Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Happened When I Was Gone Today? I Watched Them Be Creative, Collaborative Writers 30 Miles Away.

There is a group of us at Van Meter, along with nine other districts, that make up the Competency-Based Education Task Force in Iowa.  Today was our May meeting in Des Moines, which meant there was a substitute teacher for me in the library during our elementary time.

Since we only have seven days of the school year left and are preparing for the summer, I decided to have Kate Goodwin's fifth graders do an online, collaborative activity focusing on their most favorite books they read this year. 
I created a Padlet with the statement above at the top.  I told Diana, my associate, and the substitute all about the Padlet and that the fifth graders were to share their favorite books by clicking on the wall to add their own.
I put the link to the Padlet on the Fifth Grade Symbaloo so they would all be able to find the it easily. 

The fifth graders come at 1:00pm, so after lunch I was curious what was happening back at school in the library.  I was very excited and happy to see the fifth graders writing amazing book reviews, commenting on each others work, and creating beautiful Animoto's highlighting and reviewing favorites too.

I sent the above tweet to Jen Sigrist, my elementary principal, to have her take a peek too.  It was fun for both of us to see that by thinking creativity, using digital tools and technology, and giving our students a little freedom and choice, great things would happen.....even when we are not there.

I didn't ask them to write wonderful reviews.  I didn't require them to create Animoto's about their favorite books.

What I did ask them was to be independent, to collaborate, and to share what they loved.

And the best part of my day.....

Being able to watch them do this live, online, 30 miles away.

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