Connections, connections, connections...
If I had to encapsulate the past week in a word. it would be connections. This past week, I not only had the opportunity to present virtually at two virtual conferences, I also got to experience some pretty amazing connections both inside and outside of school. Each of these experiences filled my heart with joy and each of these experiences was a result of the opportunities that technology gives us.
Best Math Class Ever
This past week, I got the opportunity to visit one of my third grade classes for math. Normally, I coteach during social studies or reading in this classroom, but this week, two of my third grade teachers took a risk and switched their times to experience something new. This third grade class was working on multiplying 2 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers and the classroom teacher and I decided to use Flashcard Factory during class. Students got the opportunity to work collaboratively with a partner to both solve these problems and write a matching word problem. They loved it and the math discourse shared was unbelievable, As I got ready to leave, several students shared, "This was the best math class ever!"
Museum Visits from the Inside of Classrooms
In the other third grade teacher's room, we did a language arts/social studies lesson for the first time this year as well. Her students are learning about China, so we decided for our coteaching lessons to have students explore a collection of artifacts in the Smithsonian Learning Lab and then complete a See, Think, Wonder in Canva. I love sharing how students can visit the Smithsonian Learning Lab from the inside of their classrooms and seeing the excitement as students explore collections. I also loved watching them use the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to carefully explore their artifact. It was a definite winning moment of the week!
Connecting through a Virtual Conference
Like I shared earlier, I also got to present at two virtual conferences this week: OETC and IDEACon. One of the highlights of my week was definitely sharing my Amplifying Thinking Routines using Technology Tools session on Thursday morning at OETC! I love sharing this session and seeing the impact it can have. While reflecting during this session, a participant shared this message with me. I love how technology gives us the opportunity to learn with each other even though we are separated by several states. Yes, I love face to face sessions- but virtual conferences are still pretty incredible!
"How do you write a book so flawless": An Author Visit
When I found our that my second grade students were learning about author's message, my first thought was, "Wouldn't it be awesome to have an author visit?" My second thought was, " Wouldn't it be awesome if my friend, Jillian DuBois could be that author?" So I sent her a text and that got it all started. This past Friday, Jillian did an Author Visit for my four second grade classes. Not only did she read this beautiful story to them, but she gave them time to ask questions too. One student asked, "How do you write a book so flawless?" Wow- moments like that where students can connect with authors and share their hearts are priceless.
Technology empowered these connections.
All of these connections happened in some part due to technology. All of these connections gave both educators and students opportunities that they could have never had without the technology. THIS is the true power of technology- technology empowered and enabled these connections! We can share the worries that technology brings, but how often do we take the time to celebrate how technology gives us new and amazing opportunities- these opportunities can truly transform learning and connect us in ways that we never thought possible.