Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Unclear, Undetailed and Confusing, Oh My!

Today, Ms. Marra and Ms. Meehan were deliberately confusing. Why you ask? To teach students about the importance of being clear and detailed while giving instructions. Each pair of students were given a piece of paper and were told that they had to follow instructions to create some origami. 

Students were given instructions such as:
"Hold your piece of paper the correct way"
"Fold the corner to the side"
"Fold the other side to the other side"

After we finished our folded paper art, students were asked:
- how they felt during the activity
- why the instructions were difficult to follow
- what could have been done to make the instructions more easy to follow
- why all of the paper creations were different from each other

Students realized that when it came time for them to write their own instructions, that they needed to be detailed and clear so that the person following their instructions did not feel as confused as they did while creating their origami!

Later in the day students practiced giving clear, detailed instructions to a partner about how to tie their shoes. 

Our First BYOT Day!

This morning the air room was buzzing with excitement, students brought in their own devices to research. Earlier in the week students practiced their reading skills by finding the most important information in the text related to the contributions of First Nations people in Ontario. 

Students were able to pick which item they were most interested in to do more research on. 

Students found a spot in the classroom that they felt comfortable and the research began!

There have been many moments where students giggled with glee as they learned something new while they explored their topics. 

Next, students will share their findings with other group members

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ed Camp Facilitators! June 2014

In June of 2014, we were invited to facilitate a session at the Ed Camp hosted by TCDSB. We were thrilled to have another opportunity to collaborate with other professionals on all of the topics that intrigue us most in education; collaboration, the third teacher (environment), inquiry-based learning, 21st century learning, technology, etc.

We designed our discussion space the same way that we like to organize our classrooms... A space that is welcoming/inviting and is able to accommodate all of the different learners in the class.

We tried to organize different spaces in the room that would allow for different groups to form and express ideas and opinions in ways that best suit that individual. In the above photos, you can see our getting started sign, our BYOD tweeting station, our artistic corner...

And a round discussion area with pillows and welcoming music in the background.

The teachers that visited our room were so excited about the space that that became the starting point for our discussion... the role that the environment has on making learners feel comfortable and encouraged to express themselves in various ways.

Take a look at our learning experience:

Everyone felt comfortable and the discussion became so RICH! What an amazing learning experience this day was. We all brought back ideas to share with our classroom students.

Exploring First Nations Contributions in Canada

Today students were invited to explore an interactive activity found on oerb.

This collaborative activity allowed students to discover the various things that First Nations people taught Pioneers in order to help them survive in the cold Canadian north. 

Students discussed their findings in their small groups and we will continue to explore tomorrow while learning how to summarize important information that we find. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Natural Patterning

We have started to learn about patterning.  We decided to grab our bins and head outside to collect some of nature's gifts to use to pattern.  Students explored the great outdoors and picked up many natural treasures. Using these natural objects helped us to understand the different shapes in nature, textures, colours, weight, etc.

We brought them inside and began to explore different ways to organize the materials.  Students were grouping according to type. colour, shape, texture, and even into groups of items found on trees and items found naturally on the ground.  Students were then asked to sort their materials in a different way.  Students began to discover repeating patterns. 

Take a look at our natural object patterns:

See if you can figure out the attributes that were changing.

After a gallery walk around the class, we continued to discover the many patterns that we can make using all of the attributes that we realized natural objects have.

What a great day of learning!