It's been a while since the last post on "Tell Me Something Good Tuesday" at DuJardin. Let's be clear- there's lots of amazing things happening every day here, but it's been a crazy few weeks. Regardless, we're back at it and excited to share the awesome!
This week, we are celebrating Disabilities Awareness Week. A group of dedicated teachers are spearheading a week full of fun to foster new learning for our students.
Here's a glimpse behind the scenes:
Monday (March 9th)- Wear Blue to promote Diabetes Awareness
Tuesday (March 10th)- Wear Gray to promote Brain Awareness
Wednesday (March 11th)- Wear multi-colors to promote Autism Awareness
Thursday (March 12th) - Wear Orange to promote ADHD Awareness
Friday ( March 13th) - Wear Crazy Socks to promote Down Syndrome Awareness
Check out our DJ Weekly News episode, themed around Disabilities Awareness Week!
In 5th Grade, we thought we'd test out the idea of our students creating and using Book Snaps to demonstrate understanding! @joliboucher has some great resources that got us going! Once we decided it was the perfect assessment for a book project, we used @TaraMartinEDU's examples (see below) as foundation.
The 5th Graders actually voted on some of the class exemplars at this creative way to show knowledge. It was the first attempt at a new way of sharing learning! Way to LIVE ON THE EDGE, kids!
Book snaps are widely used in the professional realm, especially with book studies. Check out @meredithakers's collaborative template to the right!
Happy 100 Days of School! Lots to celebrate :)
Besides wearing 100s themed items, taking awesome pictures and doing some fun hands-on activities, we decided to practice our digital skills in the 100 day spirit.
Students moved objects (using the arrow keys, of course) into the ten frames as they counted the fun shapes. Afterwards, we sent Seesaw videos to our parents about our work!
Genius Hour is up and running at DuJardin School!
Check out this guest blog post from an awesome 3rd grade student! #soproud
I am really excited to start my genius hour project and my topic is the harmful things in makeup.
I started looking into makeup but the more I looked into make up I found a lot of toxic chemicals and ingredients. This surprised me and made me feel sad for people that are using some of these products. According to Sound Body Life, some toxic chemicals and ingredients are Methylparaben, Butylparben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, and Benzylparaben. Did you know that some harmful lipstick brands are:
Mrs.E used to use a harmful brand until I shared my learning with her. The point of my genius hour project is to educate people on what choices to make so they don’t endanger themselves. Stay safe... and beautiful!
Today's TMSG is the inspirational learning that is taking place at DuJardin School. As I roam the hallways and classrooms, I find myself constantly AMAZED at the work our staff and students are doing. They are truly top notch!
As this fourth grader so brilliantly writes, the 2020 Word of the Year = INSPIRE. The DuJardin Jaguars are living that word already :)
Anybody else guilty of pursuing the fancy out there when sometimes it's just best to stick with the simple and familiar route? I sure am. In the world of educational technology, there are so many different apps, add-ons, extensions, websites, programs, etc. that have similar purposes. It's easy to not only get lost, but also to look straight to the latest and greatest flashy new thing to create meaningful learning experiences for students.
In preparing for our January Tech Buddy activity, we decided that researching and fact/opinion were skills to focus on for the Kindergarteners. With this in mind, we took a peek at the related curriculum and thought that the "Places Around the World" study would be perfect to tie in with these standards. Our Kindergarten teachers are AMAZING and really believe their kids can do anything!
One of the uses of Google Slides that is often forgotten (guilty, again) is the collaborative nature of a slidedeck. Instead of pushing out an assignment via Google Classroom as "Make a Copy For Each Student," how about creating a CLASS BOOK, where all students had their own slide to design? When finished, students could browse the book and learn from the work of their peers. With Google Slides, it's simple to allow editing access for all students at once (pre-labeling the slides for younger kids with names is a game changer, FYI).
Before designing our own template, a colleague once shared an awesome pre-created one (shoutout to Nanci Greene) in the format of a digital ABC book! Special thanks to @ShaunyK for developing the outline for this creation. We customized the template to meet the content for our students and we were ready to go!
One more quick tip/tool for ya: remove.bg. Green screens are all the rage (and totally awesome), but sometimes, we don't have the time or resources to get this fancy. Remove.bg is a website where you can simply upload an image and then remove the background so it gives the whole green screen effect, without the hooplah.
Take a peek at this ADORABLE ABC "Places Around the World" Class Book!
As our first graders learn about parts of speech, they do a deep dive into adjectives. As a formative assessment, they showed their current level of understanding using Google Drawings. This activity involved labeling with pre-given adjectives (yellow boxes) as well as creating their own adjectives (red boxes) to describe the picture chosen. Not only could we assess their knowledge, but we also observed their growth mindset as they engaged with some pretty intense tech skills for first grades (right click, sending objects to the back, etc).
These kids totally persevered and were able to demonstrate new levels of understanding during this quick digital check in. Based on this data, we know where to head next!
(note that the pictures and adjective labels will show up once clicking the "Use Template" button)
Whoa! And just like that, another year is in the books at DuJardin School. There's so much to be proud of thanks to the incredible staff and students here. As we reflect upon the year and look forward to all to come, here's the top 19 of 2019 at DJ (in no particular order)!
Can't wait for 2020!
Every year, dozens of 5th graders sign up to be part of Tech Club. This extracurricular activity gives students opportunities to be leaders and engage with technology in exciting ways. They do everything from assisting in our primary classrooms and learning new tools, to developing digital citizenship lessons and practicing advanced design skills. They're pretty much rockstars. The things these 10 year olds are creating are INCREDIBLE. This is only the start for them. We can't wait to see what's to come in the future.
For the past two years, I've hosted the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching (shoutout to the wonderful foundation) on WTTW, Channel 11. That's where I met, Eddie Garcia, who was part of the fabulous production team. As we spent time together, I was amazed at his attitude, insight, and experience. Given the student opportunities and skills at DuJardin to engage with media and technology, we both thought it would be neat to connect!
Fast forward about six months, Eddie and his colleague, Ricardo visited our Tech Club students. They shared about their experiences, gave advice and fielded many questions from our 5th graders. They offered tips for success in the media industry and life, stressing the importance of teamwork, dedication and passion. The kids sat there in pure awe as they watched the award-winning documentary produced by the two gentleman on WBNA star, Linnae Harper. Everything from the interviewing, camera footage, and editing was carefully woven together to generate a package that was captivating. Planning, scripting, editing, and producing are all tasks that our kids often practice with our DJ Weekly News: Student Produced Video Announcements (read more about them here).
Eddie and Ricardo said that they wished they had more opportunities to grow their media passion and technology skills when they were younger. It is so great that the kids were able to connect the work that they are doing now, in 5th grade, with a potential future career in the media industry!
Here's some of what the 5th graders had to say afterwards:
"Before I didn't really think about doing anything with media, but now I realize that I'm really interested in different kinds of media production and technology." - Aidan-
"Work hard and follow your dreams. You don't have to be an athlete to be involved in sports. Your passion and experience can come from other avenues, like sports media." - Kaylen-
"It was amazing to view the documentary and see all the effort put into the production of the piece. As an audience viewer, you don't really think about all the details that come together to make it awesome." - Ava-
Background to Begin
We needed a research booster for our 5th graders! Based on their needs, we created a few mini lessons to supplement the important research that is very much a part of 5th grade new learning and standards. There is most definitely a time and place for database instruction, but the teachers were more concerned about their ability to navigate Google effectively and efficiently for research purposes. Here's a little overview of our breakdown:
Day One: How the Internet Works, How Google Works, Using the Right Search Terms
Day Two: Evaluating Websites
Day Three: Review, Find & Cite
Some of the GREAT sources we drew from included:
An Interview with the Kids
Rewind to about two months ago, how were researching? What were doing?
Ab: We used to use full sentences which would take more time to get results on Google.
Aubrey: We would type multiple sentences into the Google search.
Megan: We wouldn't click into the website, we'd just click on the first search item on the list.
Can you share a little about the lessons in class?
Johnny: We were put into groups (based on MarioKart, of course) and we were tasked with certain search terms. We had to see which searches gave us the best information the fastest. Usually, the more specific the search, the more efficient it was!
Ava: The Google Search bar, when you type in things, the algorithm may not support your search and can give you the wrong answers, so you have to check.
Alex: If you type in the whole question, it will search every single word, making it hard to get what you're really Iooking for.
Nick: The search engines look for scammers that create fake websites.
Noah: We found this Wikipedia site that described corn as a dangerous vegetable.
Sophia: I was totally tricked by a fake website that looked real.
What did you take away? What do you do now?
Ajwa: We use specific and key words and no punctuation in Google searches.
Lukas: We evaluate sites and look for a credible one.
Rayan: You should look at the domain (.org or .gov) to determine if it's a safe site. Look at the author of the site and publication date. You can even include site:edu or site:gov in the actual Google search bar.
Sophia: Ctrl + F to find search terms easily on a website. This helps you narrow your research.
Megan: Don't be distracted my advertisements. Some websites are trying to have you click on them and/or buy stuff.
Giuliana: Websites can be tricky. Be careful!
Emilia: When you Google search, don't think that everything that shows up from a search is true. You can't just believe it automatically.
Lukas: If there are ads, it may not be a credible source.
Ava: Don't get fooled by Wikipedia... it's editable.
These 5th Graders blew us away with their enthusiasm, commitment to best practice, and new learning. They completely shifted the way they view researching- and for the better! Based on formative assessment and student reflection, they have really picked up on ways to refine their researching skills. We hope that this insight will be a part of their lives for decades to come!