Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Computer Position

Wow, its been over two months since my last blog post, I do apologize, sometimes life just takes over and doesn't allow us much time for anything else. In addition, I have also been quite busy trying to get settled into my Masters program in EDTECH @ Boise State University.

So far things are going really well and I look forward to sharing many of the new great things I will learn, with you.

To help me get back into the swing of blogging, I have this great video to share with you that was shared with me by one of my students.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

It's easy to innovate when you have great innovators!

This school year has brought about a lot of change for my school, especially when it comes to the use of technology. In the last 6 months, we rebuilt a brand new school website, all the teachers at my school have created their own class websites, we created our Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin group, we purchased a class set of laptops and we have started to experiment with tablets and iPads. Furthermore, we created an online course for our grade 9 Information Communication in Technology Business class.

As the school's ICT Coordinator, I am really proud and honored  to work with such a dedicated and hardworking team of teachers!

There is however one individual in particular who has embraced all of this new technology in her classroom with creativity and natural ability. Mme Nora, our Kindergarten teacher, has created an amazing classroom blog with daily updates of what her students are learning. She has also created her own twitter account to share her knowledge and collaborate with Kindergarten teachers around the world in addition to integrating tablets and laptops into her daily lessons.

Therefore, it is my pleasure to nominate Mme Nora's acadekinders blog for the Best class blog award for 2011 : http://acadekinders.weebly.com/index.html

Please join me, http://edublogawards.com/nominations-open-the-2011-edublog-awards-are-on/

Happy nominating!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preparing my students for the future

Today, while I was finishing my reports cards, doing final calculations to figure out my students final marks, writing their comments and giving them feedback. I couldn’t help but notice that the marks I gave my students were all quite high. Usually, my average marks are around a B. This year, I am teaching grade 9 for the first time and my approach, especially teaching in an IB school, (Académie de la Capitale) is quite different.

First of all, I don't accept a mark lower than 80% this year (this idea I got from my online course that I am taking). When I mark a student’s assignment, I give them feedback and ask them additional questions for them to answer and in doing so, they will better achieve the learning outcomes while coming back to me with a higher quality assignment.

One of the courses that I teach this year is also an online course. Therefore my students are constantly emailing me for clarification and to ask questions. Their success rate is higher because they are completing an assignment to its fullest. I even have students that submit their assignment to receive feedback before I mark their assignment, thus allowing me to guide them in the right direction to achieve the outcomes. In an IB school, there is also the flexibility in learning methodology and so if I see a student who doesn’t get something, then I will create another task or change the activity to allow them the highest success rate.

I was sharing these present observations with my fiancé, who is starting out in a law firm, and we came to the conclusion that this approach is often used to train people in the real world. For example, in work, he will have to draft a legal document and then share it with his supervisor. She will provide him feedback and then he will go and make the necessary changes before returning with the best possible product.

As a teacher, our lessons can be peer reviewed, but often, experience is our guide: good old trial and error. We may try and teach a lesson one day and it doesn't go as planned, but do we give up and end it there? No, we go home, evaluate what worked, what didn't work  and make the necessary changes before going back the next day to start again.


My point here is that by allowing our students the opportunity to try until they succeed and by providing them with the tools to do so, we are better preparing them for their future. In a rapidly changing world, they must have the courage to try once, receive feedback and then give more effort until they reach their goal

And that is why I love teaching IB! The structure of an IB approach creates the setting to prepare our students to be hands-on learners, to find the courage to succeed, to ask for clarification, to give feedback and to work collaboratively just like in the work force. This approach favors the classroom without walls approach that I have become very interested in integrating into my own teaching. Break down those walls!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Virtual Stamps!

It is report card time!

As I am sitting here marking my student's assignments (on paper, which is more and more rare), I began thinking of how I give feedback to students using stickers and stamps. From here, the idea of a virtual stamp came to mind.

Most of my marking this year is done online using Google Docs. When I do mark students work done on paper, I always stamp or put a sticker on their work. I realized that I have yet to do such a thing when I mark my students work that is done online.

So, I quickly put together some images (using Google Drawing) to put on my students' work.

Check them out:

I especially love the idea that I can make my own in French!

        Happy Marking!

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