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#eccphoto Connections and Conversations

Here is a “Story” I have created with Storify. It is a digital platform that compiles information shared on social media (using hashtags and links). This story showcases the connections and conversations regarding our #eccphoto Project (mostly on twitter and instagram) amongst the contributing teachers and our supportive administration. Take a look through and you will see just how many contributors are sharing their thoughts/reflection and their student’s learning.

Photo Taking With Our Reading Buddies

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The Spy Kids (our 4th grade reading buddies) came to mentor the Laser Bugs on how to properly hold the iPads and to take photos. The 4th grade teacher had prepared her students by having a discussion on how they could coach the Laser Bugs in their photo taking. She had explained to them in that the Laser Bugs had begun to practice taking photos in their classroom with their teachers. She suggested that they come up with an agreed criteria, that was similar to what the Laser Bugs were already learning. Also because of the Laser Bugs’ age she encouraged that the goals should be clear and an appropriate amount. The Spy Kids came up with a plan of action and decided on the skills that they would help the Laser Bugs with.

-Holding the iPad still
-Counting to 3 (allowing time to steady hands and focus)
-Pressing the button only one time (so we only here one click)

A lot of smiles, giggles and rich conversations were generated throughout the learning experience. Both the big and small students took turns posing and taking photos as they walked around the Mountianside campus. The Spy Kids did a great job giving directions to the Laser Bugs, they were clear, patient and kind to their small buddies. The best part is that teachers could see the Spy Kids’ excitement while taking on the role as mentor.

#eccphoto Collaborative Art Project

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The #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project connects multiple grade levels across the world through photography, artistic interpretation, and written expression. ECC students were mentored by their ES Reading Buddies on photo taking skills with iPads. ECC students spent time reflecting on the quality and interest of their photos before choosing their favorite. Their favorite photos will be highlighted as the focal point of the #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project. Using that photo as inspiration, students from one grade level will create a visual representation of the photo while the other grade level will create a written interpretation. All will be displayed in the Secret Garden for the SIS community to view on Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20.

This Collaborative Art Project has many contributors from SIS and beyond. It includes SIS ECC students and their ES Reading Buddies. Additionally, four schools outside of the SIS community with be joining. Global contributors include 4th grade writers from The International School of Tianjin, Kindergarten artists from The Franconian International School in Germany, 2nd grade artists from The International School of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and 5th grade writers and artists from the International School of Myanmar.Here is the link to the shared collaborative blog, that the other teachers will also be posting on.

The learning activities inspired by this project encompass the goals of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum that guides the ECC. Students will be actively engaged in authentic learning experiences that incorporates the holistic and constructivist approaches that the ECC program values. The SIS ESLRs of Independent Learning, Complex Thinking, and of course, Collaboration will also be highlighted. Our project, as well as the SIS mission, focuses on caring community engagement and encouraging students to be innovative contributors.

We will use the SIS Learning Innovation Markers as a guide with tech integration. Teachers will be sharing the learning experiences of the project through social media with our SIS community and with contributing teachers and students. Student communication and writing skills will be fully engaged. Even ECC students will be writing (drawing) vocalizing their reflections on the photos and responding to their peer’s work. In different classes, technology will be the tool to make connections through student blogging, Skype dates, and video chats.

The process has already started and is ongoing. The layers of the project are plentiful. ECC students have already taken their photos and passed them along to their reading buddies and their international partners. ECC students continue to revisit their photos and offer their reflections through writing and drawing. They have also conferred with their Reading Buddies. The students who have received the ECC photos have already begun brainstorming and planning their writing and artistic responses. Each teacher will incorporate the work on photo responses into individual class units. Our culminating event will be our Collaborative Art Show, that will be featured in the Secret Garden, Thursday, May 19th, and Friday, May 20th.

Building Is Math

In the classroom we provide and encourage ample time for building. Not just during open exploration times, but as a math center or group activity. On the surface, building maybe seen only as play, however if you take a deeper look, the important math work becomes apparent.

In Preschool, children are beginning to develop their Geometry Thinking through the basis of shape, space and location. Young Learners need the time to practice arranging and rearranging objects to develop their Spatial Learning. Working with blocks and Lego help children develop an understanding of how objects can be arranged and positioned within a given space. Please watch the video taken from www.thekidshouldseethis.com below. Please pay attention to it’s important message and then apply that new understanding to the photo collages.

Mathematical experiences for very young children should build largely upon their play and the natural relationships between learning and life in their daily activities, interests, and questions.” (Early Childhood Today, www.scholastic.com)


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Observational Drawing

From time to time we will give the children picture cards or subject cards from our games to draw. The focus in doing this is more about giving them new ideas and topics to draw about and less about fine tuning their drawing skills. Most of our drawing in the classroom is done from imagination and our own ideas. However drawing while looking at images can help develop perspective and practice with forming figures.

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Chalk

After reading a fun book Chalk; about children using their imaginations and drawing with chalk, the Laser Bugs wanted to give it a try! We went down to the basketball court where we had lots of space to draw. The best part was that we could see our drawings from our classroom windows and just like the book it rained and washed away our work. We were not sad, because we know we can go out and draw again.

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