Hi everyone! My name is Devon Caldwell, and I’m excited to start posting about some of our digital team teaching activities on this new blog, Kinecting Classrooms. Leah Obach and I have been teaching partners for three years now, having managed to overcome a fairly large obstacle–geographic separation! While Leah teaches Grade 1 in Hamiota, Manitoba, my school (Oak Lake Community) is located 45 minutes away. We teach different grades in different buildings, but have many more things in common–a love of teaching, infusing technology, and a terrific professional relationship. Digital team teaching was the perfect solution to allow us to plan and teach together, using technology to make it all possible. Whether it’s a quick text or email, planning units collaboratively in Microsoft OneNote, or joining our classes together for a learning experience using a collaborative tool, we do it together! Often our results are terrific, other times we achieve some “unexpected” outcomes–but we continue to discover and explore as one multi-age community of learners!
So after Leah’s first post about our brainstorming session, I’ll dive in with the next steps we took in our project. As a follow up to our brainstorming activity, my students and I took pictures of things in our classroom and playground that help and hurt the environment. Reviewing these pictures was a great activity for our next digital lesson that I led with my Junior/Senior Kindergarten class and Mrs. Obach’s Grade 1 class. We used Skype to video conference, then I shared my screen with the Grade 1 class. Using our web cams and the thumbs up/thumbs down sign, we determined what pictures showed practices that help and harm the environment. Our next step was to import these pictures in Microsoft AutoCollage to create collages showing how we help and harm the environment.
- The students loved using AutoCollage, and they watched in fascination as the pictures swirled around the screen, creating a collage in a few short seconds. We made a variety of collages, and the one pictured above shows how humans hurt the environment.
- Our plan is to use these collages in posters to raise awareness awareness about harmful and helpful environmental practices. And, my Kindergarten students loved AutoCollage so much that we have decided to create collages of each student for a Mother’s Day present. To download AutoCollage for free and access a huge number of resources, follow this link to join the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network.