Twitter and a Kindergarten Classroom

3389655485_c981a3e973Carlene Hamley’s kindergarten class has been using Twitter to enhance classroom discussions, make connections around the world and provide an authentic audience for writing workshop. Through their class Twitter account, @KC5105, Ms. Hamley and her students have made connections with classrooms and individuals within the SIS community and beyond. They check tweets on a regular basis to find out what is happening out beyond their classroom which leads to relevant and meaningful discussions among students and with their Twitter followers. Tweeting has also been incorporated into daily writing workshop sessions, as seen in the video below.

Posts about using Twitter in the Kindergarten Classroom by Carlene Hamley

Twitter in KC: How and Why
Tweet, Tweetered, Twittered…We are in KC!!
It Started with a Tweet!

Stay FITT This Summer

As the school year comes to a close and we spend time reflecting on different lessons and projects this year, it is important to remember that our students are learning all of the time.  Learning doesn’t simply finish with the end of the academic year, and this is especially true when it comes to physical education.  With so many of our HS students taking part in Knoflick FITT this past year, Colleen is continuing the challenge through the summer:

Post Your Pushups Around The World!

Join our P.E. students this summer by taking part in the Summer FITT Challenge.  All you have to do take part is to take a picture or short video of yourself doing pushups with a geographical landmark in the background and post it to the Knoflick FITT page.  We want to see where in the world you are working out.  Students have already been abuzz about where they will be and what pictures they will capture.  John Burns will being doing pushups at the renowned Gold Coast beach in Brisbane.

Here are just a few of the great reflections that Colleen has received from students as they thought back upon this year-long project.

Dabin Song’s PE Radio Show


Ji Won’s Newspaper Article


Julie’s Newspaper Article









Not another iMovie

There are so many ways to have your students showcase their learning through the iPad. One particular summative project is to have your students film their learning. Miss Lauder has been having her students do this particular process, but has a twist on how it can be more relevant to your students’ learning.
“In the past I typically steered my students summative project to showcase their learning by making a quick film clip that I and / or their peers could watch in class. Whether it was myself assessing their film or peers, the learning that they captured was the same. This process soon became very bland, so I decided to infuse students’ summative assessment projects with empathy and design to get better overall showcasing of learning. 
Students were put into groups and given a biomolecule (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, vitamins and minerals, proteins) to study. Once in their groups they researched their biomolecule and followed the rubric to finalize their film. This can easily be integrated in your classroom, where the focus is researching a topic to meet a specific standard or even a topic that the students want to learn themselves.” 

Calculating my Future

Making learning relevant in Sarah Qavi’s room. “Its really easy” ;)

What is an everyday math objective that your students must meet?
They have to apply themselves and I feel I give them enough reason and relevant content that they want to learn the current standard.
How do you differentiate instruction for your learners?
It’s really easy. I do a flip classroom, mainly  through Educreations, depending on content, I also use Khan Academy. The students watch the lesson at home, the following day they come back to class and apply their learning.  
During every math class I set up stations, they are typically the following:
Art station- art of math ~ graphical representation.  
Technology station – math and technology - i.e. Google Earth for coordinates. 
Consultation station – 1v1 facilitated with me to check for understanding
Game situation station – games, cards, board games and dice.  
Application station – time to implement their learning into a project. 
Complex thinking station – This is for students who show exemplary standard of that particular math strand we are currently working on.
How do you assess your students?
During my consultation station, I am able to assess where my students are in the current math unit. From there I can keep them or have them stay longer with me for further coaching. Those that move on, apply their learning to the application station.
How do you make this relevant and have your students autonomously apply themselves to learn specific math standards?
There are plenty of resources online to make mathematics relevant… but is it really relevant. To me that answer is no because it depends on location, meaning, in what city are you currently teaching your students? The reason is, I teach at an international school, I am exposed to traveling to many countries, eating a variety of foods and use many different currencies. I easily apply what I go through on an everyday basis and on holiday with the math standard I teach in class. This is what makes learning math relevant to my students because they too are going through the same experiences. With obvious different twist, this could be applied to any subject.
What are examples of this in your classroom?
The system of math, in particular systems of equations and inequalities. I applied this to budgeting a trip. All my students travel so this easily resinates with them.
Another example that I have students meet the standard of percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound interest and rates. The summative assessment I give my students to complete is a project called “University, managing finances.” The project is completely directed at them in regards to what university they currently see themselves attending and living on their own after they graduate high school. As mention before, project requires the students to apply percents, mark ups, simple interest, compound internets and rates. I receive a lot of positive parent feed back on this project because it’s an easy talking piece at home that both parent and child can have a constructive conversation about.
Resources:      University Project           Student’s Project

Design Thinking and Fitness

Knofick FITT is fully up and running through another round of FITT goals for 9th and 10th grade students.  This project has really blossomed into a fantastic proof of concept for using Design Thinking for goal setting.  Students have recently finished their first round of FITT goals and are in the process of “Choosing” and “Adapting” goals through the end of the year.

263797412_origGraphic Source:

Student reflection videos are currently being posted to a shared playlist.  Students commented on their progress, modifications that might need to be made, and whether or not the social media aspect helped keep them accountable for their goal.

Stay Tuned project updates!!!

Why you should buy an @Oculus Rift for your school right now.


The Oculus Rift is amazing. There’s no doubt about it.  Literally every person I’ve seen don the headset drops a, ‘Woah!’  immediately.  It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced and it’s going to have a profound impact on the ways in which we interact and learn through technology.

You encounter a problem though, when trying to explain exactly what the Oculus Rift does.  To invoke Morpheus, “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Oculus Rift is.  You have to see it for yourself”.  Unless you’ve actually put on the headset, preferably with earphones, it’s difficult to comprehend the level of immersion and realness you feel.  So for the uninitiated, it’s Virtual Reality done right.  Wear the Oculus Rift and you’re transported to another place; the moon, the back of a dragon, or in the Giza Necropolis; wherever.  If it can be simulated in a computer, you can experience it.  Needles to say, gamers are excited.

And while the impact on gaming is clear it’s interesting to see that there are already strong learning applications emerging.  Apps like ‘Titans of Space let you tour the solar system and provide a profound sense of the scale of the universe.  Ocean Rift places you alongside sharks and whales as you glide along the sea floor.  VR Cinema gives you an entire 200 seat theatre to yourself while Street View takes advantage of Google Maps letting you tour the world.  And we haven’t touched on the innovations to storytelling and film.  You can even spend a moment as the star of one of Japan’s most successful films, Spirited Away.  Soon there will be movies where YOU play the lead role.

It’s not all beer and skittles though.  Some games make you sick.  You literally need to develop ‘VR legs’ for these.  I was heavily nauseated after 30 minutes of Half-Life 2.  Apparently, the new Oculus Rift dubbed Crystal Cove, alleviates some of this this with a HD display, reduced latency and motion tracking.  I’m hoping to get sick playing GTA4 soon but I can’t get it working yet.  That’s the other bit, you’ll need to be prepared to troubleshoot and explore (which you’ll probably enjoy anyway).

What’s most exciting though are the implications for inclusive settings.  People with physical or mental disabilities will have access to learning experiences and scenarios that were previously difficult to establish.  Learning will become more accessible to all.

So, if you’ve got the budget (around 300 bucks plus a hefty PC or Mac) get your hands on an Oculus Rift.  It’s going to influence the way we interact with technology (check out the minority report style computer in The Cave) and become an integral part of any blended learning environment.  It won’t be too long before it has the form factor of Google Glass.  That will certainly make things interesting.

Follow @Oculus for more information