When my students and I attended Farmer Appreciation Day in Hamiota with Mrs. Obach’s Grade 1 class, we had some extra time. So we decided to visit my 89 year-old grandma at the seniors’ residence for a few minutes. Well her face just lit up and she laughed and smiled more than I had seen in ages–the antics of my five year-olds just delighted her. They told her little stories and danced and sang, all without any coaching from me.
So when they asked to go and visit my grandma again, I asked them if there were any senior citizens in Oak Lake that we could visit right in our own community. One of them knew about the seniors’ residence in town, Oakwood Place, and we decided that it would be great to visit the seniors right before Christmas and spread some cheer. Our first step was to brainstorm a list of what we might do with/for the senior citizens.
The kids loved the idea of Christmas cards, and I thought the time was right to introduce a great tool–Microsoft Auto Collage (free download from Partners in Learning). We watched the little video to see how it worked, then the kids grabbed some Christmas decorations and we had a blast posing for a variety of silly pictures.
After uploading the pictures to the computer, we experimented with Auto Collage projected on our SMART Board. The students were mesmerized as Auto Collage swirled around and made different collage designs. We finally found one arrangement that everyone loved and we saved it. We then sent it to our nearest Wal-Mart for printing with the plan that Mrs. Caldwell would pick the cards up tonight in Brandon.
The next step was to involve our collaborative partners for some feedback–we just couldn’t decide what to do with the senior citizens for a special activity. We skyped the Hamiota Grade 1 class and their teacher Mrs. Obach. Unfortunately it was a “bad technology day” but we persevered with our call and got lots of great suggestions from the Grade 1 students–ranging from delivering hot chocolate, making hot chocolate kits with hot chocolate powder, marshmallows, and a mug, to different math games we could play with the seniors.
We are super excited for our visit next week. We’ll keep you posted!