I hope that everyone is comfortably shoveled out on this Friday. It was quite a bit of snow pushing around here but I did get out to get things done.
But a little snow isn’t going to stop me from getting out my Friday post, featuring some of the best Ontario Edubloggers. As always, there’s been some great thoughts shared this week.
There’s been a great deal about digital breakout games in the classroom lately. I’ve featured posts from Larissa Aradj and Cal Armstrong here. So, we’ve had a look at a Google solution and a Microsoft OneNote solution. Both are great and have a purpose but Eva Thompson had a different take.
She wanted to take her students back to the original or, as she calls it, Classic Breakout activity with her students. Click through and see if you don’t agree that sometimes the newest and technology-ist isn’t necessarily the best. Getting up, collaborating, problem solving, …, she had it all.
Stephen Hurley shared with me this research article The Rise of Educational Escape Rooms. It’s a definite good read if you want more information.
If Andrew Campbell was King of the World, he’d change a few things. This time, he takes a look at what he’d do with EQAO – in four easy, ok not-so-easy, steps.
All four take on a modern approach to a testing situation that doesn’t seem to want to go away. All four are indeed worth a read and consideration but there were two that really struck me:
- Respecting professional judgement
- Respecting Students
He describes the day-to-day reality that both teachers and students deal with and yet is thrown out the window on EQAO testing day.
Makes you think.
It isn’t often that I disagree with Aviva Dunsiger but I sure had the hair standing up on the back of my neck when I read her title. But the world would be boring if we all agree on everything. Her topic was influenced by another post that she had read that I found completely misunderstands what the Hour of Code is all about.
There would be huge backlash if her title had been
- What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Mathematics?
- What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Play Based Kindergarten?
- What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Language?
You get the point. If you look at the activities that people focused on with the Hour of Code, the “code” part was definitely there because of the branding but the activities are anything but passive and are all about Thinking and Problem Solving. That’s what coding/problem solving is all about. If you can’t see that in your activities, then you’re doing it all wrong.
I have to give a big unrelated shout-out to Stacey Wallwin. She introduced me to the concept of “Freighter Friday”. Believe me, it’s a thing…
This tags on so nicely on my thoughts about Thinking and Problem Solving. Stacey shares with a challenge from Superior-Greenstone that takes them beyond the Hour of Code and invites you and your students to join them.
Embedded in the post is a Slides presentation with more details and links to deal with all of these topics.
Well done, Stacey. It shows that people are ready to move beyond that one Hour and really make a difference.
On the ECOO blog, Peter McAsh shares with us an activity that he’s been involved with the past few years.
During Computer Science Education Week, the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) at the University of Waterloo acts as a local host for the Programming Challenge for Grade 10 Girls. PC4G
The girls get a chance to be guests at the university which is always a treat but then Prof. McAsh leads them on a learning journey involving the Alice programming language. (slide deck attached to his post)
To “make things count”,
A group of University of Waterloo math professors met in a conference room to “judge” the submissions from the girls. The primary tool for assessment is to view the animated movies created by the girls’ code. Lots of smiles and laughter from the professors. Somehow I think this is not the atmosphere in the room when they are marking Euclid Math Contests!
It sounds like a wonderful opportunity. If you’re in Southwestern Ontario, it’s an annual thing! Details here. How about next year?
Lisa Cranston is learning that it’s sometimes nice to recycle blog posts. Many tag them “Posts from the Past”.
In this revisit, she talks about the changing role of centrally assigned teachers. I still remember her first day on the job and my chance to meet her and Brent. They were going to change the world in teaching mathematics.
Things have changed since there.
Since that time there has been a dramatic shift in how we support educators in their professional learning and much of our work is done at the school using a model of collaborative inquiry where the teachers and consultants engage as co-learners in action research based student learning.
Ironically, I was thinking about this the other day when I was explaining to my wife that, in the beginning, principals didn’t like that approach since we didn’t check in with them and make presentations at staff meetings…
It hurt to read this post from dear friend Colleen Rose.
This year has been tough. I discovered that I have limits because I pushed myself past them; my commitments, projects and goals became too much as I began to cope with a variety of health concerns in my family, including my own.
She’s experiencing a lesson that all teachers need to learn. So many learn later rather than sooner.
There’s only so much that you can commit to before the important things in life start to suffer. Paying attention to those that give you advice about “balance” is so important.
It’s wonderful to read the support that she’s getting from friends in the comments. It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone.
This post, from Joel McLean was so timely for me.
I’ve always had Microsoft and Google accounts and the online storage that goes with them. I do have an organization scheme that works for me although I recall being laughed at during an OTF seminar for the way I do things …
Now, I have access to a Team Drive. When I first started to use it, I didn’t think of it differently from any other organization that I’ve used in the past. I was completely wrong. (Yes, I gave in and read the documentation)
This blog post should be compulsory reading and understanding by principals or anyone in charge of organizational groups. Life was different when a teacher left resources for someone else and they happened to be in a file cabinet. What if that file cabinet is now in the cloud?
From this blog earlier this week, in case you missed it.
How’s that for your professional reading for a Friday. Click through and read each of these wonderful posts. The authors will appreciate it.
If you like this post, please share it with your network and let’s give these blog posts some extra digital love.
While at it, make sure you’re following:
Don’t forget to check out all the great blogs from Ontario Edubloggers here. There’s always some good reading. And, if you’re blogging and not in there, please add yourself with the form.