Class of the Week: Lorraine Smith’s Grade 8s!

Each week one classroom among the thousands using Bitstrips for Schools is chosen as our Class of the Week!

First to earn the title is Lorraine Smith’s Grade 8 class of Ecole Gron Morgan Public School in Thunder Bay. Congratulations!

Mlle Smith’s students have been making fantastic strips in English and in French, for schoolwork and for fun.  Here’s are some of her thoughts on Bitstrips for Schools, plus a sampling of the stellar work her students have produced.

Q. Tell us about your students’ reaction to Bitstrips for Schools.

A. They love Bitstrips! They work on assignments and then create their own strips at home as well. Some are doing sequels to their comics. They are also sharing what they do at home. At Grade 8, many things don’t get shared, so this is great!

Q. Your students have made tons of Bitstrips! What kind of stuff have they been about?

A.

  • Their favourite scenes from a French novel
  • An activity for their independent reading projects- either a summary, character sketch or favourite scene.
  • Family portrait, to get used to making the characters and seeing what was available in the library.

Q. Did you learn anything new about your students through their comics?

I have learned a lot about the students including their sense of humour, choice of reading materials, computer ability and interest. The family portraits let me see some family dynamics, without asking. I could see their comfort level with technology as well.

Q.How has Bitstrips for Schools helped you teach?

Using Bitstrips has allowed me to have students engaged in a writing activity, using the comics, but not having to worry about what theirs look like, as all look professional when done.

Reluctant writers are doing really well. They focus on the Bitstrip rather than the writing.  As I am getting more comfortable with Bitstrips, I find more ways to integrate it into my curriculum.  I really like the feature of assigning activities. I can easily check the progress of students, when they last logged in and anything they may have deleted. This is a good feature as the students know I can access anything.  I have used the comments section for activities, to send private messages to the students to encourage or make suggestions. I have also used this section to evaluate. I can log in at home and privately send their marks. I don’t need to drag home the marking.

Q. What advice do you have for other teachers on getting the most out of Bitstrips for Schools?

A. Don’t worry about setting up a class. The instructions are easy to follow and then use the site for tracking and monitoring.

Selected Strips (captions by Mlle. Smith):

From a book report by Lauren, to show her favourite part of the book.  It’s unedited by me!

COTW-STRIP 6

These family portraits show how details can be added to take the work to a different level.

COTW-STRIP 1

COTW-STRIP 2

COTW-STRIP 3

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6 responses to “Class of the Week: Lorraine Smith’s Grade 8s!

  1. Thank you! The kids are thoroughly enjoying bitstrips and love that new things are being added. Enjoy the program!

  2. Hi Lorraine,
    I just signed on and am really loving this site. I have a grade 8 Extended French class and would like to use this for both English and French assignments. Do you change the settings back and forth from English to French? Or do you just leave it set to one language and then they can write in that language?
    Thanks,
    Annette

  3. Hello, in the comic by Lauren, she forgot an accent in Noémie in box #7. I found the comics interesting. It was well done.

  4. Hi Annette,
    I just leave it on one and they use the keyboard for accents. I have assigned in both languages and they work in the language of the assignment. They had one in each language at one point. The great part now is that they have added an option to send work back, which is great for editing. Hope this helps. Lorraine

  5. Hi, Lorraine! I was thrilled to find your students work and your blog. Their comics are wonderful! We’re right next door at Corpus Christi and have begun a joint Gr. 4/GR. 8 Reading/Technology Buddies TLLP with the students from E. Q. We’re reading graphic novels and blogging and will be creating our own comics. We recently heard about Bit strips from a teacher at another school, but I wish we’d found it sooner. I can see immediately how it reaches reluctant readers, and the applications are limitless. We have only explored the program once, but we’re hooked. I’ll definitely show my class your students’ work tomorrow. I do have a million questions….the first being, do you want to walk over for a visit and have your kids do a mini-workshop?

  6. Great idea Jane! I will contact you this week to set it up. What a great experience for both classes.

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