Celebrations Around the World!

Celebrations Around the World!

Our annual, Grade One, How We Express Ourselves unit is back!

After the success of previous inquiries, we are once again looking to connect with staff, students, parents, and schools across the world to help build internationally-minded students through meaningful inquiry.

We would like to invite you to share your experiences and understanding of different celebrations and deepen your own (and your students') understanding of how different celebrations and traditions are expressions of shared beliefs and values.

Getting started couldn't be simpler:

  • sign up using the form below
  • create a response on the Padlet
  • pick a school from below and arrange a time to connect through Skype or Google Hangouts.

During your video call you might like to explain something you found interesting in their Padlet post, something you learned or maybe there is something you would like to hear more about - for example; I understand that the art of folding paper, Origami, is a Japanese tradition that is important in many celebrations.

NB: We are based in Tokyo, Japan which can make it difficult connecting with schools in Europe or America, so we use https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html before scheduling.


Made with Padlet

Pic Collage with Kindergarten

Look what happens when you let Kindergarten loose with an iPad and a Success Criteria...

With Pic Collage, a poster becomes more than just a 'poster' and best of all it's free! It has to be one of my favourite apps! I have used this app with students from Kindergarten to Grade 6.  Check out my blog post: 5 Ways to Use Pic Collage for more.

Touch Screen is the New Touch Typing?

Touch Screen is the new Touch Typing.

While schools have made an effort to integrate computers and mobile technology into the curriculum - with some great success stories readily available for all to see and read - can the same be said for the skill and art of typing?

It appears the more formal and traditional typing class has gone. Now, I am not saying that we should have 50 minutes worth of typing scheduled into the timetable, but how are we able to prepare students for the further if we move away from necessary skills?

It seems that a considerable emphasis, rightly or wrongly, is placed on students creating and consuming.  Young people have become significant users of the technology around them: moving icons and text with the simplest of finger swipes, professional style photos without an actual camera and Snapchat filters, to name a few.  Arguably, the keyboard has become somewhat of an under-utilised accessory with more and more students clicking or dragging the correct answer on an online exam, browsing the school's digital library or scrolling through celebrity news.  Has the interface changed so dramatically, that typing and the keyboard are no longer necessary?

But, wait.

"The skill of writing something using a computer."

And a skill it is ... 

If I am not mistaken, students are still submitting essays, whether they are written by hand, with pen and paper or typed using - yes - a keyboard.  An opinion, maybe, but students need to know how to use the keyboard to write their extended essays, science reports, or English coursework.  Let me take this further.  How much time might be saved over the course of one school year if students were able to touch type and not just touch a screen? 

"It is established that normal users using a QWERTY on a touchscreen device are limited to typing at a rate around 20 words per minute, which is slow compared to the entry rates users can typically achieve on physical keyboards." (The University of St. Andrews, 2013).

Assuming that without keyboarding skills, students run the risk of falling behind in their classwork leading to a downward spiral in academic performance, college applications and workforce performance.  When will you next check that your students can, in fact, type and are not just punching keys?

Mr Towse


2013 | Thumbs Up For Faster Texting | University Of St Andrews. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2013/title,217680,en.php

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Celebrations Around the World!

Celebrations Around the World! Our annual, Grade One, How We Express Ourselves unit is back! After the success of previous inquiries, we are...

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