Corre's Blog

Personal Professional Portfolio

Archive for the category “Teach Quality Standard”

Outside the classroom walls

I remember as a student the butterflies I used to get when I saw one of my teachers out in public. My mom was a teacher so I knew that my teachers had lives outside of the classroom, but there was something special about seeing my teachers in their real life…and them seeing me in mine.
I believe that as a teacher, it is essential to understand that our students have lives outside the classroom and to celebrate that. Often this can  simply be a conversation or question about their nights, weekends, holidays or interests.  Other times, it is incorporating their interests into learning activities and finding books and websites that will engage  students in their learning.  Sometimes it is attending community events that  students are involved in.  Regardless of the event, I love being a part of all of this and seeing the sparkle in my students’ eyes by knowing that they are special and that I am there just for them.  Often, it is just a few hours that a teacher sets aside but it can mean the world to a student.
Each year I try to make it to as many community events that my students are taking part in as I can.   A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to watch one of my students achieve a life long dream, as he had skated with our local junior hockey team,The Edmonton Oil Kings. It was great to see his eyes light up when he saw his teachers there. I also loved the conversations and related math problems that followed the next day at school!
Last week I had another student bring me her soccer schedule and I look forward to making some new memories with another student.   The few hours it takes from my week is more than worth it.

Learning leader?

Last week I embarked on a new adventure as I attended mt first learning leader meeting.  I entered this new adventure with mixed emotions.

I am eager to learn different ways that I can use I-pads in my classroom. Currently, I have only used basic applications but I know that they have potential to make a huge impact on both me and my students.  I am excited to see where this road may take us.

I am excited to make new connections with educators both within my division and around the world.  I am always striving to create new and engaging lessons for my students and I know that there are many amazing educators out there that I can learn from. I started a twitter account last year, and though I am still a twitter “lurker”, I have already benefited from lots of amazing lessons and resources.

I have always struggled with the sharing piece, but I see how this is a vital and important part of the puzzle.  That being said, I can relate completely to the video that George Couros shared with us:

So here we go, I am now stepping into the uncomfortable zone and putting myself out there.   I hope that with time and encouragement, I will become more confident in pushing the ” publish” button.    I look forward to the adventure.

Goals for a Great Year

As the days in August passed, I began to ask myself – “What shall we do on the first day of school?”   This year, like most teachers, my plan for the first day was packed with enough activities to last for the first three days.  The first activity – guessing game “Get to Know Your Teachers” proved to be big hits for my grade fours and fives. This was a fun “hook” that created a positive atmosphere and paved the way for us to establish
the classrooms rules and expectations.

Over the years, I have tried several different things with various degrees of success. One year we made trail mix and then the students wrote the
ingredients for a good year followed by the steps that would need to be followed to make that happen.
However, this year my partner teacher suggested a more basic approach.  We simply asked our students the following three questions:

  1.   Why do you come to school?
  2.  What do we each have to do to ensure that we can all learn?
  3.  What are going to be our classroom expectations?

The students’ responses and related discussion shocked me. We came up with the following to post on our wall and sign.
We believe in:

  •  inspiring others
  •  being leaders
  •  being trustworthy
  •  teamwork

Although these seem simple, they encompass all that we hope our classroom will be this year. I believe that involving students in meaningful
dialogue sets the tone for an open, honest, caring classroom.  I have had a great first few months with a group of students that are all of these things and look forward to the rest of the year.

Garbage Art

recycling art

This year I started my Grade 4 Science with the unit Waste and Our World.  This year my Grade 4’s seemed particularly interested in the outcomes and activities. They were inspired after viewing the art displayed at the Alberta Art museum and at the SanFransisco Aquarium at the Bay so I suggested that they create “Garbage Art” as a culminating activity.

The criteria we set was as follows:
• must be made of all recycled items (parent should not buy anything)
• must show creativity

My students were excited about the activity from the onset and this contagious excitement continued to completion day. I was blown away by
the unique and creative projects that they came up with and how engaged they were in the process. Each project depicted originality and creativity and NO two were the same.

I am not an artist and planning engaging Art projects is always a challenge for me. I feel that it my job to expose my students to various
art forms, techniques and to help them develop an appreciation for art. But finding ways to meet these objectives is not easy. Although I try to
think of open ended projects that allow creativity, the end results are frequently 23 student projects that look very similar.
I have always struggled with the idea of creating a sample as a guide for students to follow. Although some students seem to enjoy having
an idea of what the finished project might look like, they frequently become frustrated when trying to emulate the example provided.  I have searched for the activities that would engage my students and stilllet them explore.  Alas in the “Garbage Art” activity, I found it and I am delighted with the results!

Of course I could not have done this alone and need to say a huge thank you to the parents in my room. They helped students gather the materials
and listened as each child developed a plan.  I was also fortunate enough to have had 2 volunteers who were very experienced with glue guns. This project would not have been such a success without them!

Just wondering if there are “non-art” majors with some interesting ideas that allowed them to capture the true artist in their students.

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