If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment.
As I mentioned in my blog, my #oneword is a call to action for me to be mindful of the moments that make up my day. The moments at home, the moments at work and the moments that happen in between.
Today was #WRAD16. As I mentioned in yesterday's moment, I do not do anything halfway so we went big today and it was amazing!
The staff and students at Sigler Elementary participated in #SiglerRAD focusing our work on "The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires. Our day started at 9AM as students at Sigler, joined by a number of other Plano ISD campuses participated in a live reading of "The Most Magnificent Thing" via this @Zaption: http://zapt.io/t8e26uh6
and participated in a live Q&A via Twitter using the questions embedded within the Zaption, including the hashtag #SiglerRAD. Thank you to the Plano ISD campuses that contributed to our chat and #SiglerRAD.
Check out the @Storify of all the students' responses: https://storify.com/matthew_arend/siglerrad
What you may notice in the @Storify is that there were campuses participating outside of Plano ISD as well. As a connected educator, I had sent out many tweets over the last week or so, encouraging other educators to join and connect during our #SiglerRAD (Read Aloud Day) and they did not disappoint.
In fact, the connections did not stop there. Following our live 9AM reading of "The Most Magnificent Thing" classrooms across Sigler Elementary were able to connect via Google Hangouts with students in classrooms outside of Plano ISD who had read the same book and wanted to share their answers with us. We connected with other elementary schools in Texas, including OC Taylor Elementary in Grapvine-Colleyville ISD and Sheldon Elementary in Sheldon ISD. The connections did not stop there. Students were also able to connect with campuses outside of Texas, including Carlisle Elementary in Arkansas. On Friday, we will follow up with an elementary school in Florida!
We live in a digital world and we must leverage the opportunities to connect our students with others both near and far with the technology we have access to. I was able to witness the joy and how proud students felt when they were able to share their answers. The work had a purpose. They were not just writing down answers that were inevitably going to end up in a trash can. Students were generating answers to questions they were going to share with an authentic audience of their peers, both online and face to face, regardless of how far apart they lived. My hope is that this experience today, leads to more connections with campuses, allowing our students to share learning experiences with peers that move beyond who we are sitting in the same room with, our even the same school district or state.
Events such as this take a little bit of planning, patience and flexibility, because as you know, technology does not always cooperate. I have to share a heart-felt thank you to the staff at Sigler Elementary who put the "curriculum" on hold for a moment today, allowing students to connect with authentic audiences across the state and country via Twitter, Google Hangouts or both. Regardless of the comfort level teachers held in using these technologies, everybody took a step outside their "comfort zones" today to bring a unique experience and opportunity into their classrooms for the students. We all realize..."It is not about us, it is about our students." Our students are worth taking the risks!
As for the members of my PLN that made this happen across multiple school districts and states...thank you! This is another glowing example of the power of a PLN.
What was your moment today?
Labels: #oneword, 2016, change #txpvi, connect, Moment, PLN, SiglerRAD, WRAD16