A Few of My Favourite Things

This post is part of the #peel21st December blog hop for the 2015-16 school year where educators all post to their blog the same night at the same time. The prompt for this blog hop: A Few of Our Favourite Things.  Please check out the links below my post to hop on over to their blogs and read the stories. We all would love to hear your comments too!

As I started to write this post, I realized that narrowing my list down to five favourite things was going to be impossible. Since making connections around the world has been such a huge part of this year, I thought picking my top 5 ways I connect would be best.

A Few of my Favourite Things: Global Classroom Connection Theme (in no particular order)

1) Mystery SkypeThis has been an amazing way to connect with classes from all around the world while linking to the grade 4 Social Studies curriculum.  Learning about Canada and the rest of the world through a yes/no style game on Skype is definitely a favourite.

The tweet below is from a recent call.

2) Explore by the Seat of Your Pants (@EBTSOYP) is an organization that helps break down the walls of the classroom and connect classrooms with some very cool people.  These calls are completed through a Google Hangout that gives a number of classes the opportunity to ask questions of the expert. The call is also live streamed and saved on Youtube for future watching.


We have participated in a number of calls this year with some amazing people. Here is one to give you an idea of the power of these connections.

Pen Hadow: In 2003 he achieved his extraordinary goal to become the first person to trek solo, without resupply by third parties, from Canada to the North Pole.


3)Global Read Aloud (#GRA15)

Reading the same book as hundreds of other classes around the world at the same time, while getting the opportunity to interact with the author of the book is an amazing opportunity for the students. We discuss our thoughts on the story with classes near and far through Skype, Padlet, Twitter, and WriteAbout (blog); this is amazing way to complete a read aloud.

4) Making connections with organizations local and afar on Twitter 

This year we have been very fortunate to have a number of organizations interact with our class through Twitter.  A few of our most frequent interactions have been with (@ROMLearning, @TRCA_Outdoors, @ArtforKidsHub,  and @Wonderopolis) [I apologize if I missed anyone :)]

@ROMLearning went above and beyond this year when they replied to our tweet asking about animal adaptations with 4 amazing video responses from the museum.  The students can make a real-life connection before we go and visit The ROM in the Spring.

Some of our ROM interactions:


5)My amazing PLN on Twitter helping to extend my classes thinking

By posting our work on Twitter we have also had a number of educators help engage in part of our Math discussion; this is a great way to get a different perspective and really challenges my class.

Below is part of a discussion we had earlier this year around Subtraction strategies:

Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end!  I hope you enjoyed my five favourite things (in my classroom this year).  As always if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them.

Please be sure to ‘hop’ over and read some of the amazing posts below too!


1 Jason Richea http://beyondangrybirds.blogspot.ca/2015/12/a-few-of-my-favourite-things.html
2 Heather Lye http://teachinginspirations.blogspot.com/2015/12/my-favourite-things-december-bloghop.html
3 Amit Mehrotra http://mramitmehrotra.blogspot.ca/
4 Jason Wigmore https://jwigmore.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/a-few-of-my-favourite-things/
5 Melanie Mulcaster http://valleyslearningcommons.blogspot.ca/2015/12/five-of-my-favourite-things.html
6 Jonathan So http://mrsoclassroom.blogspot.com/2015/12/5-favourite-things.html
7 Jim Cash http://makelearn.org/2015/12/15/a-few-of-my-favourite-things/
8 Tina Zita https://misszita.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/peel21st-blog-hop-a-few-of-my-favourite-things/
9 Maggie Fay https://www.dropbox.com/s/vusno76viphg63c/My%20favourite%20things%20post%20%20for%20Peel21st.mov?dl=0
10 Sapna Gandhi
11 Pam Taylor http://mindfulauthenticity.blogspot.ca/2015/12/december-peel21st-blog-hop-few-of-my.html?spref=tw
12 Gina Loutrianakis https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fp2u3s801ZLXGnGOS6h2gtYkYPDaya-b1rbFjPdnn5Y/edit
13 Laura Smiley

8 thoughts on “A Few of My Favourite Things

  1. These are some really cool favourites that sound like they would work great with elementary students. I hope my daughter gets a chance to explore some of these as she moves through. I also really like your idea of recording the Google Hangout chat; it’s a feature I’ll have to look into more as I’m hoping to use Hangouts as a tool to help students with podcasting. It sounds like it has worked well for you.


  2. The one part I love about reading your tweets is how connected you are. You always find ways to bring people into your classroom. Also love the math talk. Thanks for sharing your journey.


  3. Love what you are doing to tear down the walls of your classroom! Inspiring, Jason 🙂
    I especially like the EBTSOYP thing. I hope this is something I can explore for science in the future. 🙂


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