Proud to be wearing RED and WHITE

You’re thinking about this now aren’t you.

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Source: Flickr.com

Sad to say it, but you’d be wrong.img_0571

Its okay, take the bait and see this one through.

You might even find that our jobs put us in some of the same situations.

Do you ever feel this way?

If yes, the you and I might have a lot more in common than I initially thought.

I drift…

Take a look at this and I think you can agree that our jobs do have somethings in common.

Bobbers:

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Hmmm. Interesting.

Now lets look at the educators word cloud.

Educators:

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Well ya don’t say!

I bet you were able to attach a few of those words to parts of your workday.

Bobbers have a very important job. We do get subjected to some unusual situations. Just last week I found myself rolling around in places far from my nice little spot in the tackle box. I also felt like I was being hung out to dry, and not in the preferred way! I bet you have had these days too. I find that I do my best thinking when Im out of the comfort of the tackle box.

That makes me think of this one time…

It all started with a flick of the wrist. I am always sent in different directions.

Some good…

Hazards of the job!

So here’s Ashlee, flicking away.

Sending me this way and that, all in attempt to get a bunch of fish for some project she is doing.

We are a pretty good team her and I, however for this undertaking and timeline, we clearly needed more rods (iPads), and a bunch highly energetic students. Having only the one rod, Ashlee kept hurling me out there, trying to pull in as many fish as we could.

And… in her haste, she dumps me in a tree.

(NOT THE FIRST TIME BY THE WAY)

PROBLEM!

NOW WHAT?

I wait

and wait

and wait.

Dangling away, I was struck by a plan.

Step 1: Get me out of the tree.

Step 2: Continue to use the worms and the one rod Ashlee has, to catch (teacher made samples) all the fish ourselves. Then all we have to do is explain to the tackle how we did it.

Hopefully that will be convincing enough to show that it is possible for students to catch fish with the right worm.

Not ideal, but at least some sort of solution had been found.

So I thought.

It was quickly derailed by my pal Barbless.

Not sure why I always have to be attached to that guy.

He didn’t think it would work.

He even went as far to suggest that the rest of the tackle would say something like this:

Now what!?

Ashlee thought maybe we should just talk about one of the worms (iPad writing and story telling apps).

“No, that just won’t do!”

Reflecting back I probably shouldn’t have said it as forceful as I did. Considering I needed her to get me out of the tree.

I reminder her that:

“If I have to share my spot in the tackle box next to that whole CAN OF WORMS they all need to be mentioned.”

And so…

In a moment of despair…

Barbless and I looked down.

And to our surprise, we met this guy:

PERFECT!

Seek out the fishing experts who have a bunch of rods, years of experience and have tried a variety of worms. It was very lucky he could tell us where to find the fish.

Our initial problem had been solved.

Now all we have to do is battle with this tree (iMovie software and compiling samples to make a presentation).
While I’ve been telling you this story, Ashlee has been watching others successfully cast away (youtube videos on how to create an iMovie). I think once I am out of this tree I won’t be back for a while.

Thanks for bobbing along.

A REEL EXPERT CAN TACKLE ANYTHING. LETS GO FISHING

——— This Blog ———

Stretching my thinking and practice for my vision project.

–> Showing colleagues what students can do with iPads in the area of writing and story telling, and how the use of the technology can enhance the story/ work.

–> Vision of my Project, combine samples of student work that has been created through these applications into one cohesive presentation using the iMovie platform.

Apps I used for this blog:

Word Cloud, Captions, ChatterPix, Toontastic (below). I also created a youtube account so I could post the ChatterPix I made. I played with Handbrake to optimize my little wee videos not because they needed it but so I could simply give it a try.

I am now thinking I should have done an AppSmash where I put the Captions Comic into ChatterPix. Next time!

I feel more like a fishing bobber than I think I can eloquently explain. I had started writing this blog with a much more serious undertone and then when I started experimenting with the apps, it took a drastically different turn. I was not ready to part with the theme, however, so I apologize if it felt forced.

I SHALL LEAVE YOU WITH A SPLASH OF HUMOUR.

Cheers Ashlee

A fun little cartoon I made while learning how to use Toontastic.
It is a tad silly. I didn’t know I could move the characters around until halfway through.

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Point!

What am I doing?

  • implementing the use of iPads with emergent primary writers (Grade 1)
  • having students use various story telling and writing apps

Why am I doing it?

  • to make the writing process more accessible to emergent writers
  • to increase motivation and engagement

My Motivator:

In October I conducted our district wide write assessment. After an extensive pre writing process (imaging, partner talk, coaching cards – you name it) and the combined total of 40min. of independent writing time, I had 6 students hand in completely blank writing pages.  Okay fair enough, it is the beginning of Grade One after all, thats not terrible. Therefore I can let myself “accept” these submissions as the students baseline and move the learning forward. Then when curiosity (which I have been know to have and still survive) hits and I give the student an iPad, and what they submit slams on the breaks and stops me in my preconceived tracks. “Accept” is no longer and option. I am unable to “accept” work that has been submitted when my student has demonstrated that they have capacity to complete the task when given the right set of tools.

My Students writing sample before having access to the iPad.

After

I took the students image and uploaded it into the app called captions.

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This sample of writing (which the STUDENT did on the iPad) clearly demonstrates they have a greater understanding of written language. A far better understanding than what was demonstrated with the good old paper and pencil approach.

Rationale Behind My Project:

The use of the iPads enhances learning and improves the CHANCES FOR STUDENT SUCCESS.

In my experience, as well as outlined in a number of readings, the assistance of technology in the area of writing has either eliminated or reduce inhibitors such as fine motor skills, and sound/ letter/ word retrieval among others. Thus making the writing process more accessible, engaging and motivating.

Who will benefit from this exploration and project? Who is the intended audience?

  • my studentsimg_0481
  • my colleagues
  • myself

What does my presentation need to include to benefit all of those outlined?

  • an outline of how I incorporated the iPads use in my daily schedule, what struggles were encountered
  • what supports I needed to be successful in their implementation
  • how many iPads were used in the class
  • the routines, rules and expectations around the use of the iPads that were put in place
  • a list of applications that were used.
  • an outline indicating the various apps enhanced/ improved the learning condition for the student and the teacher.

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Teaching myself how to use the captions app

Where I am still struggling?

  • compiling it all into one seamless presentation that will meet my three Es; ENGAGING, EFFECTIVE, EMPOWERING.

What has been beneficial so far?

Playing with, and learning how to navigate the various programs. Some of the products have been down right hilarious.  As a result, I have at times, become a tad too engaged and lets face it simply off task. I think Im a little bit more like my dog than Id like to admit!

Oh well, the adventure is always fun in between. Even though it sometimes takes us a tad longer to get there.

POINT!

…and I’m animated…BOOYA

This particular blog post doesn’t follow my usual format and style mostly because I just keep on learning.

Sadly this learning seems to be occurring mostly by default as I struggle and plug along to  teach myself first.

Good thing I am a teacher. Otherwise who knows how long this might have taken.

I fear this blog won’t be hitting the 250-300 TYPED word range but I think I may have made the mark by allowing myself to represent my learning in a new way. See ya’ later old school pen and paper. Im taking it 21st century style.

Are we excited….. heck yes we are!

UNTIL…..

It hiccups like crazy, the videos stall out, you accidentally hit the home button and          BUH-BYE  goes the best attempt yet and you have to physically restrain yourself from smashing the iPad, all followed by the whisper and muttering of “I should have just wrote it down like I normally do.”

 //giphy.com/embed/ZKZiW6GSx8eSA

via GIPHY

I felt a wee bit like this. I just had a tad more… self-control? Sanity…?

I digress…

This blog touches on my need to become proficient in the use of the technology I expect my students to use. Only when I become proficient and confident in using it, will my learners be able to. This was a common thread throughout my readings.

Now don’t get too excited they certainly aren’t hollywood production quality but it is a format new to me, and it took me a long time to research how to get the emded code so that you my lovely readers might actually be able to see my attempts. Ha! I won’t even tell you how many times I recorded and re-recorded it. True to nature I still don’t love it. Something about listening to your own voice recorded is oh so very strange and borderline awful. Incase they hiccup like crazy, like they did in my editing window, I have put the address where they are stored under the embed code so that you may go to them directly. For the amount of time I invested in finding the embed code – IT BETTER WORK!

I fear once I post, the files will be too large and you will have to bounce back and forth. Sorry about that.

 https://tellagami.com/gami/JRD3IY/embed/

http://tellagami.com/gami/JRD3IY/

https://tellagami.com/gami/3UON18/embed/

https://tellagami.com/gami/3UON18/

https://tellagami.com/gami/V0DAEB/embed/

https://tellagami.com/gami/V0DAEB/

Urban Dictionary for the win!

booya 

“Bam!”, “in your face”, and “hell yeah”, all at the same time. A term that self-congratulates, describes excitement, lets others know the magnificence of the celebration as well as the superiority of the user, and is used as an exclamation of those ideas.

Tides are Changing

The rains are falling.

Tides are changing.

A stone has been tossed and the ripples have been sent.

The question now, will I withstand the rain?  Will my ripple meet the ocean? Will I change the tide?

 

I’m holding on to what I love = Teaching = she’s holding on to me

When the rain came, it washed us out to sea. 

I’m holding what I love, she’s holding on to me.

I feel like I have been inundated with a flood of information and demands for change. As it pours down it blurs the lines of what I once deemed best practice. As all objects do, they stand steadfast against the currents and erosive powers of the water. But as fate always has it, the water slowly chips away and weakens the footings. The sand beneath my feet is being lapped away. If I am going to keep my head above the water, I need to change my practices, especially in the area of digital literacies.

o-feet-in-sand-facebook

At times I feel like I have almost drowned myself in frustrations of “what now?” and “how am I supposed to do that?” However, as the sand quickly slipped away I began to tread. I have kept my head above the water holding on to what I love the most. I love my students, I love to teach. I hold on to the need to equip them with the skills they will need to survive THEIR future swells.

As such,

It’s no surprise it brought me to my knees.

You’re never really ready,

you’re ready as can be.

How frustrating it is! Having the desire and understanding that change needs to be made but not knowing where to begin, or thinking that you’re not knowledgeable enough, trained or supported enough to take the risk.

And yet….

also deep down knowing that there will never be the exact right time, or the perfect amount of training. To wait for another moment in time is ridiculous. Knowing that at the rate things change, right now, you truly are as ready as you’re ever going to be.

And so, as

the sun was coming up we were sifting through the sand.

Looking for the pieces of our broken plans.

I reflect on my project and the waves of inquiry come crashing down on the shores of my understanding.

oceanwave

My inquiry project: to explore how I can incorporate meaningful and intentional uses of technology to increase motivation and engagement amongst emergent grade one writers that demonstrate a diverse set of learning needs.

I chose this as my inquiry project as I had been approved in June for a SET-BC innovative classroom based project trying to do just that – engage and motivate emergent grade one writers.  iPads were put on loan and the first step towards making the necessary changes around digital literacy was made.

The timing couldn’t have been better.

So I thought.

Caught up in a riptide I began to sink.

The iPads have yet to show up!

Time to decide.

Continue to swim with the current even though it is going away from the beach. Or stop kicking and give in.

My legs are getting tired, but they haven’t stopped yet.

young-woman-swimming-in-sea

As I look at the broken pieces of my plan, I have found my crutch. A crutch I have noticed many of us who fear change hold on to. Limited resources.

My readings have shown me that there are many countries without any resources. Surely, I can achieve something with LIMITED.

Its gonna take a while, we’re gonna get it back.

We gotta carry on darling, we were built to last.

Water always chooses the path of least resistance. I do not. I am built to last. My goal is built to last. It is going to take some time to navigate the waters and find comfort in them. Not to mention catch my breath after all this kicking.

However, through my networks, and our networks WE ARE going to get it back (sense of control and direction).

In the meantime, I remember that,

changing tides, baby thats the hardest part of life.

hold me tight, and we will move as one in the changing tides.

If we support each other and take the risks in putting ourselves out there. We will begin to move with the change instead of being pulled under by the tides.

theres no doubt the beauty that we see,

following the path so much older than we.

Lovers built it with their hands, walked it with their feet,

above the raging waters and the darkness underneath.

Though I am finding the change difficult I support the literature in that it emphasizes the use of technology in the classroom. I also reflect on the changes my colleagues and profession has endured long before I was deposited in this ocean. Through networks, and risk taking we are always able to find the beauty that makes the struggle worth it in the end. There are always going to be things we cannot control and it is important to seek outwardly to find ways to best enhance the things that you can.

I am going to hold tight!

I am determined to seek and develop networks to help me move as one.

Together it is my hope that instead of floating and moving with the tides, we will be the force that changes the tide.

All it takes is one drop, one ripple…

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Let the tides change.