OhThisClassroomGlows

Create, Be Curious, Learn, have Fun and GLOW

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Followers! I’m excited about 2017! For many reasons and lots having to do with the happenings in Room 129!

But first, a little pep talk to welcome you back to the blog and remind you to BE MORE AWESOME and let’s explore 2017 together!

 

I have to apologize for my lack of blogging. There are a number of reasons for my absence and it’s not because I haven’t been thinking our this blog. I think about this blog a lot. If you look at my picture stream in my phone – I take a lot of pictures of the cuties in Room 129. I have ideas for blogs, I just haven’t made time to sit down and write them. Some of that has to do with the busy time that is the month of December (and November…). Some of that has to do with Winnipeg School Division wanting me to transfer this blog over to a WSDedublog, which I will do in 2017. Some of it has to do with being bombarded with Seasaw (http://web.seesaw.me/seesaw-for-schools/) ¬†and other forms of Digital Portfolios for students. I’m trying to figure out what is the best and most efficient and practical way to communicate and share learning digitally online for 6 and 7 year olds.

I love this blog. I love blogging. The purpose of starting this blog was to communicate with and inspire parents, grandparents, family near and far, friends and even my family (perhaps my most loyal followers, my mom, dad and grandparents!). So often these 6 and 7 year old students go home after a busy day of learning and forget to share what they have learned with their parents. I thought if parents had talking points or pictures that they could talk about or ask deeper questions about, it would ignite lively dinner time conversations, encourage interesting bedtime discussions and just connect student’s home and family with their learning. I also thought it may extend student’s learning by allowing opportunities for families to find their own connections through books at home and there own opportunities to investigate inquiries together as a family. Last year when my class was learning about Winnipeg, families really took it upon themselves to get out and explore Winnipeg! They visited many different places In Winnipeg and shared stories of experiences in Winnipeg that may have gone unshared. We looked at the history of Winnipeg and each student wrote amazing books about A Winnipeg Day. I was fulfilled as a teacher to hear about all of these vast experiences that families were having together that were prompted by learning done in school. I would see grandparents in Superstore and they would tell me the difference the blog was making in discussions with their grandchildren. They were sharing and making history together.

So, in 2017 we will continue our blogging. The blog will remain OhthisclassroomGlows and hopefully I can copy my blog history to our new url with Winnipeg School Divisions Edublog (I’m sure we can).

2017 will also have us reveal two new opportunities to share our learning. We will start our OhthisclassroomGlows twitter account. Twitter is different than blogging and the way Room 129 will be using to twitter will be to help us connect with authors of books we love, people around Canada (maybe even our Prime Minister). In the past we were using my laura_thomas_99 twitter handle. We connected on twitter with the Mayor Brian Bowman’s office last year and have followed Barbara Reid and a few other authors connecting with them. I think moving forward it is best if we have a classroom twitter handle and my own professional twitter handle separate (although feel free to follow me on both!). In the year 2017 I know it is hard to believe. but twitter is a way, possibly the best way, for people and students to connect with many interesting people around Canada and the World. It is quick and easy and opens up opportunities to exchange knowledge and information. And don’t worry President Elect Donald Trump will not be followed by OhthisclassroomGlows. There are things that I don’t like about twitter and I’m sure we can/will have a discussion about those. Room 129 will be using twitter to connect with people that they are interested in or that link to our classroom learning. I monitor all of our social media regularly. Twitter can be a really positive way to extend our classroom discussions and a very exciting way for classrooms to participate with others in meaningful, relevant and very currant ways. The link below shows some of the benefits.

15 Ways To Use Twitter In Education (For Students And Teachers Alike)

Something that I am very excited about starting is our brand new OhthisclassroomGlows instagram account! Personally I love Instagram. I love it for many reasons and use it often with my own family. It is like an online digital portfolio of the past few years. Our family trips, funny moments, embarrassing moments, life experiences and all the monumental, memorable moments in between. They are documented. For me. For my family. For my friends near and far. But a lot of my Instagram is just for me. One of my favourite things is how easy it is to look back on our previous years. See how my kids have grown. I have hashtags in place that connect their birthdays all together (some of you may have no idea what I am talking about when I say hashtag to connect all of their birthdays ūüôā and that’s okay! ).

I created an OhthisclassroomGlows Instagram account over the Christmas break¬†https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en¬†. I encourage you to follow us, as I will be using Instagram often in 2017. I am going to challenge myself to try and Instagram a picture each school day. I will be showing our followers through pictures; our good moments, funny moments, interesting moments, our learning, our art, our math, and it may be through an amazing Instagram filter, but I promise you it will be real life in Room 129! My hope is that through our Room 129 picture of the day you will see a glimpse or moment that you can talk with your child about. Two of our students have parents that live outside of Canada (Shout out to Keito’s dad who follows our blog regularly and Jenna’s dad from the Philippines). Grandparents and family that live far away will be able to see what we are up to. It’s an exciting World where we are all able to connect together in such meaningful and fairly easy ways! I can’t wait for you to follow our journey. (side note: Our account is private and I will be monitoring and adding only followers I myself or student’s in Room 129 know). If my 61 year old mom and 72 year old father in law and my 86 year old grandma can figure out how to use Instagram (although they had a fair bit of help with start up – but now they follow along fairly easily!) I know that you all can do it! Perhaps you will be inspired by our Instagram account and will create one for yourself!

So why all of this technology? Why all this social media in 2017?

Because….it’s nice to have options. Because…it’s nice to have balance. Because… it’s nice to share. Because… it’s great to inspire others. Because… learning is meaningful when it is connected to real life. Because… it’s 2017 and I am teaching to the future. Because…. I want you to be a part of our learning. Because… students will learn that their learning matters to themselves and others. Because…so many conversations will be started and continued thanks to these interactions on social media.

There is a balance to technology and social media. I am well aware of the stats and the research into too much. I read articles about putting your phone down more, being more present. I am NOT the mom in the park so interested in getting a good Instagram photo I forget why I am at the park ūüôā . Balance is important. So let’s try. See what happens. Take a chance. Share more of ourselves. I am so excited to have more conversations with you about this.

I’m going to link a few articles that I have read. Maybe I will write an article one day about our Grade 1/2 experiences with social media. In my research into this I did not find many articles talking specifically about early years, so there is a bit of a gap when I was looking at articles related to all of education (K-Gr. 12). ¬†Not all of the information in these articles is pertinent to Room 129’s inquiry with social media. But they are interesting.

~ We were made to be awesome! Let’s get out there! Let’s do this 2017!! ~ ¬†

 

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/guidebook-social-media-in-classroom-vicki-davis   (I love edutopia)

 

http://www.teachhub.com/13-reasons-use-twitter-classroom

 

25 top ways teachers use Twitter in the classroom

 

 

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We interrupt our regular blogging schedule….

Hi followers,

We have been very busy in Room 129! We did Halloween! We had a fantastic Field Trip! We had our fundraising wind – up assembly!

We have lots to BLOG about. Unfortunately this blogger (Me) is busy writing report cards! So check your inboxes next week. There is sure to be a few good blogs posted!

If you are not following our blog (why not!), please take some time to put your e-mail address into the small box at the top of our blog. Followers have our blog posts delivered directly to their e-mail inbox so you don`t have to keep checking in to see what we have been up to. It allows you to see right away what is happening. One of the main reasons I love blogging is so that you will have talking points with your child at dinner or before bed. You can see what they are doing during the day – and then continue the discussion and learning at home. It`s a win, win actually!

 

So check your e-mail inbox next week! Expect some good blog posts. But for right now this blogger has to get back to writing report cards!

 

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Our Buddies!

This year we are trying something new at Montrose School. Montrose School loooooves traditions, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new! So we have a new locker system. The Grade 5/6’s are partnering with the Grade 1/2’s! Now this partnership will extend farther and deeper than just the lockers…. there will be great things happening between these students this year!

Today we decided a Get To Know You Better was in order. We got EVERYONE together (Those Grade 5/6’s sure have grown… but I did notice that I am still taller! Whew!).

Everyone partnered up with their locker partners (easy) and those that don’t have a Grade 1/2 locker partner – joined in with a group. It went so well. Those 5/6’s are really the sweetest! They really care for and enjoy the 1/2’s. I saw so many sweet smiles, gentle snuggles and happy laughs. We read together, chatted together and really became comfortable with our buddies. The Awesomeness was pretty strong!
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Buddies – we love you already. Thanks for being so great!

 

*********SIDENOTE TO PARENTS*********

You made it! We did it! Hooray! The first week of school is done! Complete! Gosh it flew by! I have to say this class is amazing. Their parents are so encouraging and supportive already (THANK YOU!). And the vibe around Montrose school is one of excitement and engagement.

 

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Look at those students!! That’s a lot of AWESOMENESS in a picture!! We’ll keep being AWESOME – You keep following ¬†our blog!

~Until next week….

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THANK YOU!

Thank you so much for your support. I have had nothing but positive feedback regarding this blog. 100% of the 2015-16 parents logged on to read this blog at some point and we have many other followers who have joined us on this journey. It is an awesome time to be a blogger with so many great, forward thinking followers. ūüôā

The new school year will begin in a few short days. Many students (and parents) will move onto new classrooms. I wish you so much success! I hope that you will continue to stay connected and stop in to visit and see what we are up to, whether it is digitally or physically!

This coming school year I will continue to blog, continue to welcome many more ¬†followers. I have plans for student voice to be more visible – perhaps with students each having their own blogs inside of our Oh This Classroom Glows blog. We will continue to grow, learn, discover and wonder together this year. I can’t wait to see what the year will bring as I continue to share our learning in this way as well as many others.

Thank you. Thank you for being such great followers!

Welcome 2016-2017 School Year, we have been waiting for you.

September

This is the month to…

go apple picking

celebrate the beginning of sweater weather

collect leaves and create art

rejoice in the crisp fall air

~Mrs. Thomas

 

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A silent walk to discover Montrose School

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Today we went on a silent walk to discover what is special around Montrose School.

We have been watching a lot of Tourism Winnipeg YouTube videos, we are basically experts in all YouTube videos. We use YouTube a lot to enhance our learning, make real life connections and get up to date and very current information. We love YouTube! For awhile now Room 122 students have wanted to do their very own Tourism Winnipeg video. We’ve thought about doing our video on the CHRM, The Forks, The Exchange (my idea that I had to let go of), we’ve talked about piggy backing ideas of different ones and doing one for all of Winnipeg. Then this weekend I was thinking about how to expand their ideas, how to take those ideas somewhere and do something with them. Then it just kind of came to me… what is so close to us, all of us? What place is amazing and we all go to it almost every day? What place are we so passionate about that we want everyone to know more about it? MONTROSE SCHOOL! As I started introducing the idea of taking what we know about Tourism videos and creating our own for Montrose School, the students became sooooooo excited and so passionately involved, they could barely contain themselves, they were wildly talking about all of the great reasons to visit Montrose School! And they were super duper excited about making another video.¬† Like I’ve said before, Room 122 students love that camera time!!

So today we walked around Montrose School with our eyes wide open and our ears raised. We were quiet (kind of), we were thoughtful, we imagined what people would want to know about Montrose school. We noticed things that we may not have. We shared what we noticed with each other.

We asked the question; What makes Montrose School a Tourist attraction for Winnipeg.

 

Tourism Winnipeg ~ A Visit To Montrose School (coming soon…)

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Be A Digital Volunteer!

You may have noticed I have encouraged all of you, our loyal followers to be Digital Volunteers. Every day we need volunteers in our classroom. They contribute so much to our learning, classroom and our environment. Luckily for the students of Room 122, we have some of the BEST (and most active) volunteers! As a working mom myself, I am always looking for ways to get involved in my child’s classroom, even though I can not volunteer IN his classroom. So, I make playdoh¬† my mom makes playdoh (Thanks mom!). Room 122 now has an amazing way for parents, relatives and friends (the Mayor) to volunteer. You can all be Digital Volunteers. It’s really easy:

  1. Follow our Blog by subscribing with your e-mail (It’s on the right side of our blog). That way you receive an e-mail with our new blog post and don’t have to keep remembering to check in to see what is happening. You don’t want to miss anything!!
  2. Comment! When you read a blog post there will be an option at the end to comment. Comment away followers (and people checking in too). Room 122 students really, really, really, really love reading the comments. Especially the ones from their parents. It is the sweetest thing to see their faces light up and smile. I think it makes the school home connection so much stronger.

Thank You!

 

***Everyone did a video, unfortunately I couldn’t post all of them. However, there may be a bloopers video in our future! Room 122 students are funny, cute and loooooove being on camera!!***

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Our Week with A Winnipeg Day writing!

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A Winnipeg Day writing continues this week. We began brainstorming appropriate Winnipeg locations to visit in the morning, afternoon and evening. Students took their own experiences with Winnipeg and thought of places they love around the city and some did places they would really like to see or visit. We came up with over 60 places to visit in Winnipeg! Students worked in groups first to brainstorm all of the ideas. Then I asked them to think about their own A Winnipeg Day and come up with 4 (or more) places to visit in Winnipeg. They thought about whether they would visit these places in the morning, afternoon or evening and then took those ideas and began creating their first page of their own A Winnipeg Day.

So far, they are beyond unbelievable!

Here are some samples:

Good morning Prairie 360, you are one of the tallest buildings in Winnipeg. You are so tall I can see the whole city. I’m gonna eat pancakes and scrambled eggs. Did you know people live in apartments in Prairie 360? (Jory)

 

Good Morning Montrose School, I am going to play on the play structure. I am going to slide. WHeeeeeeeeeee! That was so AWESOME! Let’s go to the far park and go on the swing. That was fun, now I want to go on the BIG rock wall. Yea! I made it to the top. Now I am going to jump off. ¬†(Luca C)

 

Good Morning butterfly, can you tell me where the most butterflies hang out? My favourites are the black and green ones.  (Julia)

 

Aloha MTS Centre, could you show me where Box 35 is please so I can watch the hockey game? I wonder who will win? The Jets Win!! The Jets were versing the Manitoba Moose.  (Giuseppe)

 

We still plan do some editing and revising and settle into writing the rest of the pages in our books. We have BIG plans for these books! The students want to do their very own BOOK LAUNCH!! I am meeting with McNally to see if we perhaps could do a Book Launch there. Not too sure if it is possible, but it is definitely worth asking. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. Also, the mayor is following us on twitter and (hello Mr. Mayor Brian Bowman) he is FOLLOWING OUR BLOG!!! The Mayor really loves Winnipeg and I know he is going to love hearing our A Winnipeg Day books when we are finished. Room 122 students for sure will invite him to our book launch and if he is around and able to fit it into his schedule, I know he will try to make it too.

We keep on writing these spring days away! The Winnipeg Spirit is pretty strong in Room 122!!

 

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Winnipeg By Winnipegers

Today we asked the simple question, What is Winnipeg? The answers were awesome! Everything from our home, the capital city of Manitoba, buildings downtown, good schools, Jazzfest, Folklorama, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jets – to safe, fun, cheerful, friends, four seasons, heart of Gold and so much more. We created a class bulletin board of our best answers and are going to tweet it to our Mayor!

It was done with great enthusiasm and we all agreed Winnipeg is a great place to live!

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Today we also had an opportunity to work with our Reading Clinician, Monique.¬†A Winnipeg Day writing¬†is coming along nicely. She is UNREAL in the classroom setting. ¬†It is always nice to have experts teacher¬†learners¬†in the room. I am learning so much from her, as are the students. Today’s lesson was focused on editing and revising. Students focused on three elements:

  1. Proper or appropriate punctuation
  2. Spelling – circle words the group thought may be spelled incorrectly
  3. Adding “delicious” describing words

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Monique and I modeled first with ours. Students then got into their groups and revised their work from last week. Then we did a class gallery walk with an expert staying at the table to read their groups learning. We welcomed students to piggy back ideas and make notice of what other groups had done or used in their writing.  Groups then came together again and were given a brief period to add to their writing. Then it was sharing time! We all came together, Monique and I read ours that we had added to and the groups were invited to come and read/share their writing with the class. Students always LOVE this part, they really do glow when sharing their work!

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***For the first time ever, I took some pictures and videos of the group share and I am going to show the class the videos. I think it will be so interesting for them to see what they look like while they present and I believe it will help them to grow as group presenters.***

Next steps are to think about time of day and appropriate places around Winnipeg to visit in relation to those times. I can’t wait to hear what the students will come up with!

 

Side Note: I hope you followers noticed my inserting of digital technology and more pictures! I’m learning more and more all the time! I’m quite impressed with myself!¬†

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Oh Winnipeg Glows – learning from Mentor Texts

Hello from Room 122, this is our first blog post writing together. We are all here on the floor carpet and our minds and hearts are on, ready to share what we have learned. (Mrs. Thomas)

We are starting to learn with and use a book called An Okoboji Day, by Debbie Parks as a Mentor Text. (Hudson)

We are using the book for inspiration. (Giuseppe)

We are beginning to use the book to model how to create our own pages in our own books (Kevin). Today we read the book. We thought about it (Anton). We’re really proud of the learning (Harrison). We turned and talked about¬†it¬†the book and then we were separated into small groups to create our own short page about a place of our choice in Winnipeg. (Meadow and Julia) One of the things that An Okoboji day focuses on is greetings. We brainstormed 22 different greetings (WOWZA!!!)! We brainstormed: Aloha, Hi there, Good Morning, Excuse me and Hey peeps. Then we used those greetings to begin our writing and our Winnipeg Day. (Mrs. Thomas)

Three groups went to the zoo! One group went to 7-11! One group to Great Big Adventures.

After we shared  our writing we commented on what each group could add. (Jory) We noticed things and you could borrow ideas from other groups (Gus).

After we shared our groups writing it was lunch. We will continue writing more later (Luca C).

See you next time, have a good day! (Kevin) Thank you for following our blog, see you next time (Jory and Luca C). Bye, bye (Luca M and Anton). ¬†We wish you had a good day! (Kate and Hanna) Bye everybody we really appreciate it! (Harrison) Bye, bye, see you next time! (Georgia) We’ll see you next time! (Meadow). We hope you comment on our blog!! (Quintin) See you next week (Matteo). We hope you subscribe, thanks (Giuseppe). We hope you could see our blog again (Janna). I would love if you would read it a bunch of times, because that is what blogging is for, to read it many times (Julia).

Bye and be sure to follow us on Twitter! (Hudson)

 

**This blog was written authentically by Room 122 students with a little support from me. (Mrs. Thomas) ***

 

 

 

 

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Blogging Feels….

I am not a person born in the 2000’s, but sometimes I like to talk like it!:)¬† And emoticon like it! :0 )

I have been blogging for about 12 days now and I am loving it! So far, it’s just been my own voice blogging… don’t worry, those grade 1/2 student voices are coming soon! They are excited! So excited! They can’t wait to share their learning in this way! So far, it has been fairly easy for me to blog. The blog post topics come kind of naturally. OK, to be honest I was kind of “winging it” with the first one and the next two I had written in my mind over the past few weeks. Today, I blogged about a Professional Development I will attend over the next two days. That one was easy.

As I do with all most new things I try (and totally have my students do ALL. THE. TIME.), I have begun the process of reflecting about my blogging journey. What have I liked, what have I discovered, what have I learned, what do I want to know more about. I plan to start blogging with my students on Thursday and I want them to know I have been thinking about it lots, learning within my blogging. I’m not an expert, not even close.


So here it goes, my reflections thus far:

  • I love how reflective blogging actually is. It helps me to clear my head a little. It reminds me of cleaning the kitchen after the kids go to sleep, when you actually get to think about the funny things they said or appreciate how crazy their hair was when they woke up in the morning. Blogging allows me to think about learning and put different things into perspective.
  • I love how it helps me to set learning goals for myself and my students. It makes me think about what the next steps will be and I’m blogging about them (ie. publishing them) so I think about the chronological order I need to do things in so we can complete our goals and make them happen! Yes, of course I always did plan for my students learning and I set goals for each and every one of them. But blogging allows me to re-visit my goals, it allows people to comment on the process, it enables parents and grandparents (and my parents; Hi Dad!!) to get excited about the learning that is and will happen in our classroom. We are able to recognize our own learning faster, see it and make next steps quicker. It’s the year 2016 and I am embracing this new way of communicating our “inquiries”, committing to our learning, listening to your comments about the process and living the benefits that come from all of this.¬†
  • I can’t wait to see what we have achieved! I can’t wait to look back and see the journey of the learning, the thinking, the guiding, see everything!! This blog is a digital memory box of our classroom. And it’s only just beginning!!
  • I want to introduce you all to the volunteers who tirelessly come in and read with Room 122 students each week.
  • I want to link articles that I read/watch/see so you can read/watch/see them too.
  • I want to know how to get headers at the top of my blog so I can categorize information (Upcoming events, Volunteers we love, A calendar, About Us, etc.)
  • I want to add more media to my posts and make them more interactive.
  • I want to get followers commenting more – Be a digital volunteer! Students love hearing the comments.
  • I want to continue to be honest and have you hear my own voice and the voices of my beautiful students.

 

We continue to move forward, thanks for following. Bet you can’t wait to hear/see what Room 122 students have to say in their first blog post!! Watch for it!

 

 

 

 

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