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Friday, March 7, 2014

iPad 101 class for Parents

That's right! It was iPad 101 class for parents in Boycetown today! and it was, for sure, the best thing I could have done for promoting the learning that is happening everyday. When I look back at how my classroom has changed over the last 6 weeks, I find myself astounded and in awe of how quickly the students have adapted. And how quickly my entire philosophy of teaching has shifted. The only missing piece was the parents. So we brought them in.

We began the day with a few quick "show and share" kinds of things. Kids pulled up their Daily Spiral Review in Math which killed two proverbial birds...parents got hands on idea of math in 5B and then they also saw how we use Google Drive and Notability.  We moved from there to Educlipper, Stick Around, and our vocabulary projects. Finally we stepped into Kidblog. The parents and kids took some photos of themselves in photo booth, pulled it into Skitch...decorated it up, and then blogged about it.

Showing off DSR for morning math practice. 
 We got to share some stories about amazing growth I have seen with struggling students in the areas of reading and writing. We attributed the difference to writing in our blogs every day.

We have noted that one young reluctant writer used to say things like "how long does it have to be" or "how many sentences" wrote a blog last week that was two FULL paragraphs without batting an eye. It was like 20 SENTENCES!

We all have those kids, and also the ones who NEVER use punctuation or capital letters...well I have one of those too. Also been cured, and not by my millionth reminder (as I had always thought) but by a comment left by a reader! An audience makes all the difference!
 After everyone had time to get their blog posts completed, the students went to their special classes, and the parents and I got a chance to talk, ask questions, and raise any concerns. 

It was fun to have parents and kids take turns writing about their own perspectives on iPad 101 class. It was wonderful to see the parents buy in so quickly. They had so much fun taking pictures together, both serious and silly! 

The sound of laughter that was coming from parents as well as kids was inspiring and uplifting. It lifted me up to the proverbial ceiling. I had to be scraped off! 

Once the adult conversation started, we were off! The parents were 100% invested, and when the time came for questions, parents had some doozies. They asked about digital citizenship, security, email, and the final killer question....what happens when these students whose learning has skyrocketed, get out of Fairview...will they have iPads for the rest of their education! The question of the century! It was like we planted it! So it led to conversation about how to go about talking to the right people about getting more iPad classrooms. It was perfect. 

We finished off the meeting with a crazy agile classroom. What is that you ask? Well, you will need to tune into my next post. It will blow you idea of a classroom right off the planet.