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Suzy Ramsden

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 5 months ago

    Dear Stephane,
    Thank you so much for your comment. One of the biggest takeaways from this project for my students I hope will be how much they can influence and lead their own learning, which may seem a contradiction looking at how much behind the scenes planning I have put into it. We use the word collaboration a lot these days as educators and I…[Read more]

  • Happy to have chosen, following advice from Robert Appino’s  and others, an inquiry into collaboration through the use of Minecraft. It feels like we are all on a truly creative learning journey together wh […]

    • Hi Suzy,
      Your project is not only collaborative and engaging, but it is also one of the most well designed and thoughtful I have ever seen.
      Stéphane

      • Dear Stephane,
        Thank you so much for your comment. One of the biggest takeaways from this project for my students I hope will be how much they can influence and lead their own learning, which may seem a contradiction looking at how much behind the scenes planning I have put into it. We use the word collaboration a lot these days as educators and I wanted to see how the students themselves unravel this word themselves through their own inquiries. Unless they understand what it means and how it can inspire and help them, why would they want to collaborate? The last session in the Ron Ritchhart PD, Back to the Future protocol has stayed with me because it was about the teachers leading the way for change. I want the same for my students. What do they want to learn/change and how will they get there? I am enjoying the creativity that is coming out in Minecraft and watching the students achieve that flow, overcome difficulties and persevere. It’s a good lesson for me to observe this and reflect on the variety of options that we offer our students.
        Thank you again Stephane for your comments. Great that you are so behind and supporting all these projects, it is really appreciated.
        Suzy

    • Hello Suzy.

      When I saw the title of your post I was drawn to it immediately. I Love minecraft and the endless possibilities it creates. Im new in the tech role at my school and would love to get it up and running but I already know the feelings it induces in some people. Some are very resistant to Minecraft, and I have decided for the moment I need to choose my battles wisely. This one will keep for another day.
      But as I mentioned I was very eager to read your post and learn something for when the time comes to battle. By the way, I worked with Colin Gallagher in Hong Kong and it was interesting to see the progress he has made from introducing iPods to the junior school to becoming MR Minecraft!!
      I thought the way you involved the parents from the start was a superb choice. We have started using Seesaw at my school and because the parents can see whats going on every day, they seem to question less.
      The use of the mnemonic “Wait” is an excellent idea to incorporate into your goal setting activity.
      There were two particular sentence that struck me as “GOLD”………….” we have hit highs and lows, obstacles of time and technology. These have all been teaching moments and part of our problem solving.”
      This is so true. The highs, lows and obstacles happen on a daily basis when integrating tech into our daily educational program. Instead of seeing as a problem its far better to see it as a teachable moment. Less stress maybe.
      I was wondering, did you have any other problems with other staff/Admin or parents that weren’t mentioned? I just saw saw you have written a pt2, so Im looking forward to reading the rest. Good luck.

    • Hi Shane,
      Thank you for your comments. My decision to start using Minecraft in the classroom really came about intially by joining our ETC’s after school Minecraft club a few times.I couldn’t believe the buzz in the room and the learning , negotiation and collaboration that was going on. I asked myself why I wouldn’t want this is the classroom. My concerns were using MinecraftPE as we use i-Pads in the Lower school but I wanted to see if my first graders could take on this responsibility, and if I could cope with the letting go. I honestly can’t believe how much learning has been going on. The students know that their goal is to write our classroom /community guidelines based on their experiences using Minecraft. I can really see that are collaborating purposefully and respectfully now- they get it and are now ready to lead the way into how we build our classroom community.
      I have involved parents from the start and have not had any negative feedback. Recently we have used Minecraft to cover some of our maths benchmarks-both parents and other teachers are interested to see the possibilities. As well as blogging about our project, we also tweet out what we are doing in class .Our classroom is very visible to both parents, Admin and colleagues. When I have finished the project, the rest of the Grade have asked me to share, thinking we might add it to the Grade 1 curriculum.
      How lucky to have worked alongside Colin Gallagher. I read his book over the summer and it really helped me to see the possibilities. If you read part 2, the students think I’m doing ok on my goal and most of the students have achieved theirs and have already thought about their next steps .
      We are coming to the end of the project now, but I like the fact that the students have had another learning opportunity offered to them, which they may choose again throughout the year. After the project finishes, I will start a Minecraft club for the Grade 1 students and offer it as a 20% option.
      Thank you again for your comments. I totally ‘get’ Minecraft as a platform for learning, I like that I have been doing my own inquiry alongside the students.
      Suzy

    • gosh suzy, you’re doing this so well. i tried minecraft as an ASA and am really detesting it. i’m not sure what minecraft PE is; can you tell me more about that? perhaps the problem is that i don’t know enough about minecraft, nor am willing to take too much time to learn at the moment (like shane, picking my battles!), and our minecraft platform runs slowly. additionally, since i have really varied ages of kids, it’s challenging to keep them all engaged in different ways, from the experts in grade 4 to the newbies in grade 2. i’m keen to know more about your project, especially the finer details about how you laid things down in the first place and how you started. regardlessly, well done!
      :)w

      • Hi Wendy,

        Thank you so much for your comments. I hope I can enlighten you by answering questions about how and why. Firstly, I was interested in introducing Minecraft as a 20% option to the students after spending time in our after school Minecraft club. The excitement, collaboration and peer-teaching that was going on made me make my own inquiries. This project was one of 3 options for my final project and I am so glad I chose it, even though I had the most worries about it. Over the summer I read MInecraft in the Classroom , Colin Gallacher and also Teachers Craft- Teachers Learn to use Minecraft in their Classrooms by Seann Dikkers. I also played around with the App, MinecraftPE ( pocket edition) and started building so that I had some skills myself before we started. We only use iPads in grade 1, so couldn’t have the option of using Minecraftedu where it might be easier to oversee what the students are building. My goal was for the students to explore how powerful colaboration can be in their learning and used Minecraft as part of this. The students also had plenty of off line inquiries to explore as a build up to using Minecraft. I can share my unit with you how I planned each stage in our learning. My first step was to involve the parents and share my project with them, giving them the opportunity to ask questions, and question why I was using Minecraft in the classroom. We have been sharing our learning as we go along on our class blog and in a week’s time I have invited the parents in. The students will be coaching the parents in Minecraft . They will set tasks for their parents. They will also be sharing what they have learned throughout the project and how they can apply this in future learning.
        We started at the beginning of the school year talking about communication and how communication helps to build relationships. The end task was to build their own class community ( including writing class guidelines) by reflecting on their learning in Minecraft. At the beginning I included quite a lot of work on digital citizenship and small whole class tasks in Minecraft before letting go and asking them to chose groups and design and build their own community. At the beginning they also had to set their own goals based on transdisciplinary skills after watching themselves in group and collaborative tasks, eg sharing ideas more or listening to other group members, etc. We had Minecraft newbies and Minecraft masters when we started out, but the goal was to develop collaborative skills . Developing their Minecraft skills has been an amazing bonus. What happened was those that didn’t have any skills started to ask questions and seek help from the Minecraft ‘experts’ , developing a very positive peer coaching kind of learning . I found it is a wonderful platform for collaboration and differentiated learning as well as the more academic content that can be covered. As we went on in our Minecraft inquiry I could see the potential to use this for maths and literacy. The students are currently showing their understanding of 2 and 3D shapes and later will be using Minecraft for scene setting in Literacy. I wanted to offer the students at the beginning of the year more options in their learning and for their own personal inquiries for the rest of the year.
        We are about to start our next unit on structures and materials- I will be offering the students the option to show their understanding through Minecraft .
        We have had some awkward, messy, uncomfortable moments when things did not go to plan, when some students found it difficult to build or when someone in the group changed something in Minecraft without collaborating. These have all been important opportunities to talk about responsibility, respect, problem solving and perseverance. Listening to the students take advice from one another, collaborate and recognise individual skills and connect with each others thinking has been a privilege. I am so happy with the community of trust they have built in the class which has influenced all areas of their learning.
        Happy to share step by step in my unit planner. I’m totally convinced about using Minecraft and I started with quite a few doubts and uncertainties about how this would go. We are blogging with Abigail Moore’s class in Kuwait and hoping to do a collaborative project in Minecraft later on in the year.

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Abby,

    Great that your students are logged in to SeeSaw. We posted a comment and have also posted photos of our school. Looking forward to the Skype today and follow up later for us.
    Suzy

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Megan,
    Inspired by your problem solving on Sunday morning. I enjoyed listening and watching live on Youtube, thank you so much for the link. I am really enjoying the book, lots to reflect on, discuss and apply.
    Enjoying being part of this group.
    Thank you
    Suzy

    • Suzy,

      I’m trying to think of ways to expand the group so we can share our learning and reflections in the spaces between our meeting dates. Do you have any ideas? I want to try a new technology tool and push myself, but don’t know of any that would be a new platform for sharing. Thanks for watching and I can’t wait to discuss the next chapters.

      Megan

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Megan,

    Thank you for your comments. I was so sorry to not be part of the Hangout due to my oops moment, but so happy to be following the conversation on Youtube. I am really enjoying the book and will truly hope to fix any problems for the next one.
    Thank you for being patient!
    Suzy

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Tricia,

    Thank you for your kind words. I made a connection in your post about using Twitter and trying to keep up with the conversation on a Twitter chat. It brought back amusing memories of my very first one. I’m still learning, but after reading your post, I now use Google keep for storing any articles, notes etc for those moments.
    Thank…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your comment. I just feel lucky to be able to connect to all these minds and ideas and help my students do the same.My goal is to make a greater contribution to others’ learning and thinking.
    Suzy

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Joel,
    Thanks for your comment. Think it’s a mutual PLN though. I also miss working with you, but better to spread the Coetailing learning wider. Honestly, I think building my PLN both locally and globally is so motivating and thought-provoking. I think I can honestly feel certain that I am modelling a growth mindset to my students and…[Read more]

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    I recently made a new header for my Twitter page because I wanted to express how connecting to others has not only changed my classroom practice but also probably my future. I have done my fair share of […]

    • Awesome job Suzy – the way you have documented you’re growing PLN is fantastic. I am consistently amazed how you manage to to do it all. Since working with you in Grade 1 you have always been part of my PLN and I have learnt so much from you both online and offline. Although I am missing working with you, this year, I always know that we will be connected.
      Great job, Thanks for sharing your journey.
      Cheers,
      Joel

      • Hi Joel,
        Thanks for your comment. Think it’s a mutual PLN though. I also miss working with you, but better to spread the Coetailing learning wider. Honestly, I think building my PLN both locally and globally is so motivating and thought-provoking. I think I can honestly feel certain that I am modelling a growth mindset to my students and parents. When I was writing the post, I remember you sharing that Youtube clip with me about Twitter because I was a newbie and didn’t really get it. I think I get it now and liking the oops moments in my learning more and more. I think your final project website looks fantastic-if ever you have a moment, be great if you could show the basics. Like to have a go.
        Suzy

    • Hi Suzy,

      Thank you so much for the shout out. I consider myself very lucky to count you as a member of my PLN.
      Keep posting!
      Kind Regards,
      Tricia

      • Hi Tricia,

        Thank you for your kind words. I made a connection in your post about using Twitter and trying to keep up with the conversation on a Twitter chat. It brought back amusing memories of my very first one. I’m still learning, but after reading your post, I now use Google keep for storing any articles, notes etc for those moments.
        Thank you for being part of my PLN.
        Suzy

    • Wow Suzy, the evolution of your PLN is inspiring. What makes it so powerful is how you are building a digital PLN and a face-face PLN in your school. I just tweeted the oops video about redefining failure.

      I’ve learned so much from you and can’t wait to continue learning alongside you.

      Cheers,
      Megan

    • Hi Suzy,

      Quite remarkable work indeed. You’ve demonstrated a clear pathway and methodology of developing and nurturing a truly global PLN.

      Best wishes,

      Chris

      • Hi Chris,

        Thank you for your comment. I just feel lucky to be able to connect to all these minds and ideas and help my students do the same.My goal is to make a greater contribution to others’ learning and thinking.
        Suzy

    • Hi Megan,

      Thank you for your comments. I was so sorry to not be part of the Hangout due to my oops moment, but so happy to be following the conversation on Youtube. I am really enjoying the book and will truly hope to fix any problems for the next one.
      Thank you for being patient!
      Suzy

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Abby,
    Thanks for your comments. I also totally relate to your difficulty with starting the year with students who have not used technology independently and with no or very little understanding of any aspect of digital citizenship. So my year has started with sharing with parents and students elements and an awareness of digital citizenship. I…[Read more]

    • This was very helpful! One of my stuggles has been the time it takes to introduce so many things. Spending 10 minutes each week on an app sounds doable. My next step is getting them all logged into their Seesaw accounts.

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Joel,
    Love this idea and I think your website is amazing. I really like the fact that you have put everything in one place, it’s a really helpful resource for teachers to help them do something similar. i was thinking it would be a great way for older students to share service learning ideas and projects.
    You have done so much in such a short…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Lisa,

    It took me a while to get into some kind of working routine when I first started Coetail and I was so afraid to hit that publish button. I remember a great piece of advice that Rebekah Madrid wrote at the beginning- just hit publish anyway, what’s the worst that can happen? The best part is reading other’s blogs, making connections to…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Steve,

    Liked reading your post and made quite a few connections, same decade, same excitement about how far we have come in technology since I saw my first ‘ big screen’ computer back in the day. I also work closely with Millennials, I love their intuition around technology versus my I’ll just google that and find out how.
    Your blog title is…[Read more]

  •  

    It’s the start of a new school year and the beginning of Course 5. Reflection is part of my everyday, it’s an important part of how we understand who we are and how we learn. It’s something we ask the […]

    • Suzy I enjoyed reading your post, your reflections have given me some good ideas for organizing my time to hopefully keep me on track with the workload. I am still finding my fingers hesitating over the “publish” button but reading and seeing your confidence growing with technology is giving me courage to take the plunge……..just need to write something now!
      Cheers,
      Lisa

      • Hi Lisa,

        It took me a while to get into some kind of working routine when I first started Coetail and I was so afraid to hit that publish button. I remember a great piece of advice that Rebekah Madrid wrote at the beginning- just hit publish anyway, what’s the worst that can happen? The best part is reading other’s blogs, making connections to your own teaching/classroom and trying/applying what I am learning. If you need help, door is always open. Looking forward to reading your blog.
        Suzy

    • Hi Suzy,

      I really relate to your reflections. I am super excited to connect our classes through blogging! Your “I do, We do, You do” strategy is great. I really want to try it out in many ways in my classroom this year. I think I have asked you this before but at your school, do students have access to technology in Kindergarten? I am thinking one of the reasons I am struggling with getting things set up is because my students don’t really independently use technology before they come to grade 1. I am planning on using some Common Sense Media lessons to help get my students used to using the iPad’s as a learning tool. Do you have any other suggestions about how to get them started?

      Abby

      • Hi Abby,
        Thanks for your comments. I also totally relate to your difficulty with starting the year with students who have not used technology independently and with no or very little understanding of any aspect of digital citizenship. So my year has started with sharing with parents and students elements and an awareness of digital citizenship. I included this in my Back to School presentation on technology integration in Grade 1.
        My year has also started with a lot of tech input on my behalf, teaching them how to use and why we use. So connecting our classes through blogging will be a perfect example for them. Each week I insert ‘ten minute tech’ sessions with the kids where I introduce them to a particular app like Explain Everything, Popplet etc. I use tech buddies too to work with students who need a little longer. I find this is really helpful for both students, the tech expert learns to problem solve in how they explain/show how to do something to their buddy. It’s so great in building empathy, patience and listening. it would be so easy for them to just do it for them but this way takes time but builds great relationships. Ten minutes tech also includes using Kidblog and Twitter, because for me, it’s the sharing of their thinking that is the most valuable for them. When I introduce Twitter, we write paper ‘ conversations’ first. When it comes to iMovie and screen casting, this will take longer. I use my I do, we do, you do model and always make a video on using, or slides so that the students can go back to these. We recently made slides of how to upload to Youtube and Kidblog and my TA and I leave this at certain points around the room so the students can refer to them. I invest a lot of time in all of this at the beginning, but find the reward huge. I will also put some of these slides, models, videos onto the blog for both parents and students.
        We have had an issue with i-Pads and Airplay since the beginning of term, but somehow we are problem solving and getting round this.
        Our ETC makes TIC TAC TOE skills sheets for the kids to complete when learning new tech skills. I am thinking I might do this with my Grade 1’s and use the words I am…. Safe, Ready and Responsible . I have seen wristbands with these words on and am thinking I would like to use something similar as a visible reminder around the school. The students could apply their design thinking skills to design/make some themselves.
        What is obvious to me is that more conversations need to happen within our Early Years Team about expectations and progression around technology. This year, this has already started to happen.
        Hope this was helpful in some way. Looking forward to our students blogging and using Skype.

        • This was very helpful! One of my stuggles has been the time it takes to introduce so many things. Spending 10 minutes each week on an app sounds doable. My next step is getting them all logged into their Seesaw accounts.

    • Hi Abby,

      Great that your students are logged in to SeeSaw. We posted a comment and have also posted photos of our school. Looking forward to the Skype today and follow up later for us.
      Suzy

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Stephane,
    Welcome to Coetail and also to Lower School- we are so lucky to be working with you both-the dream team. I have mentioned to Tanya several times before that I find it difficult to pass by the media lab without looking in. I have thought about this a lot and think there are two reasons: the first because the space, design and buzz…[Read more]

    • Hi Suzy and thank you for the wonderful words. I could definitively return the compliment as I am amaze to see what you are doing with your grade 1 class. Watching how you create a stimulating learning environment for your students has been fascinating. I feel really fortunate to be working with people like you. Your idea to have students think…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Ryan,
    Hope you are enjoying your new role. I missed getting involved in your slow chat #AfricaEd last Thursday. I was reading the comments about reading, and have now put the next one in my planner. I think it’s fantastic that you are having these Google Training sessions, lucky faculty, and 25% seems like a good starting investment from…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Jennifer,

    I enjoyed your post and it reaffirmed for me exactly why I am doing Coetail. I am about to start Course 5, I can’t begin to tell you how much learning I have done and how many teachers I am now in touch with globally who have helped me, pushed my thinking and changed my practice in different ways. And the best bit is, I can see…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Joanna,

    I ‘d say you had some good reasons to disconnect and invest your time in starting a new and exciting life. Congratulations to you and Josh. Welcome to the Coetail world, you will so love the collaborative learning. As to your book list- that might grow even more as you find fabulous reads through making connections. My difficulty now…[Read more]

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    Hi Sitwat,

    Welcome to the Coetail community. So interesting to hear all about your travels. I am in part of Cohort 5, teaching at the International School of Luxembourg and starting my final course. Coetail has been and is one of the most powerful learning experiences in my long teaching years. It has been a real game changer in my teaching,…[Read more]

    • Hi Suzy,
      Thanks for sharing your experience about coetail. I really excited to be a part of this programme. I look forward to connect with other coetail participants and grow my PLN.
      Sitwat

  • Suzy Ramsden posted a new activity comment 2 years, 6 months ago

    I am also sorry for your loss and the stress and tragedy it has bought to your life and to others. I hope the disconnecting helped in some way, but I also hope that re-connecting will help to focus on the positive life online.
    You wrote an honest and heartfelt post and your sharing has made many of us stop and reflect.

    • Thank you so much @ramsdensuzy for your comment.

      In the end, the post did help and kind of lift a heavy feeling off me. Of course there are times where it is easy to feel the weight again, but blogging and focusing on my project has helped I think …

      NKS

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