Scaffold Like an Ant- A simple scaffolding example

A simple but effective way to encourage deeper understanding

An Ethical Island

I am teaching a class where I allow the students a set amount of time to draw out what they know about a subject. Today, the students did their pre-class work, then came to class, and we began to draw things out. At first they look at me a little funny when I ask them to draw. Then, they dig in and explain what they think the subject is all about. Usually it takes about 25% of class time to get them through this phase. Today, they wanted to remain in this drawing/ scaffolding phase. They were going deeper than any class has ever gone in their reasoning and understanding of a difficult subject. It was pretty cool.

Here is what I do in my classes… (the ant is an analogy, I don’t get to teach about ants).

Ant Scaffolding

What would you add?

~Mia

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Reading and Audiobooks

img_7512-html-smlThe SLAV conference, Engaging teen readers, last Friday was very interesting and informative. We had great presentations. Many of the presenters were practising teacher librarians who gave many examples about how they support and encourage reading in their schools. The last session was a panel discussion about the definitions of  “a reader” and  “what constitutes reading” where panelists discussed their ideas. Playing the Devil’s Advocate, I asked the question “Is listening to Audiobooks cheating?” The panel answered and it also got quite a reaction from the floor. It certainly livened up the following discussion when we opened up the discussion to the conference delegates. Their ideas were collected on a Padlet for use later.

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks. I especially appreciate them when I am travelling in the car on long journeys. I particularly like the unabridged versions of novels and also the BBC radio plays.  I still read a lot of print books and I have both versions of the books. Both pique my imagination and I can remember just as much about the book no matter whether I use my eyes or ears. I teach some dyslexic boys who really appreciate having audio as well as text available to them. Digital technologies have made it even easier to support these students with audio as they all have their own personal devices with which to obtain their audiobook.

Some of the links provided/shared supporting audiobooks  were excellent.

One of the infographics I liked is below. It seeks to describe the benefits of audiobooks by debunking some of the myths that circulate. It also offers some ideas that teachers could pick up on and use with their students.

It was published by Learning Ally and We Are Teachers

We Are Teachers offers educators inspiration for lessons as well as professional development resources. Their mission is to promote innovation in education through collaboration and connection to the most effective classroom resources

Learning Ally offers more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks through an easy-to-use online platform. Audiobooks are proven to help students with reading disabilities become better readers and learners. Find out more about how Learning Ally helps students with reading disabilities achieve academic success.

audiobooks-forget-the-myths-infographic-html

Anywhere Learning

Today I have been reading quite a few articles about learning, especially in the areas of PBL and STEM. I then saw a tweet about this Infographic from Mia macMeeken. The ideas here reflect a few key ideas from the articles I have been reading.

  1. Learning can happen anywhere and not be seen as something that can only be done in a classroom.
  2. Learning needs to be authentic and involve real-life experiences.
  3. Creativity is an essential part of learning.
  4. Learning needs to involve reflection to complete the process

An Ethical Island

How can we incorporate learning into a learner’s life? Often when we sit down to write curriculum we think about it in a classroom setting. Is there a way to encourage life long learners through our curriculum? I think we can incorporate Anywhere Learning strategies. What strategies do you use to incorporate Anywhere Learning?

Anywhere Learning

~Mia

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STEM: resources

I have been investigating resources for supporting the curriculum next year. We will be embracing the STEM ideas in a more structured way for the first time although other schools have been onboard for a long time. There are  a myriad of rich resources and approaches that other schools and organisations have shared by schools. The sites I find that meet our needs are being added to my Blendspace lesson on STEM resources. Although I like the STEAM idea that incorporates creativity (through the Arts addition), I am keen to get all our teachers on the same wavelength with STEM. There are still some who are not sure about why we are making this push. The following infographic (although from the US) gives us some ideas about why we need to get kids excited about science and maths.

Why STEM Matters
Image source: www.topeducationdegrees.org

Assessment Ideas

Another great infographic from Mia MacMeekin. This one gives teachers some great ideas. It would be useful to put up in the office as a reminder when I am trying think of alternatives that I can offer to students to show me what they have learned and/or what they know.

An Ethical Island

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Student Centered Instructional Methods

Another one of Mia Macmeekin’s great infographics. This one offers inspiration to teachers with a range of 28 different ideas for promoting active learning in the classroom situation. These suggestions are general in nature so they can be applied to various types of lessons and learning areas. There are brief statements included to give starters to teachers for planning lessons.

Students are the focus in in the learning processes mentioned here. They involve individual learning methods, group work and communication between students and some include using various technologies.

This is a great overview different methodologies that could make any classroom management more inclusive and welcoming to all students.

An Ethical Island

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10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic

There is still a lot of discussion about the internet and how useful/wasteful/dangerous it is for our children. Like all things, it is how you use it and whether you have developed the skills to get the best from it.

 This infographic from the Pumpic team makes some suggestions. The team has selected 20 services that they believe will teach your kids 10 skills for life. Starting from essentials, like reading and improving grammar, to cool ones: playing the guitar and programming. All of these is easy to achieve with educational games available online and apps introduced on kids learning sites

10 Things Your Kids Can Learn Online Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics