Month: April 2014

Every Presentation Ever: Communication FAIL!

Hilarious video about presentations

Perhaps you could show your students this so they do not repeat!

<p><a href=”″>Every Presentation Ever: Communication FAIL!</a> from <a href=””>Growing Leaders</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Don’t Burn out.

Deanna Gallipeau has one of my favourite blogs to read from my ECMP355 class. She recently posted about a topic that is on a lot of service teachers minds…Burning out!!!

Deanna blogged about a guest speaker Lindsay Stuart and how she explained that you have to ***Start Small, Think Big***

Here is Deannas post:

She explained that if you take on too much, you will stress yourself and eventually burn out. This is one of my worries as a new teacher entering the real world of teaching…burning out. I am worried about trying to implement everything I have learned in these past few months into my classroom and not being able to keep up with it all. This is where Lindsay’s “start small, think big” comes in. She talks about setting goals as a teacher when implementing technology in the classroom. For example, getting a classroom blog up and running for parents to start seeing student learning. Next goal for Lindsay, setting up a Twitter account!

Listening to a professional say it is okay to start small gave me the reassurance I needed. When incorporating new technology into a classroom I want to make sure it is meaningful for students. I do not want it to be a one time gig where we play around on twitter for a day and that’s it. The idea of setting tech goals as a profession is something very beneficial I will do to start “thinking big”.

So I will leave you with this. Do not jam pack your classroom in the first two months with every app, classroom blogs, and technology projects/challenges.

Start small. Make technology an authentic learning tool in the classroom. Teach children how to use it, and how to show case learning. Once they become “experts” bring in new ways to engage students. And remember, think big. As an educator  there are endless possibilities and goals to reach when bringing technology into the classroom, get excited, become passionate and have fun.

Mystery Skype

I was once again inspired by something I read From another student in my ECMP355 class. I wanted to do something new and exciting with the class I was mentoring with. I was on Taylor’s twitter and saw she posted about Miss Mohr connecting with her mentorship class.

Miss Mohr went to visit her mentor and classroom  in Moose Jaw. They were doing a mystery Skype and she went to see how it worked!

A mystery Skype is when two classrooms Skype with each other and have no idea where they live.  They ask questions to help guide their adventure on figuring out where they live.

This is how it went:

Students had different tasks.

hey had a greeter – the ones who introduced themselves and their class.

They had the questioners- these were the students who asked the questions. Such as “do you live in Canada?” or “Do you live near an ocean”, etc.

All the questions they asked had to be yes or no questions.

Another job they had were the students who crossed things off of the map.  So if the other classroom did not live near an ocean, they would be able to cross off all the states or provinces that were near an ocean.  They also had the fact people. This job for the students was to give the other classroom facts about Moose Jaw once the other class figured out where they were from.  Other jobs included tweeters and a photographer.

ImageI decided I wanted to do a versions of this with my classroom through Skype. I gave the EAL classroom no hints and allowed them to ask as many questions as they wanted! It was a lot of fun, I knew where they were but I pretended like I didn’t know so I could ask them questions and have some more dialogue with them. It was a lot of fun and something I would try in the future.

ipad revolution – An interview with an EAL teacher

I did an Interview with my mentor Brittany Charington from Saskatoon. She is a second year EAL teacher for K-8.

She was part of a pilot project for bringing more  ipads into schools – specifically for EAL students.

I asked her about technology and I will summarize our Skype conversation and information she gave to me.

Screenshot 2014-04-15 22.31.04

At her school she had 5 ipads but her classes are small and consist of 5-8 students at a time. She finds the computers to be slow so she prefers to use the ipads. Students log onto the ipads in the same way they log on to the computers

Brittany finds that she uses the ipads mostly for presentations, kidblog, reading hd, and raz kids.

She loves using imovie. She uses this for learning about pronunciation and to ask and answer questions.

Her favourite apps:

*Creations apps – kidspiration and creating graphic organizers

*tunetastic is a cartoon app where students make stories. This is a huge buy-in for students and they learn about creating stories

*little story maker

*itranslate– is useful in an EAL classroom to help them better understand and communicate

*Math games – math zombies is a game that you get facts before zombies get them

Her research technology team meet about once a month for eight months. The time was used from when there would regularly be a staff meeting. In Saskatoon they do not have very many smart board, there are at least none in the school that Brittany works at.

I ask Brittany if she found that ipads cut down on the use of paper and she sometimes will use paper but thinks it is great that students can email things to their family. Especially to family who might not be in Canada with them.

I also asked Brittany what the biggest struggle about using technology is for her students.  She informed me that she teaches a lot of refugees who have never been exposed to technology. A lot of students are very tech savvy but the refugee students are brand new at the technology world.

Brittany and her technology research group over the eight months created an amazing resource website

Here they have reviews and recommendations





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Past, Present, and future teachers. This is Brittany and I at her Mother and Fathers retirement from Saskatoon Public Schools last April.