Writing Practice

Our school Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) focuses on writing. In Grade One the writing curricular expectation is that students write 5+ sentences on a familiar topic, with a main idea and details present in 6+ word sentences. The sentences must include capitalization, appropriate spacing, and beginning punctuation use. Students use new vocabulary learned, accompany their written work with illustrations, and engage in “fix-ups” with teacher support. The writing progress that Grade One students display from the beginning of the year when they are still working on writing their names and/or copying single sentence models to the end of the year when they are engaged in the beginning steps of the writing process is truly remarkable and one of the reasons I think teaching Grade One is the best!

In my room, I am ensuring that students have a strong writing foundation to work from. We are focusing on the basics of letter formation using prompts, songs, and materials from the Handwriting Without Tears program and a multi-sensory approach. My students have loved creating letters with the wood piece set that comes with the program and we are often found singing “Start Your Letters At the Top.” This week we put my whiteboard tables to use to put “pen-to-paper” so to speak but with a ton more student engagement! The students keep asking to write their letters again and they were able to work for a half an hour (I planned for 10 minutes tops but there was no stopping them)!

We will be writing our letters in shaving cream trays next week. We will also be using play dough and wikki stix for letter formation. With their engagement levels high and their interests peaked, it will be no time until they are reaching the writing goals! It makes my teacher heart oh-so happy!

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Digital Citizenship: The Need to Know

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Image by Paul Downey

I read a great article about digital citizenship by Vicki Davis (link below). Her approach to teaching digital citizenship is to teach both proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge.

For proactive knowledge she teaches 9 key things using her book, Reinventing Writing, and examples, lessons, assignments, etc. The 9 pieces of proactive knowledge are: passwords (strength and remembering them), privacy, personal information (and who to share it with), photographs (what can be shared and geotagging), property (copyright and licensing), permission (citing), protection (viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft), professionalism (netiquette, conflict resolution, and decision making), and personal brand (voice).

Resources she uses: LastPass; 10 Important Password Tips Everyone Should Know; Common Sense Media Curriculum; Location-Based Safety Guide; Creative Commons

For experiential knowledge she uses lessons, discussions, examples, assignments, etc. to bring the 9 P’s to life:

1. Truth or Fiction (of scams and cons) using Snopes, Truth or Fiction, the Threat Encyclopedia, or the Federal Trade Commission.

2. Turn Students into Teachers by getting them to find the scams and present.

3. Collaborative Learning Communities through Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, Gamifi-ed, AIC Conflict Simulation, game-based learning, Ning blog, and a classroom wiki. This also allows students to connect with those around the world.

My Reflection:

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE AND THE RESOURCES. I felt a bit lost as to how I would teach digital citizenship in my classroom but this will serve as a great roadmap. Davis notes that she teaches from a digital citizenship curriculum so I may have to get creative as to how this fits in with the curriculum outcomes I am teaching. If I was teaching Grade 9 for instance, these are the outcomes that I believe would fit:

CR9.1a – View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g., The Search for Self), social responsibility (e.g., Our Shared Narratives), and efficacy (e.g., Doing the Right Thing).

CR9.3a – Use pragmatic (e.g., language suitable for intended audience), textual (e.g., author’s thesis or argument, how author organized text to achieve unity, coherence, and effect), syntactic (e.g., parallel structures), semantic/lexical/morphological (e.g., connotation and denotation), graphophonic (e.g., common spellings and variants for effect or dialect), and other cues (e.g., fonts, colour) to construct and to confirm meaning.

CR9.4a – View and demonstrate comprehension and evaluation of visual and multimedia texts including illustrations, maps, charts, graphs, pamphlets, photography, art works, video clips, and dramatizations to glean ideas suitable for identified audience and purpose.

CC9.1a – Create various visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore identity (e.g., The Search for Self), social responsibility (e.g., Our Shared Narratives), and efficacy (e.g., Doing the Right Thing).

CC9.2a – Create and present an individual researched inquiry project related to a topic, theme, or issue studied in English language arts.

CC9.3a – Select and use appropriate strategies to communicate meaning before (e.g., considering and valuing own observations, experiences, ideas, and opinions as sources for ideas), during (e.g., shaping and reshaping drafts with audience and purpose in mind), and after (e.g., ensuring that all parts support the main idea or thesis) speaking, writing, and other representing activities.

CC9.5a – Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations to best represent message for an intended audience and purpose.

CC9.6a – Use oral language to interact purposefully, confidently, and appropriately in a variety of situations including participating in one-to-one, small group, and large group discussions (e.g., prompting and supporting others, solving problems, resolving conflicts, building consensus, articulating and explaining personal viewpoint, discussing preferences, speaking to extend current understanding, and celebrating special events and accomplishments).

CC9.9a – Experiment with a variety of text forms (e.g., debates, meetings, presentations to unfamiliar audiences, poetry, précis, short script, advice column, video documentary, comic strip) and techniques (e.g., tone, persona, point of view, imagery, dialogue, figurative language).

Obviously, I would have to go beyond teaching digital citizenship to meet these outcomes but these are all places where digital citizenship can be touched upon. Through technology and digital citizenship I could definitely have my students focus on the 6 strands of ELA: reading, writing, speaking, listening, presenting, and viewing.

The best part about this process is that I would be learning alongside my students, as I have lots to learn about digital citizenship. Another resource I would use is lol…OMG! by Matt Ivester.

“Citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as a citizen. That role starts as soon as we click on the internet.” – Vicki Davis

Read more at: Edutopia’s “What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship” and Anne Collier who believes we should drop the word “digital” in digital citizenship.

 

Discussion:

What resources would you use to teach digital citizenship? What curriculum connections can you make (Saskatchewan Curriculum)? Do you think we are teaching digital citizenship or just citizenship; are the terms one in the same?

Grade 7/8 Art First Nations’ Social Issues Unit

Health 3/4 Unit Plan: Healthy Eating, Exercise, and the Immune System

Note: if you are interested in the accompanying worksheets that are not attached but are mentioned in the unit plan, send me a comment and I can email them to you!

Happy planning/teaching! 🙂

Update: I added a station, differentiated lesson.

Some pictures from a lesson I added to make it more hands-on: 20141126_09584120141126_09583020141126_095855 (1)20141126_09584820141126_09590820141126_095915

Final Assignment:

my food guideWeekly ActivityWeekly FoodEat Well frontEat Well back  Healthy Action Plan