New Beginnings and Adventures


Posted by kholden | Posted in activities | Posted on September 14, 2012

Wow.  This has been a most remarkable beginning to Grade 4. In our first post, we asked what you thought was wonderful about a new school year – here are the responses from our AnswerGarden!


You can see how important new friends are to us.  Today, Grade 4’s made some surprising new friends.

Our last post described our reflections on reading The Dot.  Maddisyn’s ideas were posted to the 184 Days of Learning blog for Parkland School Division.  As always, the post was tweeted on Twitter.  George Couros, who is our Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, retweeted it, and it was picked up by his friend.

When I sat down in my pajamas to check my email this morning, I was stunned to see that Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot,  had indeed commented on Maddisyn’s post.  (My family was a little shocked to see me dancing and shrieking around my kitchen!)  I couldn’t wait to phone Ms. Graham, and then get to school and share the news.  The class was thrilled.  We showed them how the tweets had unfolded on Twitter, and they decided that we needed to thank Mr. Couros, Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Reynolds.

I was just the typist – the students gave me the words.  They started off with awesome, then decided that was overused. Then one said “Extraordinary!”  The perfect word.  It was indeed a most extraordinary event, and an extraordinary day.  Of course, the excitement hadn’t ended yet, because both Peter Reynolds and Mr. Couros favorited our Tweets, and even Tweeted back.

I often hear – why blog?  why have students blog?  why use Twitter?  For me, the answer lies in the connections.  Personally, the act of writing a post gives me a chance to ‘connect the dots’ and reflect on the value of the experience.  For students, it is a way to reach out to each other and all around the world in an authentic, life changing experience.  We will never forget the day that we actually connected with Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot.

The best part? Is that it’s not over.  We have made a mark, and it has taken us to wonderful places…and we have so many more yet to go.  We ended our day by watching the new film of Caine’s Arcade Chapter 2, and our students were buzzing with the possibilities for their games next week, and participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge.  They were so excited to see that mark on the map that was Alberta, and that they knew was us. This week we reached out to the world, and it found us.  We can’t wait to show the world just how fabulous and extraordinary our students are.

Comments (10)

Hi there Grade 4.
What an exciting week you have had and it is fantastic for me to be able to share your experiences, even on the other side of the world! I teach a 3/4 class in Melbourne, Australia and read about your week via twitter. We have enjoyed sharing our learning via our blog also and have had some exciting times reading some of the amazing comments we have received. I think extraordinary is a great word to describe your week – excellent choice!
I would love to come back and visit your blog sometime soon. We are just about to start holidays here but when we return, I will bring my class for a visit too!
Thanks for sharing,

Mary, it is wonderful to meet another new friend – who lives on the other side of the world! We will definitely be checking out your blog, and look forward to connecting with you when you return. Enjoy your holidays!

OOOHHH … this is so exciting ! Mary .. all the way from Australia 🙂 Thank you for investing on our journey ! This is just the start to an amazing year of collaboration and sharing. Have a great summer vacation !I look forward to checking out your blog.

Grade 4 students – you are so right…..Awesome doesn’t even come close to describing your experience this week! It has been such a joy to read and watch the situation created by Maddisyn sharing her comments in the 184 Days blog. You have been “the talk” of the Centre for Education as you have demonstrated the learning opportunities create through the power of social media. Imagine the possibilities!

Thank you, Kelly, for your comment. It has been an incredible experience to witness firsthand how social media can create such authentic learning experiences. The motivation to write in the blogs is so incredibly powerful. We look forward to more connections with the Centre for Education as the year progresses!

Thank you for taking the time Kelly. The internet and the power of social media is an amazing tool that I am so excited to use in our classroom. The students are still digesting the importance of the internet as a tool and not just for “games” but as time and education continues to teach them to be responsible I can only imagine what their “digital” profile will be in 5 years time ! It is very exciting for us to be the forerunners in this exciting journey !

I am pleased that I could be a small part of this. Isn’t the internet a magical thing?

The internet is indeed magical, William – as is a small gesture on the part of another. Thank you again for sharing your magic!

Hello Grade Four,

We were so proud of your class when your blog and Maddisyn’s comments about The Dot came up at our Lead Team meeting. This meeting is where all the principals and assistance principals meet from Parkland School Division. I think you have inspired others to make connections and reminded us that everyone counts. Have a great year!

[…] about it here, and then were tweeted by Peter Reynolds – it was an extraordinary experience you can read about here, and now extraordinary is our special […]

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