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This is a space for teachers to share their professional learning experiences with the community.

Have iPad, will use Apps

This week in Grade 8 Science, students are getting ready for the unit on chemical and physical changes. The starting point is to explore the Periodic Table. With the assistance of the MS IT Coordinator, a Periodic Table app was downloaded onto the new iPads available for student use in the Middle School.

The teachers wanted the students to engage in inquiry as they learn about the elements and their properties. A worksheet, designed to accompany the inquiry use of the app, was handed out to students. A quick demo of how to use the various functions of the app was given by one of the teachers. Then the students worked in pairs to learn about groups, states of matter of elements in their natural form and their properties.

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Learning from Typhoon Pedring Fundraising Project – Grade 3

From Ilana McGrath – Grade 3 Teacher

Having investigated what it means to be a “good citizen” at the start of our school year, we had the opportunity to put all this knowledge and understanding to practice shortly after. What could be more authentic than what unfolded over the past month. FACT– Typhoon Pedring hit Manila very badly on Sept. 26. FACT– our class president, Isabelle, came in the very next day wanting to do something, somehow. FACT – Mr Campbell sent us an email soon after with photo updates of the damage done by Typhoon Pedring and a call for any donations to help. An idea was born… using our skills as writers, why not create a poetry book that we could then sell to parents and family for typhoon donations?!!! FACT – Writing Workshop time was spent drafting, revising and then publishing in the computer lab our poems. FACT – we came together as a class and drafted/revised the best possible letter to parents explaining the request for donations. FACT– within one week, we had orders for 86 poetry booklets!! FACT – in math class, we worked on mental math calculations to find out that over 10,000 pesos had been raised! WOW! FACT– we now had to find the best possible way to copy the books without digging into our donations for the typhoon victims… enter the generosity of a Yodalandian family, who was able to provide us with the copies needed (thank you Dever family!). FACT – we still had to bind the books, so I sourced the best possible price for this and used a small amount to pay that bill. FACT – it took us only one day, working together as a team to assemble 104 books!!!! FACT– on Friday November 18 (as promised in the initial letter to parents) all poetry books where delivered to Yodalandia friends and families around the world. FACT– the final donation to help all the victims of Typhoon Pedring was… (drumroll please…) 12, 800 pesos!! WOW… THIS HAS BEEN AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!! Thank you to everyone for making this richly authentic experience happen… this is what education is all about!! Long live Yodalandia – May the Force Always stay with You!!

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Digital Storytelling @ Learning 2.011 in Shanghai

by Melodee Peters, ESL teacher

In September 2011, a group of ISM teachers attended the Learning 2.011 conference in Shanghai. I was assigned to the Digital Storytelling cohort.

We were introduced to a number of audio sites for podcasting, such as audioboo.com. My interest was to find ones that I could download as Apps on my phone to use in the classroom quickly without the hassles of having to get a laptop, waiting for it to boot up and logging in. The App that I downloaded onto my phone and with which I practiced is a free app called SoundCloud.

Since my return from Shanghai, I have used the SoundCloud app to record my ESL students reading texts for the running records. Having poor wi-fi connectivity in my classroom was not a problem because I could save the SoundCloud recordings on my phone until I had better connection and then I uploaded the recordings. Another reason I prefer SoundCloud is that I do not have to take up a lot of server space to save the recordings. I keep them online where I can access the recordings any time from any where. The big selling point for using SoundCloud is that it provides the option of making the recordings public or keeping them private.

However, as the ESL TA does not have a phone on which to download Apps, she can use SoundCloud via the internet site SoundCloud.com and assist me in recording students. Thus, we have multiple ways of recording our students in class.

Another audio site with which I experimented is Blabberize.com. This site allows our students to upload images and then put voice to images. For example, if students were to upload a photo they took of their pet at home, on blabberize they can create a mouth on the cat and students can give the cat a voice. I find this particularly useful to help ESL students to practise tone of voice in their speech.

To create visuals to accompany speech, I’ve shown my students GoAnimate. I created this video to show my students how it can be used in Social Studies.

Here are further sites to explore:

http://talkwithmedia.wikispaces.com/

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/fractured-fairy-tales-30062.html?tab=5#tabs

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/edubloggercon11-iste11

http://www.educatebetter.org/7mistakes.html

http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/2011/11/grade-6-student-explain-how-he-makes.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Go forth and learn!

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