Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's not failure, it's learning - Part #3: Taking it to another level

Since the last "It's not failure, it's learning" post the students have really come along with Toontastic.

We started our formal learning journey with a learning goal and success criteria:

This provided my students with a goal and guidelines for success. This is what we have been doing in Math, Writing, and Social Studies. They are familiar with it, and I believe that it puts them in a specific mind set. They know what to expect when we start our new learning this way - it is a normal and expected aspect of our learning community.

Having established the foundation for our work, we started talking about our goal and that led to our first anchor chart:

I had spent some time reflecting on my dismay with the way my students had originally used Toontastic - so I was more than happy to create this anchor chart with them about the effective use of Toontastic - which is also part of our Success Criteria - 'What we show (K/U)'. With this anchor chart placed in a common area, the expectations are clear, visible, and easily referred to. Moreover, this chart provides students with the 'How we say it (C)' section of the Success Criteria.

The next anchor chart that we created was around 'problems and challenges' that we faced when we were preparing for our First Communion:

The time we took to create this chart was well worth it. With this chart, the students had a menu of problems and challenges to choose from - avoiding the amount of time that it would have taken them to think through some of the issues we faced when preparing. This chart helped address two areas of the Success Criteria: 'What we say say (T)' and 'How we connect it (A)'.

The students were taught how to write a retell earlier in the school year and we reviewed the Success Criteria and Anchor Charts that we created at that time:

I explained that we had already done the "heavy lifting" part of learning how to write a retell and that this was another opportunity for them to demonstrate their awesome learning! I also told them that Toontastic was going to give them the opportunity to reflect on their First Communion preparation, create an animated retell, and use state of the art technology to bring it all together!

They are almost finished their animated retells and I am very proud of them. I won't get into everything that they are showing me - I will save that for another post :)

I invite your feedback/comments - would love to engage in a conversation about the integration of technology in the classroom.


  1. Your post does a very effective job of demonstrating that learning is an iterative process for the students and the teacher. It's so important to reflect on what is working so the teacher can determine the best method and tools to address the instructional challenge. Keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks Ferdinand. We try and keep it as dynamic as we can. They guide me as much as I guide them :)