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Friday, June 5, 2015

Get The Math

Videos and math activities to support the learner.


Get The Math:




Illuminations

This site has a variety of lesson plans and learning activities.


Illuminations:





Welcome to Absurd Math

Leveled math games that send students on a learning mission.



Welcome to Absurd Math:





Results for math : PBS LearningMedia

A variety of Math resources.


Results for math : PBS LearningMedia:





Maths Games for KS2: designed by a teacher for teachers - Mathsframe

Interactive Math activities.



Maths Games for KS2: designed by a teacher for teachers - Mathsframe:





“HSA” | Search Results | Yummy Math

Math Lessons with real world examples.



“HSA” | Search Results | Yummy Math:





Mathematics Lessons | TED-Ed

Math lessons from TED.



Mathematics Lessons | TED-Ed:




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How do I keep up in exponential times?

I am often asked by teachers, how can I keep up when things are changing so fast?

My answer is always, “Give it up!”

Allow yourself to be the student from being a co-learner and share the teaching and learning with your students. Kids will always amaze you and they have some great skills that we often overlook or at times afraid to see because of our insecurities or our inability to give up control. Instead of being the sage on the stage, give them an educational provocation or learning invitation that ignites their curiosity. Provide them with the tools (books, technology, other) and have them become inquirers, researchers, problem solvers, presenters, and knowledge sharers.

 How does this look like?

This is the best part because you will have very little to do. You know all those teachers in the staffroom talking about all those cool programs they are using with their students, find out which programs they are using, visit their classrooms while they are using it so you can see the learning in action. You can also do a quick search for some web 2.0 tools that you think your students would like to use.

This is where all the hard work becomes fun, because you are now going to separate your students into groups of three or four and you are going to assign each group a web tool, program or app you want to use. The students are now responsible for researching the software and create a short video, tip sheet, detailed written instructions or any other creative way of describing how the software works.
Once this task is completed the groups are now in charge of teaching the rest of the class on how to use the software. The students will also provide additional resources that they created. A copy of these resources will also be posted in a place where kids and teachers can access the resources.

How do I handle all of this extra work when I have all this curriculum to cover?

I love this question because all of the above activities fit into your curriculum expectations and if they don’t they should. When you look at this activity from a 21st Century perspective, it has the makings of a perfect pedagogical activity.

This activity incorporated the 4Cs of 21st Century pedagogy. Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. The students must engage in communication, through discussion with their peers and then communicate their findings with their peers and teachers.   The students have to Collaborate with other students to research and decode the software in order to develop teaching material. They have to engage in Critical Thinking, in order to find appropriate resources and then decide what they can and cannot use for their work. Finally, the students must think Creatively to produce something that is both engaging and instructional and is useful for the teacher and their peers.

The work is now done. You have access to the tools you would like the students to use. The students are the experts and will solve any issue that arises. You look like the awesome tech teacher in the school and the kids did all the learning.

All of these skills are critical to 21st Century learning as they develop these skills that they will need in order to be successful in both their educational and professional careers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Give Teachers Permission to be Creative

Why are leaders afraid to share leadership, and allow teachers to make decisions and ultimately fail or succeed
There is a connection between the increased distribution of leadership roles and responsibilities and the improvement of pupil outcomes. (Leithwood, 2010)
I immediately thought of Daniel Pink and his Theory of Self-Motivation. Daniel Pink talks about the motivation trifecta: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose and how people will do great work if they are allowed freedom to do their own thing. Schools are very complex microcosms that face layers of very difficult problems. These problems often require very creative solutions but I find many leaders are afraid or unwilling to allow their staff to experiment with co leadership.
I don’t know if this is a phenomenon strictly associated with the teaching profession where we are afraid of giving up control and allowing others to take the lead but it seems to be a huge stumbling block. Are the leaders afraid to give up the control or are they afraid because they are ultimately accountable if the teacher lead makes a mistake?
We often talk about the importance of student’s voice and the importance of having children direct their learning but teachers are often hesitant to give students this opportunity. Children want to learn and if given the opportunity they can tell us what they need so that we can support them.
Teachers also need a voice so that they can support the needs of their students. I think teachers are very creative and motivated people who will always impress if they are given the opportunity to do so. It is the role of all leaders to create an environment that promotes creativity without judgment in order to capitalize on the varied talents in every school.
Why are leaders not willing to share? If it is fear of people making mistakes that is holding them back then if we apply this to students what kind of a learning environment are we creating? This is a profession that does not deal with an exact science. The only constant is change and changing teaching styles will lead to better teaching and learning.
Leaders must create an environment that promotes teacher voice and allows teachers to make decisions. When teachers experiment they will develop tools that may support a variety of students. If they fail they need to be encouraged to try again for it is in being exposed to a variety of different techniques that will enable teachers to learn new skills.
Leaders must share this role in order to help solve problem with creative solutions. Empowering teachers to take an active role in the running of their school can only benefit the school and ultimately the children. More importantly with shared leadership comes the potential of developing future leaders, leaders who in turn will be collaborative.
Teachers need a voice to help shape schools. Opportunity breeds access and access breeds empowerment and change. Allowing teachers the opportunity to impact a system supports collaborative leadership and nurtures empowerment and engagement. Autonomy, mastery and purpose must pave the way to looking at leadership through a different lens?