As we delve deeper into the work that supports a tinkering mindset and a “maker” environment, we inevitably find ourselves circling the drain of “assessment.” How do we know what students are learning? How do we evaluate student performance?Read More
This graphic by Sylvia Duckworth and George Couros (http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/5135) started us thinking and reflecting on our year of design to date. The three components that resonated highly with our work were instilling the empathy piece, initiating the idea of “networked” and developing the habit of resilience.Read More
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher. . . is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'" Maria Montessori
Many times when we engage in integrated learning, blended learning and/or project-based learning our focus can be solely on melding curriculum. For instance, we read a lot of articles related to the NGSS standards and the Common Core that suggest explicitly how to bundle math, writing and reading with science or social studies. Some clear advantages of bundling curriculum is it can consolidate a teacher’s time and improve student learning by diving deeper into multiple facets of learning. As we work more with students on design tech projects, we realize that the skill base we’re really interested in developing centers around fostering attributes that will help our students become fully actualized adults. Resourcefulness, empathy, curiosity and self-awareness are high on our list of qualities we stretch for when lesson planning since many of the other attributes are by design more accessible.Read More
We’re completely intrigued by the “Make Movement” which is redefining much of the learning terrain inside and outside of schools. The Maker Movement is infused with philosophical bits that we find fit with much of our teaching philosophy: efficacy, problem solving, collaboration, stamina, green sensibility and empowerment.
Much of the Maker Movement celebrates designing and building... just about anything.
“All children benefit from instruction, but some children need incredible amounts of careful, personal instruction, with clear and repeated demonstrations.” (Duffy, 2003; Harvey & Goudvis, 2000).
Modeling- why it’s important...what it does for students
Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about modeling and how it helps students to shape their thinking and understand the learning process. We’ve noticed that when we’re the most successful with students, we’ve put a lot of energy into intentionally modeling both the project outcomes as well as purposefully breaking down all the steps along the way.Read More
We’ve been musing a lot about design thinking lately. One of the key pieces within the design thinking process is the research or taking a deep dive into what you are doing. Finding out as much as you can about a topic or an area of interest and then zooming in on or identifying a unique problem that you can pursue further.Read More
We’ve been noticing that our design lab is already so much more successful this year than it was last and we’re wondering why. The students seem more involved in the work and at ease with the expectations. When we look across the landscape of the classroom, all of the students are engaged purposefully in the process. The classroom composite runs the usual bell curve; these students aren’t more skillful than last year’s cohort; so the question we’ve been fumbling with is WHY? What’s different?Read More