Friday, September 28, 2012

Today is WE DAY in TORONTO! Support "Free the Children" and "Me to We"! Get inspired!

If you asked your students the following question, how do you think they would answer?  

"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!    

~Loriana
Teaching Rocks!
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Digital Portfolios

This summer I attended a workshop that I was really excited about.  It was supposed to be about how to implement Digital Portfolios.  They told us to bring samples of our student work so that we could add it to the portfolio.  I went along with my other second grade colleagues.  About two hours in we were still waiting for some instruction.

 

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.
                                          Learning Resources HearAll Assessment 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.

 
Snap a picture of the beginning of the quarter place it in the file.
 

End of the quarter and you can already see his progression and
what he needs to work on.
 

I plan to add in math items that we work on
 

Science
 
 
and even artwork. 
 
I must admit it can be time consuming to upload all of these items and file, but once it is filed it is there and can easily be copied and shared all from your computer. I can quickly send a copy to admin, parents or a new teacher.

 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:)
 
Have you gone digital?  Do you use a program that makes this easier and organizes it all in one place?  I would love to hear about what you are using and how it has helped to organize your student data.

 
 
surfin' Through Second




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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Falling words


Fall is here and we can take advantage of this teachable moment to learn some fall related words in Spanish.
Are you ready? Get some stuff to talk about Fall, you can use pics of some like crow, squirrel and real props like dried leaves, corn, pumkin and acorns.
Let children talk about the pics, ask questions such as 
  • What's this?
  • Where did you find it?
  • What colour is this?
  • What animal is this?
Tell children they will learn the Spanish form of these words:
Squirrel / Ardilla
Leaf / Hoja
Acorn / Bellota
Crow / Cuervo
Corn / MaĆ­z
Pumpkin / Calabaza

Let children form the words using the tiles in the cards.
To prepare the letter tiles you just need to print, cut and laminate them.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trinidad Schools are celebrating 50 Years of Independence!

Hi there! It's Nyla from Trinidad and Tobago. These days, everything around here is all red, black and white - our National colours. We're celebrating our 50th year of Independence as a nation so I decided to have a patriotic theme in my classroom this year! That's my daughter Sade, in the picture above, at her school's Patriotic Day Celebrations. Below, is a bulletin board I put together of our National Emblems and a few historical facts. We have miniature flags everywhere, in our classrooms, at our homes and in our cars. How do you celebrate patriotic events with your students?
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Monday, September 3, 2012

A School in Morocco–Global School Tour

schoolsaroundtheworldI’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! 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco 

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.

 

 

 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of MoroccoHere is where the kids play at recess – 10 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon.

 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

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. 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

 

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.

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

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.

 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

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.

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

Here is the library.  The kids love the cool, red chairs – a little too much, they all want a chance to sit in them!

 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

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.

 

 

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

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.

Global Teacher Connect Global School Tour - Schools Around the World - A School in Morocco - International School of Morocco

 

 

 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.  Smile 

 

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

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Sticky Note Parking Lot

Do you use Tickets-Out-the-Door or Exit Passes in you classroom?




I have a great post to share with you over at my blog, Making It As A Middle School Teacher!

My students love my new system and so do I.  It's a win-win for everyone and I am able to make better use of this classroom routine!  

What could be more fun that having a Sticky Note Parking Lot?  You'll read about one student's VIP Parking, too!

Come on over for all the details and some more pictures of this in action!




What do you do for TODs or exit passes?  What works well for you?



Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},




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