"I found this game called Interland...can we play it?"
Why, yes you can. I've been meaning to roll that out. Let's post it on Seesaw so everyone can play.
Student figures out how to take a picture in Nearpod.
"He should make a screencast about that."
Can't do fluency on our regular platform.
"We could screencastify it."
That's a great idea.
"Can we put this into Google Slides?"
Of course. That would be awesome.
"Can we put this into Book Creator?"
Sure! Go for it.
One of my favorite things that kids say is:
"I have an idea..."
What I love about this time of year is that I can really see my students blossoming in three ways:
1. Students help and encourage each other spontaneously.
2. Students feel confident to share their ideas with me and their classmates.
3. Students know the tools available to them and know that they will be encouraged to use them. .
5 or 6 years ago I got to do a tiny 8 week pilot with Acer computers in my classroom. In that short amount of time, I noticed how students intuitively helped one another. There was something about the computers and the way we implemented them that encouraged connections and support in the classroom.
But it isn't just the computers. I give my students choices whenever I can. My students know I love a variety of learning tools. (paper and pencil being one of them). My students know I will gobble up their ideas and if I can, let them run with them.
These somewhat simple things that I believe in and allow for hold space for my students to fly. It's not a coincidence. I've created a safe place for students to explore and be heard. It is a humbling and inspiring thing to know that I am a positive force in their learning environment.
So often there are metaphorical dogs nipping at my heels saying things like, "Will you EVER be good at leading small groups?" "Can't you even remember dates?" "S is not growing and I have failed them." You know the list. It can be daunting at times.
So that is why I am here to celebrate my students and myself. (It definitely feels weird to say that!) We have grown together because our collective ingenuity, wisdom, and creativity, has been nurtured, valued, and embraced.
Because of my PLN on Twitter, I have been encouraged to be positive, take risks, and live into the teacher I am. Nothing happens in a vacuum. I have gained confidence this year like never before. It may be a coincidence, but this is the year I have started blogging on a regular basis and being active on Twitter. My PLN does for me what I have done for my students. Given me a safe and encouraging place to share ideas and explore different tools.
Happy January to everyone. It's a beautiful time of the year.
PS Guess who learned to make her own GIFs and post them on her Weekly website? :)