Kathy Cassidy profile

This is my Podcast featuring  Kathy Cassidy. 

Please copy the link below for the podcast


Kathy’s  links






I learned so much while creating this podcast. It seems there are always issues that arrise while trying something new, especially when technology is involved. In order to  embed the podcast I had to send the audio track to iTunes, then I created the slide presentation in iPhoto, and added the podcast audio track in the place of music. When the slide presentation was done I exported the slideshow to create a movie file. Only after all these steps was I able to upload it from You-Tube. I was unable to load the podcast file directly into my blog without upgrading.


#3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathycassidy/3543350159/ Kathy Cassidy

#4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathycassidy/8522478858/ Kathy Cassidy

#5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathycassidy/6422103515/ Kathy Cassidy

#6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathycassidy/8442573919/ Kathy Cassidy

#7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/shareski/5582567432/ Dean Shareski

#8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/leondel/5745567540/  Leon Lee

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Kathy Cassidy Educator Profile (Interview)

My Interview with Kathy Monday, June 10, 2013

I had the opportunity to meet Kathy in person for our interview because she lives an hour from Gravelbourg. We met in her classroom at Westmount School at the end of the day. Kathy’s classroom is a typical grade 1 room including desks, beautiful artwork adorning t the walls, computers, ipads, and a whiteboard. At first glance the room seems typical, but where I really began to see how unique this classroom is, is when Kathy described how she incorporates various technology from Ipads, Blogs, Skype, and Twitter. 

Q. When did you first incorporate technology in your classroom?

A About 10-12 years ago the school division placed computers into most of the classroom. My class had five and whenever you have five of anything in an elementary classroom you create a centre. Unfortunately, you could install software onto the computers and wordprocessors in a grade 1 room aren’t practical because students still can’t write. So I found websites for games, but typing in url codes was difficult for such young children. So I started by creating a web page where students could access games. This was all great but there was not much for higher order thinking. So when I attended a conference I started questioning the value of Blogs. So I ask Dean Shareski if he thought this was possible. So I started creating a blog. 

Q. How much information do you feel is necessary to share on social media, like Twitter?

A. You don’t to share the intimate details of your life..but putting a little bit of yourself  out there is a good idea because it is a little bit like a social glue. You have to feel your way around an figure out how much of your personal life.

Q. How do you use Twitter?

A.  Twitter is a networking tool. Educator have found a way to make Twitter a very valuable tool helping to fill the collaborative void between educators. I think Twitter has changed the game because you’re only allowed those 140 characters. Facebook tries but isn’t able to do it as well as Twitter.

Q. What advice do you have for me when I have my own class and want to include tech?

A. First you have to decide what do you want to be able to do. Do I want to start with. Do you want your children to have digital portfolios then a blog is a great place to start. Talk to parents make sure they sign permission forms and they show the parents what your blog looks like so that they have an idea of what a blog looks like. Start out and explain to kids that we are just learning as we do this. Maybe you may want to start out with a project. Some people start with a project that others can join them. Jen Wagner is one,  e-pals is another one. Good places to start where you can do projects with other classrooms.

Start somewhere, For example, I don’t write a weekly newsletter all the information is located on the blog and is so much richer, because it is updated more often and includes pictures. The students’ blogs are also great ways to create digital portfolio which easily shows progress.

Q.  Do you schedule a specific block of time in the day where you use this technology?

A. I teach like everybody else does. Sometimes the ipads are part of the activity sometimes they’re not. it just depends on what I want to teach and I look at my outcomes first, what’s the best way, is there something on the ipad that will enhance the activity or will blocks be the best? It’s not the answer to everything. 

Put your fears aside and just try something, start small and you will figure it out as you go.

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Final Reflection

Please Click the link to view my reflection.

Final Reflection Mariette


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Rewards and Punishment

I was reading Nidhi’s blog tonight about rewards and punishment. How should we handle inappropriate behaviour in our classrooms? Should we reward or punish. I think we need to go back and review the meaning of discipline.  Webster dictionary defines discipline as:

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin disciplina teaching, learning, from discipuluspupil

First Known Use: 13th century
So where does punishment fit? This is a very touchy subject and very personal. I try to incorporate Positive Behavioural Support PBS as often as possible. In the beginning it takes more time, but long term there can be more positive student outcomes.
I found an interesting and helpful pdf on discipline. 10 Basic Points of Good Discipline even though it is written for parents, a lot of what they suggest can be incorporated into the classroom.
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To Cell or Not to Cell? That is the Question

Tech Task #7

English: Evolution Directions of Mobile Device

English: Evolution Directions of Mobile Device (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In last week’s live session of ECMP 355 Liz Kolb presented the idea of integrating mobile devices into the classroom. As with all our previous speakers Liz presented the class with numerous ways that we could incorporate mobiles into different aspects of teaching. Liz’s views on including and encouraging the use of mobiles is similar to Will Richardson, who explains in his TEDtalks session “Why School?”, that schools must step into the 21st century and start integrating rather than banning the use of mobiles in schools. However, as teachers integrate technology, teachers must also take the time to teach responsible citizenship to students and like everything there students must learn that there is a time and a place for everything.

What really stuck with me about Liz’s presentation is the use of QR codes. Prior to her presentation I noticed that these codes were everywhere, but I possessed little understanding of their use or value in and out of schools.

English: Version 1 QR code example

English: Version 1 QR code example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

QR codes are a very versatile tool for elementary and high school teachers. For example, I can see using the QR codes to include more information on documents. But what I see as a real benefit with the codes is to help bridge the gap between the school and home. I teach in a Franchophone school, where all classes are taught in French except for English. Sometimes non-French speaking parents feel that they can’t help their child study for dictées (spelling test). However, by including QR codes parents can connect to audio links  from home. For older students, I can see how a QR codes could be used to help absent students catch up on missed lessons. In addition, students who need more time to understand concepts can return and review lessons as needed. (This is what I especially appreciate about on-line learning.)

In addition to the QR codes, I think that there is endless potential to use cellphones in the classroom. For example, in one of my earlier posts I talked about my Grade 8 and 9 final project where I’ve asked the students to create a digital story,  I suggested that they might want to record videos on their phones. Smart phones are great because they are for the most part a complete tool box in something that fits in your hands. Students have access to these tools if we allow them to BYOD.

An other tool that I really like and plan to make use of is Remind101. I often send mass text to students to remind them of deadlines or events. So rather than use mass texts, I will use Remind101 to reach students in a more efficient way. Remind1o1 is useful that I have passed on links to their homepage to all my colleagues, including the school secretary.

Some of the tools I plan to use include in my furure classroom:

  • QR codes
  • Remind101
  • Smartphones including all their possible programs

These are not the only possible uses for mobiles in the classroom. Please visit Liz’s home page and browse. She provides educators with lesson plans, research, and so much more.

CELUSEI plan to order Liz’ser book “Cellphones in the Classroom” I think that it will prove to be a great resource.

She has a few more books listed on her blog, just click the link to get you to the books.


I hope that you will find her blog a valuable teacher resource, I sure do. And I am really looking forward to seeing how I can incorporate cells into my classroom culture.

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The Class Trip

Tech Task #6b

I am trying to embed my Five Card Flicker story into my blog, however, I am not having much success. So I am using a screen shot of the story with the link to my story “The Class Trip”  http://5card.cogdogblog.com//show.php?id=32254. I hope you enjoy my short story. Creative writing has never been my strength. Enjoy.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 2.55.28 PM

Story #2

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 3.17.24 PM      http://5card.cogdogblog.com//show.php?id=32255

My name is Henry. I am a dog caught up in world that I can’t break free from. My pet parents leave me home for hours on end. They just don’t understand what I need. They think that I am happy laying around chewing on toys and eating dog food. I need culture.

Last week they had this great house party and invited all the important people in their lives. I on the other hand was not invited. I guess I’m not important to them. The day after the party they went to the library. Did they invite me? no!

Well next week I will go to the library by myself and buy a cappuccino. Yeah, that sounds like a plan, and when I get home I will chew some toys and anything else I can sink my teeth into. Then the will have to take me to the dog whisper.

Finally an equal to talk to!!

I had some help from the Grade 10 students. They seemed rather enthusiastic about writing stories using 5 card flicker. I think that this is a great tool to get those creative juices flowing and to have some fun while learning. I found it was easier to write when I let go of my more serious side. Thanks Cod Dog Alan Levine for this great classroom tool. 


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Focus on one colour

Tech Task #6

Part 1

I chose to focus on colours as suggested by DS106 Assignment bank. The focus on colour assignment asks the student to focus on a single colour within an image. I spent quite a bit of time trying to download GIMP, a program suggested by DS106 but I gave up. I eventually found an alternative called LunaPic. I found this program  easy to use with many different options to modify pictures.

This is a picture of my niece. I tried to focus on the red except it bled through, so on my 33rd attempt I chose to focus on the green. I really like the effect because she becomes the focus instead of the apple. (Cute antennae, when will I see your wings?)lunapic_137109076090498_26

In addition, to the colour adaptations LunaPic offers other options such animations, special effects, and drawing tools.

Here I chose to make a picture cube.

meghan cube

Merry go Meghan

I found this  assignment very challenging and at times very frustrating  But, when I decided to stop worrying and do like my students and just try something anything. I had fun and enjoyed seeing  what I could do to the images.

Assignment 2 Warhol SomethingMariette warhol something

It was great fun and I will return to this site to see what else I can do with my pictures.

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Don’t Forget to Play

Today I went paint balling with the ESCM students. I reluctantly agreed to accompany the group and I only went because the school needed a female teacher to attend. So this morning I packed my computer because I expected to have a few hours to sit and work a few tech tasks. However, as I arrived at the school I was greeted by 10 students asking “Mme are you going to paint ball too?” As I looked into their faces I quickly realized that they really wanted me to play. So I swallowed my fear and agreed to play. It was a great afternoon (minus the fat lip!) and I really enjoyed the time I spent with these kids. A few of them said that when the teachers play, it makes the day more fun,  when else can they attack a teacher and not get into trouble.

As I sit here tonight replaying the events of the day, I know that I have helped build stronger relationships with these kids.

Even though you find yourself buried under mountains of work, take the time to play with your students, the time will pay back in dividends and it will help you refocus on the reasons why you became a teacher.

I would like to thank the staff at Prairie Storm Paintball, Moose Jaw for a great afternoon.

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Taking the Plunge

June 5 , 2013

Well it is shaping up to be an interesting week. I’ve taken the plunge and I am asking my grade 8 and 9 health class to create a digital story for their final project. I spent the weekend creating an evaluation rubric (following Renée Clemens‘ advice).  I found a rubric generator Rubistar, which really helped me get started. Furthermore, I took the time to find examples to get the students started. New stuff can be scary for some students. I am pushing them beyond the typical PowerPoint presentation.

Monday morning I explained to the class what the project entailed and that I wanted them to create a digital story around the subject of bullying. We have just finished a program called  “Différents, mais pas indifférents, a program that focuses on many different issues regarding conflicts and behaviours that enable bulling.  

I am hoping that the students will be able to make personal connections as they create their own digital stories. In addition to the rubric, I also provided the students with a few links from Alan Levine’s web page 50 ways to tell a story, http://50ways.wikispaces.com/ 

 After spending some time visiting each site I provided the students these websites. I’ve stayed away from any websites which required payments. I make a conscious decision to offer non-paying choices to equalize the chances for all the students.

Now I wait patiently and help them as much as I can to accomplish something spectacular. However, I am nervous as we journey together towards their final projects. I hope that the use of technology will encourage them and foster enthusiasm in the students who typically do the minimum. Those are the students I want to reach. Their projects are due on the 24th.

I’ve been so busy researching digital storytelling for this class assignment that I been unable to get to my work done for task #6. I will get to it in the next few days.


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About Me

June 2

Tech task #5 part 3

I have now created my about me page. You can find a link in the menu to the right or just click the link bellow.


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