Please join me in this new journey. My first blog although this account was created two years ago.
When Jason Wigmore nominated me more than a month ago, I had no clue what this topic was all about. I read his post and clicked on Jonathan So’s blog. That lead me to Aviva Dunsiger. Then, to Donna Miller Fry. Lastly, I ended up on Scott McLeod.
Thank you Jason for nominating me. Please visit his blog about Stop Pretending and #MakeSchoolDifferent as well.
As educators, we have to Stop Pretending that
1. Using technology in the classroom is a one time event
What is slowly shaping my new thinking is by doing self-reflection. How much information do I get now through the use of technology? I never felt this informed before. Why would I limit the learning that can take place with the use of technology as a tool in the classroom? I should not have the iPad cart as a treat. It should seamlessly be a part of our everyday tasks (whenever available) just like our pen and paper. The integration of technology in the classroom doesn’t mean that we are going to get rid of the use of pencil and paper. One of my favourites is Brian Aspinall’s tweet, “Yes, kids love technology but they also love handstands and mud puddles. It’s all about balance.”
2. Students learn best when they are sitting at their own desks
I grew up sitting on my chair with my desk in front of me the whole day in the classroom. The only time I remember getting off my chair was during outdoor play, going to the gym or any activity outside the four walls of our classroom. This year, I began to loosen up more. My students do independent, partner or group work on the carpet, on the floor or using other desks aside from their own. Still, they have their own assigned seating spot but there are more movements in my classroom now. As long as they can handle working in any space in the classroom, each student has the option to where he or she can be productive. It is one of the many ways they can practise self-regulation too. One or two still choose to work at their own desks. That’s okay. I see myself doing that as well.
3. We do not have to walk the talk
Here I am talking and encouraging my Grade 2’s to share their thinking in our Class Blog.Yet, I don’t have one of my own. My 31 students dove in with their heads first and 95% of them are swimming along. They are so excited to talk about other people’s posts on Monday morning. Teachers hear them talking about it during outdoor recess. All of them are now blogging. Some of them learned how to attach a link on their posts. As I was pondering on what to write here, I saw this post from George Couros. The picture he uses speak a lot about us wanting and talking about change but no one is ready to change.
4. As educators, we do not need to do some online collaboration
How could we not this days? Twitter has given me so much access to great people who have done wonderful things to make school a fun and better place for educators and students. I still consider myself a beginner in online collaboration but has open so many windows of opportunity for me and my students. Just this morning, I made some interactions with people like Nick Brierley and Brett Salakas from Australia through #aussieED, Christopher Martin and Mr. B from the United States of America through #sunchat. A lot of learning in a matter of less than 60 minutes in the comfort of my home.
5. Teacher feedback is more valuable than peer feedback
The push for math talk in the classroom gave me no option to try peer feedback. Since I welcome change, I took the risk. At the beginning, I was in doubt and would jump in to correct errors right away. After a while, I learned to step back and listen to conversations of students using the math language during group discussions, think-pair-share or think-pair-share-square. Not only in math, but this is also evident when students leave feedback to the posts on our Class Blog. Students are excited to read comments on their posts because they express personal thoughts and feelings about the topic. These things do not happen overnight. We practise and once in a while, need to visit the criteria as a reminder. All these things are a work in progress. Change will always be!
Over a month before I get this thought together. Finally, it is here. We connect with educators in our district and around the world, I now call on
Leave a line or two that you are trying to #MakeSchoolDifferent.