Friday, September 28, 2012
"How old do you think that you have to be in order to make a change in the world?"
What would your students answer? Would anyone say "12 years old"?
In the case of Craig Kielburger, 12 years old would be the correct answer. In 1995, a 12 year old boy who was at home reading The Toronto Star, when he came across the story of a 12 year old boy who was murdered in Pakistan. This boy, Iqbal Masih, was murdered because he had been forced to work in a carpet factory since he was four years old. He had begun to fight against child labour and was murdered for speaking out against child labour. The Toronto boy was so angered by the article that he went to school and tried to convince his friends to join him in doing something about it. This boy was Craig Kielburger and he, along with some friends, founded the charity organization Free the Children, to empower youth to make a difference.
Here are two to help you learn more about Craig and Free the Children:
1) a video about Craig Kielburger entitled “It Takes a Child.”
2) a video about "Free the Children"
"Free the Children" focuses on many areas of social justice and activism, including child labour, building schools, and sustainable development. "Me to We" is their charitable organization that aims to make consumers more socially conscious and aware.
Today in Toronto it is WE DAY! What is WE DAY? It is a day for our youth to come together and become empowered to make a difference in our world, to fight against injustice, and to believe in themselves as agents of change both locally and globally. As a teacher who has attended We Day in the past with her students, I can attest to the power and electricity that fills the air. It is truly an inspiring day...our youth learn that they have the power to make a difference and we learn that our future is in good hands.
WE DAY is being live streamed and many schools are actually broadcasting the event to their students. Make sure you watch it to be a witness to such an inspirational day and such motivation in our youth.
Who will be appearing at WE DAY (TORONTO 2012)? The amazing list includes the Kielburger brothers (Craig and Marc), Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado, Al Gore, Hedley, Spencer West, Shawn Desman, Martin Sheen, and Justin Trudeau.
Please visit and support both Free the Children and Me to We. Both websites are filled with teacher and student resources to help you introduce and encourage social justice and social activism in your classrooms.
Why is this so important? "Free The Children is at work in remote and marginalized communities around the world to benefit more than 138,000 people. In this effort, [their] projects are helping to improve the health and quality of life of communities, and allowing more children, especially girls, to attend school" (from www.freethechildren.com).
Still not convinced? Take a few minutes to view some of the footage from past WE DAYs and some of the shameless idealists who have attended before. I dare you to be uninspired...it's impossible!
The presenters had not downloaded the correct software and they had to take each of our computers to do this which took forever. About noon we were still sitting around discussing the idea of the portfolios, but not actually doing anything!! Ugghh! By the end of the day, many of my colleagues said they weren't coming back for Day 2. I didn't blame them. Our presenters who were from Chicago I believe, were a couple in there 60's and he did the programming, while she did the talking. I don't know how our district found them, but what a waste of time and money.
The next day when we finally got in to take a look at the program it was horrible. It was so outdated and time consuming. It was hard to figure out the components and the only exciting thing about it was that you could type in a passage and have the child read it and record it. Yay, a recorded passage of a student? This is it? I think that our money could be spent on simple items to implement our own digital portfolios.
Well I happened to take in this little baby with me to the workshop and I got more oohhs and ahhs over it than anything their program had to offer. This is Learning Resources HearAll Recorder.
I won this in a giveaway and it is very handy. A great way to record a student's progress without having to put them in front of a computer.
We also talked about using our phones to capture pictures and videos of our students. Why not just make a simple file on our computers, label it with a child's name and include all of the data you have collected?
No more piles of paper to sort through in their portfolios or desks. It would also be easy to send a copy to parents directly, instead of items getting lost in their backpacks on the way home.
Because we attended this workshop we were supposed to choose a few students this year to create a digital portfolio using their program and see how it goes. Well to be honest I have never even opened their program again, since the workshop. But I have been collecting data on a few students through pictures.
Rumor has it since we took this workshop and we committed to starting digital portfolios, that we will receive an ipad to help implement. I am not going to get too excited until I get my hands on it:)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
- What's this?
- Where did you find it?
- What colour is this?
- What animal is this?
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
I’m so excited about the Global School Tour, because this year I started at a great, new school and I’m just itching to show people this new, great school, where I am lucky enough to be working this year.
Here is a tour of my new school, the International School of Morocco. It’s a brand new school and I’m so excited to be a part of it!
Here is the outside of the building. My room is the top, left hand window. See all those windows! I never have to turn my lights on.
Here are the pet rabbits. We also have turtles, but I didn’t catch them for a picture. The kids love to feed the rabbits and turtles during recess.
Here is our garden. The kids spend a lot of recess time watering the plants and vegetables (and sometimes just the grass, lol!) They also love to watch the Monarch butterflies that lay their eggs here.
Here is the entrance to the school. Since it is only the second year of the school’s existence, it is still small. There are three classrooms and a library upstairs and three classrooms and a computer lab upstairs.
Here is the French and Arabic classroom. Students start learning 3 languages (French, Arabic and English) at the age of 3 years old here. We spend lots of time talking about languages and how they are used and connected.
Here is the library. The kids love the cool, red chairs – a little too much, they all want a chance to sit in them!
Here is the K4/K5 classroom. All of the classes except PK (3 year olds) are multi-age, in order to give kids a chance to learn from those older and younger than them.
This is the drama room. Kids go to drama once a week for enrichment. They also go to art and music, and PE twice a week.
Here is my classroom. I teach Grades 3 & 4 this year. We are teaching UK and AERO standards, which is new to me, but has been a great learning experience.
For more classroom specific pictures, check out my blog – Raki’s Rad Resources.
I hope you enjoyed your tour. Please note that my school is an international school and not a “typical” Moroccan school.