October 12, 2014

Developing my Learning Space

A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms.  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0zZfpe2v1g

How has this tiny apartment and my learning in this subject impacted on how I think about spaces for learning?

I find myself wondering about other possibilities for the space that I work in, and the potential for learning in that imagined space.  Because the two are connected:

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October 10, 2014

The Never-ending Challenge

image by Antoine Beauvillain.  Downloaded from https://unsplash.com/grid

image by Antoine Beauvillain. Downloaded from https://unsplash.com/grid

The St Pat’s Reading Challenge (SPRC) began in 2013.  Although the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) had been running at St Patrick’s for a number of years, and while its aims were noble: “…to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature…” by reading more and more widely, few children seemed interested in participating in it.  Circulation statistics for the school library were not satisfactory, so I wondered if a reading challenge could be personalised and made more immediate and appealing to the students, and whether this would encourage students to read more, and more widely, by making better use of the school library collection.

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September 19, 2014

How have DIGITAL INFLUENCES affected my non-digital teaching practises?

teacher as guide

image by Schiwago from commons.wikipedia.org

Digital technology used effectively should not only impact on how children learn, it should also affect teacher pedagogy overall; whether or not digital resources are being used in a particular lesson.

Over the past 4 or 5 years, I have definitely become more of “teacher as guide”, working amongst children, “elbow to elbow, knee to knee” (Anne Keneally) rather than “sage on the stage”.   I have found myself using Sugata Mitra’s philosophy that underpins SOLE – “I don’t know” –  more often than I have in the past, to encourage children to make use of resources other than me for their learning.  It is quite common for people to come into my current workspace (the CLiC) and struggle to find me. During lessons, I will often situate myself somewhere in the CLiC so children know where I am if they need me, rather than wander around too much.  The learning space therefore has multiple focal points, with me being one of them only.

During the “working” part of each CLiC lesson, I now tend to sit back more, rather than wandering around “checking up” on children as they work.  Because children tend to be very engaged in their learning tasks in the CLiC, little of my time needs to be spent on behaviour management.  We have been making good use of time management scaffolds to help “tip projects towards completion” (turn of phrase from Gever Tulley as he talks about his Tinkering School) rather than delivering learning experiences – children “check in” with their class teacher or me at different stages of their learning journeys, and cumulatively fill in a “progress bar” to indicate to themselves and us how far they are along with the task:

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September 18, 2014

My First Creative Coffee Evening was a HIT!!

In summary, creative cultures:

seem to centre on passion, purpose, play and the inherent value of sharing, even if the benefit of doing so isn’t immediately realised.

(INF536 Module 5.3 Course Notes)

And so we were asked to explore creative culture by hosting our own version of a Coffee Morning…

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September 9, 2014

Learning from Successful Creative Organisations

WATERHOLE:  image by Heyheyuwb at en.wikipedia

WATERHOLE: image by Heyheyuwb at en.wikipedia

What are the key common features between most creative office spaces?

  • First and foremost, there is a shared understanding of the culture of the organisation
  • Diversity in design of spaces, to allow people choice & ownership of their workspace & flexibility to redesign workspace so that it best suits the type of work you are doing at the time;
  • Different kinds of spaces for collaboration, reflection, informal & formal meeting spaces, such as neighbourhood spaces & private spaces, fun spaces, rejuvenation spaces, “hanging out” spaces & working spaces.

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August 29, 2014

Design Thinking and Multi-literacy

Image by Analfabetismo2013unesco CC BY-SA 3.0

Image by Analfabetismo2013unesco CC BY-SA 3.0

I am currently working in collaboration with two of my teaching colleagues on implementing a multi-literacy program in their Year 5 classrooms, in response to their concerns about some of their students (especially boys) not engaging with reading and writing tasks, and therefore not learning to their potential. Continue reading

August 15, 2014

Asking and thinking HOW MIGHT WE…

THE CONTEXT

We have a St Pat’s Reading Challenge running at our school, to acknowledge children who borrow and read material from our Library collection, and to encourage all students (K-6) to “step outside their comfort zones” to borrow and read materials they may not choose to at first glance.     There are approximately 40+ different awards that make up the Challenge; half of those created by me and the other half by various students (Children are invited and encouraged to create new awards for the Challenge, that must be different to an existing award).  Children need to record the materials they read for each award on specially created bookmarks, to indicate they have completed the requirements for that award.  This bookmark is signed off by their class teacher, then forwarded onto me (the teacher librarian).  I make badges to be given to the children who have completed awards after school one day per week.  These are given to the children by their class teachers, however students who achieve bronze, silver or gold awards are acknowledged at our Monday morning assembly.    The children then wear their badges on their school hats in recognition of the awards they have achieved.  (Photos illustrating various aspects of the St Patrick’s Reading Challenge are included in my previous post, IMPROVING A DAILY ROUTINE).

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August 8, 2014

Improving a Daily Routine

This is a small problem, but one that occurs daily, and one that some children and myself are becoming increasingly frustrated with…

CONTEXT

We have a St Pat’s Reading Challenge running at our school, to acknowledge children who borrow and read material from our Library collection, and to encourage all students (K-6) to “step outside their comfort zones” to borrow and read materials they may not choose to at first glance.

reading challenge1There are approximately 40+ different awards that make up the Challenge; half of those created by me and the other half by various students.

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