eric.