Local News Bubble…

News. To be honest, this is one thing that can completely overwhelm me. Media, in my mind, has allowed the access to and the spread of news, true and fake to become so widespread. In today’s society information and news is always visible and present and that to me has become overwhelming. Because the access and amount of news overwhelm me so much, I have found that for the most part, I try and put myself in a bubble of staying local with my news intake. By doing so I feel that I am able to stay informed about what is happening in my immediate community and up to date with the news that directly impacts myself and my community. Amy shares the same feelings I do about news in todays society, she shares,

I can’t make sense of my world. What I learn about in the news constantly tells me that there is so much going on that I can’t understand and have no way of even beginning to understand.  I feel overwhelmed by the complexities of the moment we’re in, politically, socially, humanitarian-ly, and environmentally.

 With acknowledging these overwhelming feelings I feel about my news intake, I do acknowledge that it ultimately is a privilege that I have in that I  am able to choose which news I concern myself.

Currently, the strategy that I use in order to stay informed and away from the fake news is that I try to primarily ready and watch local news, listen to local radio and also browsing online local news sites in order to stay informed with my communities news stories. I try and make sure that I cross-check facts between different local news stations as I find even between local news stations the stories that each station shares can present different facts and different information. I feel that in today’s world no matter what the source of news that you are reading it is important to always cross-check the information to truly guarantee that you are getting truthful facts of the news stories. If we do not cross-check the facts we then risk becoming part of the problem in spreading of ‘fake news’.

  

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There was a time in my life when I relied on my social media platforms to keep myself informed with news. Many people use their social media accounts to share stories of news that is happening around the world. It is hard not to click on the catchy headings and read stories of what is happening around the world. The problem with relying on social media platforms is that there are many fake news stories floating around on these sites. This is why it is concerning that in today’s society many people are using social media as their primary news platform but in reality, this is where the majority of ‘fake news’ stories begin to circulate.

It is just in the last few years that I have learned to become skeptical of reading news stories circulating on social media and have become aware of the idea of fake news and how to begin to decipher if a story is real or fake. In Jocelyn and Jamie’s video this week, they share a study done by Ofcom that polled 12-15-year-olds and half of the students shared that social media is where they get their news stories from.The following is a video that Jocelyn and Jaimie’s shared about the importance of fact-checking news stories found on our social media feeds.

As an educator, we have a great responsibility in helping our students understand fake news and helping them build the skills that they need in order to understand and think critically about what they are reading. I can see after reflection this week that this is something I need to work on myself to become more comfortable with reading news and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to become more informed with what is going on around the world. I need to work towards becoming more comfortable with reading online and being able to confidently identify what is true and what is fake news. Jocelyn and Jaimie shared the following picture which I think is a great starting point for myself as well as my students when looking at classifying news.

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Although I think this is a great start to helping students identify ‘fake news’ we need to remember what Alec shared last week in class. Nicole shared on Twitter how Alec quoted that”no checklist is going to make your student’s media literate.” Sharing tips that students can work through is great but even beyond this, we need to ensure that we continue to have conversations with them and provide them with real experiences to help them truly understand and be confident in the skills they need in order to become media literate citizens.

So my question to you is how are you committed to helping your students become digital literate citizens in this fake news world? For me, I acknowledge that my first step needs to begin with continuing educating myself and becoming more confident in my media literacy skills.

Thanks for stopping in!

 

 

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Giving to Charity Makes us Happy!

It has been another exciting and busy week for #thehappinessproject in our classroom. Last week we hit the ground running with our fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan! The students were so excited to begin to raise money for our charity. They are feeling very inspired by the fact that they can work together for a greater cause and be a part of something so great within our province. Children are so caring and giving and this week allowed my students to take on leadership roles in our school in order to inspire others to jump on board with our fundraiser.

Small groups of our students went around to each and every classroom to spread awareness in our school about our fundraiser. They worked together to count out and deliver all of the order forms to the classrooms. On Thursday we received all of our pre-order forms and from there we were able to begin to fill our pre-orders with the bracelets that we had made for our fundraiser. We also have other classrooms from other schools around Regina that have been following our blog. They also purchased bracelets so we filled those orders and sent them to their schools! The bracelet sales were a huge success and all the students who purchased bracelets are encouraged to wear them on Tuesday, March 20th for International Day of Happiness. Here are the bracelets our classroom ordered!

Another fundraiser our class has planned is on Thursday, March 22nd students in our school can also participate in a mindful day where they can pay $1 to chew gum for the school day. Did you know that chewing gum is mindful?

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I also had one very caring and generous student who went above and beyond and did her own fundraiser to raise more money for our cause. You can check out Addie’s blog post on our happiness project to read about how she raised $145 for our project! Her blog post can be found here!

At our school assembly in April our classroom will be doing a happiness presentation for families and our school as well as at that time we will have the grand total for how much money we raised for the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan! Stay tuned as they have already way surpassed what our original goal was!

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Feel free to check out our blog here to read up on what we have been learning about this week! My students have been working hard at keeping our blog updated so the classrooms who are following along can continue on with the project.

We are so grateful for the classrooms and others who have been following along with our project. Many classrooms and others have left us comments on our blog which has been very exciting for our students. Last week we took time to read all of the comments that have been left on our blog posts. We took time to read each comment and students took time responding to these comments. We talked about why it is important to comment on others work and also how we can use positive comments to encourage others in their work. We also talked about the importance of taking time to reply to comments and why it would be important to take the time to reply to these comments. The students learned so much from this short lesson. We are grateful for the classrooms who have been following along and commenting to encourage our learning. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read and comment on my students learning.

It has been another happy week for #thehappinessproject! We have lots of learning left to do so continue checking our blog! I have also reached out to Makayla who runs thehappinessprojectyqr.com. She has branded #thehappinessprojectYQR in Regina and I have been in contact with her about collaborating. I plan to make arrangements to have her come and talk to our class about her journey to happiness as well as her experiences with social media and how she has used social media to spread happiness to all of her followers! I am very excited about this collaboration! Stay tuned to hear what we decide on!

Thanks for checking out our update! It has been another busy week and this is only a snippet of what we have been up to! Make sure to browse our blog to see the details! Leave us a comment and let us know you stopped by!

What are you doing for International Day of Happiness?! Join us in our pursuit of happiness!

We will meet YOU at HAPPY!

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21st Century Literacy

Teaching is one profession where the requirements and expectations are constantly changing due to the changes in society. As teachers, it is essential that we are educating our young people to keep up with the changes happening in society. It is also crucial that teachers are committed to understanding the changes happening in society and are thinking critically about how their teaching practices need to continue to evolve to meet the different demands of society.

Traditionally, literacy in the classroom was defined by the student’s ability to read, write and do arithmetic. As society progresses literacy also progresses and in today’s society being literate means much more than having the ability to read, write and do arithmetic. So what does it mean to be literate today?

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Our world is changing at a pace that can sometimes seem difficult to keep up with. Literacy alike is also changing rapidly. To become fully literate in today’s society one must acquire skills greater than just reading, writing, and arithmetic.  As stated in the article Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World,

The convergence of media and technology in a global culture is changing the way we learn about the world and challenging the very foundations of education. No longer is it enough to be able to read the printed word; children, youth, and adults, too, need the ability to critically interpret the powerful images of a multimedia culture.

No longer is being literate having the ability to just read and write. To be fully literate one must have the skills to also become media literate which is having the ability to think critically and understand the many messages we receive through multimedia throughout our day. As Staci defined in her catalyst video, “Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending.” We now live in a multimedia world where messages are sent to us through many different media throughout our days and it is our job as educators to help children understand these messages and teach them to be able to think critically about what the messages mean to them.

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As teachers, we need to begin to understand how the curriculum we teach in our classrooms needs to change as well as our teaching methods and approaches need to change to address the multimedia world that our students live in. We need to help them learn not only how to navigate the technology and use it to gather information but also how to be critical in the way that they analyze the information that they have gathered. Through a change in education, we can teach students how they can use technology to further their understanding of multimedia information.

As stated in the article Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World, becoming media literate allows students to move away from the idea of teachers providing knowledge and students storing all of the information in their brains, towards students having the skills to acquire and search for any information that they will need to know. The world is constantly changing and data is produced at a faster rate than ever before therefore it is unrealistic for students to be able to store these amounts of data in their brains. These skills, in turn, allow students to be able to find knowledge rather than store knowledge we have provided them with.

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It also means that we are taking time to teach students how to approach new technologies that they will encounter. We help them to build and understand the skills they need to approach new technology with enthusiasm, fearlessly as well as skeptically and critically. We build on their reading and writing skills by teaching them how to use technology to help further their thinking and understanding of the world around them. This allows students to become digital learners where they can learn anything, anywhere at any time. Becoming digital literate is an essential and powerful tool students need to master to become fully literate in today’s society.

As a teacher what are you doing in your classroom to ensure that your literacy program is pushing beyond the traditional understanding of what is literacy? How can you ensure that you are providing your students with the experiences they need to become fully literate in today’s society? As teachers, it is important that we question and challenge our teaching pedagogies to continue to grow as an educator and ensure that we are providing our students with the skill set that they need to be the best that they can be in today’s society.

 

 

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#DPkindnesschallenge

Last term as well as this term I have been awakened to the importance of teaching Digital Citizenship in my classroom. I am finding it hard to think back and reflect on what my understanding of the term digital citizenship was prior to my first Ed Tech class with Alec. Did I teach it to my class? I would say….maybe, kind of, but I sure didn’t do the topic any justice. The passion and understanding of the importance of this topic was just not there for me yet.

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Most of my teaching career has been in a grade 1 classroom with myself just recently moving into an upper elementary teaching position. This transition has allowed me to understand the importance of educating students about digital citizenship even at an elementary level. Now with a new media literacy ear and media literacy understanding, I often hear conversations between my grade 3/4 students where they are referring to some sort of media usage or new knowledge they are building of social media sites. This has really opened my eyes to how young students are beginning to create their own online identity.

The experience in grade 3/4 has really challenged me to consider what my role as a teacher is in educating them to be good digital citizens. It has made me consider how I can incorporate media literacy and digital citizenship into my daily lessons. Last term I found myself doing many ‘one off’ digital citizenship lessons with my students. This term as my confidence grows I am beginning to find ways to have discussions and mini-lessons in what we are already doing in the classroom. As my knowledge of digital citizenship grows I am finding it easier to weave this knowledge into my daily teaching.

While reading Digital Literacy: What does it mean to you? I was considering how as teachers we first need to be confident in our own digital citizenship. The article states:

For me digital literacy involves reading widely, keeping informed, knowing when and how to be critical and when to embrace new information, new ideas. It also means how to approach new technologies – hardware and software – skeptically, fearlessly, and with enthusiasm.

Similar to how we are teaching our students to be critical, embrace new information, ideas and approaching new technologies we as teachers need to be enthusiastic and fearless about the idea of incorporating technology and digital opportunities into our classrooms. We need to take on the role of being the role models and allowing our students to see a real-world positive example that they can learn from and be a part of.                                                 Photo Credit

Similar to Amy I had mixed feelings at the beginning of Patrick Maze’s presentation. Throughout the conversation, it really reminded me and helped me understand how important it is for teachers to always be good role models online and understand how the public views teachers online. Like Amy stated, “teachers are always in the spotlight, that we need to ensure that we have the public’s confidence to teach their youth, that we are held to a higher standard and need to be careful of what we put online.” These high standards allow teachers to be mindful of how we can be good role models online for our students.

Within my classroom, I feel that this year we have made lots of headway in the digital citizenship teaching. #thehappinessproject has been providing my students with real-world experience in using media to connect with others and learn how we can use media to positively impact others. I feel that this project has turned out to be much more than just an ‘activist’ project as it is hitting areas in teaching and learning that I didn’t even dream of reaching. I will share a future post on how #thehappinessproject has been a great teaching tool for media literacy and digital citizenship in our classroom.

Within our school, there have been many social media ‘issues’ pop up over the past few months. Many of these issues have popped up in the upper elementary grades with the students that are reaching the age to newly signing up for different social media apps. Many of the students have reported students bullying or the improper use of these sites to us as teachers. It has really allowed us as a learning community to come together and have conversations about what our roles as teachers are in helping students be safe and kind online.

One project that is being launched in our school for International Day of Happiness on March 20th is the Grade 5 and 6 students on the Conflict Managers team are planning an online kindness challenge for our entire school. They have applied for the Sasktel I Am Stronger grant to help with this project. This group of students is making cake pops for each student in the school. Each cake pop will have a happiness tag on it and also information of an online kindness challenge. Students will be challenged to go online and post 5 positive messages on anyone’s social media accounts. You can follow along with their journey by checking out my co-worker’s blog! We would love to challenge you to go spread kindness online by using the hashtag #DPkindnesschallenge!

I truly feel that over the next few years the topic of digital citizenship is going to explode in schools. Unfortunately, it is still a new term for many teachers and I feel that there needs to be more education for teachers on the importance of teaching digital citizenship and tips and resources on how they can incorporate this into our classrooms. I really hope over the next few years we will see more of this in the curriculum so it isn’t seen as something optional for teachers. This isn’t something that can be kicked down the road in teaching, this is something that needs to be addressed now and all teachers need to understand the importance of media literacy and digital citizenship teachings.

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I feel very grateful to be gaining this knowledge in my master’s classes. I feel like I can take these lessons and become a digital citizenship guru in my building by helping others understand the importance of making digital citizenship teaching a priority. We need to protect our students and their digital identities by providing them with the skills they need to be kind and safe digital citizens.

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The DP Conflict Managers challenge you to think of how you can encourage your students to spread kindness online! #DPkindnesschallenge

Thanks for stopping in!

 

 

 

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Feelings Week!

Our #thehappiness project as you know is well underway! The excitement continues and I am just blown away by my student’s enthusiasm for this project. This week we focused on feelings for the week.

The first lesson we did this week was all about our feelings. You can find Ashton and Deagan’s post Our Feelings here! They did a great job recapping the importance of identifying how different things make us feel and beginning to think about where in our bodies we feel different emotions. We then talked about what it would be like if our body had to carry all of those emotions around and wasn’t able to process them.  You can also find my teacher post where I shared the resources I used for the first feelings lesson. You can find my Feelings Lesson 1 here!

Here are some highlights from lesson one this week!

We continued the week with a second lesson that we began to consider what these emotions do to our bodies and how we need to react to these emotions. You can find Liam and Olivia’s recap of Emotions are like Waves here! They did a great job of sharing how we decide which wolf in our heart to feed. They shared that the one that we feed will be the one that wins. They shared how we need to let emotions come and go like waves. They will come in but with calm attention and care we can release and allow them to leave. You can also find my recap on the lesson as well as the resources that I used to teach this lesson here at Feelings Lesson 2.

Here are some highlights from the feelings lesson two!

 

This week was the week that my students launched their Happiness Bracelet campaign. This week they worked sorting all of the information letters into classrooms to prepare to drop them off for the classroom teacher. They also went around to each and every classroom in small groups and talked about our campaign and shared samples of our bracelets and shared that all of the money would be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan. They were so excited to share this with the students in our school as they have already been creating the bracelets. There was a lot of excitement from other classrooms about our project and many teachers are now reaching out to get more information about our blog which is great! Order forms will be due this week and then we will be filling orders and making any more bracelets that we need to make to fill the orders. We have also  have reached out to the classrooms following our project online to invite them to purchase our bracelets as well! Let me know if you would like to order one! We would love to send you one!

This weekend I had a parent contact me to let me know that one of my students was doing a bake sale at her church this Sunday with all of the proceeds being donated to our project. I am just so blown away with my students kindness and commitment to this project and to our cause they picked! Watch for updates about her donation hitting our blog this week!

This week we will begin to explore ways in which we can self-regulate and deal with these emotions. We will begin to dig deeper into mindfulness and how this helps us deal with big emotions and everyday life. We will be building on the Mindfulness guru Trina Markussons presentation to our school last week!

Make sure to check our blog thehappinessprojectdp.wordpress.com for updates this week!

Thanks for stopping in!

We will meet YOU at HAPPY!

 

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#thehappinessproject is underway!

This past week was a fabulous week! After lots of preplanning and brainstorming, we finally had the opportunity to launch #thehappiness project in our classroom. There is a TON of energy around this project! It already has been so fun and you know the students are passionate about the project when they cheer when they see #thehappinessproject on our daily schedule.

We began our week with each student getting their own happiness journal. Each student got their own journal that they were asked to collage the front of their journals with things that made them happy! I wanted these journals to be personal to them and something that they would cherish and want to do their best work in. Each and every one of their journals are unique and they put so much work into them. Following this lesson, I had two students blog about the lesson on our happiness blog. I showed them how to work the blog and I helped them add in the videos and pictures but otherwise, they were in charge of doing all the writing for the blog! Here is the link to their first blog post titled Day 1 written by Jordyn and Izzy. They were very excited to have been chosen to write about our first activity!

The second day of #thehappiness project we started discussing things that make us happy. The idea of this lesson was to brainstorm a list of things that make us happy and talk about how we can pay gratitude to the things that make us happy. We talked about how we can keep these things that make us happy in our heart and when we are feeling sad, mad or upset these things are things that we can do to help us reach happiness again. For this lesson, students brainstormed a list of 20 things that make them happy and then they drew and filled a heart with all of these things. Once again, two students were picked to blog on our happiness blog about our daily learning. Pyatt and Parker did a great job of updating our blog. Check out their post Our Heart Maps!

I also updated the blog on the teacher’s page to review what I did for lessons and resources for teachers who are following. I hope to keep the lessons short and sweet with low prep so teachers who are following along in their classrooms can open the blog and easily do these activities on the spot with their students. You can read about the first lessons on the teacher page here!

On Wednesday my students shared their happiness project with the entire school at our school assembly. They shared the video that we made with Adobe spark as well as spoke about our mission and our charity. They shared how others can get involved in the journey as well as get involved by donating to our charity. They were so excited to share their project and the response from the staff and students was more than we could have hoped for. I am so excited to watch the rest of this project unfold for them.

We also did some more looming and got the order forms ready to send out so we can start taking pre-orders for our happiness bracelets. We will be selling the bracelets for $2 each and all of the proceeds will be going to the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan! Please contact me if you would like to purchase some bracelets to support our cause! We are encouraging everyone to wear their bracelets on March 20th for International Happiness Day!

This week is going to be another week for our project! We will be sending out the order forms for our bracelets and we will be promoting sales for that! For this, the students in my classroom will be going to the classrooms in our school and giving a mini-presentation on our happiness project and showing off our bracelets and telling the other students how we want them to all wear them on March 20th to support our project!

For the happiness project this week we will be exploring the topic of feelings. We will be exploring the idea that life can be tough and daily we are challenged and we feel many different feelings in a day. We are going to discuss how different feelings make us feel and how our body reacts to different feelings. Stay tuned for my students updating the blog on these ideas!

Thanks for following along!

We will meet YOU at HAPPY!

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Blurred Lines…Personal and Professional

As a teacher, there is no doubt that being conscious of your digital footprint is extremely important. We work in a profession where we are held to very high standards and it is important that our online identity matches the identity that we have as professionals in our careers. As teachers, we must realize that there is a very thin line between our professional and personal identities so much so that we should begin to look at them as being one.

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Related imagePrior to taking ECI 831 and now ECI832, I do feel like I always tried to be very conscious of what I was posting and sharing online. Over the years I have looked at this differently and as I matured and grew professionally my idea of what is appropriate has changed and matured with that. Not that I would say I was ever one for sharing inappropriate posts but I would just say that I am much more conscious now than let’s say I was in my university days. The Facebook memory feed is sure to help one realize how their idea of professional or acceptable has changed over time. It is a good reminder of the growth and maturity one finds and is expected of in this profession. I am similar to Jessica in that I feel that I have had different versions of myself online over the years. She shares in her blog post about her digital identity that early on in her career she tried to separate her professional and personal by creating two different accounts. I feel that moving through my career I am much more able and comfortable blurring those lines more.

One thing I have learned over the last few months is that it is very important to look at how we can build our digital identity not only personally but also professionally. I have made it my mission to begin to look at my professional digital identity and how I can begin to build my professional identity online. My identity online up until now has been personal and for the most part, secured under privacy settings so only my closest family and friends could find me. My first challenge was to get on twitter and begin using Twitter to collaborate and build a professional identity and network. I felt like this was a good place to start as I was not on twitter yet and this allowed me to start fresh and truly build the network that I wanted to.

In EC&I 831 last term I was challenged to think about how ‘playing it safe online’ which many teachers tend to do, can actually have negative effects on a teachers reputation online. In my blog post-Social Media Activism: slacker or responsible? I shared how I was challenged to look at the importance of taking a stance on social justice issues online. I would encourage you all to read Katia Hildebrandt’s article In online spaces, silence speaks as loudly as words. In this article Katia shares:

Silence speaks just as loudly as words. If we are online, as educators, and we remain silent about issues of social justice, if we tweet only about educational resources and not about the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report in Canada, or about the burning of Black churches in the southern United States, we are sending a clear message: These issues are not important.

This article really helped me realize how as educators when we choose to play it safe online we are in turn actually taking a stance. By not saying anything we are saying we agree with what is going on by not offering a differing opinion or taking a different stance. This really opened my eyes to the idea that both being active and not being active online can negatively impact your digital identity. Katia shared in her article that at the core “ed tech is a privilege” and that we as educators have a responsibility to take a stance on social justice issues. If you don’t take the time to create your online digital footprint someone else may take the opportunity to create it for you. This is something I am slowly stepping out of my comfort zone to ensure that I speak out on social justice issues.

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Looking at all of this really makes me contemplate how I will address digital identity with my own children. I was raised in a time when I didn’t have access to social media until I was much older and mature than when my children will have access to it. As a teacher, I have been talking about this with my students who are 9 and 10-years old and they are beginning already to build a digital footprint. I feel that future generations will not have the opportunity to separate their personal and professional identities as much because their identity online will start at a much younger age than ours did. In turn, we need to help them understand and consider how their digital footprint will impact them lifelong and they need to learn this at a very young age. This is something that parents and educators need to take seriously and ensure that we are taking the time to ensure that we are helping children learn how to be safe and responsible online so that they are not punished for this later on in life when they enter the professional world. As adults, we need to make this a priority to ensure that we are educating our children about the importance of their digital identity and helping them understand how to navigate and use the online world safely and maturely.

 

 

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The Launch!

The break is winding down and as nice as it is to have a week off I am always excited to get back to my kiddos. I am more excited than ever to get back tomorrow as tomorrow officially launches #thehappinessproject in our classroom!

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The last few weeks as a class we have been working on ironing out the details, making plans, reaching out to others, including our classroom families and making a plan of how this project may unfold for us. Let me share with you what we have been up to!

1. We decided that we are going to focus on the idea of happiness for our project. We are going to be looking at internal happiness and what strategies we can use to help grow this within ourselves. We will do weekly activities and exploration around this that we will share with others. You can find the idea behind our #thehappinessproject here!

2. We have reached out via Mrs. Degelmans social media looking for other classrooms who would like to connect and participate with us. We posted a call out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We had many teachers and classrooms who have already contacted us and are interested in following along and participating in our project. Students will be contacting them and inviting them via an email chain learning how to write an email to connect with others this week!

3.We are going to share our learning journey on our classroom blog. Our blog site is thehappinessprojectdp.wordpress.com. You can follow our entire journey by following our blog. The main goal for our blog is that the students will share their work and the activities that we are doing in our classroom for others to see. Students will each take turns writing the weekly blog posts and uploading pictures of their work to share with others.

4.I will also be creating and updating a teacher resource page on our site so that teachers can find the lesson plans and ideas for our lessons and where to access the information. I hope to keep the lessons focused and low prep easy for teachers to implement in their classrooms.

5.We have picked a charity to raise money for. As a class, we decided our charity of choice would be the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan. We picked this foundation because we feel that it gives back to kids in need and it is a way that we can spread happiness to a child who may need some extra happiness to get them through their tough times.

6.We have a few fundraisers in our school planned and we hope to extend these fundraisers into the classrooms that participate in our project. We plan to sell Loom Bracelets as a physical reminder of happiness. We will be selling them in our school for International Day of Happiness which is March 20th. Stay tuned for our other fundraiser ideas!

7. One of my students shared our project ideas with her mom who is a member of The Boot Hill Community Association. The association was so excited about our project that they wanted to make a donation. They gave us  our first donation which was $100! The students were so very excited and we are beyond grateful for this start!

8.We have also been looking at ways we can spread happiness to others in our community. I have reached out to the families in our classroom to see if anyone had connections to a nursing home or a family member in a nursing home that we could arrange to take or class too. We are planning to plan some activities and take some goodies to spread some kindness and happiness to some elders in our community. Winter can be so tough for the elderly people of our community so I know this will surely be a way to brighten their day! In order to make this happen I am applying for the Sasktel I am Stronger Grant.

9.This week we have a school assembly where we are going to share the launch of our happiness project in our school. Before the February break, our class made a video using Adobe Spark to share at the assembly. They were so excited to make this video and are very excited to share it!

We are very excited for this project to get off the ground!  Remember to subscribe to our blog thehappinessprojectdp.wordpress.com to be notified when we have a new post! We are still looking for more classrooms to follow along and be involved so let us know if you would like in!

We will meet you at happy!

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#projectgoals

We are EXCITED! Students, parents, colleagues and myself, everyone is very excited for this project to get off of the ground. Over the past few weeks, my class has worked on ironing out all the little details for our #thehappinessproject. If you would like to be brought up to speed you can read about our beginning details here. Over the past week, I have sent additional permission slips home with students to ensure that their families are ok with their work and pictures to be featured on our classroom happiness blog. Our families are all very excited about this project and currently, we have 95% of our students with full permission to participate! Which I feel is a huge success. Immediately following the February break our blog will be live and you can follow along with our #thehappinessproject. If you are curious to see how you can support us and or would like to get involved you can connect with us after the February break here!

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Gif Credit: Giphy 

Image result for digital communication for kidsThis week we were encouraged to look at the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and consider how our project begins to connect to these nine elements. The first element that I plan to connect to with our happiness project is Digital Communication. Digital communication is defined as “the electronic exchange of information”.  Throughout this project, my classroom will be using many different forms of technology to share and promote our project. We will be using email, blogging, seesaw, twitter, facebook, and Instagram. This will provide my students with the opportunity to share their project and learn how they can use these platforms to share information and educate others outside of our classroom. We will discuss appropriate use of digital communication and the importance of safety while communicating with others online. Through this students will learn how to appropriately use technology to communicate their thoughts and ideas.

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The second element that we will explore during our project is Digital Literacy. Digital literacy is defined as The process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology”. Through this project, I am going to be able to weave in digital literacy opportunities into our daily teachings and into our classroom. Through this project, I am going to be able to teach my students about different digital literacies and how these can support and extend our learning. One of our major digital literacy learning areas throughout this term will no doubt be our classroom blog. Through this students will learn how to share their learning with others by writing and uploading onto our blog. This project will allow students to learn t0 use many new types of digital media. We will also be looking at how different social media platforms can be used to spread awareness around our project and how they can allow us to connect with and collaborate with other classrooms.

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The third element that we will explore during our project is Digital Health and Wellness. Digital Health and Wellness is defined as the  “Physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world”.  Through our project topic, we are going to be able to explore digital health and wellness. We will talk about the effects both positive and negative that technology and using devices can have on our bodies and health. While we explore mindfulness and self-care practices we will look at how technology can affect our mood, our behaviors such as rest and sleep periods, how it can become addicting and how many people use technology as a way to escape from the present world. We will explore many areas of Digital Health and Wellness within our project.

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Looking at Ribbles Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship I feel that this project has the potential to cover many if not all of the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship but the above are the three areas that I am committed to ensuring my students have a great understanding of throughout this project. I am excited to provide my students with the opportunity to engage and connect with others online. I feel that this project will allow them to understand how we can use the online world to spread awareness for a cause as we connect with others who are interested in a similar topic as us. I am excited to allow them to use our classroom blog to share our journey as well as educate others about #thehappinessproject. I feel that this is a great opportunity for my students to be involved in something much larger than just our immediate classroom. I can already feel their passion for this project!

Thanks for stopping in! Once again if you would like to be a part of our project let me know! We will meet you at happy!

 

Posted in EC&I 832, The Happiness Project | Tagged | 1 Comment

We present to you…. The Happiness Project

After many conversations with my students and some pre-planning, we have settled on an idea for our activism project! We are so excited to present to you “The Happiness Project”.

We are so very excited to have some of the details of our project worked out. Let me share with you what we have been up to over the last week as we ironed out some of the finer details we have made in preparation to roll out our project!

The Happiness Project

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What is the Happiness Project?

The happiness project is an activism project that our Grade 3/4 classroom will be hosting. In honor of International World Happiness day, we are going to dive deep into ourselves in the pursuit of happiness. Over the next few months, we are going to participate in daily activities that encourage mindfulness, self-regulation, self-care, gratitude, with the end result being happiness.  We will explore the belief that happiness lies within ourselves and that with self-care and attention to self we can boost our happiness.

We invite and encourage you to get your own happiness journal and follow along with our simple daily activities on your own pursuit of happiness.

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Our Cause: We have decided to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan. Our mission is to make Rainbow Loom bracelets as a symbol and reminder that happiness is already within you. All money raised from our bracelet sales will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation Saskatchewan.

How you can get involved:

We will be looking for other classrooms to collaborate with for this project. We will be using many forms of media to involve others in our project. We will be reaching out to classrooms by sending an email inviting them to join our project. We will also use my twitter account to invite and encourage other classrooms from around Regina or anywhere in the world to join us. Our classroom will explore how we can use different types of media to spread awareness and help bring people together for a cause. We will also be launching our Happiness Project Classroom Blog. This blog will be where we will share our classrooms journey with our happiness project. This is where other classrooms can follow along, read about our classroom experiences, find daily activities to participate in all which will be written by students within our classroom.

We will also be getting our school and other classrooms involved with purchasing our Rainbow Loom bracelets as a way to show their support our project as well as make a donation to our charity. Please let me know if your classroom would be interested in purchasing some of our bracelets.

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These are the beginning details of our project.  I have sent additional permission slips home with students so they have permission to share their work and ideas publicly on our classroom happiness blog. We would love for you to follow along on our journey!

Please contact me with any questions you have! Send me your email address if you would like to be included on our email list with further details about this project!

Thanks for stopping by! We are so excited to get this project off the ground! We will meet you at happy!

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