May 29

Helping Students Find a Healthy Tech and Life Balance

I met with Grade 5 on Monday for a workshop about finding media balance.  They are only a few months away from middle school, and when that starts, a big part of the social life of a tween moves online.  But how much time they devote to social media, video games, and youtube, should really depend on finding their own healthy balance.  A place where they feel at their best.  A big part of that is thinking maturely and critically about the emotional impact of too much media.

It was great to hear so many students talk openly about how spending too much time playing video games makes them feel angry and frustrated.  Or about how they would prefer to be playing with their friends at the park then spending time on a screen.  It was also great to hear the positives of media… that for some, watching youtube helps them feel relaxed and happy.  Or making tic toc videos is a creative endeavour that they enjoy doing with friends.  It is important that children have the self-awareness to realize the impact that it has on them both good and bad, rather than there being a negative or nagging message coming at them that they spend too much time online.

Each student created a plan for a perfect day on paper made up of activities (both media and non-media) that would help them to feel their most balanced.  For each student this will look different and it is important that there is no judgement attached.  There is no right and wrong here, but there is a balance that feels right for most of us.  I should note though, that for students dealing with a video game or technology addiction, further steps and support will be needed to get them to that healthy place.

Ms. Thompson will be having each of her students write a blog post about a few reflection questions that I handed out to them.  I am very excited to hear more from them on this topic.

May 22

What is a Digital Footprint?

Today students were introduced to the concept of a Digital Footprint.  We used the example of tracks left by animals and how we can use our own deductive capabilities to infer quite a lot about an animal based on its tracks.

The same is true for us when we go online.  The sites we visit, the comments we post, the videos we upload, the games we play, all of those things create a digital footprint that can tell people about us and will exist online for a very long time.  We tied this in to the concept of responsibilities and discussed what our responsibilities are to ourselves and to others online.

Our grade 3 and 4 students came up with some of the following ideas;

Our students are getting the foundation they need to navigate the sometimes scary world of the internet in a safe and responsible way.

 

May 16

The OJCS Rocked the Reading Challenge!!

The OJCS is incredibly proud of all of our students and teachers who put in a big effort for their classroom book tallies.  As a school, we read over 6300 books in English, French and Hebrew!!!

The OJCS has never had so many books in circulation.

What a typical grade 3 book returns pile looks like. Photo by student Jack Greenberg.

I am very excited to announce that the entire school will be treated to a pizza party on Friday June 14th.  Because of that, this 80s throwback has been stuck in my head for weeks!

Students should be very proud of their amazing accomplishment.

May 7

You’re Never Too Young to Start Thinking Critically

“Don’t believe everything you read” parents often scold their kids, and we are giving them the skills to do exactly that!  Grade 2 came for a visit to learn about how to use critical thinking and the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why) when evaluating if information on a website is credible or not.

I was impressed at how quickly this group of grade 2s suspected that our website was indeed a fake (I guess it isn’t that much of a surprise, their teacher is media savvy Ann-Lynn!)  Working through a checklist of questions, we investigated the credibility of the website as a group.

This group of students are already demonstrating that they are extremely capable of thinking critically and they will grow into students who won’t be easily duped online.