It was magical learning about a place my students had never before heard of and will probably never see for themselves. Learning that was totally led by the students and their interest in that classroom in Greece. And that learning will continue. The children in Greece, too, have questions for us to answer. More magic. More serendipity. I love my connected classroom.
I have been using my students’ blogs as digital portfolios for several years. By the end of the school year, they reflect each childâ€™s learning in many subject areas from the first weeks of school until the last. In addition to showing the development of our writing skills, we make podcasts of our reading fluency at different points in the school year, and use webtools to show our learning in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and health.
Iâ€™ve nodded sagely as people discussed whether students should help create their own assessment rubric. Of course they should. Why doesnâ€™t everyone do this, I wondered? It just never occurred to me to do it in MY classroom. It wasnâ€™t that I didnâ€™t think my students could do it. I somehow didnâ€™t get my thinking from the â€œshouldâ€ to the â€œIâ€™m doing it.” Until this week.
I have wondered for a long time how passion and project based learning would change my primary classroom. I have read with fascination the blogs of teachers who made this shift, but I have yet to find an example of a primary teacher sharing this change. Having an entire class of pre-readers and writers in your classroom alters the playing field for exploring your passions. This year, I decided to find out for myself what the difference would be in my grade one learning space.
When I talk to other teachers about the benefits of student collaboration, often their biggest question is: How do I find other classrooms to collaborate with? If you are already connected with other educators through social media, this part seems easy, but if you are just beginning your connected journey, itâ€™s a very real problem. If youâ€™re still a little short on virtual teacher colleagues, Iâ€™d like to suggest three ways you can begin to connect.