|Meadows fourth grade teacher Diane Mosher-Kimsey, right with student Alexis Vincent go over Vincent's 'booksnap,' during a recent class. The students take a photo of a favorite quote from a book, illustrate the quote and share it with their 'Global Read Aloud' community.|
Diane Mosher-Kimsey, is a proud graduate of Topeka Public Schools and is in her 33rd year of working for TPS. She started in 1985 as a second grade teacher at Potwin Elementary, moving to Meadows Elementary as the technology coordinator when the school opened. Currently she teaches fourth grade at Meadows, it’s her favorite grade to teach. She loves to use technology in the classroom where she is always learning something new from and with her class.
“I’ve always enjoyed gadgets. I started teaching with an Apple 2e computer. The kids loved playing Oregon Trail, Math Blasters and such. I just love how technology has developed and changes daily! Technology allows us to go global! My kids are doing video chats with students in Singapore, they talk weekly with our skype pals in Ontario, Canada! We have watched turtles on beaches in Australia, visited with National Park forest rangers at three parks, and learned about the Amazon Rainforest through skype chats! It’s just incredible how technology has developed and lets us explore the world from the comfort of our classroom. Kids love the technology! This is their world! Mine was a fat pencil and a Big Chief tablet with ditto papers! We have to teach kids where they are and where they’re going - not where I was and went!
This semester my students took part in the ‘Global Read Aloud.’ (GRA) It’s part of a global phenomenon that where classes all over the world read the same book and discuss. The GRA community has written and shared more lessons and ideas then you would believe! I share one lesson to the community weekly. It’s beyond a thrill to see other states and countries join my class on padlets, flipgrids and more! Our very first day to do the GRA we heard from Singapore, Malaysia, Sydney, four Provinces of Canada and 30 States. Talk about going global! My kids and I were hooked!! A friend, Tara Martin created this idea of #booksnaps. My class loves to annotate their reading by doing #booksnaps! The kids are begging to read, begging to create, begging to write! That’s what we want isn’t it; kids who WANT to read, write and learn!
We also are studying penguins and Antarctica. We’ve been watching, via a webcam, penguins in Antarctica on a daily basis and recording information. The highlight was when we connected with scientists in Antarctica and discussed their work and research with them, over skype. This all goes along with the work that we’ve been doing as we’ve compared and contrasted the research and with the fiction book, ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins!’
Kids are naturally curious! They love to dive in on projects and share their thoughts on what we’re doing. It’s their education. It’s their future! They want it to be relevant to them! I’m a huge follower of Dave Burgess, who wrote ‘Teach Like a Pirate.’ He has said many things that jump out at me as I make my daily plans. One of my favorites is, ‘Don’t just teach a lesson, create an experience.’ I hope I do that daily, for my kids! Technology makes it easier to do that since kids are curious and want to explore!
The advice that I have for students is this: Own your education, don’t rent it for the moment, own it for a lifetime! Focus on where you are going. Never settle on ‘it’s good enough!’ READ, READ, READ! Daily, READ! And always get a good night’s sleep.”