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Tracy Blair

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Kate,
    Glad you got some fresh ideas. I love book clubs in general so to take it to another level was a big reward for me. Good luck with yours.

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely try this again next year as well as explore other collaborative projects. Let’s try to find a connection in the next school year.

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Tricia, I think HS students would respond really well to something like this. I say go for it.

    I’ll be sure to share out next year.

    Don’t forget about the #GRA16 – books have just been announced. This might be something your students would enjoy too.

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    Must say thanks to you for connecting me with Jill. She was great to work with and I loved working with her kids. I’m hoping the kids stay connected, but busy time of year so we’ll have to wait and see.

    In the future I’d love to do some more collaborative projects – I see some poetry projects in the making – wouldn’t that be cool to see…[Read more]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Angela, thanks for the positive words. It was an awesome experience and one that I will devote the time to again even with the challenges. One of the teachers I’d work with before in a previous school (about 6-7 years back now) and he is a COETAIL grad. I got connected with the other G4 teacher from Dhaka by PYP coordinator Leah Bortolin.…[Read more]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 2 months ago

    I really enjoyed watching your presentation. Coding is an area that I am also exploring so I got some good ideas. I was wondering if the coding tools (eg. Botlogic) you used would be appropriate for Grade 4? Or since you previously taught G4 and G5, you might have some other suggestions?

  • The idea of a personal learning network (PLN) was not new to me at the beginning of this course.  However, what was new was the intentional focus on building and contributing to a PLN.  Over the past 18 months, I […]

  • Just as we use student data to inform our instruction in the classroom, the same is true for our own learning journey.  The last five years have been a steep learning curve with respect to the use of technology […]

    • This is such an excellent video! I am just about to begin Book Clubs and I really needed some new ideas. I appreciated you adding the standards and how you actually made this all happen. I am impressed by how your video covered all your based- very well done!

      • Hi Kate,
        Glad you got some fresh ideas. I love book clubs in general so to take it to another level was a big reward for me. Good luck with yours.

    • Hi Tracy, I really enjoyed watching your video- especially seeing the students enthusiasm for the books that they had read. Such a brilliant way to redefine book clubs. The survey also really helped to understand how the students felt about the project. I hope this is something you continue- it would be great to connect classes in the future! Thanks for the great ideas!

      • Hi Amanda,
        Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely try this again next year as well as explore other collaborative projects. Let’s try to find a connection in the next school year.

    • Brilliant! I’m already thinking about how to replicate this at the HS level. Thanks for sharing, and for being honest about the struggles. I hope you plan on doing this again next year–if and when you do, please tweet it out.

      • Hi Tricia, I think HS students would respond really well to something like this. I say go for it.

        I’ll be sure to share out next year.

        Don’t forget about the #GRA16 – books have just been announced. This might be something your students would enjoy too.

    • First, I love your idea. I saw it happen in our school as you worked with Jill in Grade 4. She and the students loved the project and are continuing on with what you shared with them. This is basically the goal, isn’t it? And those hidden challenges that you had have helped her move forward with this kind of project. I think this is a great project! Great job!

      • Must say thanks to you for connecting me with Jill. She was great to work with and I loved working with her kids. I’m hoping the kids stay connected, but busy time of year so we’ll have to wait and see.

        In the future I’d love to do some more collaborative projects – I see some poetry projects in the making – wouldn’t that be cool to see kids sharing their poetry or creating together.

    • What an absolutely brilliant idea @tracyblair. I am so impressed with the idea, the tools used, and the incredible learning for the students. I can only imagine the challenges you teachers faced. Did you know the teachers before the project began? It appears as if you were all so aligned. I think this is brilliant and certainly something I want to integrate in to my own practice!

      • Hi Angela, thanks for the positive words. It was an awesome experience and one that I will devote the time to again even with the challenges. One of the teachers I’d work with before in a previous school (about 6-7 years back now) and he is a COETAIL grad. I got connected with the other G4 teacher from Dhaka by PYP coordinator Leah Bortolin. Great connections. I was very lucky to have supportive, positive and flexible collaborators.
        Highly recommend the experience – you’ll see student engagement go through the roof.

    • I love this! I am doing a similar final project, but since I am not in the classroom I am doing a global book club with other administrators and educators. I took notes on your hidden challenges (learnings) for my planning. I love how you used your PLN to make connections. If you want to join in on my final project feel free join: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdJRcNmXxbze5kJBW24OIMEoFTeA1xEGDNyPzEqM82VmdyACQ/viewform!

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 3 months ago

    Hi Tara,
    I’m definitely an advocate of flexibility and choices and like your thoughts around sharing our projects to inspire others. I would not prescribe this exact project to any of my colleagues but I would encourage and support those that are looking for a way to integrate technology and form global connections by sharing my own e…[Read more]

  • The last two months have swirled by on a sea of technology-enriched learning experiences.  Technology usage and integration has exploded in my classroom and this blog post documents some of the tools and […]

    • Hi Tracy! Your colleague brought up a good question. I’ve been reading about your project and it seems like such a great experience for your students! But, I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to make something that works for one teacher and one group of students something that’s part of the curriculum and required of all teachers and all students, every year. We already have shared standards and objectives we have to help our students meet, but I would hope there is room for flexibility in how we help get them there. To me, the ideal would be an efficient way of sharing our successful projects and lessons with other teachers in our school, in the same way that we share them in online settings, in the hopes of inspiring each other and collaborating with one another. Often I think our ideas come up randomly in informal conversations with other teachers, and I think many teachers are sometimes too humble to bring up something they’re really proud of and could work well for others. Wondering what others feel about this, though…

      • Hi Tara,
        I’m definitely an advocate of flexibility and choices and like your thoughts around sharing our projects to inspire others. I would not prescribe this exact project to any of my colleagues but I would encourage and support those that are looking for a way to integrate technology and form global connections by sharing my own experiences. Also, every educator’s journey is different. I wouldn’t have been ready for this 3 years ago even 1 year ago.
        There are two things I hope for:
        That I create a similar experience for my students next year. It won’t be exactly the same because I will continue to grow in my own skills and understandings of technology integration and redefinition. The project might happen at a different time of year, with different schools, and the students are different and may need a different experience – many variables that will play a role in how it might look.
        That I will inspire another educator to start their own global project – on whatever scale they choose.

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 4 months ago

    Hi James,
    Thanks for sharing those resources. I’m in the process for putting together a video for My course 5 project so I’m sure these will help.

    Video making is a multilayered task with so many components layered within. It’s interesting teaching these aspects to students but it requires a lot of time to teach and a lot of time for them to…[Read more]

    • Tracey,

      Please take heed to the comment Chrissy left about my posting. I will be making some “adjustments” to my posting in leui of this newly discovered information. I am sorry if I misled you at all. I truly thought that what I was doing was the right thing because even I am making a video for my final project!

      Good luck to you and I hope…[Read more]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 4 months ago

    Hi Susan,
    Glad to hear you had a positive experience at ASB Unplugged. I wish I had of thought of the idea to organize a get together of Coetailers at this event. It turns out there were a couple of us there and it is always nice to meet up face to face.

    I was also reading recently about the changing trends in social media usage and it got…[Read more]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 4 months ago

    Hi Susan,
    I was also sitting in the same session feeling inspired by what is happening in other schools who are making change one lesson, one unit, or one course at a time. I thought the Trudacot protocol (@mcleod) was a very useful tool to support conversations about teaching and learning in addition to technology integration. If not for a…[Read more]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 5 months ago

    Hi Lulu,
    I understand your dilemma. I’ve been thinking of a way to share the quick snaps I take throughout the day with parents. I feel that we do so much that is not represented in my more formal weekly newsletter and I’d like to provide a better view into my classroom.

    My criteria is that I have to be able to take a picture on my phone,…[Read more]

  • I started Course 5 green with envy of the people who had made a decision for their final project last year and written the unit plan at that time.  I’ve spent the last few weeks constructing the unit plan for th […]

  • Tracy Blair posted a new activity comment 2 years, 7 months ago

    Hi Stephanie,
    If you are looking for student connections, my Grade 4 class and I are starting our Who We Are unit in February. Our central idea is: Our bodies are composed of systems which are connected and contribute to our health.
    Lines of Inquiry:
    Body systems have specific functions.
    Various body systems are connected.
    Actions and…[Read more]

  • I’ve been mulling over the Final Project since Course 4 started.  I have had a mosaic of ideas rather than one clear direction. I’ve tried approaching my ideas from different angles to see if I can see a clea […]

  • I’m currently living my dream job. The American School of Bombay embraces innovation and preparing our students for the future: “The future is now at ASB – Technology is an integral part of ASB to support cre […]

  • The future bamboozles me. It is abstract and elusive. The future can be quite unsatisfying to me because it is unknown, it is grey (not black or white) and it is forever changing its shades.  Some changes are […]

    • Hi Tracy, I love how you talk about dispositions that we should have as teacher who want to be ready to take on whatever tomorrow might bring. The only thing I would add to your list is a willingness to take risks and a willingness to change. As someone famous said somewhere at some time: “The only thing that’s constant is change”. If we’re not willing to adapt we might as well hand in out teacher badge because we won’t be doing our students any favors.
      It also makes me think about how important it is for students to see us modelling those things. If we think we can’t plan for our futures as teachers just imagine how our students feel about their futures. It just reinforces that we need to move away from teaching content and really focus on skills and dispositions.

    • Hi Tracy,
      This was such a hard post for me as I get overwhelmed thinking too much of the future, which inevitably leads to how I can plan for it in order to control it! So I really like your idea to control what you can – yourself and your attitude!
      I think an important part of a growth mindset is expecting to fail. I’m reading Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, and she writes that struggle can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope. I read the Edutopia article you referenced and I agree that often teachers get in their own way between their self-doubt and their unfamiliarity around the uncomfortable feelings of learning. I suppose this goes along with what Rob mentioned – the willingness to take a risk.
      Anyway, great advice for teachers just starting or experienced teachers feeling uncomfortable about changes.
      ~Randi

    • Hi Tracy,
      It amazes me how so many in this cohort have reflected on their own journey over decades, and the changes that they have seen in teaching in a rapidly changing world. It amazes me how similar much of that journey has been to my own. Reading through your reflection has brought home your point about disposition very strongly. Reflecting on my own journey once again, I see that it was not the aptitude for learning new skills that was the trick, but the disposition to be open to changes, the courage to fail and try again, and the quiet realisation that every tiny triumph when little things go right sometimes that has made the journey what it is – growth. Until recently, I felt I was growing but didn’t quite understand what this growing meant. Now I know that all this while I was growing towards making learning more meaningful for my students in a world that is so different from the one I began teaching in. There is a renewed sense of purpose in what I do as a teacher, and in the company of colleagues far and wide who feel the same. Thanks for bringing home this point so effectively.
      -Rajesh

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