Thursday, 17 September 2015

In Reference to Our Conversations Re: 'Self Regulation'...

History Tweets

If you've seen my bio page, you'll know that I've written a historical mystery novel.

It is set in 1813 in the Regency era in England (think Jane Austen movies, the Romantic poets like Lord Byron, Shelley, Keats).

As you be probably guess, I'm a bit of a history buff when it comes to that era.

Amazingly, Twitter can be a wealth of knowledge about history.

There are some dedicated history accounts. Such as: @TitanticRealTime, @Yesterday_Today, @NasaHistory

I thought it might be a fun way to explore our own learning of Canadian history (1850-1914).

Introducing: @JJHistoryTweets!

This is a student run twitter feed, where students will tweet out their learning as we go.

Tweeting is a great exercise in summarizing ideas. The need to keep your thoughts within a 140 character word limit requires you to really focus on the essential.

It is an exercise in the fine art of being concise.

I'll post updates on the blog whenever we happen to tweet.

Student Blogs (Digital Portfolios) Are Up!

Well, that was awesome! Students created their own Blogger sites on Tuesday. Some did so via laptops and others used their personal devices!

They learned how to create a blog, choose a blogger name, choose a design template and write their first post.

We will eventually be learning other aspects of blogging: linking to sites, posting videos or pictures, reconfiguring the design/layout. Checking stats!

These blogs will act as digital portfolios for their Maker Cycle Media projects.

They are all linked to my blog on the Maker Cycle/Digital Portfolio page.

This is an opportunity to display good digital citizen ship! 

These blogs are 'live' on the web and will soon be seen by a wider audience (specifically, learner hubs across the continent but also just general audiences via Twitter). Plus, I will be monitoring!

Can't wait until the first media creation is on their sites! Should be on by October 1st!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The 5 Main Components of My Literacy Program

I am teaching media & writing.

These are the 5 main components of my program:

  1. Free Write Journals: a space for students to creatively explore various writing forms and techniques. They can choose their own form/idea or respond to prompts.
  2. Critical Eye Journals: a reflection journal, wherein students study various writing samples and discuss audience, purpose, techniques and give opinions as to its effectiveness.
  3. Major Writing Assignments: a comprehensive writing piece, set to established criteria, which follow the writing process: brainstorm, first draft, edit, revised draft, completed product. 
  4. Media Maker Cycle Project: a year long Maker Cycle wherein students are both creators and audiences of media pieces centred on themes
  5. Media Critical Eye Journals: similar to the writing version, a reflection journal wherein students study various media and audience, purpose, techniques and give opinions on its effectiveness
There will may be the occasional 'other' piece but these will be the main focus of my Gr. 8 literacy program for the year. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Because they asked me nicely...

It's a One Direction reunion here on the class blog site! *applause* *girls screaming*

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Digital Options: Apps For This Class

One of my goals this year is to 'go paperless'. That means using the least amount of paper possible.

That means trying out digital methods.

For example, for routine writing tasks, students can use Google Docs to share their work with me. I can respond and comment on the same document. This document can be revised and continually shared. It makes it easy for me to track and respond to work.

Google Docs can be accessed via the web when using a computer BUT if you are using a personal device like an iPad or iPhone,  it will be necessary to download the free app.

For our maker cycle media project, all students will need to create a digital portfolio online so those in their hubs can view it (more details on that to follow!).

We will be using Blogger for this.

Again, this can be accessed via the web on a computer BUT if you are using a personal device, you will need to download the free app in order to access it.

Both can be accessed with the SCDSB google sign ins that students already have.

Both apps are really user friendly.

And both google docs and blogger are classic tech, often used and highly regarded. Learning how to use both is a valuable skill.

We are going to learn those skills in our class.

Class Task: What do these all have in common?

What do these all have in common?

The Hunger Games
Animal Farm
The Pokemon Adventures
The Fault in Our Stars
The Maze Runner
Comic Books
Grey's Anatomy
Doctor Who
The Big Bang Theory
Little Big Planet
Call of Duty
Star Wars
High School Musical
The Avengers
Jurassic World
Lord of the Rings
Forrest Gump
One Direction: What Makes You Beautiful
Taylor Swift: Shake it Off

Stand Out From the Crowd

It's okay to be different.

Sunday, 6 September 2015