Monday, December 15, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
First and foremost, teachers must support their students. Children are naturally curious and have a ton of ideas to share. Teachers can help by supporting this curiosity through STEM and project based learning which both foster innovation. We can also support our students by connecting them with learners across the globe. With tools such as blogging and social media available, students have the opportunity to take their learning outside of the school building. They can share, and reflect on their experiences.
Innovation cannot take place without allowing time for making and tinkering. Students should have opportunities for building, inquiry, and collaboration. All of these components foster critical thinking, which I have found to be a key ingredient in classroom innovation. Failure must also be allowed. It's not about the final result, it's all about the process. I think about innovators like Albert Einstein and Walt Disney. They failed numerous times and many didn't believe in them. We must make time for students to explore, and encourage them through their failures. We might just be teaching the next Steve Jobs.
In order to make room for innovation, classroom instruction needs to maximized. One way to do this is to enforce reading and writing skills in other subject areas. Reading and writing can and should be taught across the curriculum. In addition, we can think of creative ways to incorporate project based learning in each subject area.
When we allow time for innovation and support our students through the process, true growth occurs and a student's perseverance and resiliency can be measured. It's important to measure student growth so we can continue to support them as they engage in innovation.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
(Day 5 of the Teach Thought 30-day blogging challenge: Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see--and what you don't see that you'd like to.)
I took these pictures quickly at school today during our math class. I thought about posting the pictures I took just after my room was set up, and before students entered. That wouldn't be the best portrayal of my classroom though. It's a busy place with lots of movement and activity.
In these pictures, my math students are creating an original math game. THEY came up with the criteria, by the way. In these pictures, I see focused students on a mission. I see engagement. I see students utilizing different workspaces. I see concentration. I see precision. I see a mess! But, if it takes for my students to have necessary materials readily available, and for them to have space to work, then so be it.
I would like to see a little more collaboration. Even though it's an individual project, I'd like to see them offer support and elicit ideas from each other. Perhaps knowing they are responsible for fulfilling the criteria THEY came up with made them even more focused on their own project. I'm just not sure.
If you're new to the blogging challenge, check it out here.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Yesterday I read about the 30 day blogging challenge for teachers from Teach Thought. The challenge is to answer a reflective teaching question everyday in September. I don't know how well I'm going to do with this challenge, but I'm a big believer in reflection so I'm going to give it my best shot. Here is my reflection for day 1 & 2 of this challenge.
My goals this school year center around tech integration. I did well with my students last year by having them tweet, blog, and use web based tools like Padlet. I attended ISTE this summer and came away with many new ideas and knowledge about new tools that I can't wait to try with my students. The biggest one for me is Augmented Reality. I've been wanting to incorporate this for awhile now and my district is currently working on the process for putting apps on our iPads. Many teachers in my PLN on Twitter use apps like Aurasma with their students, so I've read about how fun and effective AR can be in the classroom. One area I would use AR is in reading. For example, I could have my students create book reviews, make text to self connections, and make book comparison overlays in Aurasma. I can't wait to find ways to use it in other subject areas too. Any suggestions?
If you're just learning about this blogging challenge, check out this list of 30 reflective teaching questions for each day in September. I forward to reading your goals and about tech tools you wish to incorporate into your clasroom too!
Another perk of looping was having Genius Hour on the first week of school. My students were the most excited about Genius Hour and were able to jump right in. We began by watching the TMB Panyee FC Short Film about a group of children who loved soccer but lived on a floating village in Thailand. It doesn't sound like the ideal place to play a game of soccer, does it? You have to see to believe what these boys did to fulfill their dream. Even though we had Genius Hour last year, I wanted my class to take it a step further and really think about problems in the world or things they want to change or fix. This video truly inspired them to reflect on what they see in the word around them. It also challenged them to really put themselves out there and try something new or learn about something they've been thinking about for a long time.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
"The sum of the values, cultures, safety practices, and organizational structures within a school that causes it to function and react in particular ways; the way teachers and other staff members work together." -from a Lexicon of Learning