A Great Problem to Have

So much has been happening in my class, that it feels like I have TOO much to blog about for one post…that’s a really great problem to have, and definitely not one I ever would have imagined having when I started this journey. Just a few short months ago I worried I wouldn’t have enough to say!

So, let me fill you in…

This past week my students and I read Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine. We were reading this book in anticipation of Emil Sher‘s visit to our school, to speak to grades 5-8 about his experience of turning Hana’s Suitcase into a play.

I decided to try something a little different for this reading experience. Keeping Sketchnoting Tip #3 in mind, I asked my students to sketchnote as I read the story. What stood out to them? What images, words, symbols, etc. could be used to help capture the text in another way. Each time we read, the students ran to get their papers and pencils to draw. It comes as no surprise that no two sketchnotes were the same. Yet they all told their own story in their own way.

Emil’s visit was extremely captivating and he taught us many things playwrights need to consider when turning a book into a play (stay tuned…he has inspired some exciting new Language Arts activities based on this!)

After Emil’s presentation, my students and I sat together and decided we wanted to tweet about our experience. The first thing we did was look at the pictures we’d taken to see which one was the best representation of our learning. The students discussed the pros and cons of each image, and settled on this picture, since it showed Emil, the book, and a larger image of Hana’s suitcase.

Next, we discussed what needed to be included in our tweet. What did we want to tell people? Who should we mention? What hashtags should we use to amplify our post?

 

We made this list first, writing down all the suggestions they came up with. But we weren’t sure if all these people had Twitter, or if these hashtags would be helpful in amplifying our tweet.

 

 

 

After a quick search, we were able to discover which we could find and what should be included.

 

 

Through collaboration, we eventually tweeted this:

But our learning didn’t end there. This morning, when we checked on the activity of our tweet, we found that someone had retweeted our tweet….but who? and what did they say??

Thank goodness we know that “tools are our friends” 🙂 A quick Google Translate helped us know what this person’s Twitter name was, and what they had to say about our post…almost.

 

Now we needed to figure out if this person could add value to our learning.

Students made suggestions, and after exploring the Twitter page more, we discovered their website, Kokoro, which finally identified them as a Japanese Holocaust Resource Centre. The students are so excited to continue amplifying their learning by reaching out and seeing what other connections we can make through this centre.

3 Comments on A Great Problem to Have

  1. Brigitte
    29th March 2019 at 1:13 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Wow, this is so wonderful Melissa! How exciting for your students.

    Reply
    • melissat
      29th March 2019 at 6:56 pm (4 weeks ago)

      They wanted to mention you in our tweet! I think it’s time to get you onto Twitter Brigitte!

      Reply
  2. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
    16th April 2019 at 2:15 pm (7 days ago)

    @Melissa
    Your sentence, “Now we needed to figure out if this person could add value to our learning.” embodies the heart of educational networking for me. Such an important piece when building a learning network, so important to make visible and model for our students.

    Your entire blog post/documentation of the experience (not simply an activity) of learning is beautifully laid out, ready to be unpacked by and for the learning of others, ready to be connected to future experiences and to make learning growth (theirs and yours) visible.

    Reply

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