Summer Reading

library_skyHere is a list of books gleaned from our “Summer Reading” survey last week – some gems waiting for you.

  • Invent to Learn –  Gary Stager and Sylvia Libow Martinez
  • Dark Matter – Blake Crouch
  • Hardwiring Happiness – Rick Hanson
  • Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler
  •  Guided Math Conferences by Laney Sammons
  • The Innovator’s Mindset – George Couros (*this showed up on many lists)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
  • Teach Like a Pirate – Dave Burgess
  • Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google? – Ian Gilbert
  • Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
  • The Myth of Ability – John Mighton
  • What’s Math Got To Do With It – Jo Boaler
  • Pax – Sara Pennypacker
  • Generation Stressed – Michele Kambolis
  • The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George
  • Precious Cargo – Craig Davidson
  • The Others series – Anne Bishop
  • Growth Mindset Pocketbook
  • Kids Deserve It
  • Professional Readings – mindset, rereading Math Daily3, Cafe, food
  • Plants of Coast Salish, Plants of BC
  • anything by Sandra Brown, James Patterson, Richard Wagamese
  • A two-foot high pile of books including We are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen, some graphica and hopefully a re-read of the Outlander series
  • Rising Strong – Brene Brown

Voices Need Words

Have you ever had “heart to heart” chats with students and you know they have a story to tell but got stuck on trying to get it out? Sometimes I feel that students don’t have the vocabulary or aren’t exposed to the vocabulary of emotions to be able to clearly tell their story. Recently, quite accidentally I fell upon the project, RULER (Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, Regulating Emotions) by Marc Brackett at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Here is an overview of the “Mood Meter” that they developed to help identify the various quadrants of moods and related vocabulary.

So I wondered as some of our classes are using this approach, what if we were able to gage an audience’s mood and create a real-time visual. We could use it to have conversations. This process might also work well with literature circles. I ended up using Google Forms to create the survey so it could be available for easy access on a class blog or website. Here are the results. Give it a try.

What I like about it is the list of terms to expand possible ways to share feelings. (Aren’t you tired of the same “I’m mad, sad, glad” routine.) By selecting the graphing mode you gain a visual representation of a whole group mood right away. I can imagine the rich discussions this would offer to a group.

I’d love to hear what you think about this. Please leave a comment.
If you would like your own copy, I’ve created an open folder, which you can make a copy (you need to have a google account first).

Outside the Box

Sometimes in our wish to try something new we forget that purpose and pedagogy need to ultimately drive the journey. But dabbling with new technologies and software also has purpose – play. It is through play that we explore what might be possible through new lens. In my last post I shared “change the lens, change the story..”. This is especially true in innovative teaching and learning using technologies. Looking at something with new eyes allows for the possibility of recombinant options.
student_voices_rosserplan

It began with a casual conversation, one that would lead eventually to risk in a big way. A principal asked, what would happen if a school growth plan was not a paper document (as its always been) but a living, breathing, changing over time conversation document? Can our ePortfolio-esk environment (based on making learning visible) be used as a way to invite and extend the conversation at multiple levels? In a heartbeat, YES! Thus began the journey of Rosser principal Debra Gojevic and school team. Along the way, questions had to be addressed:

  • What story do you want to tell?
  • How do images tell a story? What types of images are better than others?
  • What is the interplay between images and text?
  • If video, what finite clips show the thinking, not just the act? (enhance? detract?)
  • How do you lift voices that need to be heard?

Their journey is now public and linked to their school site with a side button. Or click here for the direct link. It is not finished; their conversation has just started.

Learning on the Edge

We just finished a districtwide Pro-D, where for the first time we squeezed 2000 people into one building. So parking was quite hairy and the deluge of rain didn’t help matters. Once inside, the northvikingbandatmosphere was positively electrifying (thanks to the facilitators and participants). Our opening started with North’s own marching Viking band, keynote Abe Fernández (Director of Collective Impact, the Children’s Aid Society and Co-director of South Bronx Rising Together) and then hundreds of workshops and ‘edcamp-ish’ conversations to choose. My team of three led four sessions – a crazy rewarding day of connected energy.

Here are some things I learned:

  • Building community and togetherness is everything even though the only building that can handle the numbers is a very old one! Crossed our fingers as fuses blew…Comfort Zone Quote
  • New experiences have to be connected to what you understand and then move from there
  • Individuals make personal conscious decisions to learn new things. What is ultimately worth learning is usually difficult and messy. It takes courage to make the leap.
  • Sometimes people will try something only because they know you will support themmyquote_changethelens
  • When you see something with a new lens, you can never go back

Pro-D, while meant as a learning experience, is really an event. How will you carry these sparks and these challenges to thinking into your classrooms or offices? That’s where the magic happens.