I see Google Classroom in my future, do you?

The plan
zoomlogosmall After a brief Zoom meeting with my project group we decided that we would use the blended learning platform Google Classroom to complete our prototype project.  I know that it is early on to make the decision, but Aimee, Rochelle, and myself have access to Google Docs and we thought that was a start, a place to share and organize information. It was just a matter of adding Justine. Image Source

You mean to tell me…  google-class
Now for Google classroom, last class Katia provided user access to U of R’s Google Classroom account.  I already have access to RBE’s google apps, but I did not know that I could have been using Google Classroom until just a few days ago. Last year I was creating assignments for my students using Google Docs. I would create an assignment duplicate it and share it with the students.  My students loved using technology, they would have to find my assignment, follow written instruction and complete the task, then share the document with me. in the mean time using my email address to share it with me, one student is still emailing me about his high school experience. Wow, now if I would have used Google Classroom my shared documents and google drive would have not been a disorganized mess.  My repetitive method of instructing students to name the assignment with a certain title would just clutter my drive and I couldn’t decipher whose was whose on first glance. Image Source

32005426070_4929caf7a1I wonder if all RBE teachers know that they have access to Google classroom, did I miss the memo.  Someone should have provided some information on this. Not a single teacher in my building was using Google Classroom last year, I can’t speak about this year I am at home on a mat leave with a new baby.  How did other RBE teachers find out about the availability ???

Photo Credit: USEmbassyPhnomPenh Flickr via Compfight cc

Google Classroom it is!!
Our group plans to work together to create our modules, lessons while also uploading evaluating methods  onto our Google Classroom site. The Google Plus Community clarified that we need to use the university’s Google Classroom as Justine is not in the RBE division and would not have access to RBE’s platform.  By each having access to our Google Classroom, we will be able to collaborate ideas even though we are physically apart.

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My Thoughts on Google Classroom
Before I even ventured to check out Google Classroom Roxanne’s Blog caught my eye.  I like how she added the video that gave a brief overview of Google Classroom.  Her video had me searching for others, perhaps I could learn more about Google classroom by video.  I really liked Jamie Keet‘s video.

 

After watching the video’s I am feeling pretty safe about my choice of platform.  I can’t believe that I was using Google Doc’s when I should have used Google Classroom all along. The setup is very basic if you are familiar with Google Drive then it’s very similar. I love the simple layout with the options of customizing themes but still keeping it neat and tidy.

Take a moment to watch the video and then jump in and try it out using the login info from last class if your division does not have Google Education Apps.  Share your experience with me by leaving a comment!

 

 

 

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Omg too crazy, and ohh I have an idea!!!

Okay about the OMG too crazy, it all started when Danielle commented on my blog post last week about being a new mom and collaborating this semester.

chalynI replied to her  and mentioned adding her to a Regina Facebook group for fall babies, as I just recently added Justine. Danielle’s stealthy skills allowed her to find me on Facebook. Last night we chatted through Facebook messenger and we quickly learned that our babies are the same age. Danielle put it together that they actually share a birthday, and we were at the hospital at the exact same time. The babes were just born 12 hours apart. She then went on to say that she was already in the Facebook group for fall babies.  Danielle connected that we are even taking the same Wednesday night class together.  This gal totally gets me, talk about collaborating!!  danielleThen I checked out her Blog.  Danielle has been blogging for quite some time, it is apparent from all her categories and tags.  She is even blogging about our EC&I 814 class. I am sure if anyone has any questions about WordPress, Danielle has the answers.

Side note, this old laptop surprised me with how easy it was to capture a print screen.  At first I used my googlecell phone to take pictures of Danielle’s and my blog but it looked like garbage.  Then I did what anyone would do, I googled. I managed to make my pictures way more appealing to my audience, woohoo! A huge upgrade from some of my other blog posts last year, where I would upload cell phone picture. Yay me!

Now for my idea for the course prototype project.  I asked a colleague of mine Aimee if she would like to pair up, I then asked if Justine would like to join us. Aimee, Justine and I are all Elementary teachers and wanted to incorporate a First Nation focus. A few days later Aimee asked if Rochelle could join our group as she had some neat ideas for us to explore.  I told the gals that we would jump in the Zoom room rather than meet up.  I liked the idea of a Zoom meet as I have a lil babe who likes to keep me at home and I know Justine also has a wee babe and lives about an hour away.
treaty During our Zoom meeting we decided to explore a unit on Treaty Relationships. I personally think that now is the time for reconciliation  because there is so much ignorance and mis-education when it comes to First Nations and Treaties. Also, working in a school that is home to 97% First Nation students is reason enough to explore First Nation culture. Rochelle mentioned that she did some work with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner this summer, breaking the lessons in the treaty kits down into big ideas. Our group is going to tailor the unit for a grade 3 group.  We figured that Google Classroom would be a great platform for us to use as it offers a blended learning environment.google-class

Well that is it for now.  If anyone has tips on Google Classroom, please share as I have never used it before.  Also please share any experience in teaching the treaties in your classrooms.

3rd online class is a charm!

Hello everyone and welcome to a new category in my blog.  My name is Chalyn Smith and I am currently on a mat leave, when I am in the classroom you can find me at Kitchener Community School’s SLC class.  My classroom focuses on providing a safe, nurturing and caring environment where my students feel comfortable building relationships with all team members and students. I strive to meet each student’s social, emotional, behavioral and educational needs. I encourage and focus on the strengths of our students.

This is my20170112_121947 third online course with Alec and Katia.  This semester I am facing a few challenges. I am a new mom, so finding an online class lets me stay at home while figuring out this tiny human.  I also have to admit that I like blogging, being able to tell my story and hopefully entertain along the way.

When I started my mat leave division office required me to turn in my laptop, I begged to keep it but tech services mentioned they have sent police at times to repo equipment. I only realized that I would need a computer to use as the two classes I signed up for approached, and don’t have a home computer.  I figured using my cell phone or smart tv would be too challenging.  I had a an idea, I could borrow one from my uncle, he’s a lawyer and probably has like, ten extra kicking around his office.

Well, the laptop that he gave me is quite fast but I am sure it is from about 2000. 27303113611_5c76e50568_t I was excited as I had a laptop that I could use and I didn’t have to buy one as that was my other choice.  however, one morning as I lay awake in bed it dawned on me that this sweet machine doesn’t have a webcam.

I decided while at Walmart to buy a webcam that would just plug-in.  I asked an associate and he told me they didn’t even carry a webcam.  Luckily I strolled down an isle and found a $30.00 one.  But I decided that I would stop by Visions instead and use my $40.00 gift card.

Walk into Visions carrying my little man in his baby bucket, cause shopping is so fun lugging around a car seat.  I locate a sales person and ask for a webcam, he laughs and tells me that they no longer sell the as most laptops now have they built-in.  I then decide to buy one off VarageSale.

imgresIf you are not familiar with VargaeSale I suggest it is something you might want to check out, it is a buy and sell app on a cell phone or a site on the computer.  You can quickly find things you are looking to buy or write up ads and sell your stuff.

Okay back to my story, sitting in the Visions parking lot I find an ad on Varagesale for a $5.00 webcam in the Northend.  I make my way to the house, and place the coins in the sellers hand.  At this moment her dog pops out of the house, I tell her not to worry as I have a big Siberian Husky cross and by the looks of things this mangy think is harmless.  The dog then darts off the steps onto the street and into a yard across the street.  The seller, standing in her house coat with no shoes is forced to chase the dog through the snow as he is not responding to his name. I attempt to call the dog and help her but the more we call him the farther he runs.  I have no idea what to do, yell thanks for the webcam and drive away?? I opened the house door as I saw a brother or boyfriend and mention thumbnail_20160824_211401” you should help her, your dog ran away and she has no shoes and is chasing him”.  He slowly makes his way outside and lures the dog into the car.  This was by far the oddest Varagesale story.  Do you have a funny story about buying or selling something? Please share!

And that my friends is the story of how I connect to class, in case you wondered about the quality of my $5.00 webcam, just check me out on Zoom.

My learning goals for the semester are:

  1.  To make myself comfortable on Twitter and make time for Twitter chats.
  2.  I would also like to explore some new techie teaching ideas that would allow me integrate technology into early years classrooms, as I hope to soon teach the youngest learners.  I think now is the time to get some fresh ideas as I have typically worked with middle years.
  3.  I will work hard to come up with something creative for my summary of learning.  Previously I used animation software to present my ideas, this time I am going to try something new.  If you have any ideas of something I should look into that wont baffle me too much, please let me know.