Monday, December 4, 2023

Printing and Handwriting Adventures


Note: This image was created using Dall-E with the prompt "A child riding an oversized pencil in the style of surreal, digital art" on December 2, 2023. I know Andrea Sykes showed us how to do proper citation for AI generated texts, but I'll get better at it in 2024, I promise.

D2.2 - this is the expectation code that caused the most commotion when the updated Ontario Language curriculum was released in June. For Grade 2s, it says:

print legibly and fluently, with appropriate formation patterns, size, placement, and spacing

For the Grade 4s, this same expectation says:

write in cursive, forming letters of appropriate shape, size, proportion, and slant to improve the legibility of texts, and begin to develop fluent keyboarding skills using touch-typing techniques

How do you fit in this type of instruction, along with all the other requirements of the curriculum? Last week, I decided to conduct a "one-off" lesson on printing and handwriting techniques in conjunction with my drama focus. We are preparing for the big concert in December and I wanted to communicate with the families about what outfits the students would need for the show. To "kill two birds with one stone", I elected to create a fill-in-the-blank letter that would allow students to practice printing or writing while paying attention to all those criteria listed in the new expectation.

 A very long time ago, I purchased a CD-ROM (!) that provided several kinds of printing and handwriting fonts with lined backgrounds. This made generating my letter template easy.

I drew the equivalent lines on the board and did some direct, explicit teaching on how to form letters.

I took photos of every student as they wrote their letters. One reason was to note their pencil grip. Another reason was to capture evidence of their printing or handwriting results. The third reason was to eventually add some of these photos to their BrightSpace portfolios, with a short audio reflection by them on their thoughts about learning to write in cursive or print.

I know that there are certain printing methods or techniques. I did not religiously follow any of those. I reviewed "ground", "grass" and "sky" letters so students would know where on the lines to place the letters.

The challenging part about this "one-off" lesson, especially for the students learning cursive, was that there wasn't a lot of opportunity to practice certain new letter shapes over and over. Capital letters in particular are extra-hard, because there are a lot of loops and curves (and the formation depends on what method you adopt - I found this article on cursive writing styles and this overview article with visuals of how the types differ). I know my own handwritten capital letter F doesn't look like the "traditional" capital letter F. Is my way "wrong"? Or just different? When do we move from saying a letter formation is different to being wrong?

I have to give huge credit to the Grade 3 teachers in my school. Both of them have conducted specific lessons with their students teaching them how to form letters. Honestly, I pushed the students a bit too hard and fast with this task. I asked them to sign their names at the bottom of their letters in cursive and many of them explained that they didn't know how because they hadn't covered those letters yet in their homeroom class instruction! Not quite fair, was it? I modelled a lot of signatures on the board and they all gamely tried to mimic.

To try and comfort my students, I told them the true story of when I was in Grade 5 or 6. Back then, you weren't allowed to write using a pen unless your handwriting was deemed "up to snuff". You had to use a pencil until you were "good enough". Despite the fact that I have excellent penmanship now, it took me all the way up until the third term before I was permitted to use a pen to do my school work. One of the students asked a brilliant question in response: "So what if the teacher had bad handwriting? Did that mean the principal took away their pens?" I've heard of older teachers remembering their time in teacher's college being scolded or reprimanded by their host teachers for not having model handwriting skills. Neat printing, along with playing the piano, used to be two requirements for kindergarten or early primary teachers. How times have changed!

I still have a few weeks left in my Media Part 2 Additional Qualification course, and I promised that I would reflect on the media literacy implications from this lesson. 

  • Key Concept #3 is that audiences negotiate meaning. Who determines what the "best" way is to form a capital letter F? How many people need to be able to decipher someone's handwriting for it to be considered "legible"?
  • Key Concept #4 is about economic implications. How many cursive writing primers have educators purchased (or illegally downloaded) in order to teach their students how to "do" handwriting?
  • Key Concept #5 centers on value messages. What does neat handwriting "say" about a person? Did this value judgement get lost when educators stopped teaching handwriting? Will this connection between student and print quality return? Why do students have to learn about printing and writing in cursive when keyboarding skills are also required starting in Grade 4? Which skill set (typing using touch-typing methods or printing) is more important? 
  • Key Concept #6 focuses on political and social messages. What cultures or languages might have an advantage when learning to print or write in English? How does the technology of ink influence the attention to handwriting? How does it connect to calligraphy? When do we switch from all being able to print the same to the evolution of our own individual, unique signature? How important is it nowadays to have your own signature? What occupations are known for their terrible handwriting vs excellent handwriting, and why? When will the Ontario Ministry of Education finally release the examples for teaching these various expectations, including D2.2?
  • Key Concept #8 looks at aesthetics. What is it about cursive writing that appeals to some. How does a nicely printed letter compare to a well handwritten letter? 
I hope that this authentic use of handwriting and printing was useful. (I learned that only 1/3 of the Grade 1 classes have explicit printing lessons, at least based on what the students shared.) I'll try and sprinkle in more opportunities to practice so that the classroom teachers aren't overwhelmed with all the responsibility of instructing. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Importance of Place and Space: TDSB Camp & Map Hunt

 When the social studies curriculum was released in 2013, there were three key questions that aimed to guide the process: What's where? Why there? Why care? These trio of questions can help shape both parts of my reflection for this week.

TDSB Camp 2023

Saturday, November 25, 2023

9:15 a.m - Opening Keynote by Elder Dr. Duke Redbird

Summary (taken from the website): Dr. Duke Redbird is an Elder from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, on the shores of Lake Huron.  A celebrated Indigenous Visionary as well as an established public intellectual, poet, broadcaster, and filmmaker, Dr. Redbird is also a highly sought after keynote speaker.  He is an Elder and Advisor to various public and private organizations, and his online presence brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience.

Dr. Redbird is instrumental in the implementation of innovative multimedia, technologies and beyond, bringing an Indigenous approach to art education that was rooted in his pioneering work at OCAD University.  A multidisciplinary artist, he brings an Indigenous lens to modern art and design, and has aided in the emergence of a vibrant Indigenous presence on the contemporary cultural scene.  Dr. Redbird’s outstanding contribution to culture, literature, human rights, legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada. 

3 Key Points:

1) It is our hope that technology will develop in the service of society, but we must ask what kind of society we wish will develop. Recently Sam Altman was removed as CEO of Open AI, but then was reinstated and the only two women on the executive board resigned as a result of Sam's return. If AI is developed by a small group of heterogenous people, is it developed to serve humanity or a small, specific group? Is it for people or profit?

2) With English being the first focus of AI, many other languages are left out as part of AI development. We need to be more inclusive, for "the neurons that fire together, wire together". Do not focus on enhancing the left hemisphere of the brain to the detriment of the right hemisphere.

3) Mother Earth is an information platform herself, and we need to use the "elderithms" to unlock our own knowledge by asking questions of our ancestors like we ask prompts of AI. We must teach students to be critical thinkers to direct tech away from profit to a better future. 

So What? Now What?

I loved the idea of the "elderithms". My next step is to share the video that Dr. Redbird showed at the end of his talk to my staff.

Media Artifacts: 

10:15 am - Capturing Joy Through Pedagogical Documentation, iPad features and Brightspace Portfolio by Chelsea Attwell and Tracey Jansen-Sequeira

Summary (taken from the website): This session will introduce different iPad features and TDSB digital tools (e.g., Clips) and Brightspace Portfolio and how they can be purposefully used to support pedagogical documentation. Ideas, strategies, and next steps will be shared.

3 Key Points:

1) There are many useful documents and sites that can help people responsibly use technology with our youngest learners, like P088 Acceptable Use of IT Resources or Transforming Learning Through the Use of Digital Tools in Kindergarten. When using digital tools, ask yourself,  "Why this digital tool, at this time, for this student?"

2) The great thing about using BrightSpace Portfolio is that the files don't go on the device; they go directly to Brightspace, freeing up space on your device and/or Google Drive. 

3) Students can learn to take photos themselves using a QR code. Prep teachers can also be added to the class Brightspace so they can add evidence. 

So What? Now What?

I will check out for more information. I will also ask my classroom teachers if I can be added to their Brightspace shells (and I know how to do course > course admin > course offering information > make course active so that I can get on)!

Media Artifacts: 

11:00 am - Media Opportunities with TDSB Digital Tools: Teaching Through and About! by Chelsea Attwell and Diana Maliszewski

Summary (taken from the website): TDSB offers a wide variety of digital tools to use with students. When educators teach through as well as about these tools, they can address several subject areas simultaneously, including aspects of the new Language curriculum, such as several expectations in strand A (e.g. A2.2, A2.4, A2.5, A2.6, A3.1, A.3.2) and more. “About” isn’t just how to use the platform, but how the software or website has specific codes and conventions and a unique aesthetic form that helps communicate more messages than you’d believe possible. The presenters, co-vice presidents of the Association for Media Literacy,  will give examples of how to use this approach with Minecraft, Flip, Pebble Go, and iPads apps such as Brightspace Portfolio , and then support participants as they employ these strategies to apply them to other TDSB digital tools of their choice.

3 Key Points:

1) You can "get two for the price of one" when you teach about a tool in addition to teaching through a tool. For example, understanding "what makes a TED Talk a TED Talk" can hit expectations in Language as well as in the subject the content of the talk covers. 

2) Digital media literacy is media literacy. Even though the new curriculum focuses on A2 as the "Digital Media Literacy" section, media literacy is in all the strands, especially C (Comprehension) and D (Composition).

3) Use the media triangles on to help you formulate "about" questions to use in class.

So What? Now What?

Chelsea and I will take what we learned from running this session to shape and improve our upcoming session for ETT Federation Day on December 8.

Media Artifacts: 

12:30 pm - Exploring Teaching and Learning in an AI World by Andrea Sykes and Jason Trinh

Summary (taken from the website): AI tools are transforming how humans engage with information and information creation in all corners of society.   This session will explore some key ideas and strategies that educators can use right now to develop learning experiences that support students to build skills and knowledge for learning, working and participating in an AI infused world.

3 Key Points:

1) We need to build our schema first about AI before addressing it. There are many models of LMM such as Byte, Bing CoPilot, and Adobe Firefly. Understand the difference between predictive AI and generative AI (sometimes they can be both). We have been relying on predictive AI for a long time but generative AI is harder to detect and detection tools don't work. There are concerns about AI but there are also potential benefits.

2) The introduction of new and transformative technology (think calculators or word processors) always begins with conflict and panic, but we will move to the experimentation stage; educators are smart and we can figure this out together. We need to understand, create, analyze and apply. We need to intentionally teach about digital and information literacy.

3) We need to develop Key Skills in ourselves and in our students. 5 were listed in this presentation. Some include #5 Take Responsibility for Your Work with AI (i.e. you can do APA citations when using AI). Discuss AI with your admin and colleagues. Define the expectations and learning goals. Model and share. Interrogate your process. Use an inquiry lens that focuses on process, not product. Be curious and critical. Pay attention to the social and ethical issues related to AI tools, like who has power or reaps benefits. 

So What? Now What?

This was my favourite presentation of the day. I actually made a YouTube reflection video about it. (I'm not sure if I'll post the link here or not.) My next step is to share what I learned at this session at my November 30 Media AQ class, which will be focused on AI.

Media Artifacts: 

1:15 pm - Minecraft Education Edition for Beginners

Summary (taken from the website): In this session, attendees will have an opportunity to go hands-on with Minecraft Education Edition while sharing in a cooperative building experience. The goal of this session is to familiarize educators who are new to the tool with what they need to know to quickly get up and running in their classrooms. The session will wrap up with a chance for attendees to share tips and tricks and Minecraft-based curriculum-related activities.

3 Key Points:

1) Host your world on a desktop or laptop computer rather than a Chromebook; it won't be as laggy.

2) Adjust your settings to help with management (like preventing fire spread, eliminating friendly fire, and keeping the time permanently set to day).

3) Many students will say they know how to play Minecraft but because they only play it on phones or tablets, will not know how to use the keyboard commands, so be prepared to teach them.

So What? Now What?

Technically, I'm not a beginner at all in Minecraft, but Tim still let me stay in the room, ask questions of him and help others out. If I can get "vanilla Minecraft" to work on my library desktop computers, I may bring back Minecraft Club in 2024. 

Media Artifacts: 

2:00 pm - Demo Slam

Summary: A Demo Slam is when someone takes five minutes or less to share a cool tip or trick. Often it ends with the person saying "SLAM"!

3 Key Points:

1) Zelia suggested using Canva's Remove Background tool to create class photos or insert students into photos of the works they build.

2) Jennifer taught us to alter the endings of Google documents to make copies easier. Sebastian added to this and reminded us to add a dash after the t in YouTube links to get rid of the ads. 

3) Diana recommended using a Google form to create ABC (behaviour) logs for students so you would not lose papers. 

So What? Now What?

I'll need to remember to share these suggestions in our staff's Signal group.

Media Artifacts: 


This week, the majority of my social studies classes were devoted to the much-hyped Library Treasure Hunt. The students had a great time, and to my immense relief, they all eventually found the final prize. I would be a bit happier if more students had stronger map reading skills, but there's been improvement since September. Here are some photos of them solving maps and puzzles.

Both of these "events" relied heavily on their location. For TDSB Camp, it was held at Microsoft's Toronto headquarters at 81 Bay Street. It was the first time since 2018 that it was held, and it was important for people to physically be together, even though the focus was on digital tools. For the treasure hunt, the students needed to navigate the space and understand how to translate the representation on the page to the 3D equivalent. Hopefully this coming week will be a wee bit quieter.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Sick of Sickness, Prepare to Present

 I should have known it would get me in the end.

When the kindergarten class of 15 shrunk to 11, then to 8 and by Thursday stood only at 5, I should have clued in that the illness spreading rapidly through the school population would catch me.

I don't usually get sick, (only the occasional migraine or food poisoning) but I habitually lose my voice around this time of year. It's true. I wrote about the phenomenon in 2011 (twice that year, actually) and it happened when I took my Media Part 1 AQ in 2017. I stopped writing about losing my voice because it just became a regular feature of the fall.

This time, it wasn't laryngitis. On Thursday evening, as I coordinated the translators for Parent-Teacher interviews, ringing a bell every ten minutes and walking the halls to escort speakers to their next location on time, my principal commented that I looked tired. He was right. I felt tired. I attended my Media Part 2 AQ after interviews, sipping "elixir" (a mix of honey, lemon juice, and gin) to soothe my raspy throat. The next morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had chills, fever, a headache, a sore throat, exhaustion, and a cough that flipped between being so dry it stabbed me to so phlegmy it choked me. I called school around 8:00 am to say I couldn't come in, went to bed, and didn't rise until 4:00 pm. Thankfully, it was the second half of our interview day, so I didn't need to make supply plans. It has taken me all of Friday plus the entire weekend to slowly recover. Hubby has been insisting I rest a lot and drink lots of fluids. 

Patience is not always one of my strengths. I whined that I had much bigger plans for these three days. I wanted to clean the library (it's an absolute mess) and get other things done. Sleep was necessary but reluctantly taken. It's only now that I'm getting to the end of this period that I realize how privileged I am. I know, I know - that sounds very weird. However, I really am fortunate that:

  • I have a job that gives me weekends off, so I didn't have to negotiate sick days
  • I have a family that could keep an eye on me as I recovered and take over my (few) household responsibilities
  • I have my usual good health, with no chronic illnesses, so that getting better took just days instead of weeks (or even happened at all)
  • I have a safe city and country so that, even if it got to the stage where I'd have to see a medical professional, I'd eventually be taken care of adequately
At the GTA Resource Fair last Tuesday, I touched base with my school library friends, several of whom are recovering from significant medical issues. In my own family, I've got a cousin in hospital and another loved one at home recuperating from major surgery. So, even though I'm "sick of being sick", they have much longer roads to recovery. Note to self: suck it up, buttercup!

As I slowly regain the energy to be able to sit at my computer for more than an hour, I'm getting ready to present at two big events.

I will be presenting with Chelsea Attwell, my co-vice-president at the Association for Media Literacy. I'll share more about the events as they occur.

Monday, November 13, 2023

What Makes a Good Meeting?

 When choosing my focus for my blog reflection, I often look at my calendar agenda. I noticed that this past week and this upcoming week, there are a lot of meetings. Last week we had a staff meeting (November 7), a guest lecture meeting for my TL AQ (November 8), the weekly Media AQ course meeting (November 9), and a meeting with my father's doctor (November 10). This week, there will be a lunch meeting to coordinate the booking of translators (November 13), an AML monthly meeting (November 15) and Parent-Teacher interview meetings (November 16-17). This doesn't include the upcoming TDSB TL Facilitator meeting and UNESCO MIL Alliance meeting.

At the end of our most recent staff meeting, our principal commented that it was a good meeting. It made me wonder what counts as a good meeting. I turned to a Google search and was intrigued by the auto sentence completion options it offered. The categories immediately suggested the elements that can make or break a meeting.

  • agenda
  • facilitator / chair / leader
  • room
  • minutes
People don't usually like meetings. Take a glance at some of these "meeting memes".

I think the memes I chose to include here exemplify what the issues are with bad meetings. People want meetings to have meaningful purpose. To slide in one of the Media Literacy Key Concepts (#7, to be precise), they want the form and content to match, so if it's just information without discussion, people would often prefer an email (as the Gary Cole meme shows). Having said that, too much discussion that does not lead anywhere is just as annoying (ergo the meme with Tina Fey rolling her eyes). To help with the purpose, establishing a clear agenda and follow-up action items are vital. (That's the significance of the Toy Store and Mike Myers memes.) The way a facilitator runs the meeting is just as important. It's just like a lesson. The audience can't find it too boring or pointless. 

Our staff meeting was probably "good" because the content could not just be conveyed in a single email. There was the chance for people to ask questions and try out the new-to-us procedures. Big thanks to Farah Wadia for sharing information she learned from a recent workshop to help the rest of the staff with the K-8 portfolios. We didn't dawdle too long on any particular subject. Thank you Connie Chan for summarizing key ideas so succinctly and for taking notes. We also mixed it up a bit with short interactive pieces (i.e. a 1-minute sticky note "pop quiz") and multi-media, multimodal ways to present knowledge (i.e. a 10-minute video). If we walk away from a meeting feeling a bit smarter or more "in-the-know" than we did before, that makes a meeting a positive experience.

Monday, November 6, 2023

The Library Rabbit

 For the past few weeks, we've had a regular visitor to the library.

He or she sits just outside one of the windows by the library. The students were the ones that first spotted the rabbit, and they were very excited to discover him/her. After seeing the bunny for several days in a row, I worried that there might be something wrong. I did some research and based on the websites Bunny As a PetBackyard Caring, and My Backyard Life, there are many logical reasons. The consensus seems to be that it is relaxed and comfortable in this sheltered space.

As you can imagine, the presence of this animal has caused quite a commotion in the library.

The students are accustomed to animals in the library. After all, the library is regularly home to skinny pigs. Our current residents are Alvin and Simon.

Students love to feed Alvin and Simon, which is why I have a school vacuum permanently located in the library to clean up all the timothy hay dropped on the ground. The skinny pigs featured prominently in our Family Feud audition tape.

However, there's a different energy with the appearance of the rabbit. He/she is a wild animal, and so cannot be regularly counted on to appear. Sometimes the students are too loud, even with the closed window between them, and the rabbit will scamper away. The kindergarten students have named the rabbit "Brownie" and will routinely ask if Brownie is around if they are in the library. A student (and a teacher) has smuggled food outside for Brownie to eat. 

Brownie could provide a wide variety of inquiry questions for the students to investigate. However, we have not been able to take full advantage of the opportunity, because our social studies lessons have been directed on addressing knowledge gaps that the students still have. I will try to include Brownie in these plans, if I can. 

It will be interesting to see if Brownie continues to visit, especially when fall turns to winter and the bushes providing coverage thin out as their leaves drop. Either way, it's been a charming, delightful series of encounters.

Monday, October 30, 2023

How Did You "Celebrate" Media Literacy Week?


Last week was Media Literacy Week in Canada. (Thanks to Media Smarts for this attractive logo, which was part of their promotional kit available for free.)

I have to make a confession. Even though I am the co-vice-president of the Association for Media Literacy, and the Canadian representative for UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy Alliance, North America and Europe Chapter, I didn't do anything special to commemorate the occasion at my school. 

Before you arrange to have my membership revoked, it's not like I did absolutely nothing. I participated in a special Media Literacy Week edition of the Mediacy podcast on VoicEd Radio. I reported to the UNESCO MIL Alliance Regional meeting about all the neat things that Media Smarts and AML have been doing to promote the event in Canada. I'm currently enrolled in the Media Part 2 AQ course. I've been following Jennifer Casa Todd's daily Media Literacy Week suggestion posts on social media - she was ahead of the game this year and posted this all the way in August! I even had the pleasure of listening to Kim Davidson conduct a guest lecture for my York University Teacher Librarianship Additional Qualification course students, and much of her talk focused on media literacy and critical thinking.

So why didn't I do anything specific at school? If I'm being honest with myself, it's because I ran out of time to do something meaningful (even though Media Smarts made it easy to mark the days, with pre-made images that were easy to share). If I wanted to justify the lack of action, I could argue that I celebrate media literacy week every week with the kinds of activities and question prompts I include as part of my programming. Here are a few photos from last week and some hints about how I make them "more media literate".

Dance & Drama = Shadow Puppets

What we did: To address the problem solving and innovation strand in kindergarten, I asked students to consider what they might use as an object to cast a shadow that would make a good spout to go with their spider shadow puppet for their mini-performances of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".

How I infused more media into it: We took photos of the audience as well as behind the scenes to show what was going on. We talked about how it didn't have to be an actual pipe or spout but the shadow had to make it look like one from behind. (Key Concept #2 - Media constructs versions of reality.)

How I could have infused even more media into it: We could talk more about why the spider is going up the spout and if this is a good or bad thing. (Key Concept #5 - Media communicate value messages.)

Social Studies = Battleship

What we did: To cover the expectation in the curriculum that deals with using grids to find locations on maps, we learned how to play the "board game" Battleship.

How I infused more media into it: For the older students, I paired the set up with the picture book "Playing War" and asked them to consider how the inclusion of the book changed what they thought about the game. (Key Concept #6 - Media communicate political and social messages.)

How I could have infused even more media into it: We could have talked directly about what I was alluding to with the book prompt. How is the experience of sinking a battleship in this game similar or different to being on an actual battleship? Would people in Gaza right now consider this game fun? How do the number of slots in the boats match with the type of ship and its power? (Key Concepts #1, 3 & 5)

Drama = Puppet Plays

What we did: While I worked with individuals on their face acting (see further below), I asked students to form groups and "make up" a puppet play with their team to share. We watched some of the "first drafts" of these plays.

How I infused more media into it: One of the students commented, "That wasn't a play, that was them having a fight with their puppets". We began to talk about what made a puppet play an actual play. (Key Concept #7 - Form and content are closely related.)

How I could have infused even more media into it: Different groups set up different puppet theatre spots. We could have talked about how the setting of the theatre impacted the type of performance. We could have discussed which play they enjoyed the most and why, and how the puppet format impacts the enjoyment of the play. (Key Concept #8 - Each medium has a unique aesthetic form.)

Library = Indigenous Prompts

What we did: We own this drum at the school. I have no idea when the school obtained it. It used to just hang in the library. As part of our SIP goal to embed more indigenous content throughout the school day, I placed this drum with two questions for the Grade 4-8 students visiting the library to choose to answer if they wished.

How I infused more media into it: The types of questions I asked probed for personal reactions (Key Concept #3 - Audiences negotiate meaning) and meaning interpretation (Key Concept #5 - Media communicate values messages).

How I could have infused even more media into it: We could have had some whole-class or small-group discussions to encourage more responses. What is it? How is it used? How was it made? How much is it worth? (Key Concept #4 - Media have economic implications.)

Drama = Face Acting with Feeling

What we did: After reading "How Are You Peeling", we brainstormed nine emotion words. Students are to pick three of these words and "act them out" just with their faces. We have also had classes and practice with how we use certain parts of the face (eyebrows, eyes, and mouths) to convey emotions and what they mean.

How I infused more media into it: When we take the photos, the students can look to see if it was what they intended to convey, since a photo is just a split second of time captured. (Key Concept #3 - Audiences negotiate meaning.)

How I could have infused even more media into it: We could compare the different class choices. We could sort them into categories like positive vs negative or eyebrows up vs eyebrows down. We will be looking at the photos as a group and interpreting them. Which feelings look most believable and why? (Key Concept #1 - Media constructs reality.)

Media = Puppet Creation

What we did: Kindergarten students made two different kinds of puppets - a paper bag puppet and a marionette.

How I infused more media into it: We talked a bit about how the puppets move and what we could use to decorate them. (Key Concept #8 - Each medium has a unique aesthetic form).

How I could have infused even more media into it: We could have asked some more questions. Which is easier to make? Which is easier to use? What does your puppet say about you and what you like? (Key Concept #3, 5 & 7).

Media = The Word and the Definition

What we did: To become familiar with the word and what it means, as well as practice some reading, we've played lots of games with these letters. A favourite is for me to mix them up on the board and pairs of students come to put them in the right order. In this photo above, the Year 2 student is turning the D around  that the Year 1 student had placed backwards.

How I infused more media into it: Letters are media. So are words. (We haven't delved into this yet, but we will.) Without words, it's hard to express ideas about things. (Key Concept #1 - Media constructs reality.)

How I could have infused even more media into it: I could have asked some questions about the orientation of the letters. If the letters are in the right order but not facing the right way, is it still readable? Why might it be wise to keep the letters facing the traditional/legible way? What might having letters face the wrong way suggest? (Key Concept #6 - Media communicate political and social messages.)

So, even though I didn't "do much" for media literacy week, to paraphrase a different saying, EVERY week can be media literacy week!