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Friday, September 30, 2011

Think Green

Just sent out emails to students to let them know they are in Think Green.  Certainly easier to do it via email than dealing with all of the paper copies I had last year.

Lunch Time Activities

This year I wanted to try something different for lunch time activities than the double groups of Think Green I had last year, and the Scratch that went on for several months.  Last year I realized that only 1 group of students taking part in Think Green was enough.  For the extra time, I needed something else that the students could be interested in.

My first thought was The Student Blogging Challenge.  It is an awesome concept.  However, the only problem is that its start date is right up against the beginning of school, and it is very difficult for me to free myself up during that time.  They do a second challenge in the Winter, so I believe I will pursue it then instead.
Blogging was on my mind though, so I thought about getting the students involved with a school blog, one that would be similar to the classic "School Newspaper".  I could get some students involved in writing about the school, or things that they thought were interesting.  We could start with a text and image based blog in the fall, and maybe after Christmas try to extend it to an Audio podcast, and perhaps, if everything worked, we could even try video later in the year.  After some thought, and speaking to a journalist I know, I thought I would go with this.

For the extra time I had available, instead of one long term project I could instead do shorter ones.  The blogging challenge lasts for approximately 10 weeks, and the I could bolster that with some other activities like Scratch, or even a take-apart computer club I thought about.

I presented the journalism idea to the students in Grade 6 and got an overwhelmingly positive result.  We met yesterday with the roughly 19 students who showed interest to do a preliminary talk about what we would do, what we could call it (MQP Journalism sounded somewhat stuffy), and so I could pass out permission slips.

I told the students that most of the time I would like them to suggest what we were going to do, but for right now, with the elections going on, I was going to direct them.  After that there would be several weeks where we ironed out details on posting and using Google Apps.

When it came to naming, one student had an excellent idea, suggesting we call it "The Queen's Columns", because we were at Mary Queen of Peace, and columns would be similar to a newspaper.  The idea met with great approval from the other students.

So we meet again on Monday to discuss our first job, which is finding out who our election candidates are, and writing some questions for them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Website Problem

Hmm, I was planning on showing teachers how to make websites on Tuesday so that they could have updated teacher sites, or at least some method of communicating with parents.  I had a plan.

Blogger for those that were willing to take the effort to learn how to use it.

Posterous for super easy blogging.

Tinyletter for a super easy newsletter.

The first and last are still in great shape, actually better than ever.  Posterous just changed itself up though, and now I am unsure of what I am going to have to replace it.  Biggest selling point was that you could set it up so one could simply send an email and it would post it.  Now I need to find something else.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Well, that was the first day

Nothing much here to say for me.  The first day is full of fixing computers and deleting patrons from the library system.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New schedule

Previously I was set up with a 40 minute, 14 day schedule.  This year it is 30 minutes.  I believe it is better because no student in Grades 2-6 really needs to be doing anything for 80 minutes in a row, which is what was happening.  Now, as they have double periods, the most they do is 60, and Grades K and 1 have 30 minute periods.  Should work for the best.