Summer PLN Photo Challenge! #JJAProject

flickr photo by Victor Bezrukov http://flickr.com/photos/s-t-r-a-n-g-e/10352019054 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Snap Snap Snap!

Be a summer explorer and creator! Capture the beauty around you with your phone or camera--from the mundane to the jaw-dropping. Then share your creations using the #JJAProject hashtag, which stands for "June-July-August Project." (This is a summer Photo a Day Project)

You'll get to know your PLN peeps and make connections that will last far beyond this summer...and they'll get to know YOU, too! You might learn thing or two along the way that can impact your pedagogy.

Sheri Edwards, Denice Krebs, and Paula Naugle have been involved in #JJAProject for the last few years. (Thanks for your tweets about #JJAProject tweets on May 31, ladies!) Here is Denice Krebs' blogpost about #JJAProject.

 

How to #JJAProject!

1. Take lots of pictures! I typically use my Phone camera. No fancy cameras needed. From the everyday, mundane to the dramatic -- anything in your world view is game.

2. Edit if you wish. Crop, add effects, have fun. No stress. Some of my fave editing apps are Snapseed, Enlight, Instaquote, WordFoto, ToonCamera.

3. Share a photo daily with the #JJAProject hashtag to any social media channel--Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook--or to all of them. Whatever floats your boat. You'll discover many amazing educators when you click the hashtag. I'd love to get to know you through your photos. TIP: ADD the hashtags of your favorite chats, state chats to your pictures on Twitter! The more the merrier.

4. Enjoy and comment on others' photos; interact and make new friends!

 

Get your students to WRECK their LEARNING using SMASH Book and Wreck This Journal mentality.

The reality of the typical school experience for our kids is hands-off, with sterile curricula, worksheets, books, and tests that encourage passive learning and judgment by others rather than active learning, creating, and problem-solving within THEIR world and community. The kids have adapted to it and are comfortable in it....because that's just the WAY IT IS. It's time to Wreck that.

I started the SMASHbook last year by showing my 6th graders the video below. (I smash the two words together, by the way.) They were mesmerized by it, seriously. They LOVED IT and embraced the Smashbook idea. We spent time in class with TONS of supplies out like hot glue guns (oh how 6th graders love those things) and just every little thing I could find.

I did not use the SMASHbooks consistently last year. Wish I had. 2012-13 was a year of new use and exploration of IdeaPaint Tables and iPads and the start of Workshop Model. Consistent use of the SMASHbook fell by the wayside.

Found Keri Smith and her many interactive and fun books thanks to Twitter, of course, and +Brain Pickings. Keri's books encourage learners to take control of their world by manipulating it in off-the-wall ways. Watch the video below of a girl's experience with her Wreck this Journal. (Here is an earlier blogpost inspired by Keri Smith.)

I

This plays perfectly into the Workshop Model idea of kids marking the text and being intentional about their learning.


How can I blast kids out of a PASSIVE learning MODE into an ACTIVE one to where they are interacting readily and feverishly with ideas and patterns they see in text, video, the outdoors, the world?

  • Active Journaling/writing is the KEY but kids must learn HOW to BE active learners, investigators, thinkers, and writers.
  • I'll use the spirit of the Smash Book and Keri's Wreck this Journal to KICK-OFF their active Science and SS Journal experiences. They'll do crazy things to their journals; perhaps I'll make a list of 'ideas' and choices/options for them to do in their journals to get MESSY and GET USED TO physically and then MENTALLY interacting with their world. THIS IS VITAL. If I can get them into this mode full-bore from the 1st week of school, I'll have them out of their institutionalized learning shells and ready to run and grow...and experience the magic of self-directed learning and thinking. Add the community experience of an entire classroom or team or school on the same type of journey and there is more magic, growth, and enjoyment. We'll work in rigor and ways of thinking/analyzing as the year goes on.
  •  If I had the money to purchase the Wreck this Journal books for all my kids this year I would do it. It would be a great activity to do with a big chunk of time, perhaps as an entire grade level or team. I envision free time, lots of supplies out for use, snacks, and time to launch into their Wreck this Journal book with all their creativity and zeal and enthusiasm. Then we'd share in small groups, large groups, and class. iMovie to showcase. Hmmm, I shall talk to my art and music teachers as well for inspiration and invite them into the fun.
  • Once the kids have the Wreck this Journal mentality in place for jumping into the world around them, we'll delve into ways of thinking/manipulating/organizing thoughts. 
    • I'll encourage the same thing on the IPADS. With the class set of iPads, what tools can kids use to approach iPad journaling with the same interactive rules? I welcome feedback, suggestions, tips from the peanut gallery. :)

    *The idea of INTERACTING physically and mentally with your world is the heart of real learning. Learning is personal and that's where I'm intentionally taking the kids next year, all year through active SMASHbook journals. My wish is they take this mentality with them into the rest of their days... 

    New Year's Day Walk -- Birds and a Snowy Sunset.

    Time to reflect on the year past and muse about the new year. What better place to do that than outside in nature. 22 degrees F, snow, and a brilliant sunset made it memorable. Nature is a good friend.

    • Best birds I saw in during my walk here in Kansas City near the Missouri River were a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER hanging out halfway up a tall Cottonwood by the river and several HARRIS'S SPARROWS mixed in with a flock of Dark-eyed JUNCOS.
    • Saw/heard 15 different species to kick off the year in about an hour. Far cry from New Year's Days past when I'd go out for a half-day and see/hear 50+ species. :)
    • Started my 2013 year bird list today at home and added to it on the walk. As any good birder will do, I like to note firsts on New Year's Day. My first bird of the year (seen) was a Dark-eyed Junco and my first bird of the year (heard) was the ubiquitous House Sparrow.
    Red Cedar, snow, and sunlight Missouri River 1/1/13 Sunlight through a Red Cedar on a snowy New Year's Day

    Below are the records I put into eBird.
    • eBird is a tool anyone can use, including kids at school. Citizen Science. You share your sightings with scientists and eBird keeps, organizes all your data for you. Win-win.

    eBird.org WEEK REPORT:  Species Totals
    Report Details
    Date range: Jan 1, 2013 - Jan 7, 2013 Total # of Species: 15
    Total # of Checklists: 3
    Location(s):   English Landing Park (MO River); Prairie Point area; White Alloe Creek CA
    Summary
    Jan 1 Jan 2 Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 5 Jan 6 Jan 7
    Number of Species 15 -- -- -- -- -- --
    Number of Individuals 276 -- -- -- -- -- --
    Number of Checklists 3 -- -- -- -- -- --
    Total Number of Birds   (sample size)
    Species Name Jan 1 Jan 2 Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 5 Jan 6 Jan 7
    Canada Goose 122
    (3)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Red-tailed Hawk 1
    (1)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
    (1)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Downy Woodpecker 2
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Blue Jay 3
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    American Crow 3
    (1)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Black-capped Chickadee 6
    (3)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Tufted Titmouse 2
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    American Robin 48
    (3)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    European Starling 21
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Harris's Sparrow 3
    (1)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Dark-eyed Junco 42
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Northern Cardinal 3
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Red-winged Blackbird 2
    (1)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    House Sparrow 17
    (2)
    -- -- -- -- -- --
    Here is a short video of some semi-distant JUNCOS both on the snow and flying up into the short trees. It was just me, the cold, the snow and a nice-sized flock of juncos. Peaceful and awesome to be a part of their day. Listen to their twittering little song/calls.
    Happy New Year everyone!