Over the summer the library catalogue was updated with an exciting new feature – the reading level values for the books in our collection. At OJCS we use Accelerated Reader as a way for students, teachers, and parents to track reading improvement and progress. By making our catalogue searchable with AR values, students will be able to challenge themselves when making book selections.
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.
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;
“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.
We are so excited to announce that the OJCS Library catalogue is now online! Students and teachers will have access to browse our collection from their classrooms, home, or even on your device as there is an app available for download.
Please check out the new site, formal training is coming very soon!