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Cheryl Harrington

  • Reading workshop has always been one of my favourite areas of the curriculum to teach. An opportunity to read a range of books, open students minds to genres and books they would not necessarily reach for, and […]

  • So I will admit to have been putting writing this blog post off – for a while! When I read the subject matter for this post, my heart sunk. Indeed, the last 2 years of Coetail have been a wonderful opportunity for […]

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 1 month ago

    I totally hear you on all your comments! As a teacher who blogs, and a parent who reads the blogs written by own children’s teachers I feel a lot more connected with their learning by those who are making use of this tool. Living in Saudi often makes it difficult for parents to know what the learning is looking like. The blog means its all at…[Read more]

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 2 months ago

    Hi Dema,
    I am glad you liked the suggestions. For sure pic collage is one that your students would love, is age appropriate, a great tool for visual learners as well as easy to manipulate. You can also easily differentiate by asking students to text, or just keep to images. Some ideas you could use this for would be; to compare and contrast…[Read more]

  • This week my principal sent out the guidelines for up and coming report cards, Trimester 2. Yep, it’s that time already, which means soon my Grade 5 students will be in their ‘final fling/push’ of learn […]

  • At the beginning of the year, during my ‘Back to School Night’ presentation,  I referred to my class blog at least 8 times. I make the point that it was a key point of reference for parents looking to be in t […]

    • I am such a huge fan of blogging in the classroom! Especially as a way to provide parents with a window into our class and their child’s learning. It made communication between home and school so much easier and so much more interactive too! It wasn’t all roses and sunshine and it took a lot of hard work to help parents understand the value of it and the need to connect with our blog – but the perseverance paid off – it was a win/win situation.

      • I totally hear you on all your comments! As a teacher who blogs, and a parent who reads the blogs written by own children’s teachers I feel a lot more connected with their learning by those who are making use of this tool. Living in Saudi often makes it difficult for parents to know what the learning is looking like. The blog means its all at their/my finger tips!

  • ‘Re-design a unit from the ground up, to embed technology meaningfully and authentically as a means to enhancing learning “.  Coetail 4 – Final Project. Wow. This is an area that I have constantly revisited as I […]

  • As each year has gone by, with hands on practice, PD from colleagues, personal research and ‘tinkering’, as well as learning ‘on the front line’ from my students, my growth in utilizing a variety of devices […]

    • Cheryl,

      Thank you so much for sharing your top educational app picks. While I was familiar with some such as seesaw, others are new and I am excited to test and try them out. Is there one in particular that you think is best suited for use in grade 1?

    • Hi Dema,
      I am glad you liked the suggestions. For sure pic collage is one that your students would love, is age appropriate, a great tool for visual learners as well as easy to manipulate. You can also easily differentiate by asking students to text, or just keep to images. Some ideas you could use this for would be; to compare and contrast characters in reading workshop, in science to give an example of a vocabulary word or asking students to make an All About Me poster – the options are endless! Padlet may also be worth a try if you were looking at students to reflect or share a thought. I would suggest you facilitate this in a small group so you can trouble shoot/repeat the instructions in order to have a smooth and successful experience. I totally see that with our younger learners. the ‘click’ of buttons can often take wayyyyy longer than the older students, and this is when people would be looking to revisit the pencil and paper method. Padlet is a wonderful way for you to then share your students thoughts as one, and post on your blog to share their learning with the wider community. Happy to lend a hand if you need one!

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 6 months ago

    Hi Disha, Thanks for your response. The quote that you refer to is spot on! Whilst I, like you am excited about the advances that are being made in education, teachers play a huge role in so much more of the development of a child. Am grateful that you are an advocate for sure a cause!

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 6 months ago

    Hey Frank,Thanks for responding to my post. I really like the last line of your response. This really should be a post in itself. The words are very powerful and I can only nod my head in a agreement at them, and be amazed at those who think otherwise.

  • When I think back to my own learning experiences,  it really does not compare to the learning that awaits students on the amazing campus I walk onto everyday. The wealth of experienced teachers, the learning […]

    • Love this post. I totally agree that technology comes with benefits but as you say, teachers will always be needed. Children still need guidance and facilitators to help them filter through all the technology. They need teachers to help build “good people” and to navigate a complex world and to learn how to critically analyze and sort through the immense amount of knowledge now available. If anything, that makes us even more important. The internet is lifeless, we help breathe life and humanity into the children we teach.

      • Hey Frank,Thanks for responding to my post. I really like the last line of your response. This really should be a post in itself. The words are very powerful and I can only nod my head in a agreement at them, and be amazed at those who think otherwise.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I couldn’t agree more that my education like yours looks very different to the education students are receiving today and will be receiving in the future! I think the idea of teachers becoming obsolete is one that is causing a lot of hype but will not be substantiated in the future. Technology is wonderful and will continue to be a part of our education in the future but like you I believe that in order for technology to make an impact and be used appropriately students still need teachers to guide them or facilitate their learning, encourage them, and provide support for them.
      I found this article, titled Why new technologies could never replace great teaching (https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/20/technology-not-replace-teaching-learning) in which Pamela Wright who is also a teacher argues the same thing we do. She believes that teachers can never be replaced as they do something that technology can’t, which is “Good teachers inspire our young people to be lifelong learners, creating a culture of independent enquiry with their enthusiasm and passion.” A statement that we both agree with!

      • Hi Disha, Thanks for your response. The quote that you refer to is spot on! Whilst I, like you am excited about the advances that are being made in education, teachers play a huge role in so much more of the development of a child. Am grateful that you are an advocate for sure a cause!

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 7 months ago

    Hi Laurie – the idea of putting those tutorials in as stations would so help you cover some of the content you feel is necessary but time is never on your side! There is so much learning available to students as to what is available in the library, this is a great brain wave of yours! We set up some integrated science stations last year that…[Read more]

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 7 months ago

    Hi Laurie, I am excited about the possibility of us linking Genius Hour! I feel your lip guides and I Wonder project could totally be something we could use effectively in both mine and your classroom to better the students inquiry work. I will be tracking you down on Sunday!

  • When I think of an elementary student going home after a busy day at school, full of endless learning (and not just the academics), playing is exactly what I hope they have an opportunity to do. Ride their bikes, […]

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I really appreciate the points you’ve made in this post, as I’ve been thinking about whether the Flipped concept could work in the Learning Commons. Like you, I love that we have a no homework policy, and as a librarian, it’s not really my place to assign homework anyway. Your post reminded me of a conversation I had with Travis last year about my passion project, which was to create video tutorials for the Learning Commons, Destiny catalog, etc. He suggested that the tutorials would be great not only as a resource on the blog, but as a means of instruction within my specials. I didn’t really understand the flipped classroom at that point, but I thought it was a great suggestion. I’ve haven’t done any video tutorials yet this year, but your post has motivated me to get back to working on those. I think doing the videos as a station is a terrific idea! Stations could work well in the LC. You’ve got the wheels of my brain turning…. 🙂

      • Hi Laurie – the idea of putting those tutorials in as stations would so help you cover some of the content you feel is necessary but time is never on your side! There is so much learning available to students as to what is available in the library, this is a great brain wave of yours! We set up some integrated science stations last year that allowed the students to be scaffolding their learning/reviewing concepts whilst we worked on an experiment or with a smaller group. This way we could also choose what apps we felt would really benefit the learning, and allowed for collaboration when the students were working so they had each other to help/guide when unsure of the correct path. I am happy to share with you what they looked like if you are interested. Although I am sure you will have a WAY great idea (along with everything else that comes out of the library) so I am excited about seeing what I will now learn from you in how you go about your version of the ‘flipped classroom’!

    • Hey Linsday,

      I really liked how you mentioned “When is all the pre-recording of lessons taking place?” I couldn’t agree more! As a mother, it is sometimes difficult to free up your evenings to pre-record lessons. It also takes a lot of time to edit and make sure they are well done, and make sense… However, I believe one of our colleagues once gave a goldmine session on how to pre-record lessons and edit them and mentioned that after the first few times, the idea became so easy and quick the videos did not take more than 15 minutes to prepare. I also think they believe that once they are done, you can use them for years. Maybe… I know I do not have the time to try this out now. However, as an elementary teacher, I often flip my classroom in math, and look for already available material I can use (because there are a ton out there). Although it might sound like the traditional station, and it is, sometimes some students are quick or need to be challenged with the next concept, flipping the classroom for these students make the class so much more worth their time. Not mine. I am more concerned about their time being wasted listening to me when they have already figured it out on their own or need the next step already. It is a great way to differentiate in your classroom. In the end, the flipped classroom should serve a purpose. To me, it’s like having an extra person to help reinforce or extend a previous math lesson, so I can coach students with the current need.

      I agree with the statement Cheryl included that “there is no ONE way to flip a class and in this lies one of the great strengths of this methodology.” It will, in fact, look different in different classes because the purpose of it’s use is different for different teachers .

      Noura 🙂

  • My heart starts to beat a little too rapidly when I hear the words ‘Project Based Learning’ in my school. Not necessarily for bad reasons! As I read the articles on Project, Challenge and Problem Based Lea […]

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I really enjoyed your post, and it also helped to calm my own “rapidly beating heart” when I think about PBL and CBL. Like you, I want these experiences for our students, and as I look past the challenges to see the possibilities, I realize that we can find ways to fit it into our existing schedules. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can restructure our Learning Commons specials to make more time for these projects. Your mention of Genius Hour reminded me that many students already have existing projects to work on, so if I provide project time in the Learning Commons, we could both provide support for them to take those projects deeper. Today, I came across this article from Edutopia about how Librarians can support PBL. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/school-librarians-part-pbl-team-dream-suzie-boss I hope that over time, we can do more collaborating and build more of these teacher-librarian partnerships for Project-Based Learning in our Elementary. It will definitely be a more powerful experience for our students if we are all working to support them with their projects.

      • Hi Laurie, I am excited about the possibility of us linking Genius Hour! I feel your lip guides and I Wonder project could totally be something we could use effectively in both mine and your classroom to better the students inquiry work. I will be tracking you down on Sunday!

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 7 months ago

    Hi Chrissy,
    Thanks for the positive feedback on my comment! I think it is probably a question many teachers ask themselves, but perhaps at the end of the activity rather than the beginning. The wave of enthusiasm and possibilities gets many of us fired up and ready to roll out great tech in the classroom. It is only when the students have…[Read more]

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 7 months ago

    Hi Amy, Your blog post was so wonderful to read! Up until the end of June, I have only known your work as a grade 3 teacher, in a school that has been through a ‘transformation’ of integrating tech into the curriculum over the last couple of years. (Which you were amazing at)! Your post titled ‘Taking it All In’ reflects this background with reg…[Read more]

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 7 months ago

    I too was fan of your post! I feel that we have both been fortunate to grow at AIS-R as they have rolled out the need for technology integration to happen in our classrooms. We have come a long way! I loved Bettina’s idea of front loading the vocab with tech. Students could use her suggestions to create online picture dictionaries for Social…[Read more]

  • Wow, how far I have come! Tomorrow I have planned to ask students to share their thinking on character traits, based on details from the book Wonder. My first idea on how to do this was by having students work on […]

    • I think we should all ask ourselves your two questions when we’re planning to use technology in our classroom – “Am I and/or the students using the technology effectively?” or, “Does this tool ensure the students are gaining the knowledge with deeper understanding?” Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

      • Hi Chrissy,
        Thanks for the positive feedback on my comment! I think it is probably a question many teachers ask themselves, but perhaps at the end of the activity rather than the beginning. The wave of enthusiasm and possibilities gets many of us fired up and ready to roll out great tech in the classroom. It is only when the students have completed the task do we sometimes find ourselves reflecting on how much knowledge did they take from the experience. I know I am guilty of this! I need to know walk the walk of my own talk on a more regular basis if tech is to benefit me as a teacher, and my students in their learning!

  • Cheryl Harrington posted a new activity comment 1 year, 10 months ago

    Hey there – sorry i did not see this sooner! Fingers crossed we both have a more positive impact and effect in our presentations this yr, I can’t believe that they wont! Will check in with u come the big day!

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