Sunday, 23 June 2013

We can see... Florida!

This week we are wrapping up our last week of school. Since joining this blog project in the fall, my students have conversed with students near and far.  I marveled at how quickly students began to think of their audience when writing or making videos. Not only do students understand that their works are being seen by peers and other followers, such as parents and Kindergarten teachers in Ontario and beyond, they also enjoy writing back to their far-away friends about the projects they see on the blog or on twitter. Together we have learned about different types of responses, and as such students offer a comment, a connection, or ask a question of their friends in other participating classes. Social media is such a prominent part of our lives, so it made perfect sense to introduce students to responsible internet use (netiquette) while also sharing our stories.

My students are used to me taking two types of photos or videos: firstly, those that may be used within the class, which may include names, faces, and identifying features of those in the photos; secondly, those which exclude all identifying features so that they may be shared with twitter followers, our classroom site, my blog, or other forms of social media. Students are well-versed in my safety protocols and even remind me when I'm taking video clips to be careful around showing names on artwork. It has lead to some interesting conversations, then, when we see students in other classes creating their own personal "I Can See" books with very personal details included. Taha's book about his trip to Egypt connected with so many students, not the least with several students in both the morning and afternoon classes who are also from Egypt and have had the chance to visit there, too.
I loved how they connected with the familiar images, but also how they noticed these differences.  We talked about the fact that in those particular cases like Taha's post, the teacher wasn't making a decision to break the rules. We read the "fine print" in those posts, and in each of those cases the teachers thanked the families for taking part in the project and allowing for their personal photos to be used. This lead to a conversation about "informed consent". Big ideas for young students, indeed!

We can see Toronto! Photo graciously shared by Tijana's family.
When our friend Tijana took a trip with her family to Florida during the first week of June, I asked her family if they would share any photos they took while away. Once back at school, Tijana showed the trip photos as a slideshow to her classmates, using the long pointer to point out interesting details from her trip. She did a wonderful job retelling her exciting days spent with her family. Then, inspired by the "I can see" books shared on this blog, and with her parents' permission, we set about creating her own "We Can See" book to share with our larger Kindergarten community and families. She and I worked together, a bit each day, to select photos, type messages, and record her story. Here is Tijana's Voicethread book: "We Can See... Florida!" (click to play).


  1. We like your book.
    I think you did a good I can see book.
    I would like to compliment you for making a good book.
    I would like to compliment you for doing a really good job on making your book.
    I went on the cars when I was in Florida.
    I went to Disney World too.
    Thank you for sharing your trip.
    Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Coombes class

  2. Dear Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Coombes and friends,

    Tijana wants me to share her thoughts.

    "Thank you for loving my book".
    (to the person who went on the cars):
    "What colour car did you ride in?"
    (to the person who went to Disney World too):
    "Which princesses did you see?"

    Thank you so much for reading and sharing with us during the last week of school!

    Ms. Fynes and friends

  3. Dear friends,

    I am not sure how to address this response, because I do believe this is the first time an afternoon class has wanted a teacher to write a response HERE for a morning class!


    My PM friends wanted me to share their thoughts after we watched your story yesterday.

    L: I like the princess part
    J: I like the Sleeping Beaut picture
    A: I loved all of it!
    C: I like the castle
    Sh: I liked what she said (telling the story)
    S: I love the airport picture!

    Comments and Connections:
    C: I think Snow White ate a poisoned apple
    Sh: That must be hard work (making the castle - photo of W. Disney)
    S: I see Ariel. She's a mermaid.
    Z: I went there too! (the carpet ride)
    F: She's from the Tangled movie (Rapunzel)
    S: It's cool that the guy made the castle

    A: Why is there no music? (this lead to a conversation about our format vs. other classes using iMovie, slideshows. My kindy techs!)S: Maybe put music on your phone.
    S: Why is she barefoot on the snow? (beach photo)
    Z: Was princess Jasmine there, in the castle?
    A: Why are there race cars there?

    From the PM class in the very same room!