Kindergarten Teaches the World

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.

Creative Communicator  6d.  Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Global Collaborator 7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

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. 

Final Wondering….  

What’s next?

Let me know!

🙂

Cheers!

@NicholasKGarvin

 

Fine Tuning the Final Project: An Intro

Over the summer I’ve had a bit of time to think deeper about my final project. My last blog post on the topic listed two very different ideas.

  1. A flipped Kindergarten classroom 
  2. Some sort of way to promote Kindness and Empathy through digital storytelling
    The first idea centered around students achieving mastery in a specific content area and then being able to make their thinking visible by showcasing it digitally.

The second idea wanted to focus more on connecting people (students)  throughout and sharing their stories then highlighting and celebrating our unique and diverse experiences. I believe that it has the opportunity to create a sense of oneness through our similar love for stories, no matter the time, space, language & cultural barriers.
Although I’m moving away from my second idea, I’m still looking into u
tilizing my #PLN so that I can continue to create awesome global connections:


As seen above,  Coetail has provided me with some fabulous opportunities for authentic global connection. In addition to teaching me how to raise the bar in my own classroom, Coetail has taught me of the importance (and ease) of connecting my classroom to the world. 

The global connections I’ve made and have already taken part in have been a cornerstone in my Coetail learning experience. From hosting Twitter chats with Pana @PanaAsavavatana  to collaborating with cohort members in course, I’ve always enjoyed the learning and perspective that ensue when connected globally. Since one of my biggest takeaways was learning how to make the web work for me, through my interactions with social networks & RSS feeds,  I’ve completely changed from a consumer to prosumer to full on creator & connector. Having said that, I would really to have the global connection aspect somehow be representative in my final project one way or another. 


The line… “Your information is only as good as your ability to share it” has resonated with me all throughout these courses. I blogged about it here.

Where Doodles & Data Meet

Now, my goal is to synthesize all of these things that have had an impact on me into my final project.

The inspiration was taken by:

Khan Academy  + (Flip Classroom Model)

I plan to Use Screencastify or another tool to showcase only student learning and student voices. Out of respect for student privacy, there will be no faces shown. Khan Academy is a very inspirational hub that showcases learning while also 

Coetail : (Global Connections) (the power of video)

Global Read Aloud & other awesome Global Projects such as The Traveling Tales &  the SDGs – Global Goals. have too provided their fair share of inspiration. Now, it’s time to tie it all together. 


Pondering a Platform

At the moment, I’m thinking that my students can use book creator to showcase their skills. What I’m wondering now is what the best platform to use in order the connect the Kinder generated content to a larger audience. Originally my idea was for them to use Flipgrid. (after first being inspired by Sean Ford’s (@Sean4d )  #WorldReadAlouds. Even with Flipgrid’s latest feature, Mixtapes, I’m still not 100% convinced that it is the right platform. 

Fine Tuning the Final Project


The goal would be to showcase student learning and mastery within specific Kindergarten content & personal projects. Learning experiences such as iTime, which is designated time for personal projects and creativity,  provide students with time, space and an opportunity to practice explain their thinking. Mastery can be shown and digitalized throughout other areas of the curriculum as well. For example, Number Talks in Mathematics. 

Now the quest for a proper platform to contain this content begins.


Final Wonderings?

Any ideas of an age-appropriate platform for connecting Kinder students to the world?

I would love to hear your feedback back on this venture. As I continue to fine tune this project, I look forward to taking on what Coetail community has to say.

 

Thanks,  @NicholasKGarvin