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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Building a Community_Using Pictures

Building a Community: Using Pictures

There are many “buzz” words in education; filtering, understanding, and implementing concepts can seem overwhelming. Many questions arise. Why does it matter? Where do I start? What will this mean for my students? So I focused on one concept: building a community. This is one way my classroom developed their sense of community.
A few words from the “Kid President

…. (My “hook” to my students)

Why does it matter?
Building a community within and outside of the classroom focuses deeply on the implications and actions of the story it tells to others. I remember a student once proclaiming,” You must live at school, its your home!” That student was 5 years old at the time and those seemingly innocent comments made me think. How can we transform our classroom into a community? “In other words, interaction enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other, and to knit the social fabric (Beem 1999: 20).”


Where do I start?

(Setting: Special Education Classroom 2013-14 school year, students k-1)
I started by asking two questions.

What do you want from your teacher?
What do you want from your school?

I looked at them and they looked at me and after several minutes.
“I want friends,” said one student.
“I want to be with them,” said another.

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They were looking for social autonomy, social acceptance, and to build their own community. The need for community is evident, clearly important, and an essential component of success in school.
As a classroom we set expectations:
Students:

THUMBS-UPRespect for one another. This meant students understood we all have our own need to express ourselves, share ideas, and the right to react differently. We did not all have to be the same. Instead we celebrated and encouraged free thinking, differences, and others success.
We succeeded together and failed together.
We brought our individual talents together and showcased them individually as well.

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My Role: “Coach”

  • Provide experiences for them to grow as individuals
  • Show them how to fail; how to react to failure and use it to succeed
  • Use their interdependence to collaborate and grow academically and socially

 

sharing iconThen we overhauled the classroom. We sat down as a group and I asked them to show me how they wanted to learn. I gave them guidelines: we have to be able to see the projector, avoid placing tables near the sink, and we need to be able to see one another. From there they created a learning environment they wanted. We developed our own identity as a classroom. They created a wall of our pets. A dedicated space they could go to when they needed space and see from afar. They wanted deep connections they could see. It was a special place they went to “turn it around,” think, and connect. Soon our idea of community spread to other students their age. Every morning a few students would come by and visit our wall dedicated to animals. Making comments, laughing, and at times bringing their own photos as a contribution. It became a focal point of our room that symbolized their way of connecting to their community. By the end of the year they had accomplished their goals of connecting and making friends.

Learn more:

 

Upcoming school year 2014-15:
Collaborate with students to build their community to create academic and social change.
Stay tuned.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Creating Your First Blog Post With WordPress | Step By Step Guide

Creating Your First Blog Post With WordPress | Step By Step Guide

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First Steps

When YOU created YOUR account on the blogging platform “WordPress” OR when YOU received an invitation on a collaboration blog, most people will have a problem on How To start their first blog post. Here is an easy to follow step by step guide.

First step is looking on the left hand navigation side bar, see screenshot below, please.
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New Blog Post With WordPress-1

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Click on the buttons “Posts“, followed by “Add New“.

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YOU will see now the following screen, see screenshot below, please.

 

New Blog Post With WordPress-2

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First have a look NOW on the right hand navigation bar and click on the button “Visibility: Public” ===> Edit <===, see “red arrow”.


Following screen (see screenshot below, please) will appear.

New Blog Post With WordPress-3

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The navigation box will pop up and YOU will see more options. Check the “circle” ===> “Private” <=== followed by a click on the button “OK“. YOUR blog post will be NOW “Private“, thus meaning that ONLY YOU can see it and nobody else (NOT PUBLIC PUBLISHING).

WHY this? As YOU are NOT YET comfortable with editing, so this is the BEST way to start as nobody else will see what YOU are doing 😉 NOW YOU can experiment around to learn all the different possibilities

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Learn more:

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Now when YOU want to see how YOUR blog post will look and how others would see it as well, YOU MUST first publish YOUR post, to do so check screenshot below, please.

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New Blog Post With WordPress-4

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On right hand navigation side bar in the editing mode, click the button “Publish“.


NOW YOU will see how YOUR blog post would look in reality. BUT, as already said: it is STILL “PRIVATE” and nobody else could see it! Check screenshot below, please. YOU will see the word “Private” in front of the title of YOUR blog post, this shows YOU that it is NOT YET published to “Public“.

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New Blog Post With WordPress-5

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Switch sometimes between “Editing” and “Publish” to control YOUR precious work and to work on it for excellence 😉 Once satisfied with YOUR creation, make it “Public” by going to the right hand side navigation box and check the “circle” “Public“, followed by a click on the button “OK“.

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WHAT’S BEST way to create a blog post?

That’s a question I get asked very often, so let us go for it: I will show YOU some tips and tricks 😉

Make sure NOT to loose the point about WHAT YOU want to post, so to do this start YOUR blog post first with some keywords and small phrases, remember that it is STILL in “Private Mode“, so GO for writing! Let it go, let it flow…

Here my keywords for creating this blog: first steps, screenshots, easy explaining, no technical words, explaining with simple words, step by step guide, asking for feedback, finding out where learners have problems and adapting (update) the blog post, creating a video about it on How To…

YOU might have remarked ALSO that I use a lot of “BOLD” in my blog posts!? WHY? That are the MOST important parts to remember in my posts. TIP: ONLY read the “BOLD” and YOU would be able to understand 😉

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WHAT’S next step?

As YOU want that YOUR blog post(s) will get found by the “Search Engines” (Google, Bing, Yahoo &…) and that YOUR readers will be able to see about WHAT YOU are writing, it is very IMPORTANT to create “Categories” and ALSO “Tags“! YOU can edit them in the right hand side navigation bar.

Check screenshot below, please.

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WordPress-Categories-1

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Click on “+Add New Category” and insert YOUR text in the field, followed by a hit of the “Return-key of your computer”. Add as much as necessary, BUT NOT too much… I will explain in an next UPDATE why…

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Next is to add the “Tags“, YOU find it also the right hand side navigation bar, check screenshot below, please.

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WordPress-Tags-1

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Insert in the text field YOUR “Tags” and click the button “Add“..

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Stay tuned for next blog posts and for updates for this post 😉

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