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Our 15 Blog Challenge

At GVMS, Mrs. Dean is challenging her students to post 15 blog entries by May 24th.  Here are the parameters:

May either be on a topic of choice or a topic from a given list. Must be done by May 24th.
You can see that Mrs. Dean values student choice and voice in this assignment.  Students may write all 15 in one day or spread it out.  They can write about something they show passion or interested in writing. Furthermore, she is teaching the students life skills they will need as they enter post-secondary schools or employment.  Have a digital portfolio of writing that shows growth over time is a powerful tool that will help them stand out among other candidates.  
As Tech Coaches, we want to help support the students and model this process for them as well.  Therefore, we are taking the challenge!  We will have 15 posts after this one. Some on topics of choice and others that we choose from the list. Also, you'll hear from different voices to mix it up a little bit. We love challe…

One Student Question to Rule the World

The Collaboration Process: Part 1

Here is a story to help lay out how collaboration begins, develops and changes here in Garnet Valley.  It is student driven and facilitated, with the teachers providing the framework.  

The BeginningOne student question to rule the world!

So we may not be Lord of the Rings, but a student did ask one question, which led to bigger things that are now ruling our teacher world.  Let’s take a peek into Miss Abes’ 6th Grade ATP classroom.

Students are grouped at tables with Chromebooks open working on a Nearpod about Digital Citizenship.  The class discussion is about the internet and how we use it safely.  Talking points are as follows: Important to have a Positive Digital Footprint Be careful what you say, do and find online What you do online cannot be erased

As the discussion and lesson continues, one student raises her hand and states, “Maybe the internet is a bad thing. Maybe we are on it too much and we shouldn’t be. How does it really help us anyway?”

Wow! L…

Mystery Skypes in GV Classrooms: Learning through Connection and Collaboration

So far this year, Garnet Valley classrooms have been connecting with many schools throughout the United States of America and Canada.  Students are learning geography, culture, and different ways to collaborate and learn.

Geography: So how does it work?  Students from both classrooms take turns asking Yes or No type questions via Skype or other forms of video chat such as Facetime, or Google Hangouts.  Once a question gets answered, students cross off states on a map.  This is a phenomenal way for students to learn Geography.  They are scaffolded to use certain types of vocabulary: North, South, East, West, Border, Great Lakes, River, Longitude and Latitude, Landlocked, etc.

Culture: Once both sets of students find out which state they are located, classes have the opportunity to tell a little bit about there area.

Students have learned: Iowa produces the most corn in the US and Benton SD covers 113 Square MilesArkansas is best known for Walmart stores and the state tree is a Pine TreeVe…

A Positive "Digital" #GVFEELING

What do footprints, citizenship and cereal all have to do with our students?

They are all part of how students create a positive, online presence through Digital Citizenship and Digital Branding at Garnet Valley School District. As showcased last year, teachers are stepping it up and taking Digital Citizenship to a new level throughout the district. K-5 FootprinsIn the elementary schools, students begin to understand that each time they post or are posted online, they are leaving a digital “footprint”.  This footprint is never erased and what they do now matters. Students are encouraged to take control of their digital footprint and to leave as much positive content so that it drowns out any of the negative that may appear.  Students in 5th grade sign a pledge to be good digital citizens that is hung in the hallway all year long.  Students learn about positive guidelines to posting and commenting online and are taught to T.H.I.N.K. :

Middle School-CitizenshipIn 6th grade students are ta…

Providing Choice through Genius Hour at GVHS

Feeding the homeless? Talking to NASA?  Improving health through napping?

These are just a few of the topics that can be explored in Mrs. Crowther’s 9th Grade English classes at Garnet Valley High School. Mrs. Crowther is encouraging her students to become problem finders, critical thinkers and world changers by allowing them the opportunity to participate in Genius Hour, a project designed for the classroom by A.J. Juliani and John Spencer. See videos below for an explanation and how to start one in your own classroom.  

This week the students began the project by “pitching their ideas” Shark Tank style.  Each student pitched the following to their peers: The question they wanted to answer Why they chose that question How they would research the answer What they would do with the answer when they found it

We were blown away with the ideas and passions that came from the students.  They were passionate and showed an amazing amount of empathy for others. Their desire to help change the world,…

Reflections on Global Day of Design #GDD17

In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit many classrooms across my district that were participating in Global Day of Design. (For those of you that aren't familiar with Global Day of Design, click here).  As I visited different classrooms there were three things that really stood out to me:  smiles on students' faces, perseverance as a common behavior and collaboration as a consistent theme. As I resonated on what I observed a question came to mind: What are we teaching our students through the opportunity of participating in a Global Day of Design?  The answer is simple, all the right stuff. Just imagine if we provided our students with more than just a day. By providing students with an understanding and framework of design thinking and allowing them to identify problems and work to seek solutions, we are creating thinkers, problem-solvers, and individuals that can make real life changes. Students attitudes towards learning also shift when provided these o…

6th Graders Coding Poetry

Ms. Lorusso was thinking of another way for her students to express themselves using poetry.  After some exploration, she came across a poetry lesson using SCRATCH.  She instructed her students to pick a poem, read through the poem and find 4 major parts, and express it with computer programming through Scratch.   Here are the AMAZING results along with some pictures!  Great job 6th grade!!