The Best Part of Me! How do we utilize great questioning even with our youngest of students?

Today I want to link you to a wonderful blog entry by a guest blogger From Keeler School. Mr. Mike McKenzie is our lead Learning Commons teacher and is a big part of enabling our amazing teaching staff to do amazing learning with students.

In his blog entry, take a look at some of the superb work that our kindergarten students have been engaged in around looking at the best part of me! Now of course, by me I mean them!

There are a bunch of photos of the work that the students did and how they put it together into a hard copy book for the school. Have a look and enjoy. Of course some of the photos had to be blurred out a little bit, but you’ll get the gist of the amazing work that even our youngest students can undertake!

Hope you have a wonderful afternoon and, as always, work hard and learn tons!


9 Responses to The Best Part of Me! How do we utilize great questioning even with our youngest of students?

  1. Lisa T. says:

    Jen and I went to another session of the SMART workshop that we are part of. The workshop is led by a consultant from SMART and collaboration with the CBE. We are learning new and exciting ways of using the Smart Board with the students and also making connections with other teachers that are in the sessions.

  2. Harjyote, Krystle, and Jen says:

    The grade 2 team looked at our upcoming insect unit, and touched base with Mike in the Commons briefly to take a look at the magnifying glass…and an up close look at a squished ant!

    We are continuing to have the students be exposed to as many different creepy crawlies, and then will have them pick their own to become an expert on. The students will come up with their own inquiry questions to guide their research, and will be responsible to find the information needed to answer their questions.

  3. I’d like kids to look at insect guts really, really close up… So Marina Clark (the Science Specialist) was graceful enough to come in and help me figure out how to use a microscope in the classroom. We also just chatted about teaching and learning… It was a good conversation that went where it went as connections were made and ideas were shared.

    I briefly connected with Harjyote about magnifying creepy-crawlies and the grade 1s about implementing their self-identifying past/present/future project.

  4. Grade 1 team says:

    The grade one team developed a creative Social Studies project that will encourage students to understand and appreciate how changes over time have affected their families. We are going to create a family history pamphlet, using Pages application, explaining where the students’ families have come from, the city they live in now, and where they would like to live in the future. We are hoping to encourage students to communicate with members of their family to foster open discussions where they can learn about where there families have come from, and where they see themselves living in the future. This project will also facilitate students’ learning prior to attending our Heritage Park field trip. We also met with Mike to utilize his support during Learning Commons time so the students will become more familiarized with the Pages application. We also discussed the possibility of creating a slide show with all the students’ pamphlets as a year-end presentation.

  5. Grade 5 says:

    For grade 5, we touched on all subject areas during our meeting. We discussed how we could allow the students to be more creative with their guiding reading assignments. We discussed how we can give them ownership and independence over their assignments and how to improve upon the guided reading group meeting times that we are currently having. We also spent some time discussing Social Studies and different ways we can incorporate art into the topics we are currently working on. In continuing our discussion on Math and fractions from last week, we discussed the various activities we have been doing with our math groups that were incorporating manipulatives and went over what activities were successful and how we can build on that for future lessons.

  6. The office team met this afternoon to reflect upon and engage in discussion around improving schoolwide processes for next year. Then I was able to meet with our science specialist, Marina Clark, about looking at ideas to enhance how we plan for and integrate science and mathematics into our deeper learning without it being a separate discipline that is unconnected from our big work. I also spent time in looking at the spaces around the school, such as room 4 in order to look at what we would need to make them usable learning spaces for next year.

  7. Grade Four says:

    The grade four team examined possible curriculum connections with our trip to Heritage Park in a couple of weeks. We researched and created different graphic organizers and templates to assist students in making curriculum connection while they complete guided tours of Heritage Park. We examined some different teacher resources offered by heritage park and used that as our starting point to decide what questions we want the students to be thinking about while on the trip and while completing the guided tour. The activities included but are not limited to a small bingo game, some role-play and some questions and answers for different actors at the park. Students will work in small groups and will present their findings to the whole group, sharing the learning connections established while touring Heritage Park.
    The grade four team also continued to work on developing guiding questions surrounding our next science unit, simple machines. Students will complete some inquiry-based activities and will try to answer the guiding questions. Students will utilize their visual journals to show their learning and make connections to the units already studied and to their key vocabulary words in Science. As a team we examined a variety of science resources including, Edmonton Science, The CBE Library website, simple machines books and teacher guides and teacher tube, we mobilized these different sources of information to enable us to construct a framework and starting point for learning. We will continue to do research to assist with finding new, creative methods to introduce the concept of simple machines to the students. We will be sharing our findings at our next CILO time and are hoping to start the unit the following week.

  8. Sonya Bradley says:

    The Grade 6 team was hard at work organizing our Lorax inspired unit on Trees and Forests. While there are many important scientific principals to learn on this subject, we wanted to give the unit a real life sense of urgency and pertinence. The Lorax provides the perfect vehicle to impart the moral imperative for knowing about and caring for our trees and forests. We have tried to combine narrative, art, tree walks, journaling and the use of the iPads to create a series of mini lessons that will engage students while not competing with the enormous project they are currently engaged in in Social Studies.

  9. Kindergarten says:

    Kindergarten continues to work towards forming ongoing relationships with our parent community. We have invested a good deal of time over the past months preparing to welcome new families to the greater Keeler community through our Welcome to Kindergarten night. Since the event is tomorrow evening, we spent some time to consolidate our information, touch base with parents, and ensure that we are fully prepared for the evening. As always, we know that forging a strong relationship with parents lays the foundation for our students to feel safe and secure, and will assist them in moving forward in their education with us in a calm and prepared state (remember that trauma presentation that we had awhile back…?!). Over the years our presentation has evolved into something that we have been recognized for as being an innovative and engaging process for families that not only prepares them for the Keeler experience but also connects them with some of our community partners in health, wellbeing, athletics, and pre-school readiness. For example, this year we have modified some of our materials so that they are more accessible for some of our low-literacy or ESL families by shortening the amount of information and using picture cues with Boardmaker; based on feedback and observations we knew that this was an area in which we need to be cognizant of on an ongoing basis. We continue to engage in preparing for this event in new ways every year, and are looking forward to meeting our new students and their families for next year!

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