Monday, 17 March 2014

Skype Reflection

Last week, we once again Skyped with our grade three reading buddies.  Each of you worked in a group to compose a Six Word Stories "mini lesson". For today's class I would like to you reflect on that process. Answer the following questions, in complete paragraphs and post your answer both here in the comments section, and on your blog.

(1) What topics did you present?  How did you go about making in "stick" with your audience?
(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
(4) What should we do next?

Once you've answered the above questions, you have remaining class time to post AT LEAST 2 personal additions on your blog.


Jenni F said...

1.The topic we presented was punctuation. We made it "stick" with our audience by making our short story about learning and when children are young they tend to be very interested in learning. We threw in a part about "loving your teacher" because we hoped it would grab the kids attention so they can respect that fact that they should like there teacher.
2.I think our mini lesson went well. Although it was very short, we had the opportunity to teach the children in a fast way about a very important thing in school, punctuation. A strength we had was that Veronica had a very welcoming way of talking to the children. A weakness we had was that we did not all get to present something to the children. We could have made it so we all got the chance to say something but we did not.
3.Teaching elementary school is something i wish to do with my future. By doing these small mini lessons with the grade 3's, I am slowing learning the different ways teachers can interact with students in unique ways. I enjoy doing these mini lessons and hope to do some more.
4. FIELD TRIP TO THOMPSON! It would be fun to get to meet the students and interact with them in person.

Karli Wishnowski said...

1. The topics we presented during the Skype call to the grade 3's was how to use periods and commas in our 6 word memoir. We made it stick with the kids by not doing something really deep, or super meaningful, but something that they could relate to. Our six word memoir was "Read, write, and love your teacher." We felt they would relate to this in a positive way. Mrs. Bettes seems like a teacher the kids would like to see every day because of the interesting things she does, like Skyping with us, and having a blog. Which is how they would relate to our memoir.

2. I felt our mini lesson went well. A strength we had was Veronica reading what we had to say to the kids. She is very bubbly so the kids reacted well to her reading our 6 word memoir. A weakness we had was that only one of us got to talk. We may have gotten our point across more if we all had a time to say something. Another weakness is that they are kids and can get distracted easily.

3. I learned that you have to have a lot of energy while teaching kids so you can keep their attention. You also have to teach them with examples they can relate to. So it keeps their attention and they like what they're learning about.

4. I think we should take a field trip out to Thompson to meet the kids we've been talking to and interacting with.

Meagan Ovilda said...

1) For our skype reflection my group which consisted of Taryn, Jasmine and Ariane we were the introduction group and we presented what a six word memoir (story) actually is. With out audience we tried to talk in enthusiastic tones and made sure everyone in the group had a little bit to say. We used big papers with the numbers 1-6 written on them to show how many words are in six word memoirs.

2) I feel that our mini lesson went really, really well. I think we talked in good tones, and were very clear with what we were saying. We put glitter on the numbers we held up so that the kids would be more interested. I think we did a good job of using words that the kids would understand and all had an equal amount of talking to do. I think that we could have had another visual for out presentation just to make it even more exciting for the kids.

3) I learnt that you need to take it slow with teaching and need to be able to answer questions that they have for you. You need to explain very well the point that you are trying to get across and need to speak clearly. I think you need to have something fun about what you are trying to teach as well so that the mini lesson sticks out in their mind and they don'y just forget it the moment the skype call was over.

4) For our next skype call I think we should be able to let the kids show us their finish products of their six word memoirs. I'd like to see the difference between ours and theirs. I also think the kids would like showing us their six word stories because it is something to be proud of.

Veronica Kibalnik said...

My groud and I presented punctuation, we made our 'Six Word Story' stick with the kids by not making the story complicated. By using simple every day words and adding commas and periods to the sentences will make it a proper sentence. Our strength was using a person who is very talkative and isn't shy, i think if you're trying to teach a kid something you would want a person with a strong voice to explain what you are teaching.
Our weakness was by not using everyone's voice to teach, as well as because this was a project using only six words, we had so many ideas but most of them were over six words, Therefore I think that was one of the weakness.
I learned that when you want to teach something to a child, the learning/ teaching process goes by better and more successful when you make it fun.

Megan Pelissier said...

1) My group presented the punctuation mini lesson. The way we presented it to the kids was using a traffic light analogy, which I thought helped them to understand better. After reading the six word memoirs they wrote, I felt as though they picked up on the topic of punctuation quite well. The idea of the traffic light helped them understand. The red light was used to represent the period, the yellow light represents the coma, and the green light was used to represent the explanation mark. For the question mark, we came up with the analogy of a pothole in the road. First, you would wonder why it was there, then swerve around it, making the shape of a question mark. We drew a diagram of all of these things, which I believe helped show a visual of what we were explaining.

2) I feel our mini lesson went well. Even before we started presenting, they were commenting on how the previous memoirs were missing a period, which shows that they knew a bit about punctuation. Throughout the mini lesson they seemed to be understanding, and when we saw the memoirs they wrote with the punctuation all there, shows that they got it. I believe the only weakness we had with our group was not being able to get everyone to say something during the presentation, because we had a fairly large group.

3) What I learned about this process was that teaching helps me understand the topic better. Even though I knew how to use proper punctuation before, the analogy of the traffic light added a different visual for me. I believe that teaching and learning are both connected; when you teach, you learn.

4) I think we should continue to help teach them about the topics that we are currently learning. I think we should do this, because I feel like teaching the topic helped me to understand it to a larger extent. Not only do they learn from us, but we get a deeper understanding of the topic from creating the lessons.

Micayla McNaughtan said...

(1) What topics did you present? How did you go about making in "stick" with your audience?
My group presented on punctuation at the skype reading on Thursday. We presented four forms of punctuation, periods, commas, exclamation points, and question marks. We presented using driving as a visual for the different punctuations. I think that it stuck with the kids because they connected different aspects of driving to punctuation. The red light represented a period, stopping the sentence. The yellow light represented a comma, slowing down and pacing a sentence. The green light represented an exclamation point, something abrupt. The question mark was represented by a pot hole, swerving around it and wondering why it is there. I think overall people were receptive to the simplicity that we brought as well as being metaphorical about punctuation.

(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
I think that our mini lesson went off better than we thought it would. Overall I think that it wasn't fantastic but for sure was better than we thought it would be. I think our strengths were the amount of visuals we had, and the interactive aspects we added by allowing the kids to answer the questions that we asked. I think our weakness was just being unprepared, and having to finish our visuals before the skype call instead of having them done earlier. I think we were slightly disorganized in terms of who has what role, but played it off well in the actual lesson.

(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
I think that I learned and understood how much prep goes into making a lesson that sticks with the listener, that makes sense to a different age group than myself, and doing so in a creative and unique way. It's hard to relate to people in different age groups than yourself, and it is difficult to think of an effective way to convey your message when you forget who you are teaching. That was a big take away point for me, learning how to relate to an audience who may have a different understanding than yourself. I remember my first presentation to a group of elementary school kids, and how rough it went because I didn't talk as though I was talking to kids 10 years younger than me, I was speaking as though they had a similar understanding that I would've had... Obviously that would not be one of my best presentations. I think this was a good take away point for me, especially having presentations to younger kids in the future, to remember your audience.

(4) What should we do next?
I think that it would be a good idea to do a pen pal type thing where we send the kids in Thompson actual letters. As much as I love using technology as a form of quick communication, I still find it more personal to hand write letters to people. It would be fun to do a pen pal assignment where we write to them, and they write back to us. That's really the best idea I have got.

Taryn Lucas said...

For our Skype session with the grade 3 class from Thompson, my group and I were the first group to present. We were the intro group and we taught the children about what Six Word Stories are and how we use them creatively. To make it stick with our audience, we used papers with the numbers one to six on them to have as a visual to go with our presentation. We decorated the numbers with glitter so that they would appeal to the kids. We talked about the way the six words connect to the visual and how it creates a story.

I feel as though our lesson went well. We all got the chance to speak to the kids and we engaged them by having them count to six with us. We could have spent a little longer explaining where Six Word Stories started and how they work. But all in all I think our presentation went well.

Through the process of teaching the kids I learnt how we are not limited by our age. Kids can be just as creative as us. I learned that teaching can be hard, but it is a truly rewarding feeling to know that you impacted a young person’s life through education. I also learnt that it’s never too late to learn new things.

For the next time we Skype with the grade 3 class, we should read a story together and then analyze it as a group. I’d like to see their perspective on a story compared to ours. I also like the idea of possible becoming pen pals with one of the children from the class. I'd love to talk to them one and one and learn about what it's like to live up in Thompson. Even taking a trip up there to see them would be really cool!

Alysha Cho said...

1) What topics did you present? How did you go about making it “stick” with your audience?
The topic we presented was the punctuation mini lesson. We taught the kids how to properly use a comma, period, exclamation mark, and a question mark. To teach them how these work in a more familiar matter we decided to use the comparison of a traffic light. The red light symbolizes the period because at the end of a sentence, we stop. The yellow/amber light symbolizes a comma because at a yellow light you slow down. Finally, at the green light, you would get excited, symbolizing an exclamation mark. For a question mark, we got a little creative and decided that we’d use the example of a pothole in the ground and the shape the car would make as it swerved around it. I believe that by making these a relatable subject for the children, they were able to understand better and the idea “stuck” with them.

2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
I felt that the mini lesson went quite well. The kids were very interested in learning what we were teaching and it seemed as though they had some fun. Some strengths to our presentation would probably be the use of a few visuals as well as a cute little story/narration. The visuals were easy for the kids to understand, as they weren't too complex, and with Ben narrating the script with an animated voice, the kids had fun and enjoyed the lesson. Some weaknesses to our mini lesson would be the lack of space in front of the camera. We had seven people in our group, but only four of us were able to appear on the camera. Although everyone contributed with the idea and drawings, not everyone was able to speak to the children other than stating their name.

3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
Honestly, I learned that these kids are very well behaved. While teaching the mini lesson, we expected the kids to shout out their answer when asked what you do at a red light, etc. I was surprised to see the kids all raising their hands to answer. I also found that there is quite a bit of preparations and thoughts that have to go into making a lesson, even just a mini one! You have to write everything out, make sure that it’s appropriate for what we are doing, plan what’ll happen, and much more.

4) What should we do next?
I think that a cute idea to do next would be a little vocabulary game. We could challenge the other class to a bingo match and find words that are somewhat complex, yet not too difficult and read out the definitions of the words while the bingo boards have the actual words. Another things that would be fun to do is a back and forth storytelling game. What we would do as a class is write a sentence or two to start off a story. You would send those sentences to the kids and they’d add onto the story, writing another few sentences. By the end of the game, we should have a nice book, compiled with all the ideas we and the kids and thought up. It should, by the end, turn out to be a story that should make some sense. To make it a bit of a challenge we could add themes as well.

Ben McMahon said...

1) 1. The mini-lesson myself and my group presented was on the subject of punctuation. The way we made it stick in the kids minds’ was by using expressive language and tones of voice to keep them interested, and also by using the metaphor of a traffic light to express what each type of punctuation was used for.
2) 2. I feel like, for my part, the lesson went quite well. The kids were very much into the lesson and seemed to enjoy the topic and use of visual aids. Some strengths would be my stage presence and use of enthusiasm. Some weaknesses, the Skype connection strength seemed to wane at times and actually cut out once, other than that, we had a flawless presentation.
3) 3. I learnt that sometimes you have to slow down and understand that not everyone understands a concept in order to teach it well. As a high school student trying to educate elementary school students I learnt that they have a rather short attention span, and that you need to keep them interested to get anything across, but in the end it’s a very enjoyable experience.
4) 4. I think that next time, they should teach us something. Something we might not know or may have forgotten, something only lively 8 year olds would know.

Ben Stevens said...

1. My group was tasked with writing a six word memoir that was both captivating to a child in the third grade and had punctuation, in the form of an exclamation point. We had hoped that the humour including in our memoir was interesting enough for the children to like.We jept the memoir light and humourous in hopes that it would stick with the audience.

2. I feel that our mini lesson was adequate enough for what it needed to be. It kept the children captivated, it was accompanied by a humourous photo and it was very light as well as possibly being relatable. A weakness however, of the memoir, would likely be the fact that the explanation also accompied with the photo and memoir, was confusing and over descriptive in certain ways. I believe it confused the children somewhat.

3. I learned that you have to be careful when working with small children not to belittle them or to intimidate them, but to find the right balance that is in between the two.

4. I think we should write stories (This is Creative Writing afterall), either just for our class or to somehow include the children with. I think it would be a great, fun and interesting learning experience.

Roan Van Eerd said...

My group presented an example of a "six word memoir" using an exclamation point (!) we tried to make our example funny and about a topic that they would find interesting so that they would like it more and it would be more memorable. i also used a funny picture and told them the story of how i got the picture.

My mini lesson wasn't that good i believe because it was made even more mini by our connections being interrupted. i am not sure how much they liked it because it cut out right before my punchline, making me just feel like a bad comedian rather then a good teacher.

this taught me that it takes lots of preparation and practice to be a good teacher, you have to be fun to keep the kids attention but at the same time teach them the info that you want them to learn, which as anyone may have guessed is very difficult

next time we Skype their class we should do something more interactive, maybe a game of some sort to get more people involved.

Kira Stroud said...

Skype Refection

(1) My group presented the mini lesson on punctuation. We made it "stick" with the kids by teaching it in a way that they could remember because it was fun! We had examples that related to driving. A red light was a period, a yellow light was a comma, and a green light was an exclamation mark. We also had to explain a question mark and Megan came up with the idea to use a pothole to describe the question mark.

(2) I feel that our mini lesson went pretty well. The kids were following along and answering the questions we had for them. The pictures we had while explaining the pictures I thought helped the kids get the ideas we were trying to get at.

(3) While teaching the kids, I learnt that grade three's need things to keep them into the topic being taught. Though they got distracted, they were very attentive when each group was talking. They seemed to really enjoy talking to us.

(4) I think next, they should come up with something they want to know, and have us teach it to them.

Ian Preston said...

1)The topic we presented was about growing up, and our mini lesson was about the question mark. We made it stick in the heads of our audience by making our six word memoir rhyme, as well as having an artsy photograph
2)I feel like our mini lesson could have gone better if we used a memoir that related to young kids better, but I think we explained our memoir and photos well,as well as including and explaining our question mark and comma.
3) I learned that when you're teaching to small kids, making the subject matter entertaining is much more important than working on making them learn, because if they're not entertained and engaged they won't be able to learn
4) For our next interaction with the kids, we should maybe do a lesson based off the book they're going to read us

Maslen Johnston said...

(1) What topics did you present? How did you go about making it "stick" with your audience?

My group presented the topic of commas and periods used in sentences. I was dressed up as Havoc the Husky for the entire presentation so I feel like I wasn't a large part of the actual lesson. I did help with other aspects of the project such as writing the script and the visual. Veronica was the one who presented the memoirs to the class since she is comfortable speaking in front of an audience and has a bright, outgoing personality.

(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?

I think our mini lesson went well but I just wish that all of us were able to speak to the class in our presentation. It was difficult for me to tell what was going on from inside the Havoc costume and I was unable to participate in any of the talking done in any of the presentations. Although being Havoc was fun I hope to do something a little bit different the next time we Skype. Still, I really enjoyed the response that all of the kids had to our visual and lesson.

(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?

This project helped me realize that part of being a teacher is trying to make the lesson interesting for the age group you are teaching. Spewing out information is not the best way to teach younger kids. Instead, it works better trying to get them involved by using more interactive teaching methods. I think our mini lessons were successful because the kids felt involved in learning.

(4) What should we do next?

Our entire class should take a trip to Thompson to meet Ms. Bettess' class! In all reality though, I think we should write our own original poems to share with the 3rd grade class.

Jasmine Baker said...

1. My group and I presented the introduction greeting part of the Skype Six Word Memoir mini lesson. My group and I made the greeting interesting by using really cool and creative numbers to show how there are 6 words for each six word "story." We used a lot of expression as well.
2. I think it went very well. We had what we were going to say printed out infront of us so we did not mess up. We also had glittery numbers showing to make them interested in what we were doing. A weakness we had was we did not really go in depth in explaining what a six word memoir was and how to do them.
3. I learnt that it is way harder to teach children how to do something because they do not have as wide as a vocabulary as we do. I also learned you need to do things to entertain them because they do not pay attention for long.
4. I think next time they should show us something they have done in class. I would love for them to teach us something, even if we already have a little understanding about it. It would be interesting to see what they learn in class because maybe in Thompson they learn different things.

Ariane Ruiz said...

(1)What topics did you present? How did you go about making in "stick" with your audience?
My group and I did the introduction of the of the skype call as part of the "Six Word Stories". We made six cards that each had the numbers written from 1-6 to help the kids show how there are 6 numbers for each word. Glitter was used to make it more appealing to the kids. This helped them visualize what we were talking about.
(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
I feel like our lessons went well since we had everything written down for us to say. Though I also feel like we could have given more detail about how the six word stories became what it is, who started it or where it originated from. We also could have memorized our lines to make it look like we were naturally talking about it instead of reading off the paper.
(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
I learned that teaching is a very hard process, especially when it comes to grade 3 students. You have to choose your words wisely in able for them to understand what you are teaching and you also have to step into their point view to help it guide you on how they should be taught.
(4) What should we do next?
I think we should come visit Ms.Bettess and each of us could read to one of her students or they can try teaching us for a change.

Thomas Groom said...

1. Our six word memoir presented the topic of growing up and we taught the class about the question mark. We included a comma to our question in order to present more of a challenge and we had a nice suitable visual to accompany it of John staring off into the distance. The whole picture is sort of dream like in nature which we felt that any kid could relate to, everyone likes to daydream every once and a while, especially the ones who still have their imaginations well preserved.

2. Overall I'd say it went alright. I think our "Memoir" or "Story" was the one the kids were least engaged in compared to other groups. If we chose a topic and visual that was a little less vague and a bit more cheerful perhaps ours would have turned out better.

3. The main thing I learned was the reason teachers are given a prep period. You must be one hundred percent ready the day of in order to teach your material otherwise you're for lack of a better word "screwed". Although our presentation went alright, we could have done better by preparing more and taking the whole thing more seriously which I feel we will next time.

4. I suppose it's sort of pointless for them to try to teach us something but I wouldn't exactly complain if they tried. Maybe it would be good for them to see what a teacher has to go through and have them try to educate us or show us more examples of what they learned from us. Definitely they have to present something to us next time.

Mark Taylor said...

(1) What topics did you present? How did you go about making in "stick" with your audience?
- We presented the Six Word Story with growing up as our overall theme and it was used with a question. We went about making it stick by making it easily understandable for why the image we used works well with our six word story and we presented it in a friendly manner.

(2) How do you feel your mini lesson went? Strengths? Weaknesses?
- I feel our mini lesson went pretty well. Weaknesses with our mini lesson was it may not have been relatable with the grade 3 class because they are still young and may not look at getting older in that way. Strength with out mini lesson was it was to the point making it easy to understand.

(3) What did you learn about the process of teaching and learning?
- I learnt that it is important to have your topic completely ready to go otherwise you wont feel confident when teaching. When you prepare in advance for teaching you will have an idea of how you should teach it rather than thinking on the spot and not getting across the medium when you're trying to help someone learn. The key to good teaching is to be clear and engaging to let people really want to learn and understand what it is you're trying to teach.

(4) What should we do next?
- Since we just taught the grade 3 class about six word stories and punctuation to go along with them I think it would be a good idea if they present to us what they've learned at school and after having that skype call with us.

Bruna Barcelos said...

(1) My group presented a 6 word memoir as an example of how to use an exclamation point. We made it “stick” with our audience by making a very funny 6 word memoir. I think the humor on the scene was enough to keep the children attention and make them like it.

(2) Our mini lesson was a little confuse because we had some problems with the connection. Maybe the kids got a little bit confuse with our explanation because of it. We tried to be good teachers with many strengths, but the connection problems were a weakness that messed up with our plans.

(3) I learned that we have to be careful teaching kids, because at the same time that we need to make interesting things to keep their attention, we have to be careful to make sure that they are getting what they are supposed to. To teach kids you have to keep the fun and the learning on a balance, what make it hard to be a good teacher.

(4) We should keep teaching them what they want to learn in different ways, because it keeps us creative and help them to be creative too. We could do a game or even a small and improvised play on the class.