Thursday, 12 June 2014

An invitation to play

What can you see? How can you help?

Last year, some teachers in our PLN engaged in a project titled What Can You See? Classes took photos of what they could see outside their windows and created a way to share their view. iBooks, Quicktime movies, Comics and blog posts displayed the things students could see within their schoolyard. Classes compared the photos and discussed the similarities. Over the course of the year, some classes engaged in SKYPE calls to further their questions and comparisons of schoolyards. As the seasons changed, students learned about the differences in a schoolyard in Ontario verses schoolyards in Mexico, Hawaii and other location. It was a rewarding project for both teachers and students. Teachers tweeted and blogged and students talked and shared their comparisons. Some of the interactions are posted on the We Can See Blog at

A reflection discussion occurred with Jocelyn Schmidt, Heidi Theis, Carmela Sita and myself, Angie Harrison. We reviewed how the project went and noted the benefits for our learners. We want to engage in the project again with our new group of students in the Fall. However, we feel a need to take this project one step further. We discussed ways to include a social justice lens that is appropriate for young learners.

Here is our                               Invitation to play for 2014-2015

Join us in a collaborative project that will engage your students and make a difference.

Details: At different points throughout the year, ask your students to create something that will show others what they see in their schoolyard. Use a format that works for your learners. eBooks, Quicktime Movies, Comics, picture books, audio files or any other method that is easily shared virtually.

Next, with your learners think of a way they can help. It can be as simple as helping people in your school or community. It might be participating in a food drive, helping in a seniors’ home or your class might be a part of a global project. One suggestion, your class could write picture books for your local Children’s Hospital. Your class might find an environmental issue to support or your class might respond to a crisis that is happening in your community or in the world.

A blog will be used to share what you see and ways you are helping. If you wish, you can connect with classes and SKYPE and talk about how you are helping others.

Classes could participate in this project once, or several times throughout the year. They could show progress of one way they are helping or they might show different ways they help throughout the year.

Our hope is this project will help students understand that we can all make a difference in the world. (no matter how old we are or where we live)

Here are some resources that might help launch the project.

If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover
How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn

Resources for helping:

Next Step:

Indicate on the blog that you are interested in participating. Use the blog post links to your class’ view of the schoolyard.

Tweet using the hashtag #WCYseehelp


  1. I LOVE how you've extended this project, and I'm definitely very interested in it. I'm excited to share the idea with my new Grade 1 team. I'm also going to share it at the school that I'm currently at to see if other classes are interested. Awesome resources too!


  2. Love how you gals are extending the first year's project into something with a social justice lens. Count my new K class in for the fall. We so enjoyed creating our own I-movies last year and connecting with other classes in Ontario and BC. May even try a little something this summer with my BBFK class.

  3. We are getting a huge response on Twitter. Please let us know if you are interested by posting a comment. You don't have to commit, just indicate an interest.
    Here is a great post about Just One Wish
    Angie Harrison @techieang

  4. I would love to participate with my contained class grade 4-6. Thank you for the invitation

  5. I would love to participate with my new grade one FI class in the fall!
    -Pam McLachlan, Winnipeg, MB

  6. Excellent idea! You can count us in! Looking forward to learning and succeeding together!

  7. Definitely interested. NW Connecticut, and we get great fall foliage for posting pictures. Tweet me if you have questions @judyarzt

    Will be working with teachers K-12, so will have access to lots of classes to participate given each teacher has at least one class.

  8. LOVE the idea of combining technology, observing/celebrating the outdoors, and social justice. I'm interested in participating! @a_misa1

  9. Or first grade classes would love to join next school year. First grade, currently 41 enrolled. @tvwood # WCYseehelp

  10. Great idea. Would love my Ks to participate.

  11. I would love to participate next year! My school is a IBPYP school and this would be perfect for my second graders. @themeekmoose
    The Meek Moose

  12. I am so happy we have a lot of interest in this project. I will do a follow up post in a few weeks. I look forward to learning how your classes will help others.
    Angie Harrison

  13. My Kinder class would be thrilled to join in on this adventure! We are in Ottawa, ON, Canada!

  14. Our twitter account is @Kinderstars1
    Will do a follow up post too in a few weeks:)

  15. I love the added focus... Even better now! Please consider us Thornwood PS Ks a part: @CroftsKs, @MsDuric, @FynesKs and more accounts coming online soon.
    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

  16. Our Grade 1/2 Community will be completing "Caring in Action" projects throughout the school year...We would love to connect with other classes and learn how others are making a difference in their school communities...We are from Norma Rose Point School in Vancouver...Please let me know if you require further information,

    Karen MacKinnon

  17. Hi please at

  18. We will be joining this wonderful group from Ottawa, ON. Will post more info in few weeks.



  19. Looking forward to participating. Thank you for the open invitation.


  20. I would love to participate with my kindergartens. We are inner city Toronto.

  21. I would love for my grade 3 class to participate! We are in Sundre, Alberta.

  22. I would love for my kindergarten class to participate. We are from Whitby, Ontario.

  23. Lori's Outdoor Kindergarten class would love to participate as well!
    We're in Toronto, Ontario.
    Heather and Lori

  24. We would love to participate! What an amazing opportunity for the kinders! I teach FDK in Ottawa, Ontario.

  25. My AM and PM kinder's would love to join as well. We are in Calgary, AB.

  26. My 1st grade class in NYC would love to participate. How do I join?

  27. I would love for my FDK class to participate in this project. We are from Anne Frank P.S. in Thornhill, Ontario.

  28. Our ELP class would love to take part. Amazing idea! We are at St. Joseph in Toronto, ON

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  30. I am a planning time teacher for FDK and would love for all of the 3 classes I teach to join. The school is in Mississauga, Ontario.

  31. I would love to participate in this great adventure with my Ks!!! @TayloredInquiry

  32. I teach FDK at Ontario International Canadian School in Dubai. I am interested in taking part in the "What Can You See" Project. Our class video is being processed for viewing!