Sunday, May 4, 2014

Comments for Kids

picture of children holding cameras

"Photography in the Classroom"

I made my first comment for kids, and it was extremely gratifying to read the words of a student who was clearly enthusiastic about the project his teacher assigned and then be able to provide positive comments that will hopefully inspire him to continue learning.

I was assigned to Callum, and he posted about a photography project in which the students worked in groups to photograph pictures of items A-Z. He mentioned that he liked working in the group to decide what the best object for each picture would be for each letter.

In my comments, I complimented him for being an enthusiastic learner and writer. I also recommended that he check out a book about photography or read more about it on the Internet if he was truly interested in it because it can be a great hobby. I also told him that I like to take pictures as well, and that I had actually been out over the weekend taking pictures of the local landscape. What a rewarding experience it was to encourage a young learner!

This is a link to Ms. Toal's Class Blog.

This week I have been assigned to comment on the blogs of three students. Brady and Samantha are in Mrs. Reuter's class, and Madison P. is in Mrs. Geldes' class.

picture of kids' roller skates

In Brady's post, he wrote a narrative in which he chronologically described the events of his "busy weekend." In my comment, I explained that I was very impressed with his use of commas, and that sledding sounds like a lot fun. I told him that we do not get snow here, but we do have the beach. I inquired if he would be going skating again. He stated in his blog that he had just been on his first skating trip.

Samantha wrote a great post about the importance of movies in our lives. She started her post with a question, "Without movies, what would life be like?" In my comments, I told her that I liked the way she started her post with a question and told her that it was a great way to catch her audience's attention. I asked what prompted her to choose the topic of movies to write about and asked if she had made any movies of her own.

picture of a sapphire birthstone

Madison included a tellagami in her post. She was studying birthstones in her science class and said that her birthstone was a sapphire. The tellagami included a cartoon representation of her and an actual picture of a sapphire. In my comment, I answered her question and told her that my birthstone was a ruby. I explained that I did not know very much about them, but because she had asked I now thought I should do some research.

flow chart describing literacy learning

Little Voices, Little Scholars was the class blog I commented on this week. The students were Te-Manea, Jarreka, and Benjamin.

Te-Manea had drawn a picture and given an oral presentation of the events of her weekend which included a visit to her aunt's house and a swim in her pool. I commented that I also liked swimming and asked if Te-Manea liked to play any pool games. I told her that I liked to play Marco Polo. I also complimented her on her drawing.

The comments for Jarreka and Benjamin were similar because I couldn't find a post that highlighted any of their individual work. I did find the picture the teacher had taken and posted of these students, and I commented on those. In the comments, I told them that I had been looking at their class blog and that it looked like they were having a lot of fun learning. I encouraged them to keep up the good work.

map of New Zealand

Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand

Rave wrote about a 21st birthday party for her cousin. She described the celebration and what the guests wore. In her description, she said that guests were supposed to wear black and gold for the Monte Carlo theme.

I wrote to her and told her that we usually have large celebrations for the 16th birthday because that is when you get a license to drive a car. I also told her that I loved celebrating with family and friends. I explained that I especially enjoyed celebrating my little boy's birthday. I asked if she had any special birthday celebrations.

Russell was a little sweetheart! He wrote about swimming lessons and included a picture from his class. I also read his "about me" section where he wrote that he liked the movie Friday the 13th and his favorite place to eat was Wendy's. :)

I shared with Russell that I love to swim and that I also love Wendy's. I asked if he had ever ordered a Frosty. I also told him that I couldn't watch Friday the 13th because it was too scary for me.

Jorja was a little older than the others. She was 13 and I was very impressed with her entire blog! She used different fonts for different posts which I found very visually appealing. I may go back and change some of my fonts to spice up my own page! In her post "Cyclone Lusi," she wrote about the effects of a the weather event. She included information on death tolls, times, locations, and specific events. It was very well written. I also read and commented on her post titled "Empathy."

I told Jorja that in our coastal community we also experience what we call hurricanes. I explained that I had not experienced a full-blown hurricane and that I considered myself fortunate.

Lee used a really neat website called Educreations to complete a math problem. He wrote out the problem and explained what he was doing as he worked.

I told Lee that he had taught me a new math trick. I explained that when I learned to do similar math problems that my teacher had taught me a much more complicated way. I also complimented him on the artwork on his blog.

Stevenson and another student did a Google presentation about the albatross bird and how they protect their young.

The two students did a nice job on the presentation. They included pictures and varied the font they used to make it more visually appealing. In Stevenson's "About Me" section, he wrote that he was glad that he didn't have to do work on "boring old paper!" I told him I was glad that he didn't have to either! :) (I got confused. I wasn't actually supposed to comment on Stevenson's post, but I left my comments because I didn't think a little extra positive motivation could hurt.)

Johnlee posted a picture of his "tracking sheet" showing what he had mastered in "maths." The sheet showed that he had received colored smiley faces in all areas.

I told him that I was happy to see that he was excited about learning math, and I congratulated him on getting all colored smiley faces. I also encouraged him to keep up the good work.

photo of a kotuku
The Kotuku
Cyrus created a postcard in which he incorporated pictures of the "kotuku" which is a native bird to New Zealand. It has beautiful snowy white feathers and almost went extinct at one point because its feathers were being used in women's hats.

In my comments, I told Cyrus that I thought his postcard was lovely and that we also have heron here. I explained that our heron are called blue heron, but they actually have grayish colored feathers. I also noticed that he said he liked the NFL. So I couldn't resist adding a "Roll Tide!!!" :)

Shelley posted about her swimming class and drinking morning tea. There was also a photo of the class included in the post.

In my comment, I told Shelley that her school sounded like a lot of fun and the weather was finally warming up enough here for swimming. I also said that I liked the her pets' names, Zoom and Smokey. :)

Rawiri's post was of an image he chose from a legal images site. It was very interesting. It was a lightning bolt with a dog inside it.

I commented that he chose an interesting image and said I wondered what drew him to it. I also commented that I didn't like lizards or frogs. (He said he liked lizards in his "About Me" section), but I loved the zoo (He liked the zoo too).

Nytram completed a survey about what he had been learning this semester, and it was posted using Vimeo. It was very hard to hear what he was saying because there was a lot of background noise. I did catch that he didn't have too much of an affinity for Google Drive though. I found a little humor in that!

In my comments, I asked Nytram if he could believe that he and a college student were using the same tools for learning. I explained that I was also using Blogger and Google Drive.

photograph of the stages of a caterpillar turning into a chrysalis
David, Daniella, and Adam all created animations of the life cycle of a butterfly. They uploaded these animations to Vimeo and then to their blogs. I am not sure what program they used to create the animations, but it is definitely a program I'm interested in using with future students. In my comments, I complimented them on their beautiful drawings and added some fun facts about the Monarch butterfly. I also left a challenging conversion question in one of my comments.

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