Finally, an update!!

Joey, you are right.  I do need to update my blog . . . so here I am.  Things have been just so crazy lately.  My daughters are busy (much like most kids) every night of the week.  They are in soccer, softball, and the summer swim club and the fact that they are 8 and 6 years old makes things even more difficult!!  They might be doing the same things, however, they are in different age groups and this results in different times and days.  Most nights, my wife is running one kid and I am running the other . . . oh well, I remember my parents doing the same thing for my sister and I when we were young.  I guess it is part of parenting.

Guys, I need your help.  I would like you to comment to this blog post.  Similarily to what you are doing with your videos, I want your information about Fairview School.  We constantly get questions from parents and students about Fairview.  Who better to answer their questions than the students who were wondering the same things last year!!  Could you take some time and put some thought into this post.

Write what Fairview is like.  Paint a picture of what it is like to be a student at Fairview School.  What opportunities do you have, what do you like . . . you know the drill!!  I think I will be able to get more information from you in this format than in the video.  It will also give some of you the opportunity to put together your thoughts so when you do your video, you have some things to say . . . don’t worry, you will still get to do your video!!  It is often easier to ‘type’ than be put in front of a camera and be on the spot!!  Many of you had two or three or . . . six tries with your video!!  Hopefully this will be a bit easier for you.

Thanks guys.  I will keep this updated more.  I will find the time.

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Great Video!!

Here is a great video of a principal from a school in the New York area.  Do you think Mr. Kelln could pull this off?

The Week that was . . . !

What a week. I feel like we are spinning our wheels a little bit in class, but we are accomplishing a lot. I have really enjoyed introducing you to the ‘technologies of the week’ (so to speak). I have hear from many of you that you have made Animoto videos and that is great. There are so many technological tools out there, too many to know about all of them. I hope you are enjoying the technology component of the last part of the year (Science on the Moodle, this blog, our Plate Tectonics Voicethread, the Animoto lesson, and the Jing Screencast . . . the voicethread tutorial). These are all products that are free and you could download and use yourself!!

I enjoyed listening to / reading your postings on the Voicethread. Be sure to have your stuff prepared to when you get your turn you are ready to go. I know it is a long process, but remember, you might make some mistakes and want to re-do it. That’s ok. Be patient.

Jing!!

Funny sounding title, but it is a great tool.  What I was able to do was capture my computer screen and all of its actions and use audio to explain what I was doing.  I created a tutorial for you guys to look at.  It explains how to use the Voicethread that we will be doing in the next little while.  Check it out.

I think this tool has endless potential.  See you guys tomorrow!!  Remember, keep preparing your thoughts around Pangaea, Continental Drift, and the Earth’s Plates for the Voicethread assignment.  Click on the link below for tutorial.

http://www.screencast.com/users/Kelln-Content/folders/Jing/media/8c2f1b30-7014-4b67-a33b-6c5971dccc7c

Animoto and Voicethread

I hope you guys enjoyed being introduced to the new technologies today. I hope that the new approach to learning is one that you are enjoying. Most of these technologies I am experimenting with for the first time so we will have some growing pains. Please bear with me.

It is extremely important that you make sure to keep up!! Classes might seem a bit ‘scattered’ (some content in class with the technology component being independent . . . and possibly homework to keep up with) so make sure you are asking questions (if unsure) and not wasting time. I know as well as you do that there can be a tendency to ‘hurry’ and not do your best work if the computer is in front of you. It can be a distraction, but it is also a great learning tool.

Animoto is a simple program you can run with just an e-mail address. It allows you to take photos and apply them to music in a music video form. It is also free for 30 second video clip. The longer videos require purchasing a subscription or paying by the video.

Voicethread will be really interesting. I look forward to reading (or hearing) some of your responses to the threads posted. Remember to start preparing what you are going to present in the Plate Tectonics thread . . . content on Pangaea, Continental Drift, and the Continental Plates. I encourage all of you to (for at least one) to use the microphone and speak. Remember, you can edit it all you want.

Like I mentioned, I am attempting to embed my Animoto video to the blog. I had to save it to YouTube first.

Hopefully it will work. Wish me luck.

We’re Back

Hope everyone had a great Easter Break. I certainly did. We did not do a whole bunch, but we spent some quality time together as a family, celebrated my oldest daughter’s 8th birthday, and were fortunate to be visited by the Easter Bunny!! All in all, a really great week and I can’t wait to get back to school! Hope you feel the same.

We are entering the ‘home stretch’ of the school year. The last few month seem to fly by and I am sure that this year will be no different. Hopefully all of you haven’t forgotten much of the content we covered before the Easter break. We will see tomorrow!! For those of you that are curious, hopefully the terms point, line, line segment, ray, angle, acute, obtuse, right, straight, reflex, complementary, and supplementary are mathematical terms that ring a bell. Can you remember what the sum of the interior angles of a triangle equal?? Can you measure angles and construct angles?? In math, we will be wrapping up our Angle Geometry unit in the next week or two so you can expect a review and an exam!!

We will continue to look at the Earth, it’s plates, and the theory behind earthquakes and volcanoes. I will continue to use the Moodle site and introduce more technological components to the unit where it fits. I hope you are enjoying the different approach to learning.

Busy Times!

Today was a great day . . . very busy and eventful. The day began with Mr. Reimer teaching a couple of math lessons with my grade 6 math classes and he did a good job incorporating the SMARTBOARD. The students really enjoy the interactive component of the tool. Fortunately, I think (and am hoping) that when we return from the Easter break, Fairview school will have its second SMARTBOARD in my classroom!! Hopefully the division technology guys will be able to come in and install it over the Easter break. That would be awesome!

Our school had their annual drama production at it was really good. Our students worked really hard and had their dress rehearsal this afternoon for all Fairview students and the grade 4’s and 5’s from Oman. Their hard work payed off because it went off without a hitch. Great job everyone! The evenings performance was also a great success.

Mrs. Robinson came to meet the grade 6 classes today. They were very receptive to her and I know they will enjoy having her as their teacher to finish the year. She is an excellent teacher.

Miss Dodds departure is just around the corner. She will be missed. She did an excellent job and I appreciated the opportunity to teach with her. Fortunately, she will just be across town finishing the school year at the Comprehensive High School. I am sure she will visit when she has time.

We were able to have a brief assembly today to recognize many students for some of the great things they do. We are a school that focuses on the Virtues and we take every opportunity to pay tribute to students demonstrating virtuous behaviour and actions. I am constantly amazed at how much our students do for each other and the school. They are what make things tick around here.

After school the grade 6 boys had badminton tryouts. I was really impressed at how competitive it was for a bunch of guys just learning the game. I saw a lot of improvement in the short time the boys played after school today.

My daughter had her year end party for her hockey team tonight and it was nice to see her interact with the new friends she made throughout her season. It was her first year of hockey and she really enjoyed it.

I leave you with a video. It was one of the first short videos I saw at the theater before the original Shrek movie (years ago). I wish all of you a great easter break.