Monthly Archives: January 2016

Blogging – Who’s Your Audience?

Today many students successfully uploaded their first image to their blog pages – a photo of a painting completed during art class this morning.

The thing with blogging….?  it’s most exciting when other people see and respond to the ideas and work you post  – so expand your audience for your blog – send your blog address (which you can copy from the address bar in your web browser, and paste into an e-mail) t0 friends and family around the world – got cousins in Cape Breton?  Grandma in Greenwich?  Send them your blog address and invite them to comment


downloadThe whole world is your audience – but you have to let them know you’re here, and that you’ve got something to say!

Design Challenge – Create a Fixed Pulley System

This morning, the Grade 4 students worked on a design challenge – using pulleys, strings, tape, and any other materials that can be found in the room,  design a simple machine that will raise a 1 kg weight 40cm off the ground.   They worked at the task all morning, and coped beautifully with the frustration inherent in being an inventor….and they made some important scientific discoveries about how simple machines make work easier.

I’ll be asking them to blog about what they did and what they learned tomorrow.

Here are some photos of the engineers at work (click on the thumbnails to enlarge them):


Googling…. yourself? What’s your Digital Footprint?

Today we had a conversation about the importance of using common sense and good judgement – not only when we interact with people in person, but especially when we interact on line.  We talked about how anything that is posted online can be traced, copied, shared, broadcast and perhaps most important of all – is PERMANENT.


To make the point, I Googled my own name, and showed the students the hits that came up – which included my registration for the conference that I went to in Boston in November, the transcript from an interview with the Beacon Herald in 2012, and a news article about a fundraising activity I did with my class in 2010 – highlighting the point that anything that goes online stays there for a long time.

Then, with their permission -we Googled a few members of the class – and realized that when you Google your name, you might get a link that is not to you, but to someone with the same name…. we also noticed that most of the links that came up that were about people in the class, were updates from Stratford Minor Hockey, or other organized sports.

Everyone wanted to be the subject of a Google Search, but there was not time to accommodate everyone – so no doubt this will be something many will want to do when they get home.

In the end, as we begin to develop our blog pages, I want to drive home the message that they need to think carefully about what they post online, and make sure they make good choices – because of the nature of the digital world – what we share online goes further, and sticks around longer, than anything we say face to face.


Curling Permission Forms

The students will have the opportunity to attend the Junior Curling Championships at the Rotary Complex on Wednesday, January 27th. The permission forms for the upcoming curling championships will be sent home tomorrow. Please sign and return the permission form at your earliest convenience. If you would like to volunteer to supervise the students, please check the volunteer box on the permission form.

Learning About Line Symmetry

We worked this morning at 4 different activity centres designed for students to explore the concept of line symmetry:  Some students  were  building symmetrical designs with pattern blocks, while others were making predictions about the number of lines  of symmetry in various polygons, and then checking their predictions by folding to find lines of symmetry.   A third group used MIRA’s to reflect designs and drawings across a mirror line, and a fourth group tried their hand at using dot paper to reflect images of varying complexity across 1 or 4 mirror lines.


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Weekly Updates & Student Blogs

Please check the pages across the top of the blog for updates about what’s going on in Grade 4 this week.  Also, student blogs have now been “activated” and the kids are starting to post.

There is a “blogroll” on the side-bar menu of the class blog with links to all of the student blogs.  They are still learning how to navigate the Edublogs platform.  The learning curve is fairly steep at first, but, in my experience, students quickly become proficient with this tool – one they will have access to for the rest of their time in the AMDSB.

At this point, all posts are filtered through me.  This is a “safety net” to ensure that students have time to learn about digital citizenship and online safety – topics we will begin to address this week in Health Class.

Please read and comment on your child’s blog, and share the URL with friends and family (all over the world!) and encourage them to do the same – the most exciting thing about blogging is the access to a global audience.