Three ways to spice up classroom activities

Spring is here, and with the changing seasons come some fresh ideas for your class.

Bringing the Global Community into the Classroom

CLC is about more than connecting your students to the local community. The global community offers a vital learning experience for inspiring young minds. The Centre for Global Education based in Edmonton, Alta., is one way for CLCs to expand their reach.

Each month, TCGE hosts a series of video conferences on everything thing from body systems, to the environment, and global issues. The conferences are opportunity for CLCs to interact with experts around the world without having to step outside their classrooms. What can your class do?

Canada’s History Contest

Visualizing information is a more versatile way to encourage writing and reading in the classroom for students struggling with literacy skills. Canada’s History blog Kayak is inviting students to participate in a contest to illustrate a piece of Canadian history through graphic novel or illustrated story.

Submissions are from 500 to 1200 words and include illustrations or historical photos. The contest is open to students between the ages of seven and 14.

The top two writers in French and English will receive a $1000 RESP and a trip to Ottawa. Twenty-five stories will be selected in English and French for publication as a special digital edition of Kayak and published on their website. The contest deadline is June 14, 2014.

Finding Voices in Education for Change

Even teachers need a little inspiration. Check out these five TED talks on bringing change into the classroom.

Quebec City students teach seniors “Internet 101”

The Internet can be a great tool for learning in more ways than one – and not just for our students. At Quebec High School, the students are the ones doing the teaching: the teens’ technical savvy is being put to good use through a series of workshops offered to local seniors on how to navigate the online world. Throughout February and March, nearly 30 students at the Quebec City school have been teaching seniors how to use an iPad, watch videos on YouTube, use Facebook and shop online. The workshops are held within the framework of a leadership class taught by Fannie Marsh at the school, and are the result of a partnership between QHS, Voice of English-speaking Quebec and the Community Learning Centre at the school. Here’s how they work:

  •  The workshops take place (in English) in the high school’s library.
  • They are student-led: at every workshop, two to three students make a short presentation, then put what they are teaching into use.
  • The seniors (usually numbering between five and 10) practice on the school’s computers and iPads.
  • Heather McRae, from Voice of English-speaking Quebec, supervises the workshops.

Marsh told the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph that the initiative empowered the students, especially since they were teaching to people older than themselves. And, although the workshops initially were only planned for February, they were so well-received by both the students and seniors that they extended the series to March. The last workshop, called “Internet 101,” takes place on March 26. To read the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, click here (subscription required).