Saturday, September 30, 2017

New Year, New Adventure

As a new school year gets underway, I am embarking on a new teaching adventure.  I have accepted a new role in Park West School Division.  For this term, I am excited to be the Literacy with ICT Teacher Leader for our 15 schools!  In this role, I support students and teachers in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Over the last month, I have worked in all of our schools.  This in itself has been great; I have enjoyed experiencing each school and witnessing the awesome and unique things going on at each one.  I have had the opportunity to work with numerous teachers and I've started working with students and teachers in classrooms as well.  Just like a classroom teacher, it is my goal to be responsive to needs and interests, so we've been working on a variety of projects around the division.

So what does this look like?

spending lots of time traveling around our prairie province
Basically, I drive to a different school (or two) every day.  I am getting used to spending lots of time in my Jeep enjoying the beautiful prairie landscape!  During my longer drives, I have started listening to podcasts and playlists to pass the time.   Each day, I carry my "office in a backpack" so I have access to a technology toolkit and my work laptop wherever I go.  Every day is different, but some of the things that I do include meeting with teachers individually or in small groups, sharing ideas at staff meetings and working in classrooms with students and teachers.

What kind of LwICT projects are students and teachers in PWSD working on?

How we use technology to support teaching and learning is different in each classroom and is based on the learning goals, needs and interests relevant to each situation.  Some of the projects currently underway include:

Global Read Aloud: American educator Pernille Ripp started this incredible project with the idea of "one book to connect the world".  Students and teachers around the world are collaborating as they read the 2017 Global Read Aloud books and many PWSD classes are joining in this year!

Video Creation: Some classrooms are working on video planning and writing scripts so they can produce their own videos.  Some teachers are looking at ways to record lessons, tutorials and student work for instruction and assessment. 

Digital Binders: Students and teachers are using digital binders to organize their work while also reducing their paper use.  Digital binders allow students and teachers to access their work anytime and anywhere.

How can we find out more?

I plan to update my blog regularly with ideas and samples from schools around our division.  Please follow this blog for updates.   If you work in PWSD, feel free to call or email me to book an appointment to talk about LwICT projects in your classroom. 

Follow me on social media to see the latest updates:

Twitter : @LeahO77 for updates from me  @MrsObachsClass for updates from classrooms I work in

Instagram: @MrsObachsClass

Monday, May 1, 2017

List Poems: Things to Do with Your Dog

We have been studying poetry in grade 1.  Our class enjoys reading poems together and we have recently started writing our own poetry.  One type of poem we've read is a list poem.  This week, we finished our shared writing of our own class list poem, "Things to do with your Dog" and we are very excited to share it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

2017 Polar Bear Walk: A Retelling

To conclude  our polar bear project, we did some reflecting and summarizing after we held our WWF Polar Bear Walk at Brandon University.  We met on Skype with the OLCS Kindergartens who collaborated with us on this project.  We discussed the project and made a to do list of next steps for the project.  Our list included things like writing thank you cards to those who helped us and sharing the work from our project.  We also made a goal for each class to create something to showcase and reflect on the project.  The kindergartens decided to create a video.  Our grade 1 class chose to write a retelling about the project, since that is a text-type that we have been working on this year.  We worked together to collaboratively author the book, using photographs from the project as our pictures.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Microsoft Education Exchange

I was thrilled to be selected to attend the 2017 Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) as a Microsoft Expert Educator Fellow.  The conference was hosted in Canada for the first time, with the venue being the classy Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, Ontario.  240 educators representing 83 different countries were in attendance.  It was a whirlwind of learning, sharing and networking.  

One of the highlights of this event was getting to know other educators. Team Canada included many talented and passionate teachers.  I really enjoyed working with all of them.  It was especially exciting to connect with some educators I have "known virtually" through social media, webinars and the Microsoft Educator Community.  Jim Pedrech and Ian Fogarty are two Canadian teachers who do great work with their students.  I've been hearing about their work for years and I finally got to meet them at E2!  I also had the chance to meet #WHOtoYOU leader Kaylyn Dorland, who I've connected with virtually in the last two years.  It was great to meet her face-to-face and I enjoyed touring her school, Queen of Heaven Elementary School, in Milton, ON.  There are many other educators from around the world that I was excited to meet and work with, but I'll refrain from writing a long list here...

Top: with Ian Fogarty, Middle: with Jim Pedrech, Bottom: with Kaylyn Dorland & Lia DeCicco-Remu

I coached an awesome collaborative group of ladies that were recognized for their work in the educator challenge.  This group was challenged to pitch an idea that would delocalize learning.  They were awarded second runner up in their category at the awards ceremony.  
Group 1: Susana (Costa Rica), Mary Catherine (USA), Meg (Canada), Jeanne (USA, Peta (Australia)

Engaging keynote speakers shared messages about education and Expert Educator Fellows shared breakout sessions on each day of the conference.   Hearing about the awesome work going on in classrooms around the world is so incredibly inspiring.  At the same time, this experience also makes me think about how much more we can do to transform education, inspire teachers and empower students!

Team Canada arriving at the awards gala.  Photo courtesy of Microsoft in Education.