Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | January 17, 2012

I’ve Moved!

Moving by Kalika

Yes, it’s true. This blog is moving! After almost four years in this space, I now have a shiny, new blog at  All of my past posts from Primary Preoccupation have been copied over to that site (also called Primary Preoccupation), and that is where new posts will now appear.

Why did I move?  There were several reasons. The biggest one was my continued effort to create and protect my digital identity.  About a year and a half ago, I purchased the url, and had it point to a site that was a collection of links to my online “stuff”. The downside was that my blog posts were not part of it. The new space will give me a chance to have both in one place.  I’m also looking forward to the flexibility that my new site will provide, and being able to have a more personalized space.

The technical support at Bluehost, my new web host, has been excellent. They have put up with my many questions with patience and courtesy. I feel like I know a couple of them particularly well after some long conversations.

If you have been reading my posts through RSS it’s been great having you here and I hope you’ll follow me to my new site. If not, thank you for being part of this space with me. If you have been reading these posts through email…well, I’m still working on getting that plugin to work on the new blog, but hope to have it available soon.

So, so long from here. Hope to see you there.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | January 8, 2012

Making Up the Rules

Using the Nintendo DS

This year, I have been using PBL (passion or project-based learning) in my classroom. Although language arts and math have certainly been involved, I have mainly been using the outcomes of my science, social studies and health curriculum as the focal point of my backwards by design planning.  Instead of focusing on outcomes one at a time, I have grouped them into areas roughly approximating themes.  Some of these themes have outcomes from only one curriculum and some have outcomes from two or even three subject areas.  The overall themes we have completed so far this year have only involved science and health. This means that we have not yet learned any of the social studies outcomes.

Can It Work?

To be honest, I have dreaded the social studies outcomes. Science and health lend themselves easily to PBL in my mind. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it work.

Our next unit or theme is based around relationships, rules and responsibilities. (I didn’t come up with that title myself.) It covers some social studies and some health outcomes. As with all PBL, I want this to be based on what the students are interested in. There really is nothing about the words “relationships”, “rules” and “responsibilities” that has the ability to inspire passion in most six year olds.

Playing Nintendogs

One thing my students ARE passionate about is gaming. They love to play games on the computers in our classroom and an incredible number of them have a Nintendo DS of their own.  I have been looking for a more ways to integrate gaming and into our days—could this be the time?  Gaming certainly involves rules and relationship work is vital to make the six DS machines we have in our classroom work in a class of eighteen children.

I have used the DS in my classroom a variety of ways for several years. I know how to set things up so that our day flows smoothly and successfully with them. Using what I had learned to help was not my purpose this time, though.

Let’s Try It

Without any preamble, I brought out the DS that I have in my classroom and said that we would spend the next period using them to play the game Nintendogs. They all cheered. “Go for it,” I said, and moved aside. They eagerly reached for the games.

What happened next was a study in human nature.

The children who got a DS in their hands eagerly moved to a table and began to use them. A couple of children sat down beside them to watch. Five children all hovered over the shoulder of one child.  Unbeknownst to me, one child had one in his backpack, which he promptly took out and began to use. Several children all clustered around me expectantly.  (Clearly, I was supposed to solve their problem–they didn’t have one to use.)  Their eyes kept darting to the counter where the DS had been, expecting more would appear. Despite the fact that we have used these machines many times this year and they all know exactly how many there are, one child even moved some of the items on the counter to see if more might be hiding behind something.  One student asked if they could use something else—an iPad or a computer. (This is often what happens in our classroom.) I cheerfully told the children that we were using only the DS for this, and moved to another part of the classroom.  I could hear a lot of grumbling and there were some very disappointed faces.

I wanted to be sure to stop what was happening before there were any tears, so after a few minutes I brought them back to our carpet and asked them about what had happened.  We talked about how they had felt and how they could solve the difficulties.

Sharing the Nintendo DS

One of the students suggested that people could share with a partner. They moved around to find a partner and discovered that some students still would not have a DS. Another student suggested having three in a group. They tried it out and decided this was a “fair” way. Some arguing ensued as they all jockeyed to be first to play, and I asked them if they needed some rules. They eagerly agreed. (Being six is all about being fair.) Together they made five rules. (One was that it’s Mrs. Cassidy’s job to decide who is first and to keep track of the time to make it fair.) The rules were all their idea–I only asked questions and wrote them down.

Success At Last

Finally they felt they had it right and went to try their new rules. The classroom was not instantly peaceful, but when we met again at the end of the day, almost everyone was content. They had all had a turn to play Nintendogs and had had fun doing it.

And I think they’re beginning to understand the importance of rules. Maybe using PBL with social studies can work after all.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | December 11, 2011

Construction Day

Some of the Materials for Construction

“It’s construction day!” buzzed the students to each other as they came into my classroom. This day had been eagerly anticipated as the pile of construction materials in our classroom had grown.

This year I have several new curriculum guides. I have divided the outcomes in my health, science and social studies curricula into topics that will (I hope) allow me to pursue project-based learning in inter-disciplinary units.  Two of the outcomes in my new science curriculum  stood by themselves and didn’t really fit with any others. They were:
  • Investigate observable characteristics and uses of natural and constructed objects and materials and
  • Examine methods of altering and combining materials to create objects

Because Christmas was approaching and I wanted to be sure to finish whatever I started before then, I decided to tackle just those two outcomes in a PBL way.

To start the unit, I showed my students three videos that showed people using things in surprising ways to create something different. I showed them a video of sheep being used to make pictures on a hillside, an artist creating Darth Vader with salt and dominos used to create the Mona Lisa. They “oo”-ed and “ah”-ed and were intrigued by the idea of making unexpected things. They all wondered aloud about creating something and wrote it on a card which was placed on our wonder wall.

"For Breathing Underwater"

The next day, I told them it was their turn to try it. They could use anything they found in our classroom to create something.  It was interesting to watch some of the students dive in and begin creating, while others struggled to find an idea. Several tried to make a Mona Lisa. One child used the snap cubes in our classroom to make a transformer that actually transformed from a robot into a flying airbus.

As a class, we made some picture frames out of tongue depressors and puzzle pieces.

And then we began collecting stuff. As the pile grew, so did the anticipation. Finally the day arrived. We talked briefly about the rubric I would be using to evaluate and then they madly dove into constructing.

Some of my Student's Creations

The pile of materials dwindled as the students explored their own ideas.   It was passion-based learning as I always wanted it to be in my classroom.  The students were all engaged. They were all creating something that interested them.

And I had the evidence that two science outcomes were clearly understood by all of the students.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | December 10, 2011

Cakes, Snakes and Boxes: Passion-based Learning

This article was originally posted on the Voices from the Learning Revolution blog of Powerful Learning Practice.  It contains some information that has previously been posted on this blog.  If you are a regular reader of this space, you may want to skip down to the “Showing Their Learning” sub-title.

Making Patterns with Cake

“Puffed wheat, brownie, rice krispie, brownie, puffed wheat, brownie, rice krispie, brownie” chanted one of my students as she explained the pattern she had just made with pieces of cake. We were in the middle of a passion-based learning (PBL) unit themed around patterning. “I wonder if you can make patterns with cake” one of my students had asked? And so we tried it.

I have wondered for a long time how passion and project based learning would change my primary classroom.  I have read with fascination the blogs of teachers who made this shift, but I have yet to find an example of a primary teacher sharing this change. Having an entire class of pre-readers and writers in your classroom alters the playing field for exploring your passions. This year, I decided to find out for myself what the difference would be in my grade one learning space.

Starting Out

Our Wonder Wall and What We Learned Space

I decided to do a patterning unit first, and kicked it off by showing the students an Animoto I had made with copyright-free photos of patterns in the environment.  Frankly, I would do this differently next time. My six-year olds seemed to be intrigued, but were not sure of what their response should be, and it did not elicit the questions I was hoping for. I talked to the students about the expectations of our curriculum. Then, I asked them what they would like to learn about patterns.

The questions came very slowly at first (they had only been in my class a couple of days and we were still getting to know each other), but by the end of our discussion, all of the students had had at least one question. They asked things like “can you make a pattern with squares?”, “how many colours can there be in a pattern?” and “can you make patterns with cake?”

As they formulated their questions, I gave them a card with I wonder… printed on it, and they went to a table to draw a picture of their question. As each picture was finished, I printed the words to end their question for them, and the children trotted off to our Wonder Wall to post them.  The next day, I showed the students where to find information and materials in our classroom and then told them to choose one of their questions from the wall and to use anything we had  to find the answer.

The students worked individually or in a small group with paper and crayons or manipulatives and made patterns, patterns and more patterns. As the students discovered the answers to their questions and dictated them to me, I printed their solutions on a strip of paper for them to copy onto a new card that already had I learned… printed on it.  Then, these cards went onto the What We Learned wall in the classroom.  This process continued throughout our unit.

Stepping Out

Patterning with Empty Paper Boxes

Some questions the students wondered about couldn’t be answered by their working on their own. “I wonder if there are patterns in my basement?” needed some parent support. “I wonder if snakes have patterns?” meant I needed to share an informational picture book with the class. The question above about patterning with cake meant that I had to do some baking.

Some questions, such as patterning with paper boxes, stimulated everyone’s interest. Questions about patterns on grass and ladybugs led to a host of new questions that meant we had to move outside to do some discovery. (And meant that we were also venturing into our science and math studies.) There were some days that had to be more teacher directed. During the unit, we made Skype calls to some global friends, and we made sure to ask about patterns in the other classrooms.

As we worked through our questions, we kept coming back to our overarching inquiry, what is a pattern?  At first, we just made suggestions and recorded the answers. Later we came back to these suggestions to see if what we had previously documented still reflected our thinking about patterns — adding or removing statements as necessary.  Sometimes we used these scribed responses to determine whether something was a pattern or not.

Showing Their Learning

At the end of the unit, each of the children produced a digital artifact to show what they had learned. These were all posted on their blogs. As this was the first time we had done this, I reminded them of what our objectives were at the beginning, and gave some ideas of ways they might choose to express what they knew, although I was open to their ideas as well. Some students chose to animate their patterns with Animationish or make a digital picture and record their voices with Audioboo. Others chose to use the iPad app ScreenChomp and made a screencast. A few made posters and explained them while another student recorded it on video.

I’m Finding the Passion in PBL

Is this what passion-based learning looks like in a primary classroom? I think I’m getting there. I loved the fact that we could learn curriculum outcomes based on what the students (not the teacher’s guide or myself) chose. Digital artifacts have been a part of my classroom for a long time, but I prized the specificity of the ones we created this time. I have some still-forming ideas for ways I want the next unit to be better. However it turns out, I think I’m hooked. And I’m definitely still learning.

In the meantime, the excitement and learning that took place when we tried to look at ladybugs (they were incredibly fast and hard to keep track of) showed me exactly where we should go with our next unit. Living things, here we come!

(This article was originally posted on the Voices from the Learning Revolution blog of Powerful Learning Practice.)

Are you are already convinced that your students need to learn how to connect, collaborate and learn with others online? Are you longing for your classroom to echo with the sounds of kids asking questions of others who live far away? Do your students have questions that only other children can answer?

When I talk to other teachers about the benefits of long-distance student collaboration, often their biggest question is: How do I find other classrooms to collaborate with?  If you are already connected with other educators through social media, this part seems easy, but if you are just beginning your connected journey, it’s a very real problem.

If you’re still a little short on virtual teacher colleagues, I’d like to suggest three ways you can begin to connect.

1. Join an online project.

Many educators are starting online projects and want others to join them. These ventures require the least work, because someone else does all the organizing for you.

Thousands of other students stacked Oreos along with us.

I have recommended Projects by Jen (pK-6 focus) many times, but this fall was the first time I actually registered for one of her activities—O.R.E.O. 2011. Last week, my class counted and stacked Oreo cookies and watched them fall. Two other first grade teachers out of the hundreds of other classes who did the project contacted me.  Our classes were able to connect via Skype to compare our highest stacks, lowest stacks and class average. There was also time for some of those weighty questions first grade children want to ask such as do you get snow there and do you have trees in Wisconsin?  Jen makes it easy to participate in the projects and to pursue connections with other classrooms by providing the Skype names of all the participants and explicit directions for the task itself.

Two other newish projects for primary (and older) classes that I have not joined, but look interesting, are The Global Classroom (lots of participants at all grade levels and activities stretch ‘til June); and theFifty State Challenge (check to see if your state or country has been claimed—or start a fresh challenge yourself).

All three of these projects have been started by teachers who think that using the potential of the Internet to connect classrooms is important.  They put hours of their own time into creating and promoting these resources so others can find out about them. Take advantage.

2. Skype in the Classroom

My class has had some very interesting conversations with other classrooms that we have met only through Skype. These initial calls have led to follow-up chats, and relationships have developed involving video sharing and cooperation that neither teacher  originally intended.

Using Skype to Connect and Learn

A few years ago, teacher Wendy Goodwin contacted me about connecting first grade classrooms via Skype.  Using this tool, our two classes explored ways our lives in Alabama, USA and Saskatchewan, Canada are the same and ways they are different. Later, we did Reader’s Theatre together via Skype, and both classes contributed videos to an alphabet wiki.

Skype now has an education site.  It is free to join. Many teacher users have contributed projects that can be searched by a keyword, but if you are just starting out, you may want to go to the teachers section and search by firstfourthkindergarten etc. This will bring up all of the teachers who teach a similar grade. Choose something that interests you and send a message explaining what you would like to do. If you don’t get a reply, try someone else.  You have nothing to lose.

The benefit of this option is that you get to choose the topic of discussion yourself.

3. Twitter

Last year, when we were learning about what kinds of jobs people have, I put a question on Twitterwondering if anyone would be willing to talk to us about their jobs. Two people quickly responded. Brian Crosby, who was teaching sixth graders in Nevada, invited some of his big kids (well, they seemed big to my students) to tell us about jobs they have at home. A couple of days later, they chatted with us via Skype during their recess. From New York, fourth grade teacher Lisa Parisi skyped in to tell us about the jobs she and her daughter have when she finishes teaching each day.  Once again, my kids were learning with real people about real things — and continuing to broaden their horizons.

After you’ve signed up for Twitter, a good way to begin to connect with educators who share your grade level and passions is to check hashtags such as #kinderchat, #1stchat, #2ndchat etc. (# is a hashtag and is used to collect tweets about a similar topic). Educators use these hashtags to pass along links or other information to online colleagues and to have regular synchronous meetings on Twitter. (See elementary teacher Patti Grayson’s post about this.)

Many of the best classroom connections I have made are with people I have met by following them on Twitter. Developing an online network of educators in this way takes time. If you persevere, though, you will have a ready source of support, ideas and limitless opportunities to connect your classroom.

If you have never connected outside of your classroom, choose one of the options above and make it happen. Jump in. Just do it. Let the global learning begin.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | October 27, 2011

Students Posting Online: How Do You Do That?

I get that question a lot.  When people see my students’ blogs, the online artifacts they produce, their videos, and the digital footprint the children are beginning to create, the question I am most often asked is “how do you get permission from the parents to do that?”

The parents of our students have spent their whole lives protecting their children. Even before the child was born, they loved and sheltered that little being. They nurtured the child through the preschool years and then trustingly put the child into the school’s care. While this was happening, the media bombarded them with messages about how unsafe the internet is for children. When we broach the subject of posting their child’s work online, is it any wonder they have questions?  Frankly, I would be more concerned if they didn’t.

This is What We Do

Blogging is not an option for the six year olds in my classroom. It is what we do. My students’ blogs are their online learning portfolios. From the first week of school to the last, my students write (even before their writing is “readable”) and produce digital artifacts that showcase what they have been learning.  That portfolio is available any time of the day or night for parents to view or comment on. It is also available for grandma and grandpa in Calgary or for their older sibling who is away at university.  The fact that people who have never met my students read their blogs and sometimes leave comments is a bonus.

I am fortunate that my school division recognizes that posting online is valuable. On the first day of school, a form explaining possible online uses of student images/work is sent home for parents to sign. (Click on school services and then on Student Media/Privacy Form.)

In the second week of school, I always hold a parent information night.  On that night, along with talking about how to help their child learn to read, and pleading for them to not send birthday party invitations to school (it leads to tears from those not invited), I show our classroom blog to the parents.  I show them my blog, with the pictures and videos of students from last year. I show them a student blog from last year including the way that student’s learning was documented through writing, images and video. We look at the way that student’s writing ability improved through the year and listen to podcasts of the child’s reading fluency. I show them the way our blogs record the number of page reads and a sample of comments the students received. I usually show them our Clustr map, with dots from all over the world showing where people live who have visited our classroom virtually.

Keeping Them Safe

Most important of all, I talk about how I safeguard their child. There are two policies that I have that are the keystones of the way I protect my students online.

  1. I post images of students, and I post the first names of students but I never match the two. I know of many teachers who do identify their students, but that is not my personal policy.
  2. Nothing gets posted unless I see it first. No student articles. No comments. Nothing.

The first class that I blogged with are now in grade eight. In all that time, I have never had a parent who, after seeing what we do on our blogs, has refused to have their child participate. The first year that I posted pictures of the children on my blog, I had one parent who asked for her child’s picture to not be posted online. By Christmas she had changed her mind.

If a parent DID have concerns, I would offer options.

  1. Not including that child in any pictures that would be posted online.
  2. Having their child blog under an alias.

Making it Happen

I realize that many teachers do not yet have a blog to show parents. In that case, I have encouraged teachers to show the parents a blog they would like to emulate. There are lots of great blogs, and this is a case in which a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Parents want to know that we are not putting their child at risk. Their questions come from their overwhelming desire to ensure their child’s safety.  I want my students to have an audience and to make connections with people they would otherwise never connect with. I think we can do both.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | October 10, 2011

Cultivating Connections the Primary Way

(This article was originally posted on the Voices from the Learning Revolution blog of Powerful Learning Practice.)

Talking on Skype

One year on the first day of grade one, as we were thinking about our goals for the year, my students and I talked on Skype with three people who lived in different places around North America. These educators all told us what they had learned in their first year of school.

Before we made the first call, I explained what we were going to do. I’ll never forget Carson’s question: “Why would we do that?”

Why, indeed.

Just like their older counterparts, primary children love to connect with people from places around the world. Connections bring new perspectives, ideas, and learning in a way nothing else can. I could simply tell them that children everywhere on Earth play games and go to school just as they do, but when they are actually able to link with a class in Colorado or in New Zealand and ask questions themselves, the learning experience is much more powerful and lasting.

Our classroom blog is often the first way that we connect with people outside of our school. This year, each child posted an article on their personal classroom blog during the first week of school. To show them the connections that this blog could bring them, I invited people in my Twitter network to comment on one of the student’s blogs and to include their location. In my tweet, I included the hashtag #comments4kids. My mid-prairie six-year olds were amazed to find they had comments from places they’d only heard of — Texas, New York, Ontario. As we read each location aloud, it elicited a small collective gasp. Later we visited the blogs of a couple of other primary classrooms. I reminded them about how they felt when they received comments, and they happily helped me compose comments for their fellow bloggers in schools far away.

Building Global Awareness

In my classroom, group reading and writing activities often center on commenting or reading blog comments sent to us, building the children’s sense of membership in a global community. Comments that have been written directly to our class or to an individual child in the room are extremely meaningful text for young children, and engagement is high. Some of the most fun comes when the children begin to use their developing editing skills to find spelling or grammar mistakes in the comments from adults.

We often connect with other teachers, classrooms and “experts” using Skype. The students are astounded when they realize that while we are in school, it is the middle of the night for our friends in Brisbane, Australia. They marvel at the difference in our weather and seasons, and ask questions about why the students are all dressed the same and why they talk so funny. We use Skype to find out about mundane things such as what other people eat for breakfast or their Christmas traditions — or more extraordinary things like information about rocks and minerals from a professional geologist. Whatever the topic, these are all themes that support our grade one curriculum. The fact that we connect with others from around the world to learn these things gives the students an awareness of the wonderful diversity of the global family we are all part of, even as they learn science or social studies outcomes.

On some occasions, we have used wikis to collect information. We have asked people to contribute to our one thousand names wiki or our rituals wiki. We have collaborated with other classrooms to create a wiki of alphabet videos or a names wiki. We are fearless — we never say, “oh, we can’t do that, it’s just first grade.”

I am able to find people and classes to connect with my classroom fairly easily because I am personally connected to a network of educators online. This network has shifted over time, but is now centered mainly on Twitter. I am continually encouraged by the willingness to share, support and caring that educators display in that space.

By the end of the school year, all of my students, including Carson, can answer his question about why we connect with others from around the world. The simple answer is because we can learn from them.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | September 27, 2011

Let Them Use Cake

Making Patterns With Cakes

“I wonder if you can make patterns out of cake?” asked one of my five year old cherubs.

“I wonder if you can make patterns with trees?”

“I wonder if you can make patterns with boxes?”

It was the beginning of our patterning unit. I had explained what they were expected to learn,  and the children were responding by telling me what they wondered about patterns.  When everyone had had a chance, I gave each of them a card with I wonder printed on it, and asked them to draw a picture to demonstrate their question.  When they had finished, they brought their pictures to me and I printed their question on the card.  Then they traipsed off to our Wonder Wall to post their question. Some children had only one question–some had several.

The next day, I showed them the math manipulatives we had in the classroom and where we kept some of the other things they might need to find the answers to their questions. There was a momentary pause as they processed the fact that they were allowed to choose what they wanted to do, and then away they went.  Some children chose to do crayon and paper activities while others built their answers with lego or other blocks.  I walked around asking them questions about their patterns, taking pictures and pushing their thinking.

Truthfully, the only frustration of the day was their propensity to say “I’m done.” I think it will take awhile to convince them that they can’t be finished learning.

Patterning with Boxes

There were some I wonders that everyone wanted to do. The cake question was one of them. And when we got thirty-five paper boxes from the office…well, clearly no one wanted to be left out of making patterns with those as well.

For those who were able to answer their questions that day, I printed what they felt they had learned on a strip of paper and they copied it onto an I learned card so that it could be posted onto the What We Learned board.

Was it a successful time of learning? I think so. The students had a clear goal in mind and had to take responsibility for it themselves. They were able to practice the concepts they needed to learn by following their own interests.  They learned with and from each other.

That sounds like success.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | September 25, 2011

Passion-Based Learning–The Adventure Begins

I’m not usually afraid to take risks. I’ve done some things in my classroom that people consider to be innovative.  When there is a new tool that I think will benefit my students, I’m one of the first to try it.

Despite this, somehow the thought of a using an inquiry or passion-based approach in my classroom made me very nervous. I’m not sure why. I’ve done some inquiry units in my classroom in the past.  I’ve always been a teacher that valued choice.  I am comfortable with students choosing different ways to learn and to show their learning. Still, this felt like a big step for me.

Designing a Pattern House

Shelley Wright has been very open about her journey over the past year, and I appreciated her honesty, but as I read, I kept wondering what, beyond the quick sound bites I saw from hers and other classrooms, this would actually look like in a PRIMARY classroom.  When I get my new crop of five and six year olds, none of them can yet read.  This makes it more than a little difficult for them to do traditional research.

Last spring, I decided that I wanted to take the plunge into inquiry learning beginning with this school year.  So during the summer, I made it my mission to find out as much as I could about inquiry classrooms.  I took a passion-based learning class from Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach of Powerful Learning Practice (a great foundation). I went to inquiry learning sessions at PD opportunities I had this summer. I hounded people like Amanda Marrinan and Betty-Lou Ayers for specifics. I bought and read books.

The school year approached and I still felt uneasy. Could I do it? What if it didn’t work? Finally, I decided that I couldn’t just teeter on the brink waiting to see what PBL would look like before I began. The only thing to do was to jump right in and do it. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I’m continuing to look for them along with my students. Let the learning begin.

Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | May 1, 2011

Learning: It’s Easier Together

I’ve been doing an action research project about the work flow involved in using video to capture learning in my grade one classroom.  As I have been reflecting about what has happened and what I’ve learned, the thing that stands out most to me is that the video process helps my students to learn from each other.  

I have long been a proponent of students learning from each other, but when I first started this project, my intention was not that this would be a learning process, but that it would be a recording process. I thought that the students would learn how to go in pairs to a quiet part of the classroom or the hallway and film each other talking about their learning and then we would upload their video and post it on their blogs.  The other students would be able to see what the others had learned by watching the video on their friends’ blogs if they wished to.

What was I thinking?  It’s ALWAYS about the learning.  It only took me one trial to realize that the students NEEDED to see each other explaining what they had learned.  They needed to see students who used a different addition strategy and learn about another way they could add numbers. They needed to see some of the ways that their friends explained the difference between needs and wants so that it could expand their own understanding of this concept. And they needed to see the puppet stories that their classmates composed so that it would inspire more detail in their own stories.  Making  video in my classroom is not just a process of recording learning, but a process of learning in itself.

Doesn’t this sound like the way that we all learn? I certainly do.

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