Final Project Course2/ COETAIL/ Reflection/# HI 5! Resources

Here are my reflections after 6 weeks of work and research in different ways about #Kindness and #Hope. Some ideas were becoming more clear on the way and now I could finally wrap all the work together with our team. The members of the team “Hi 5 ! Resources” Project are Julija, Christel, Luis Carlos, Mooney, and me(Simona).

  • How did you find your group for this project?

Reading the blogs of my peers in COETAIL, I was thinking about who would be suitable for this project, and who would create materials/ themes that they would like to share for free with other people around the world. Then I made a list with a few of the people from the COETAIL Course and I tried to connect with them.

  •  How did the collaboration aspect of this project go? What challenges did you face?

The collaboration with 5 different international people around the world in different time zones of the globe, proved to be quite challenging. Our team was Christel from Brussel, Julija from Vilnius, Mooney from Moskow, and Luis from Panama. Luckily, Julija from Vilnius was more active from the beginning and later Mooney and we could keep the group alive, sharing tasks and thoughts about how we would like to create together this project. Christel was also more active in the last week and we could clarify some of the details together. Then Luis caught up with us as well and we could connect all of us.

  • How did you overcome them? How was this collaborative planning experience different from or similar to other planning experiences?

I tried to keep on writing to them and have a positive tone to encourage them. I tried to share what I was doing and some resources to help them to become more active.

This experience was different from other experiences, in the way that I didn’t know very well the people and it was harder to connect. People were from different fields, like IT, High School, Library, etc, it was hard to design a teaching experience together. I think the actual situation of our reality, with some people having the school still on virtual learning and others like me, restarting the school,(and ending the school year in two weeks), was quite different. Everybody was so busy at their schools. Being the end of the school year, contributed even more on our busy schedule.

It was similar to other projects, in the aspect that we needed to set a common title, space/form how we promote our ideas. Then we were setting a group email/ later a chat group on Twitter, to communicate directly more quickly and easier.

It was very exciting to collaborate internationally with different people and cultural backgrounds around the world. It was interesting to try to overcome the age, experience, different fields barriers, and other obstacles of time and schedule with patience and positivism.

  • Why did you choose this option? These standards?

I chose this option because I thought it is broader and easier to approach for different levels and directions. It is open to more fields, levels of classes, etc. I chose these standards as the creative communicator and the empowered learner, because I thought it is about communicating their ideas, feeling to the others around the world. Feeling empowered by a good aim to spread # Kindness and #Hope around us.

Creative Communicator

“Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.”

Empowered Learner

“Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.”

  • How was this learning experience different from or similar to other learning experiences you have designed?

This learning experience was different from the other experiences because I was aiming very high. I had the vision to contribute to a wider public to go on Seesaw community or at least to exchange and be directly more involved with other schools around the world. But it turned out, that I was a bit lost in the big picture and vision what do I want to do and reach realistically in this limited time and which is the right way. I tried different paths to research and connect with people from time to plan different types of lessons around # Kindness. It was good for me to realize that I have to focus first on my school community and build step by step, what is the concept of kindness, how can I promote kindness, how can I make the children behave kindly and understand that with their work they have a voice and feel empowered to change the things. It turned out to be very beneficial for our school, which made me very happy.

This is the Unit Plan “Spread #Hope and #Kindness” that I created for the UbD Project Final Project 2 COETAIL.

  • How does this experience relate to what you learned in Course 2?

I related to the things learned in Unit 1Course 2, Respect the Remix being inspired by different teaching resources and citing all the names or websites of the resources information. Then I created my own lesson plans modeling, adapting, and restructuring them on my own vision and the need for our children.
“Respecting the intellectual property of others supports a culture of innovation and remixing.”-the big idea from Unit 1. I applied one of the skills”Cite sources on your blog”.

For example I cited in my lesson plan:

“This art lesson was inspired by Cathy Barbro and Art Projects for Kids Blog. (ArtProjectsforKids.org) . I created videos based on some of the lesson plans from Cathy Barbro. Then I realize that I would like to let the children express themselves more themself, and not to give them a recipe. And I tried different art lesson plans. “Remixing leads to innovation” as my instructor, Joel Beavens said.

Then I totally identified myself with this ISTE for Educators from Unit2/ Course 2

“3.a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that builds relationships and community.

Social interactions change as technology evolves.”

Lastly, one of the most important at the core of my concept/vision of this unit was to develop empathy feelings and positive actions in students and the community around us.

Those were the important guiding lines from my instructor, Joel Beavans from Unit 5/ Course 2:

  • “Empathize with local and global communities
  • Support students in developing empathy
  • How do we teach (and learn) empathy?
  • Small, deliberate actions can have a positive impact.”
  • If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?

I assigned the tasks via seesaw as activities/VLE art lessons. Here are a few examples of what they achieved. They amazed me with their ideas and big hearts. It would be wonderful to create an exhibition in the future with this theme.

  1. Spreading hope and empathy #Chase the Rainbow, project.

Here, with 4th Graders, we combined the optical illusion skills/knowledge with #the rainbow theme.

# Spread Kindness

We created flowers and we gave the artwork to our parents as a sign of gratitude. To my surprise, luckily I received one from a student too. How kind are our students.

Grade 2 students
Grade 1 Student

#Kindness. Create an artwork to express what is kindness for you.

  • If you created a policy/agreement for your school, how did you tailor it to meet the unique needs of your community?

Our policy agreement for the use of media was already in work by our IT and Educational Team. They were about to update their new version in one or two weeks. I am sorry that I couldn’t refer now to it. I will wait for the new version when it will be available.

Project

This project we named it # “Hi 5! Resources” because we were 5 people who were contributing to share teaching resources and lesson plans for free with other people around the world, a symbolic way to help, be caring, and say “Hi 5!”.

The team of “Hi 5! Resources” consist of Julija, (Ed Tech), Christel (Teacher-Librarian, Middle and High School) Luis Carlos (Ed Tech), Mooney (High School Teacher), and me(Simona)-Art Teacher Elementary and ELC.

  • Why did you choose the option you chose?

I like to have high hopes and spread /plan an idea at a global level. I was hoping to reach more people around the world and bring a meaningful contribution. 

  • Why did you choose this topic? These standards?

I chose the topic of # Hope and #Kindness. I found it very inspiring and emotional connection that all people need around the world. A positive attitude: to have hope to spread kindness and to be emphatic.

  • How was this final project different from or similar to other learning experiences you have designed?

It was similar in the way that it was across the classes. It was different in a way that I was collaborating and depending on other’s people input as well.

  • How does this final project relate to what you learned in Course 2?

It’s about how do you contribute to the media community and how you inspired empathy.

It is about sharing resources that are for free so they don’t need copyright. Another connection is to foster empathy, be inspiring and influence in a positive way the other people around you, bringing hope and spreading #kindness.

  • What has influenced you the most in Course 2 and how is that reflected in your final project?

The inspiring projects of other people from Unit 5. It is reflected in a hybrid project “Hi 5 ! Resources”, which we started and hopefully could grow furthermore.

  • What outcomes do you hope to see when students (or educators) complete this unit?

I hope that the students and educators will have an active positive contribution to a better world. 

  •  What outcomes do you hope to see when this policy is implemented? A better world:)
  • If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?

A fantastic response. Amazing artworks and ideas. The children were very happy and very connected to their family, their friends, to me, to the school community. They felt even connected to other children, people around the world who were in lockdown at home, due to the pandemic of coronavirus on the globe.

And now I would like to end my post, with the same question that I asked my students a few days ago, ” What is kindness for you?”. I would like to invite you as well to watch this beautiful video from Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Thought Bubble: Kindness and reflect on it. I found it very inspiring and I shared it with my students in my lessons. I created a lesson plan on the “Hi 5! Resources” related to this theme, please check this out.

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