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Student Teaching: Mentorship and Collaboration - A Video Reflection

Jenna Callaghan and Deirdre Bailey

Working with a student teacher these past few months has been an exciting and rewarding experience. From our first meeting, it was evident that Jenna and I shared a similar pedagogical philosophy; with a strong focus on reflection and discipline-based inquiry. Jenna’s early ideas and questions were guided by an honest vulnerability that allowed for a number of frank conversations around assessment, engagement and lesson design in an inquiry based classroom. My understanding of collaboration - developed and deepened through a powerful team-teaching relationship with Amy Park - had led to a familiarity with how professional collaborative relationships might evolve and I was excited to incorporate my prior understanding and experiences.

Grade 5 Wild Weather Inquiry

Erin Couillard- Grade 5 Math/Science

 Big Question:  Are we seeing a dangerous shift in climate? Or just a natural stretch of bad luck?

This question was inspired through question brainstorming with students at the beginning of the Grade 5 weather unit as well as a National Geographic article I read in the fall.

Supporting Questions (student generated)
A. Has your "event" gotten worse over the years?
B. Why does this "event" happen? (Consider the weather science)
C. Where does this "event" happen? Only in one place in the world or in multiple places?
D. What time of year does your event usually happen? Has this changed over time?
How as this event affected the people/animals that live there?
E. Has your "event" impacted the economy?
F. How have humans adapted to changes in this "event".

Pi Discoveries with Grade 4

Heather Melville ~Grade 4 Math/Science

What is Pi? Why are we celebrating Pi Day? Didn’t you spell Pi wrong Mrs. Melville?

March 14th turned into deep mathematical discussions for the 4.3 and 4.4 students. Rather than thinking the concept of Pi was too difficult for the students to comprehend, we explored what knowledge we already had and applied it to a new idea. Our math class began with a read aloud book titled; “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi” by Cindy Neuschwander. We discussed the character names and what they were mathematically (radius, diameter, circumference, geometry and symmetry). The students loved to interact providing the sound effects for the story. 

Crowd Sourcing Fourth Graders

by Deirdre Bailey

Cross-posted on Savouring the Ish

I've got a novel on iPads in the grade four classroom waiting to be written. Lots of discoveries, ideas, struggles and triumphs. I just need to find the time to document it all properly. This brief gem, however, is too awesome not to share.

Earlier this year, our teaching team's excited discovery of the Edmodo app as an excellent resource for collecting and organizing student work digitally and providing an avenue for ongoing feedback was stinted by the limitation of only being able to upload images or links from the iPads. Our optimism was recently renewed by updates to the iWork apps which made it possible to upload pagesnumbers and keynote documents directly to Edmodo. The latest struggle has been with how we might be able to have students download iWork templates we post to Edmodo and open them using the associated app. It seemed that the only way to open a doc from Edmodo was as a preview and frankly, I was beginning to think it wasn't possible any other way.

Nevertheless, while driving home from the mountains yesterday I posted a sample template for students to track their mousetrap car results to Edmodo via the numbers app with the comment "let me know if any of you figure out how to open this document as a numbers template!" Honestly, I didn't expect much. This morning I woke up to 17 replies...