Connected Learning Opportunities for Kids in September 2016!

As you start to plan for the new school year in September there are a few opportunities for connections-based learning you may want to consider! Information about these opportunities, along with links to more information are included below. If you have any questions or would like support please leave a comment below or contact me by email!

NOTE: Information about Blogging in AMDSB 2016-2017 will be posted next week! Stay tuned…

#AMDSBKidsChat September – June 2016

Are you interested in connecting with other students across AMDSB to share your ideas, collaborate and network with others, and build relationships with new learning partners of all ages using a new digital platform for learning?!

Each month K-8 classes across AMDSB connect for an hour during the #AMDSBkidschat. We discuss topics related to character education, social justice, and citizenship. Each #AMDSBkidschat begins with a provocation in the form of a video. The video and questions used during the Twitter chat are posted here on the TLC blog, and on Twitter @AMDSBkidschat at the beginning of every month. Common practice for classes is to answer the questions for the chat ahead of time, with a focus on learning a new form of writing, in consideration of a new, more global audience. Time during the chat is spent reading tweets, responding to others, and asking questions to further the conversation. Our goal is to build character, develop citizenship, and create community throughout #AMDSBLearns.

Everything you need to get started with #AMDSBkidschat is linked here, including a New Twitter Information Letter for Families! The topic for September’s #AMDSBkidschat is Respect.


The aim of the student blogging challenge is to connect student bloggers with a global audience while supporting teachers with their classroom blogging. It runs twice yearly, starting in September and again in March, and guides the participants through blogging and commenting over 10 weeks.

Each week participants are given weekly tasks to increase their skills. There is a wide range of ways you can participate in the Student Blogging Challenge series:

  • Class blog – teachers and students can participate as a class. Teachers, or students, can publish their weekly tasks on their class blog or students can participate through leaving comments on posts.
  • Student blogs – individual students can participate in the challenge by publishing posts on their own student blogs and leaving comments on other students.

Learn more about the Student Blogging Challenge here:

About the Challenge

Challenge FAQs

GLOBAL READ ALOUD October – November 2016

Global Read Aloud (GRA) is a project that encourages students to pick a book to read aloud to students during a set 6-week period while trying to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to you. While there are official tools you can use such as Skype, Twitter, Digital Human Library or Edublogs, you choose the tools that will make the most sense for you. Teachers create a community of other educators connect with, and hopefully inspire them to continue these connections through the year.

All About the Books

Frequently Asked Questions

Sign up!


Looking for other connections-based learning opportunities? Visit Global Connections for Teachers and Students on the Digital Human Library and get connected!

Is there a project you participate in with your students that begins in September or October? Please share your ideas below. Happy connecting!

The Sum of the Parts – Breaking Down Learning

For the past few weeks I have been challenged by the idea of why we do what we do when it comes to assessment and student work.  I finally came to the conclusion that everything we do is for the students, and a way to foster their growth for NOW not just the future.  This got me to thinking, about how much focus we place on the FINAL product of things. How do we share this work and get feedback on the process in order to improve. If you take for example the writing process – there are countless steps that we go through to get to the final copy but those steps are what lead us to grow, and become better. Or even in Math – how often do teachers ask you to show your work so that the different steps can be laid out and pin point exactly where you need to re-evaluate or re-learn a step. It allows us to break things down and really individualize steps for improvement in our students. The parts, in my mind, are greater than the end product.

Through the coding aspect of this year we have seen the process take shape in our classrooms in the intermediate division at Howick.  We have seen student work improve because they are focusing on the process rather than with their eye on the final prize. Really narrowing into what exactly they want to accomplish and following the steps in order to complete the task. There are always multiple ways to get to the final product and now that we are really looking at this students are learning and producing work in unique and creative ways.  Sometimes the road may lead you in different directions but it is the journey that leads you to growth.

Now, the next phase of this is taking place.  Alex Hutchison (@AlexHutchison) and I  are really trying to make our learning visible and be connected to other classes throughout the board (#AMDSBlearns).  We are attempting to have students share the PROCESS of their work (very much like procedural writing but in a New Literacy ay) either through their blogs (Kauffeeology) or on our class twitter accounts (@8HowicK @HowicK_7). We are encouraging documentation and reflection in this process as well as ownership in learning. Where is the learning? Who owns the learning? and Where do we go next?

Sometimes the most simple final product has a million little steps to get to the end but unless we break things down and focus on this it can appear that there isn’t a lot of learning happening when really – problem solving, critical thinking, editing and revising, trial and error, creativity, and collaboration are all taking place.  I encourage you to look at our students blogs. Our students are beginning to share their work from start to finish like a journal (online portfolio) in order to validate and share their journeys.

Just like putting together a puzzle you need all the parts and pieces to make the final picture come to life!

What are your thoughts? How do you validate the process with your students? I would love to hear from you.

– Ms. Kaufman (@Teach_msK)

#AMDSBkidschat May 2016: Leadership


For the month of May we will be focusing on the idea of “Leadership.” What does leadership mean through the eyes of our children? Join us in conversation about the skills and character traits that one needs to be a GREAT LEADER! Do you have what it takes?

Leadership: The Power of One 

Questions for the #AMDSBkidschat

  1. What does it mean to be a leader?
  2. What character traits and skills do you need to be a good leader?
  3. Can kids be good leaders? How can you be a leader at school, or in the community?
  4. Who do you know who is a good leader? Why?
  5. “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up.” How do leaders inspire and empower those around them?
  6. What are some challenges about being a good leader?


Additional Resources to Extend the Idea of Leadership and the Power of ONE:

BookOne by Kathryn Otoshi



Happy Tweeting!

– #AMDSBkidschat Team


Images from: