Ever since I heard about Somersaulting the Classroom, for those still on the fence about a total flip, I was intrigued. Could something like this be done with my Kindergarten students? I wasn’t 100% sold on a total flipped classroom with 5 & 6-year-old students, but I toyed with the idea all throughout my COETAIL Journey.
COETAIL & ISTE
My goals for this project were to take the same collaborative structure that COETAIL has taught me and attempt to instill that mindset into my Kindergarten students. By aligning it with the ISTE standards I set out to provide my students with an authentic audience and a platform that extends beyond the classroom, with the intention of them becoming Empowered Learners.
1a. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
The other standards I focused on were Digital Citizen, 2a. cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
For more details have a look at my Understanding by Design unit plan below.
Throughout this journey, my COETAIL online 9 cohort members have taught me the importance of delivering and receiving effective feedback. The cycle of continuous improvement and positive feedback loops such creating, reflecting and refining, which I learned from COETAIL, was exactly what I wanted my students to understand as well. There were other sources of inspiration as well such Khan Academy’s for their effective use of video lessons. Studio 5’s “CAR” method which consisted of Choose, Act, Reflect and other innovative methods of restructuring the day was also extremely influential in changing up how I viewed our use of time in my Kindergarten classroom.
Course 3 Visual Literacy: Effective Communicators & Creators that I was by far my favorite course of COETAIL program. It was during Course 3 when discovered Venngage, an excellent program for making infographics. I used it at that time to transformed my CV into a professional graphic. I would revisit it again throughout this course to make the “Choice Boards” that I would update each week and provide for my Kindergarten students.
Continuing to Reach Out & Adjust our Aim
Just like community approach to learning, continues long after the cohorts, my Kindergarten students will too continue on with “Kindergarten Teaches the World” in some form or fashion. Whether we continue to reach out to schools and receive feedback, fine-tune or metacognition, or simply make more learning videos because we enjoy it. They love sharing their learning and I love that because it allows me to It allows me to monitor their progress towards their personal goals and help them adjust their aim along the way.
Redefining How We Learn in Kindergarten
As for the SAMR model, I’d like to think that this learning engagement has reached the level of redefinition. if it hasn’t already it will soon will as my students are excited to take this forward and continue to communicate with school’s and students we’ve made connections with.
Looking back now, one of the things I would have done differently would have involved me reaching out to other school’s sooner rather than towards the end of the unit. Especially, after seeing how excited my students became once they heard back for the various schools.
Final Wonderings & Special Thanks
I’d first like to thank @dianabeabout and everyone in this amazing cohort for all the awesome sharing, collaborating, and overall positive vibes. I’m also extremely grateful for my thriving Professional Learning Network (PLN). This learning experience would not have been successful with you. Therefore I must pay it forward. I’d like to thank current COETAIL 10 cohort member & former colleague @BrianJKasper, along with former COETAIL’er & colleague @mrWrensen. @BrianJKasper helped my students connect with his classroom in China & @mrWrensen provided us with a cross-continental connection with his classroom in Tunisia. In addition, @pypchef provided us with excellent feedback through the lens of his performing arts classroom up in Vientiane, Laos with both Preschool & Grade 1 student offering new ways for us to take on feedback. Last but not least @Ms_kHansen, my teaching partner at UWC Thailand, thanks for being open to taking part in this project with your Kindergarten students. The fact that both our classrooms are still buzzing about me indicates to me that it was a hit with their students. I look forward to working with all of you again in the near future.
Let me know!