Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Summer Reading

            Summer Reading Lists

Final Storytime with KG

Bring Your Own Device: Information Evening & Slides

Guest Author: Mr Hughes, PYP Coordinator

This week we are hosting two information sessions on the Bring Your Own Device initiative we run in Grade Six.  We encourage all parents to attend to discuss and explore:
  • What is BYOD? 
  • Pros and Cons 
  • ICT At Seisen: Communicate | Organize | Collaborate | Create | Investigate 
  • Becoming responsible digital citizens 
  • Care of Devices 
  • Q&A Session
Session 1 was held on Monday 29th May in the morning.  Tonight (Wednesday 31st May) we will hold the second session at 6.30pm in Ms. Naini's 6B classroom.

Below is the slideshow we will be using during the meetings and you can download a copy of our Phase 4 (Grade 5 and 6) ICT curriculum outcomes by clicking here. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

What Happened When I Asked My Class to Google Me!?

Well, I have just finished another set of lessons, and in this latest cycle, I have worked with Ms Carnright, ES School Counsellor, and our homeroom teachers in grades three and four.

During this cycle, I attended Tokyo's Google Office and YouTube space, where I learned that when it comes to career aspirations, being a YouTuber is amongst the top three pathways. Based on this information, I wondered: how many of the students I teach are on this same pathway? A simple Google search and browse of YouTube and I soon uncovered the answer to this very question.  Before I continue, a little disclaimer: I fully embrace the power of social media. However, we do not allow students to create personal channels using their educational domain email. [Insert PSA announcement].
Thinking back, it was not until I moved to Tokyo as an Ed Tech Specialist that I discovered the power of social media and YouTube. While training to be a teacher in England, I learned that social media could make or break careers. In fact, even before that it was part of my program director's selection process, Facebook quickly became very public and social media quickly became everyone's business. I have previously blogged about the power of Twitter and how I had a "false start" before taking off - Tweet Tweet!

Heading into these grade three and four collaborative lessons, I decided to Google myself to see what I could find. At first glance, I am a professional cricketer by name, though clearly, this is not my chosen profession. The graphic above is my digital watermark. I use Blogger, so you'll find my blog homepage, top hitting posts and authored posts, my Twitter profile is a hit as is my YouTube channel and Google+.  (Feel free to let me know if you find any other hits - FYI, I am not a cricketer). Listening to Dr. Alec Couros who stated, "who doesn't have an online presence nowadays?", and knowing full well that our students (especially the older ones) Google us, I believe it's our responsibility to ensure we leave a positive digital legacy.

I wanted to use the time with students for them to reflect on their online presence. Working with Ms. Carnright, she and I explored with the girls the notion that our presence, both online and offline, should evoke pride and a positive response from others. How we portray ourselves on social media represents who we are and what we stand for, whether that is our intention or not. As part of this lesson, students were asked to create a digital graphic which was a representation of their digital lives (see images below). 
Unfortunately, we live in a world where everything isn't a bed of roses, and some people make the choice to leave comments, remarks and pictures that are hurtful and unwelcomed. Through contextual and embedded digital citizenship lessons, I believe that we can prepare our students to handle the degree of anger, insults and hatred that is strewn across the internet. Cliche maybe, but I ask myself: "Would I want my Nan seeing this post?

So, give it a go.  Google (or any other search engine will do) yourself. What do you notice?  What is your online story?  Moreover, does it say what you want it to say about who you are?

I will leave it there for now, but as always I would love to connect and hear your thoughts.  How are you preparing students to be responsible digital citizens?

~Mr Towse & Ms Carnright

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The best Sakura books and art have been decided...

The 2017 Sakura Book Challenge has finished. Students who read 4 or 5 books (depending on the category) were invited to vote in the MC/Library recently. Here are the books our students voted as best in category.
English Picture Book
English Chapter Book
Japanese Picture Book
Japanese Chapter Book
Graphic Novel

Here are the overall winners as decided by all Japan Schools...

English Picture Book
English Chapter Book
Japanese Picture Book
Japanese Chapter Book
Graphic Novel

Any of these books are highly recommend as reading material over the summer holidays if you haven't already read them. We also have sequels and other books by these authors to try. Happy reading.

Sakura Art Competition

We congratulate GhaMin Park from Grade 5 whose artwork was selected by all Japan Schools as the winner in the Japanese Chapter Book section. A copy of her art will be sent to the winning Japanese Chapter Book author as part of the prize package.

Word Clouds, Typing Practice & Unit Vocabulary

Previously, I have blogged about typing, and although it may not exist as a static one-hour session here at Seisen, it does happen, and in grades one and two I have been using our favourite Scouse Moose over at BBC's Dance Mat Typing.  Grade 3 through 6 all have registered accounts to and Typing Club.

It amazes me by the speeds at which young people (and not so young) type on their mobile cell phones but this doesn't necessarily transpire into typing, and this is what I mean when I say being able to type is one thing, but being able to type properly is something else altogether. As grade one transition into their latest and what is the final unit of the year, I am using ABCYA's World Cloud Typing website to produce word clouds associated to unit vocabulary.

While developing a typing fluency, and maintaining correct positioning students were asked to choose unit vocabulary from their word wall that was new to them either in spelling or meaning. 

Here are some examples 

Camouflaged typing. I love it!

I would love to see what how you are using this or any of the other tools outside of school.  Be sure to tweet us @sisesmctweets

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Celebrating Poetry Month

Celebrating Poetry Month April 2017

Currently, the fourth graders have been busy inquiring into different types of poems.  In their most recent library lesson, they looked for poems that have touched their hearts, made them giggle or even gave them a scare, to share with each other.  Some girls decided to add their creative flare when they shared.

"I didn't know they wrote poems about potatoes!  What else is there?

"I found a poem about my birthday month!"
             Searching for the most interesting poem to share.


Demonstrating creativity when presenting their poems.