Not another iMovie

There are so many ways to have your students showcase their learning through the iPad. One particular summative project is to have your students film their learning. Miss Lauder has been having her students do this particular process, but has a twist on how it can be more relevant to your students’ learning.
“In the past I typically steered my students summative project to showcase their learning by making a quick film clip that I and / or their peers could watch in class. Whether it was myself assessing their film or peers, the learning that they captured was the same. This process soon became very bland, so I decided to infuse students’ summative assessment projects with empathy and design to get better overall showcasing of learning. 
Students were put into groups and given a biomolecule (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, vitamins and minerals, proteins) to study. Once in their groups they researched their biomolecule and followed the rubric to finalize their film. This can easily be integrated in your classroom, where the focus is researching a topic to meet a specific standard or even a topic that the students want to learn themselves.” 

Calculating my Future

Making learning relevant in Sarah Qavi’s room. “Its really easy” 😉

What is an everyday math objective that your students must meet?
They have to apply themselves and I feel I give them enough reason and relevant content that they want to learn the current standard.
How do you differentiate instruction for your learners?
It’s really easy. I do a flip classroom, mainly  through Educreations, depending on content, I also use Khan Academy. The students watch the lesson at home, the following day they come back to class and apply their learning.  
During every math class I set up stations, they are typically the following:
Art station- art of math ~ graphical representation.  
Technology station – math and technology – i.e. Google Earth for coordinates. 
Consultation station – 1v1 facilitated with me to check for understanding
Game situation station – games, cards, board games and dice.  
Application station – time to implement their learning into a project. 
Complex thinking station – This is for students who show exemplary standard of that particular math strand we are currently working on.
How do you assess your students?
During my consultation station, I am able to assess where my students are in the current math unit. From there I can keep them or have them stay longer with me for further coaching. Those that move on, apply their learning to the application station.
How do you make this relevant and have your students autonomously apply themselves to learn specific math standards?
There are plenty of resources online to make mathematics relevant… but is it really relevant. To me that answer is no because it depends on location, meaning, in what city are you currently teaching your students? The reason is, I teach at an international school, I am exposed to traveling to many countries, eating a variety of foods and use many different currencies. I easily apply what I go through on an everyday basis and on holiday with the math standard I teach in class. This is what makes learning math relevant to my students because they too are going through the same experiences. With obvious different twist, this could be applied to any subject.
What are examples of this in your classroom?
The system of math, in particular systems of equations and inequalities. I applied this to budgeting a trip. All my students travel so this easily resinates with them.
Another example that I have students meet the standard of percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound interest and rates. The summative assessment I give my students to complete is a project called “University, managing finances.” The project is completely directed at them in regards to what university they currently see themselves attending and living on their own after they graduate high school. As mention before, project requires the students to apply percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound internets and rates. I receive a lot of positive parent feed back on this project because it’s an easy talking piece at home that both parent and child can have a constructive conversation about.
Resources:      University Project           Student’s Project

Publishing for Enjoyment

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.14.51 PM

9th and 10th grade students have been busy this year!!!  Clayton Dowty’s English classes have written poems, short stories, graphic novels, book review, video essays and articles.  Although each of these assignments allowed students to demonstrate their creativity in different ways, it also taught the writing conventions used by each of these different genres.

When it came to writing and editing these different works, students were free to use their own applications to facilitate this process.  Some used video to show off their work, others used podcasts and audiobooks, while some chose to use their art skills to animate their own graphic novels.  The products were not only creative, but varied in their format. For their final project of the year, these students were asked to find a way to share out these prolific works.  They decided to create an online publishing forum. (This is a work in progress)

A message from the 9th and 10th graders:

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 12.35.49 PM

Documenting Plant Growth in the ECLC2 Garden

For ECLC2’s Garden Project, teacher Cheryl Uy’s students utilized the camera, a photo annotation app and a digital notebook on shared iPads to document their observations of their own plant in the classroom garden. The digital notebooks became a showcase of the students’ pre-literacy, pre-math (measurement & patterns) and observation skills. Cheryl shared that she choose the Paper Desk app for their digital notebooks because “it support our differentiated classroom. The children who are not ready to write/type use the audio function. They record their observations instead of writing.”

Cheryl’s class, the Super Dolphins, developed a routine to document the growth of their plants. Once a week, students would

> Measure the growth of their plant using pre-cut colored straws (to develop patterns).
> Take a photo of their plant with the iPad and then used a photo annotating app to add their name and the date to the photo.
> Open their individual digital notebook in Paper Desk and create a new page. Students then imported their photo into a new page in the notebook and then recorded information including the number of straws, patterns they used and number of leaves. Students could record the information using a stylus, the keyboard or an audio recording.

Cheryl remarked that students were eventually able to complete the tasks independently or with minimal support.

Check out the video below to see students in action!

Flipping Math Lessons in Grade 3

2012078096_06bf143e0fSIS Grade 3 teachers have taken advantage of digital tools and resources to ‘flip’ math lessons for their students. The basic premise behind ‘flipping’ lessons is that with access to digital content from home, students can focus on learning about a topic at home and then class time can be used for assessment, application, practice, reteaching, and extension of the concept. The Grade 3 teachers developed a process to flip their math lessons to differentiate support for students regarding math concepts and skills.

Before the math lesson is delivered, the teachers create a math tutorial using an interactive whiteboard app such as Educreations. A link to the tutorial is posted on the classroom blog’s Math Videos page. Students watch the tutorial at home and then do the related homework. The following morning, homework is checked by the teacher assistants who look for gaps and issues with understanding. Then teachers are able to arrange differentiated instruction to target students who need extra support and those who are proficient in the concept. Teachers and teacher assistants deliver instruction to small groups based on their needs, whether students need concepts retaught or extension activities to expand their skills. Teachers also include additional assessments to verify students’ understanding of concepts.

In addition to being able to differentiate instruction for students, flipping the math lessons has provided more transparency for parents. The tutorials provide parents an opportunity to see exactly what math concepts their child is studying and, therefore, can provide additional support at home. The tutorials also provide an easy way for students review math skills and concepts. Flipping math lessons takes some additional organization by teachers, but benefits students, teachers, teacher assistants and parents.

See sample tutorials and other “flipping the classroom” resources below.

Grade 3 Teachers
Kit Wilding
Nicki Ruthaivilan
Letica Carino

Grade 3 Classroom Blog – Math Videos



Lattice Multiplication


Parallel & Intersecting Lines


Flipping the Elementary Classroom (Jon Bergmann)
7 Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms



How @cecigomez_g flipped EAL support

Ceci Gomez recently documented how she transformed EAL support at Shekou International School as part of her COETAIL course.  Check out the video below for tangible examples of independent learning and some SAMR inspired redefinition of professional practice.

Transformation and Transparency in a Kindergarten Classroom

SIS Kindergarten teacher, Carlene Hamley, recently completed coursework for the COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy) program by submitting her Course 5 Final Project titled “Kindergarten…More Than Just Cute!”. Her post and video are a comprehensive showcase of HOW and WHY digital devices and resources have transformed teaching and learning in her classroom, enhanced transparency for sharing student work, and increased connections within and beyond the classroom.


Imagine you are told to create a presentation about what is currently happening in your classroom. Sounds easy, right? Now imagine you are confined to 20 slides, each slide only showing for 20 seconds, totalling to exactly a 6 minute and 40 second keynote. Also let’s just throw in a random word of the day (i.e. be-dash, xylography, capriccio, ambivert) from for funzies. Now I bet you’re feeling the pressure.

Keep in mind the other members of your team are presenting as well, same format and they too have to use a random word of the day. So you are not alone, well, except when it’s your turn to do your presentation.

This challenges your presentation ability, forcing you to be clear and concise. Obviously, structuring your story is key to your presentation, but putting in the right image also helps. Even though this takes you out of your comfort zone, this shouldn’t stop you from sharing your ideas. In fact, I feel it’s an added bonus for changing things up. As for our presentations, they all went smoothly for the most part, but what it really boils down to is practice and more practice.

So, why would we do this as a team? Challenge. We do a number of staff presentations that can be easily taken into the classroom. This just gives our staff, and you as well, something that you could try in your classroom or have your students attempt. This particular format/style is actually a real presentation structure called PechaKucha, a Japanese word that translates into chit-chat.