Tuesday, February 17, 2015

GUEST POST: Howard B. Wigglebottom Animated Books

As a speciality teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School, my role this year has been to teach computers to students from grades JK-6. One of my earlier goals was to incorporate media literacy into my lessons, providing students with meaningful and engaging stories while also incorporating technology into the lesson. One of my favourite series of books is Howard B. Wigglebottom; I have most of the hard cover books. In September, I had introduced my students to the story, “Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen,”  since it is an appropriate selection to help reinforce back-to-school rules. The books in this series revolve around one theme, an important life lesson as experienced through the main character, a bunny named Howard B. Wigglebottom. Seeing how the students reacted positively to my choice in books, I found myself searching the Internet for computer based activities which would tie in nicely with this series. In my quest, I was fortunate to come across a website which provides the entire Howard B. Wigglebottom series of books, complete with entertaining songs and rich, meaningful lesson plans for each book, all for free! All of these resources couldn't possibly be free, I first thought, but they are. I immediately began planning some of my lessons around the use of this wonderful site for my primary students. The students not only loved watching the animated book, but were engaged in the pre and post discussions and were also engaged in the song which followed the story. Each week before we walk to the library to begin class, the students ask me if they will be watching another Howard B. Wigglebottom animated book. Both primary and junior level students have enjoyed the animated series.  

Recently, I had the opportunity to share my discovery with my colleagues at the “All About Me – Student e Portfolio Pilot Project.” The ultimate goal of this board pilot program is to provide students with a computer based container to archive work samples which reflect their interests and potential career goals. This e portfolio will follow the students through their high school years as well, tying in nicely with the 2013 “Creating Pathways to Success” Ministry document. How does a series of books about a bunny relate to this important project? The story, “Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart” teaches students that no matter what others think of their choice in activities, they must be true to themselves and do what they love, with passion and enthusiasm. Howard was made fun of for his love of dancing and chose other activities which neither suited him, nor were of interest to him, just so he could fit in with his friends. After receiving wise advice from his grandfather, a fellow dancer, he returned to his passion with heart and soul. In the end, his friends recognized his talent and applauded him for it. More importantly, Howard was happy with himself and his choice because he chose to “listen to his heart.” My colleagues enjoyed the selection and the meaningful connection it had to our current pilot project as it reinforces the idea that students must know themselves well first and be true to themselves before pursuing interests or career choices.

For anyone interested in this site, log onto  www.wedolisten.org
and click on “Animated Books.” The Howard B. Wigglebottom series of books will appear on the screen, with song and lesson plan option links below. I highly recommend this resource to both primary and junior teachers. Happy reading!

By: Laura Andreozzi-Chorney
      Speciality Teacher
      Notre Dame Elementary School

Google Classroom APP

The Following was taken from the Google Classroom Android App Description.

The App is available on ANDROID and IOS

Using Google Classroom in school? Get the Android App to use Classroom on the go.
Classroom helps teachers save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students. It is available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs.
Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.
Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.
With the mobile app for Android, students and teachers can view their classes and communicate with their classmates in real time. Students can open their assignments and work on them right from their phone or tablet. Teachers can keep track of who has turned in work and review the assignment - at school or on the go.

There are many benefits of using Classroom:
Easy to set up
Teachers can add students directly or share a code with their class to join. It takes just minutes to set up.
Saves time
The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place.
Improves organization
Students can see all of their assignments on an assignments page, and all class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.
Enhances communication
Classroom allows teachers to send announcements and start class discussions instantly. Students can share resources with each other or provide answers to questions on the stream.
Affordable and secure
Like the rest of our Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools and is integrated into MyTools2Go!

Contact Joe Sisco or David Petro for questions on Google Classroom!

Selected Screenshots Below: