I spent a half day with my coop and the kindergartens yesterday morning and it was such a delight.  She has over 20 students in her room, which seems like a lot for kindergarten, but the routines she has established make transitions seamless.  She also has an EA in the room to assist a student who uses an iPad to communicate.  She was able to tell us what she did the night before by selecting the word/symbols she needed to create a sentence that the iPad spoke out-loud for her.  We are going to have another student next year in the Discovery Pre-School who will be getting his own iPad to use for the same thing.  I think it will be really neat to be a part of his learning experience as he figures out how to communicate with his new "voice".


Another exciting opportunity I will be participating in next semester, is the chance to help pilot a new web-based tool that is being developed to capture play based learning in the classroom.  I think five teachers in Canada are testing the program, and my coop and I will be one.  I had a quick look around at the site yesterday and some of the features it has are the ability to upload photos, videos and audio clips to the "learning story", include the names of the students involved in the observation, send the story to the involved children's parents, link the story to learning outcomes, and much, much more.  I am so excited to be a part of such an innovative program!

I am really looking forward to the upcoming semester.  Being in the classroom yesterday made me miss teaching.  I also recalled that a person cannot visit a room of kids and not come away with at least one funny story.  So, here goes.  Yesterday morning the kinders were lined up quietly in the boot room, waiting for the bell to ring for recess.  When it did, everyone went rushing outside.  A, who took off running with extra vigour, fell on the gravel just outside the door.  When I looked through the window, I saw him standing there pointing to his knee, with only one shoe on.  Immediately his friend T came running over to report.

T: "Miss S!  Miss S!  A fell and hurt himself!  He was running so fast that he fell and he blew a shoe!"

My coop and I looked at each other and laughed.  "He blew a shoe!"  Too cute!
 
 
This weekend I delved into the world of podcasting and I will admit it was challenging for me to sit and listen to them.  I am obviously a person who needs visuals because I found my eyeballs wandering around the room inadvertently causing my mind to follow suit.  However, I was able to rustle up some good shares for you and create a bit of magic myself.

Ever since I created and taught a unit on science in my pre-internship, I have fancied myself a scientist.  I have recently introduced experiments to the kids at work and they love it.  I think part of it is the natural inquiry process that occurs in scientific exploration.  So I was naturally curious when I found a podcast dedicated to simple science explanations because the one thing I struggled with was putting the scientific reasoning into kid friendly language.  While this podcast is too advanced for littles, it is easily understood by adults and could be translated for younger students.

Another podcast I liked was from TeacherCast.  The website hasn't been updated in a while so the particular episode I listened to about how to begin teaching with technology isn't up there but is available on iTunes.  One of the guests said something that really stuck with me because it reminded me almost exactly of something Dean said during one of our live sessions this week.  The gentleman stated that "we have to make sure we show our students we are not afraid to make mistakes" and Dean had said something similar when he was trying something out for us on the spot.  I appreciate when he does stuff like that because then he makes it safe for us to try new things and to take risks in a public space, like on our blogs.

A third podcast that caught my eye, I picked up off the favourites page on iTunes.  It is actually a series of video podcasts from Scam School.  The host is a little bit over the top for my liking, but he does teach you some neat tricks you can dazzle your friends with next time you're out and about.  Maybe you could become the next David Copperfield
Speaking of magic, I created a little of my own here in this little podcast. I much preferred this week's tech task of over the video blog we had to create a couple of weeks ago.  Mostly because I didn't have to get dressed.  The cat you see in the middle there, lounging on the stairs, is my girl Charlie Bear. She is also the one you can hear meowing in the background at about 3:04.  She's so needy
sometimes!  During my pod (is that short for podcast, or would you just say cast?) I mentioned a couple of articles: one on HubPages and the other on canada.com.  If you're pressed for time and can't listen to the whole thing, answer me this: What would you do if recess was eliminated in your school?