Sounds a little crazy doesn’t it? Maybe, but that’s exactly what we did. In one school day, the Ripplers learned and recorded tracks to a song, mixed the tracks, created and practices scenarios to be filmed, and finally shot all the video footage using an iPhone. Then, because we were running out of time, I (Mrs. Braidwood) did my best to edit it all later that night.
Why the rush? Why did we only have one day? Our class was going to put together a quick video for our Earth Day assembly on Thursday, April 21st. Originally, it was set to be a series of photographs of Earth-friendly activities, but then late Tuesday night, I had the best idea ever … and from there it all exploded into an action-packed fun-filled day of adventure and singing.
After putting new meaning into Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” … OK, OK … I made it substantially more meaningful (sorry Rebecca Black fans). I brought it to school the next day and pitched it to the class. We also invited the other 2 Grade 6/7 classes to join in the video making process and Voilà! Here is what we ended up creating …
We know it’s not perfect, but considering it was primarily created within a 6 hour time-frame and without any high-tech equipment, we’re pretty happy with the result. It also showed us what we were capable of doing in a short amount of time and will surely inspire us to dabble in the production of a music video again. Who knows what we are capable of if we had a week or two to dedicate to this process.
We hope our video left you smiling and with an Earth Day message you might sing from time to time yourself. Please feel free to comment. We’d love to hear what you or your class did on Earth Day as well.
image: LEGO Rock Band Singer (1) by Dunechaser released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
Trev is on his way again! While we’re a little sad to see him go, we know he has big adventures still waiting for him and we’re looking forward to seeing and reading all about it on Trev’s blog.
He’s headed north from us, up island a ways and then a bit east to a smaller island called Sointula [soy-n-too-la] where Ms. Watson‘s class has been patiently waiting for him.
We had hoped to ship him off a bit sooner, but we noticed that Trev was in need of some minor surgery, so we decided to make sure we sent him on his way good as new after Celina‘s mom patched him up. Thank goodness she came to his rescue, too because if I was his last resort he may have ended up with a wing sewn to his head accidentally.
While we were waiting for him to return to us, we prepared a few new items for his next travels. After we added a few pages to his scrapbook to document his visit, we started thinking he might run out of room after a few more visits. We didn’t want him to worry about that, so we’ve created a Part 2 scrapbook that can be used once the other one’s last page has been used up.
The Super 7 Scoopers will also notice we’ve added a Comox Valley pin to his bandana. He came to us with a New Zealand pin already attached, so we thought we’d help him start a collection that he could eventually bring back home as souvenirs of his travels.
Maddie also wanted him to leave with something distinctly Canadian as well so she has given Trev a new bandana to wear on any days that he is feeling a little nostalgic for us on this side of the world.
So we think we’ve sent him off well prepared for the next leg of his adventures! Good luck Trev! In the next couple of days, we hope to hear you’ve landed safe and sound at your destination. Please keep us posted on all the trouble you get up to.
March 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm is Earth Hour in Canada. What is Earth Hour? It’s actually an international event that began as a local one in Sydney, Australia in 2007. From there it has spread globally year after year. Last year, 1.3 billion people ranging from 128 countries participated in it. 10 million Canadians in over 300 cities were a part of this.
Why is Earth Hour important? It has been estimated that in the 1970′s humans were using 70% of nature’s yearly output of resources. By the early 1980’s that rose to 100% and in 1999 it topped the scales at 125%. 1999 was 12 years ago … I wonder what percent of nature’s yearly output we’re using today. I find those numbers mind boggling!
It’s our world to shape, not just to take ~ John Abbott
Earth Hour reminds us to think about how we are using and producing energy and what we can do to help make sure we have a sustainable future. Through this wave of darkness that unfolds across the globe, we hope world leaders will stand up and take notice of the message global citizens are sending.
Last year during Earth Hour, many of the students in my class played board games, read by candlelight or found fun activities to play like hide-n-seek. They embraced this hour without power to show their support and I hope this year even more will participate. The tricky bit for us, though, is that next week is Spring Break for our school district. That means I won’t have the opportunity to remind them on the Friday before. So I’m hoping with a little help from the counter above, they will stay committed to seeing Earth Hour through and afterward, numerous comments will appear on this post telling me how they creatively decided to spend this time.
Did you get that Ripplers? Next week, while you are off, check back to this site to see where the countdown is at and after Earth Hour is complete and you have power once more, please leave a comment telling us what you ended up doing for those 60 minutes. I’ll be doing the same to let you know what I was up to. Anyone of readers are welcome to let us know how their Earth Hour went as well.
Looking at Challenge 2 this week, you have completed most of the activities under the “Heads” option. By now you should have your avatar uploaded and attached to your username in edublogs. If you haven’t yet, and I know there are a few of you, then stop reading this now and go to your dashboard User widget to upload your avatar!
Phew … if you’re reading this next part it must mean you have an avatar uploaded now. Wait! You still don’t? Then, reread the paragraph above and come back when you are done!
OK … now that you have an avatar attached to your blogging username, make sure you have also saved a copy in the 2010_Braidwood folder called Avatars. Your name needs to be part of the file name, something like yourname_avatar.
Now, you can finally move on to Activity 4, the “Feet” option, which will help you learn more about your digital footprint. Miss Wyatt has found a great video to help explain the online trail of breadcrumbs you may inadvertently leave about your life. I’ve embedded it below so you can watch it here.
After watching this and thinking about your own digital dossier, your task is to write a post about the digital footprint you are currently leaving. In your post, reflect on:
Remember to add some personal thoughts in your answers to these questions and when you are writing think of how you would begin explaining this to a friend. Avoid using large parts of the question in your sentences unless you are sure this is how you would word your answers in a conversation.
Next, Google your name or nickname but include our town in your search as well. In your post, explain what you find. If you are found in a search, how did your name get there? Is it a surprise?
How many cookies or footprints are you leaving behind? Are you comfortable with this amount? What will you do to minimize your current digital dossier?
Remember to creatively embedded a link to Challenge 2 in your post. Have fun exploring your impact. I’m looking forward to hearing your responses!
image: Footprints by Matt_McL released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
You’ve probably heard of outer space, right? You know … our solar system, galaxies far far away, etc. But have you ever heard of inner space? This is the universe that exists right before our eyes, yet we actually see very little of it …. unless we have a microscope! In fact, microscopic organisms outnumber all other species on Earth.
To put this into perspective, visit Secret Worlds: The Universe Within to first see the Milky Way 10 million light years from Earth and then watch as the magnification increases or decreases by powers of 10 (remember that means by 10 times greater or smaller) until it reaches a plant cell here on Earth. It’s pretty amazing.
This week we are exploring the microscopic world using microscopes in class. Earlier in the year, we posted images of the edible cell projects that students created to show their growing understanding of how cells work, which was a great introduction to what we are about to see in the next few days. To prepare for this, students have been learning about the parts of the microscope and trying out their skills online using this interactive tutorial about the compound microscope.
While we studied plant and animal cells using online and printed images, I think we’ll appreciate the micro-organisms living in inner space a lot more when we get to experience seeing them first hand. Here’s hoping we end up hitting the jackpot and we’re in for a cell extravaganza! We’ll keep you posted about what we end up finding.
image: 25c by uafcde released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
The Student Blogging Challenge started this week and we’re all set to dive right in. Created and facilitated by Miss Wyatt, a teacher from Tasmania, this 10 week adventure is a great way to build blogging skills and make connections with students around the world. There are two challenges each year, one in September and one in March. We participated as a class in September because we had only just started our school year and we were only beginning to get our student blogs up and running. Now that it’s March, however, it’s the perfect time for all the Ripplers to participate on their own!
For Challenge 1, we have already completed many of the activities listed as part of our blog set up, so I am asking Division 2 to write a post to announce their participation and promote the Student Blogging Challenge for others. For this post you will need to include:
Make sure you have included that link to the Challenge Yourself to Blog site. It’s one of the ways Miss Wyatt knows you are participating and with hundreds of students registered, she’s not going to find you by accident!
image: Keep up and blog on by futureshape released under a CC Attribution license
My class is awesome! Absolutely awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I need to shout it out to the world,
We had such a fun time Friday afternoon at our school-wide dance celebration. There were so many great performances to watch within an atmosphere that oozed positivity and encouragement. It was an amazing afternoon – one that will stick out in our minds for a long time. We were the last student act of the day, and we were pumped to perform ….. because we had a little trick up our sleeve. I’ve decided to post the complete video here because truthfully, I could relive those 4 minutes a number of times over and over and I’d still be smiling ear to ear.
Now, unfortunately, the quality of video doesn’t quite do it complete justice, but I can assure you it was truly epic, and you know it’s been a great event when all you hear afterward is:
In fact, when it was over, a retired teacher in the audience approached our principal to say it was the best school dance event he’d seen in all his 35 years teaching. I’d have to agree. What made our contribution really special to me was the fact that the best parts of our dance were choreographed by the students and it was their idea to add the glow-sticks and turn out the lights. I’m so glad I listened to them. They were absolutely right.
This afternoon our entire school is involved in a Dance Celebration. Our contribution is based on the official “We Day Dance” that was promoted as part of the We Day Celebrations across Canada earlier this year. We Day is part of the Me to We campaign sponsored by Free the Children, a Canadian-based organization dedicated to improving the conditions that children around the world live and work under, largely due to poverty, lack of education, inadequate health care, and lack of local clean water. Their work has increased awareness around children’s rights as they diligently work to combat child labour practices, exploitation, and inaccessible education. Considering the work we are continuing to do around human rights and the impact of dominant culture on indigenous culture, we thought the dance would fit us perfectly!
The dance consists of 8 repeated motions that last 8 beats each. Once a full pattern is complete, you start again. To jazz it up a bit, students have also choreographed the opening sequence and 6 8-count dance patterns in the middle of the song. I have to say, they’ve made it look even better. Here’s a sneak peak at it. We’re the last act of the afternoon and we plan on knocking everyone’s socks off!
image: Dancing With The Stars (148/365) by Rafael Peñaloza released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share alike license
World Math Day is done, but World Spelling Day is here! This is this event’s first year and next year the World Education Games is hosting a World Science Day as well. Scheduled to begin on March 3rd, we can actually access the site starting today, March 2nd because like World Math Day it is available to participants for as long as it’s March 3rd somewhere in the world.
We were all set to begin today in class, but we’ve run into a little problem. Schools were closed today in our district! Why? Well, it was a combination of snow, rain, and high winds that threatened to cause multiple power outages, flooding, and overall poor conditions on the roads that impacted safe transportation to and from school. By early this morning, some schools were already without power, areas higher up with snow didn’t have roads plowed, and lower areas had roads that were a slippery slushy mess. Add hurricane force winds into this and it was a very stormy site.
Lucky for us, the World Spelling Day site can be accessed from home, so I’m really hoping the Ripplers are getting a bit of a head start on their games. We’re still shooting for a minimum of 60 games and ideally 100 to be completed before midnight tomorrow night.
Happy Spelling everyone!
There are actually 20 in the school, but we only have 10 of them because there are actually two initiatives in place. The other 10 are being used by a group of intermediate teachers who are investigating the use of apps to enhance learning as well as provide adaptations. With our 10, we are looking at apps as well, but more specifically we are exploring how they can be effectively embedded into our learning experiences so they become a bigger part of the process.
We are planning to use the video and audio recording potential of the iPods in our upcoming movie-making process – we only had 1 Flip camera last year for the whole class to juggle so 10 video recorders is a dream come true – but what we are really excited about is our upcoming adventures in backchannelling.
You may be wondering what backchannelling is. We know we’ve gotten a few strange looks when we mention it. Backchannelling is when networked devices are used to create a real-time online conversation alongside a live learning opportunity. Twitter is famous for its backchannelling potential.
So why has backchannelling grabbed our attention? Well, when you look at the skills that are involved in it, this is where it gets really interesting. Good backchannelling requires the application of a variety of comprehension strategies. These include:
Traditionally, these have been primarily promoted as reading strategies, but these are not just for reading novels! Or for that matter, not just for reading. These strategies can be used to extend our understanding when we process information from a variety of sources: what we read, what we hear, what we watch.
So this has become our focus – backchannelling in the classroom while we focus on using these literacy skills. Our 10 iPods are rotated around the classroom each day so students get their opportunity to practice these. We’ve started with Determining Importance and Asking Questions and as students grow more confident with using these skills, we’ll add more to our repertoire. We’re hoping that our tweets going out to our world-wide audience will not only enrich the learning experience in our classroom, but hopefully they will have a positive impact on our larger global community as well.
You can see our Twitter feed in the left sidebar right here on our blog. It’s a pretty neat window into our classroom activities. From a teacher’s perspective, I really like how this is evolving for us in the classroom. Hopefully, the Ripplers will provide some feedback here to let us know what they think so far about our backchannelling experiences.
If you’d like to follow us on Twitter, you can click on the feed or use the Twitter bird icon in the left sidebar which will take you directly to the site.