Friday, June 10, 2016

I Missed it, but I Heard it was Great!

The Kamehameha Schools Technology Conference was held this past week. I attended the conference a few years ago. This is when I first learned about "Caine's Arcade," a powerful film that still moves me to this day. At this and other conferences, I really enjoy learning with educators from around our state.  I decided not to register for the conference this year, but a number of our staff and students attended. In fact, several of our teachers and a few of our students presented at this conference!

How likely is it that students in grades 3, 4, and 5 would be confident enough to share and teach adults? Gee, I get nervous when I have to present to an audience that I don't know, but from what I heard, our students did very well! They were prepared and even had links to their own slide show to share their learning. Considering that we've been out of school for two weeks now, we know that the students were working on their presentations at home :-)

Earlier this school year, Chris Caravalho (@manacomics) came to our school to speak with some of our students about cartooning. He shared how he gets his ideas (the world around him, nature, his personal experiences, his experiences as a police officer, stories people tell him, etc.). Chris shared about the themes of good-evil, traits of a superhero, and how quality work takes perseverance. He then took time to talk with each child individually about their work, asking questions, giving them tips, and helping them to complete their comic strip about a superhero.
Students were very inspired by Chris; he took time to speak with each child about their work. Afterwards, the students were excited to complete and share their comic strip. 
One of the sessions at Kamehameha that our students helped with was called "Edu ComicCon," and it was part listening/sharing by Chris, our librarian Michelle Colte, and our Tech Coordinator Megan Cummings.  The other part was learning/doing with student mentors. Liam, Lily, and Nylah shared how to use to create their superhero comic book story.

This is Liam's comic about his superhero. Notice how he effectively used his pictures to tell much of the story; very few words are included to express his ideas. 
Elisabeth loves to draw so she shared how she drew a comic strip as part of a service learning project to thank veterans. Cheyenne loves all kinds of art and uses digital tools and apps as well as paint and crayons to share her messages. Click on the links in the slideshow to see more of our amazing student work. 

Chris Caravalho poses with some of the students and teachers who attended the Kamehameha Schools Technology Conference.
Tonya Roller, a fifth grade teacher, presented with two of her students, Kennedy and Alex, about "Building Community, Creativity, and Critical Thinking with Wednesday Missions." The students loved these missions! My office is right across Mrs. Roller's classroom, and I could see and hear the students as they worked together to solve their mission. Here's a link to Tonya's slide show; it's full of ideas! 
Kennedy and Alex share their experiences with Wednesday Missions. They attended the conference both days and enjoyed walking around, sitting in on sessions, and trying out some of the activities like coding and the Marble Run. What a great experience for them as they move on to middle school!

Teachers from our school led two other sessions. Vera Yamanaka, Jerilynn Schaefer, and Janelyn Gamiao learned how to use the Seesaw app and now, their students are documenting and sharing their work independently.  Here's the link to their slideshow. These teachers are using Seesaw to communicate with parents about what goes on in their classroom. Students love it, parents love it, teachers love it, and it's so easy to use!

Finally, Michelle Colte and Shelby Cotham presented "Curriculum and Creativity in the Makerspace."  Check out their slideshow; it's chock full of ideas about how to incorporate "making" into the curriculum and how this space can be used in so many different ways during class, at lunchtime, and after school. I will admit that at first, I was skeptical about "making" but after watching students go through the process of brainstorming, coming up with ideas, trying them out, making revisions, and trying again, I know that the problem-solving process is what's really important. Seeing our students working collaboratively and helping each other by asking questions and suggesting ideas is what makes the Makerspace such a wonderful addition to our school. 

I didn't get to go to the conference, but through the photos, the tweets, and the slideshows, I know that our students and teachers shared some great ideas that other educators were interested in. I also know that they learned so much by being surrounded by other educators who are similarly excited about being exposed to new ideas. This conference also demonstrated that we should be inviting students to share their learnings and their projects with others. When students are invested in what they are learning and when they have the opportunity to share their projects with a larger audience, we see what they are capable of. Next school year, we will explore ways to provide students with opportunities to share their projects and to mentor others - our staff, parents, and others in the community or at conferences - who may want to learn something new. I know these kids can teach an old dog (me) new tricks.  I look forward to that opportunity!

Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School was well-represented at the conference. Here are some of the teachers who attended and/or presented. We are proud of all of them for continuing to give back to the education community! 

No comments:

Post a Comment