It’s time for my weekly roundup and sharing of some of the reading I did this past week from great Ontario Edubloggers.
F is for Frankenstein, Focus & Future Ready
Lynn Thomas is on a personal project working her way through the alphabet and is up to the Fs. An F word that could have been used here as well would be failure!
Lynn takes a look at the original intent of Victor Frankenstein and how the plan actually failed badly. She ties it to the current plan to require four courses of eLearning for graduation in Ontario. You can easily see that it’s a “Make in Toronto” solution where connectivity isn’t a problem should you choose to afford it.
Supporting her cause are a couple of maps of the province showing where connections lie. This one, shared by Lynn, is from Connected North.
The discussion never actually gets around the appropriateness of students to work in that environment – it’s just getting that horse to water in the first place that will be the first challenge.
Maker. Space. Inquiry. Place. What might be the connection?
There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that teacher-librarian Beth Lyons ties together in this post. The concept of a Maker Space shouldn’t be new to anyone these days.
There’s a twist here worthy of note.
First of all, there’s the connection to the Forest of Reading. That was an important twist for me and I’m sure will appeal to other teacher-librarians.
Then, there’s the analysis of what making actually means. Like so many schools, making in Beth’s world could easily involve booking the library and having a making period. Early models of computer implementation were done this way and we knew that there had to be a better way.
Beth follows along with making making (yes, I just said that) come to the students as opposed to students coming to the making. This is accomplished with her concept of Genius Carts.
It’s well thought through, she includes a link to a presentation she made about the topic and she’s also indicating that she’s collecting data to provide proof of concept.
As a followup to the original concept, Beth is looking at a podcasting bent to the next iteration. I like this approach.
It makes so much sense.
Moccasin Flowers: A Work-in-Progress
If you want the spoiler, go to the bottom of this post from Jessica Outram.
She’s already an author, although currently unpublished. The plan is to write another novel and publish it this time.
What strikes me as so unique in this is a personal analysis of her family, history, traditions, immigration and DNA research. It’s sort of a marriage of old and traditional with new and cutting edge.
I won’t spoil the result for you – click through to read her post for more.
Other than outlining her plans and I hope she gets published before someone rips off her idea, she does a wonderful job of personal storytelling that leads to her thinking about this project. There’s a wonderful retelling of parts of her history in the post.
I could see this being a very powerful novel and noteworthy for reading and studying in the classroom.
I hope that this actually happens; I’d buy the book.
We teach students not just content
A couple of Twitter messages was the inspiration for Lisa Cranston to write this post about going to school now and measuring time until the end of the school year.
The reality hit a little close to my memory of me as a first year teacher.
Obviously, it was my first time through the curriculum but I can recall returning from March Break and started to panic thinking that I might not get the curriculum covered before the end of the school year.
Oh no! What to do!
I suspect that people who are teaching in the EQAO years have the same level of discomfort.
Lisa offers a reality check for all and will make you think – just what is it that you’re in the profession to do?
A Positive Climate For A Culture Of Growth
How could you not like a blog post that has a Superman reference?
Frustration is the kryptonite to healthy culture
So, just get rid of the frustration and things are good, right?
Joel McLean argues that you need to go further.
Much has been written and discussed about creating a culture of growth. If that was all that was done here, it wouldn’t be all that exciting.
Joel goes further, though, and asks how to maintain things. That’s a whole different animal.
And, if you work your way through the list, you can see that it’s pretty much a full time job. That’s a good thing. That’s why we have leaders who do good things.
I’ll bet that it’s a piece of cake to visualize people in leadership that don’t do these things. It’s also to see just how little they lead and have the respect of those who they’re paid to lead.
When a Drawing is Not Just a Drawing
There’s a lot to be pulled from this post from Heather Theijsmeijer.
Her context is as a mathematics leader within a school district and a focus on mental mathematics.
A good annotation can also help uncover student misconceptions, and help them realize where they might have gone wrong. Or, it might lead to a completely different way of thinking about a problem. In either case, that visualization can be quite powerful.
I think we can all agree about the concept and the need and importance for visualization when attempting to solve mathematics problem. In the post, she goes through a great deal of sharing about how she thinks her way through what goes into the creation of a drawing to help with that visualization. There’s a lot of thought that goes into this.
If you think about the “good old days” when we learned mathematics, I’m sure that there was nowhere this amount of thought that went into the drawings that helped us visualize and understand.
Noa Daniel is always good for a new, inspirational approach to things. In this case, she describes the process of a TTalk.
There’s an amalgamation of TED-like talks and Genius hour strategies as students reached out in solution for real-world problems.
In her approach, she sees a big list of 21st Century skills.
- critical thinking
- information literacy
- media literacy
- technology literacy
Her students did buy in and blogging was an integral way of getting their thoughts organized.
Student voice is highlighted with their reflections at the conclusion. Could you use such an approach?
Please take the time to click through and enjoy these posts in their entirety. I think you’ll enjoy them immensely.
And, make sure that you’re following these folks on Twitter.
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Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.