Happy New Year!?!

5 08 2011

Like it or not, my professional brain has turned on again, and I’ve started thinking about back-to-school.  As most educators, I tend to have mixed feelings at this time of year.  The new ideas seem to proliferate and yet, I keep trying to remind myself that there are still almost three weeks before we truly need to start the school year again.  I find it impossible to stop the ‘creative juices’ flowing once they have started.

However, I honestly believe that the success of the school year depends on the amount of thought and innovation that we put into it.  I am not the type of person to do things the same year after year, regardless of whether or not I’m teaching the same grade.  If something is not new and exciting to me, I find it impossible to make it new and exciting to my students.

This year, I really want my students to develop a sense of pride as Canadians!  We live in an incredible country, and all too often, they know so little about it.  Here’s my newest idea that just won’t go away.  It all started when I was in a teacher supply store and saw a bulletin board set of postcards from around the world. While this was intriguing, I decided that I wanted my young students to learn about “Our Home and Native Land”.  I’ve created a fictitious character “Travellin’ Dan”, who will navigate across the ten provinces and three territories of Canada.  He’ll write postcards, emails and send video links from different locations around Canada.  The students and I will track his “travels” as he journeys across our great land and write back.  This way my students will learn all about Canada and practise their letter writing skills all at once.  I can’t wait to see my students’ faces as they explore our country through the lens of literacy, and the eyes of “Travellin’ Dan”.

If you have suggestions about places “Travellin’ Dan should visit on his journey across Canada, please share them with me.  Although I’ve seen lots of our country, there so many places I’ve never visited.  I’d love to hear about your favourite destination.

Have your “creative juices” started to flow yet?  It’s always so much fun to look at a new year with a new lens.  Happy New Year!




2 responses

5 08 2011

What a great idea Lisa! You know what else may be really neat? If you could find some “friends of Travelling Dan” from your PLN from different provinces to have video conferences with your students. It would really make the experience “real” for them to actually speak to a live person and get their questions answered directly. Just a thought… 🙂

5 08 2011

Make sure Dan visits the Acadian coastline to sample some tasty lobster (best time is end of April/beg. of May) and learn all about the early years of the Acadian settlers. No trip to our great province would be complete without a visit to the ever-famous fundy tides (the highest tides in the world!!!). Dan can explore the ocean floor during low tide, and kayak his way through the flower pot formations during high tide. And if he’s looking for some good ol’ maritime hospitality, make sure he visits yours truly! http://www.gnb.ca/tourism

Excellent idea, Lisa! Wish you would have been my teacher 🙂

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