Create, Be Curious, Learn, have Fun and GLOW

A Very Successful Parent Night

After descending into this journey at what seems like a very fast pace – 3 Weeks and I have a classroom blog and an active twitter account going!  WOW!!

I thought I needed to have a parent night to get everyone caught up on what will be happening and the exciting change in the way we will be communicating.

I developed a power point with points about the importance of technology in the classroom, ways in which our classroom will use Social Media and the safety precautions  we will take to ensure a responsible blog and twitter account.

I was amazed at how positive, forward thinking and encouraging my parents were! I was not surprised! We had great conversations, shared success stories from other classrooms we knew of and challenged our minds to think outside of the usual and familiar ways of communicating.

Notes have been sent home for permission to have their children tweet, blog and faces shown.

Welcome to our new followers! Things are happening – at a very fast pace!! You gotta keep up!!

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Our Winnipeg

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We have begun reading as a class Winnipeg by Winnipeg. It is an interesting picture book taking us around the city of Winnipeg through the eyes of Winnipegers. It is so fun to hear students say “I’ve been there!” and make connections to different pictures and places in the book. I have added a home-school connection by sending the book home each day in a book bag with a student. Families have been invited to make “bucket lists” of places they would like to visit and to have conversations and share memories of the places they have already discovered. This book is being used as an introduction to Our Winnipeg Inquiry.

Over the month of April students have been invited to bring in a picture of a place in Winnipeg that is close to their hearts. They found their place on a map and did a brief presentation with the class about their place. It is such a spectacular thing to see all of the wonderful places around Winnipeg mapped out by our grade 1’s and 2’s. The students have taken it a step further, finding their own houses and other places they visit frequently. They are learning mapping skills in a very meaningful, hands-on way. It is exciting to hear “Come here and look, it’s my house!” or “I found The Forks!”.

The plan is to take the information we know about Winnipeg and use the book An Okoboji Day as a mentor text. Each student will think of 6 different places around Winnipeg that they could visit in a day. There will be literacy components that they will notice about the mentor text and be invited to use in their own story. I can’t wait to see the interesting direction that everyone will take. We will begin the process together writing a book as a class and extend it to their independent writing soon after.  Reading and re-reading An Okoboji Day along the way.

Follow along as we write our books!

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A meeting of minds to challenge, grow and plan together

I met with our school Reading Clinician today! It was an exciting meeting as we met to discuss our Mentor Text Writing Project that we will be collaborating on in early May. We plan to LIVE TWEET!! Live tweet from Room 122! We will be tweeting out tweets, students will be tweeting and learning how to reflect in 140 characters or less! This is going to be awesome!


I recently joined twitter (laura_thomas_99 ~ follow me!) and I am just becoming comfortable with this form of social media and connecting with the World. I am no social media guru; but I do have a private instagram account, facebook account and I do snapchat. I love social media for the instant connection you can make with friends and family. As a parent myself, I love how easy it is to post daily tidbits, interesting, funny things that happen and it is really like an online, digital memory box of my life.

For the past few months I have been trying to think of ways to really open up the lines of communication to the parents and relatives of the students in Room 122. There is so much learning that is happening each and every day and it is at times difficult for these grade 1’s and 2’s to share by the time they get home. For the past 10 years I have done a weekly TWAS (This Week At School) with some success. Students write about fun things that happened, things they learned over the course of the week. I say some success, because very few students actually enjoyed writing TWAS and it was not an accurate representation of their week or their writing ability. So over the past year or so I have been doing a lot of reflecting with students, with parents and with myself. How can I show student learning? How can students show and share their learning?

When I ask students this they said: “facebook, a backpack with interesting facts inside, write facts in a bottle and send it in the River, write a book, do a presentation, youTube video, Poster, Bulletin Board, e-mail, video to share with parents, post online!” . As you can see, online technology came up quite a bit. These children have never known a life without technology. They learn it faster than we ever will, it is intuitive to them.


So back to a meeting of minds! Monique and I met in early February to discuss working together on a writing project. At some point in the meeting, I thought; How cool would it be to LIVE TWEET this out to parents! Monique was encouraging and thought this was fantastic! So we started planning our project and planning how we would use twitter to communicate with parents. We set up twitter accounts and we started our explorations with twitter, so we would know how to tweet, re tweet and respond to comments.

We choose our Mentor text book – An Okoboji Day. This is a book from my personal collection, I bought it for my kids last summer. Okoboji is a place close to our hearts, it is where my brother and sister-in-law have a beautiful cabin on the water and we get to visit over the summer! The book has many literary components that we will be focusing on. And we plan to use it to model our way through students writing A Winnipeg Day.

Pre-teaching is happening right now! Students have brought in a place close to their hearts in Winnipeg. They have presented about their place. We mapped it on a map of Winnipeg. It is unbelievable to see all the cool places the students love! They love looking at that map, finding their houses and other places too. Next we are going to tally how many students have been to those places. What are Room 122’s favourite places?

Students will then take this information and begin to plan out places that they would visit in A Winnipeg day.

A Winnipeg Day.

Coming Soon…..

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Beginning my journey into the blogging World

Hi Reader,

As I embark on this journey of blogging, I am both really excited and really nervous. I do follow a few blogs. I do have good friends who blog. I have been interested in blogging as a way to remember my own kids childhood in my sleep deprived state. This blog isn’t going to be about them though, this one will be about other children – my students! My wonderful, interesting, curious, glowing students! The most exciting part though… this blog will not just be about my students, my students will be blogging!! Grade 1 and 2 bloggers, how much cuter can it get! This blog will be about adventures we go on, things we learn, inquiries and discovering and questioning together.

This blog IS an adventure in it’s own way! We don’t exactly know where we are going with it, or where it will take us, but isn’t that the fun and interesting thing about adventures sometimes. I think so.

So here we go!


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