Watch the video above... starting around 3:00, to see Tony Wagner speak about key competencies and skills that our students will need as they grow and follow their dreams. His research relays what innovative companies are looking for as they hire new employees.
Stay tuned to find out :)
A traditional lesson can be transformed to help students develop their critical thinking skills. After reading different versions of Cinderella stories, students worked in groups to identify important story elements. Then, they had to think of symbols to represent these elements! Students were challenged to think outside the box here. Afterwards, they developed book trailers on WeVideo and will use the trailers to compare and contrast the stories! WHAT FUN!
For a deeper dive and the student perspective, watch the video below!
Our Third Graders engaged in some SERIOUS CRITICAL THINKING during Math time. Instead of simply solving problems, they were given student samples to study. Their task was to find and correct the mistake. This pushed them to think deeply. Additionally, they were given the choice to audio record or type their thinking- as long as they could relay and explain their thinking!
The video below will share how a third grader felt about the activity in addition to more about the powerful math lesson. Check it out :)
Our first graders exercised their Critical Thinking skills in the classroom with the sequencing of screenshots from different Pixar clips. See what the first graders have to say about the activity below.
Watch the video below to see Critical Thinking in action- through Blogging- in a fourth grade classroom! Find out about Blogging from the student perspective, too-
Media has the ability to skyrocket learning in the classroom. In fact, a huge 21st Century learning skill is analyzing media. But before students can use and analyze media, they must understand a key idea.
We love that our students are creating slide decks galore, awesome websites, and innovative videos. In order to do so, they need to find images. There are so many wonderful images online. There are also so many NOT so wonderful images online (we have a serious digital citizenship conversation about what to do when (not if) the inappropriate image pops up on the screen).
The first thing we talk to the kids about is how to search for an image specifically. Instead of typing in an entire phrase or question, we encourage them to narrow their terms for the most success. Google Images is a great resource. Then, we talk about stealing photos and the legalities (in student friendly language, of course). So, our students are trained to click on "SEARCH TOOLS", "USAGE RIGHTS" and then they can select "LABELED FOR REUSE." This way, the images are filtered so that the ones that show up are okay to use :)
Lessons such as this one are immensely valuable. Just think... our second graders (and older students, of course) are learning all about copyright at such a young age. This will help them create a positive digital footprint and much more as they continue throughout their schooling as well as throughout their lives.
QR Codes have found their way into classrooms. But, what for? Well, there are many different instructional techniques involving the utilizing of QR codes. However, I've found that the most powerful method of doing so is to show students the power of self reflection.
Reflecting is something we'd love our students to practice as it is a lifelong skill. Taking time to think about thinking or engage in metacognition can really make a difference in the way our students learn (oh, and the way adults learn as well :) )
The images above are from an activity in which students are tackling an instructional standard on their own first. We really stress that the problem solving must come first. Once completed, students can to get up and find the QR code (by looking at the image corresponding with the problem and on the matching QR code). Opportunities to move around the classroom are always welcomed. They take the QR code back to their Chromebook in which they scan it to find the answer. The powerful part really occurs when the students evaluate if their answer is the same as the QR code answer. If yes, yippee! If not, that's okay! Students can then conference with a teacher, a peer, or work independently to figure out why the answers don't match.
In this case, the kids don't even realize they are doing math! Student engagement levels skyrocket and critical thinking explodes!
Want a copy of this activity? Click HERE!
GOODNESS! IT'S BEEN AWHILE SINCE THE LAST BLOG POST HERE. NOW, THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT GREAT THINGS AREN'T HAPPENING. IN FACT, THE OPPOSITE IS TAKING PLACE AT DUJARDIN SCHOOL.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF SEPTEMBER AND BEGINNING OF OCTOBER 2016 IN THE CLASSROOMS OF DJ- BROKEN DOWN BY SUPERLATIVE CATEGORY...
BIGGEST RISK TAKING: SKETCHNOTING!
FOURTH GRADE STUDENTS WERE INTRODUCED TO THE NEWLY POPULAR CONCEPT OF SKETCHNOTING IN THE CLASSROOM. MRS. LENTS AND HER CLASS LEARNED ABOUT ENERGY THROUGH SKETCHNOTING. CHECK OUT THE EXAMPLES:
AWESOME CROSS GRADE LEVEL COLLABORATION:
4TH GRADERS CREATE BOOK TRAILERS FOR PRIMARY STUDENTS!
DURING THEIR IMC TIME, STUDENTS ARE CREATING BOOK TRAILERS TO HELP OUR PRIMARY FRIENDS CHOOSE BOOKS. TOGETHER, THE 4TH GRADERS GENERATED THEIR OWN RUBRIC FOR THE TRAILERS. EACH SMALL GROUP CHOSE AN ENGAGING PICTURE BOOK AND WILL BEGIN THEIR WORK IN VIDEO PRODUCING. SEE THE RUBRIC BELOW.
Book trailer examples to come soon :)
ROCKIN' CHOICE BASED ACTIVITY:
INDEPENDENT FICTION AND NON-FICTION READING TIC-TAC-TOE BOARDS
TO BEEF UP SECOND GRADE READING SKILLS AND HOLD STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE, THE TEACHERS HAVE PUSHED OUT INDEPENDENT READING TIC-TAC-TOE CHOICE BOARDS FOR STUDENTS. EACH WEEK, AFTER COMPLETING THE GIVEN WORK, STUDENTS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE THREE TASKS FROM A MENU (THAT CREATES A TIC-TAC-TOE FORMATION) AND ENGAGE IN SOME FUN LEARNING. ACTIVITIES ARE TECHNOLOGY BASED BUT ALL RELATE TO SECOND GRADE SKILLS, STANDARDS, AND INTEGRATE WITH WHATEVER THEIR WEEKLY STORY/CURRICULUM MAY BE. STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO WORK INDEPENDENTLY. THERE ARE EVEN SCREENCAST DIRECTIONS FOR STUDENTS TO FOLLOW AS THEY WORK SO GUIDED READING GROUPS, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE NOT INTERRUPTED. CHECK IT OUT!
SUPER COOL DIGITAL PORTFOLIO WORK:
KINDERGARTENERS TAKE PICTURES OF THEIR WORK AND INSERT INTO CUSTOMIZED GOOGLE SLIDES
DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS ARE A BIG FOCUS FOR OUR DISTRICT THIS YEAR. OUR STUDENTS ARE DOING THE COOLEST THINGS ALL YEAR IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. THE THOUGHT IS TO HAVE THEM CREATE A PORTFOLIO AND ADD THEIR WORK AS LEARNING CONTINUES. THEY CAN REFLECT UPON THEIR CHOSEN WORK AND CUSTOMIZE THE PORTFOLIO TO BE A COLLECTION THAT THEY LOVE AND ARE PROUD OF. OUR FIFTH GRADERS HELPED OUR KINDERGARTENERS TO INPUT THEIR FIRST PIECE. YES, KINDYS ARE CREATING DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS! PORTFOLIO NIGHT IS GOING TO BE THE BEST!