Day 71 (of 187) Personal Growth Plan
Today our PVP group met to talk about growth plans – both our district plans and our personal/professional ones. We are discussing format…purpose…methodology….the whole enchilada! I do know that I want to blend my blogging occasionally more towards the @bcpvpa leadership standards – of which an updated one is expected in the new year!
So while I will be doing some thinking about how I want to do this, I do know that I will be making it a “public” journey (possibly double-blogging between here and in my bettereducate account). But to get myself started, my updated summary growth plan:
Landy Personal Growth Plan 18:19
Day 70 (of 187) a song….? about me…?
Its not every day you go to the gym for a “bonus music presentation” (we have some student bands who wanted to perform prior to Winter Break) and find out that the first song is about you!
One of our students has a talent for rapping – and while I may reference the Tarzan Dan winter song: We be wrapping presents yo yo! , he is infamous (more than famous) for his talent show songs – especially the Gummy Bear Song. As I am new to the school this year, I am looking forward to seeing his performance.
Especially as I got to see what he can do: https://youtu.be/WO9mERsN9-U
Hey Mr Landy we love you
and all the great things you do
LIke helping kids and making
videos of our school
No doubt Mr Landy
We all think you’re cool
Here is what we notice about you
-glasses -jerseys -music
-tall – fancy ties -love
-football – computers – high fives
– rules – coding – earbuds
Hey Mr Landy We all thank you!
This would not show up on a report card or transcript – but I am thrilled that I can add it to his portfolio to show who he is as a complete Learner!
Day 69 (of 187) Winning the game of school
Sigh. I like to tease that my rebel teenage daughter likes to do homework….in cursive….for bonus points….largely to irk me. We have never pressured our kids on report cards (partly because I distrust them more and more each year – especially since I have seen how efolios show more about the learner…..but I digress). I am proud that my daughter while worried when her grade average dropped into double digits, was more often concerned whether or not she fully understood what she was being asked to learn and would go down deep rabbit holes to chase more information.
We even joke that when she worries she “failed” something that an “Allie fail” was usually still in the 90s and often a grade many would love to “get”. But she always wanted to show that she learned it all. Whether doing rewrites of Assignments or tests or pointing out to an English teacher that her rubric did not match the comments (and score) that she received.
I would bug colleagues who often said she was a “certainty” to earn “top girl” in her grade – asking what the criteria was. And if the kids knew what the target was if they too wanted to be considered a “top student” at that school. Finally one friend laid it out plainly: just congratulate your kid.
So tonight I get to share how proud I am of my daughter, Alexandra, for being informed that she received the Governor Generals Medal for her graduating class. Or as I will tease: because the school system likes to collect scores, she indeed “won the game of school”. After all, if we rank students based on how they complete common tasks, the goal is to win….isn’t it? 😜
Day 68 (of 187) the importance of tech balance
Stumbled upon an interesting article via the DrudgeReport about how screens impact minds:
Mind you – the impact is when the screen is used for over 7 hours/day…..and part of the study talked about how the devices pleased infants (!!) because they got a reaction when they did things….kind of like when infants liked human interaction because people played with them (such as peek-a-boo which helps the brain learn a lot about awareness, presence, absence and more!) Perhaps if there were more human interactions, the tech would not be so attractive….
While my twitter handle starts with “techno” and in many ways, “tech” made my learning and teaching much more effective, I am also always aware of the need for balance. And while we may like to blame mobile devices for many of societies “more noticeable” increases in mental wellness – though I figure that schools are just doing a better job identifying it and not making school a place that kicks kids out (because that is how it has been/is felt by many) the device and apps do not force themselves into the hands of users….users seek them out <— and for this we have to ask “Why”? why use tech? is it less judgemental? less micro-expressions to notice? a known way to increase endorphins (coders know how to make social media & games do just this) or because it is available whenever “needed” ….? Likely a bit of each and everything…
But for a generation who do not know a life without mobile devices, it is tricky when the apps are being designed with the purpose of being attractive and appealing and to capture and keep peoples (especially kids) attention. Which is why I always promote a mindful awareness of balance. I have always said that my classes/schools are always the most techie, but also the most outdoorsy (and my focus on devices is also wary of the balance between consuming and creating – knowing the brain does better when it is creative – but also sometimes needs to consume content to distract itself to refocus itself)
I like the final takeaway: mobile devices should be a tool that you use, not a tool that uses you. It links up with my tech rules: tool or toy (tools help us, toys distract us – and I admit that sometimes we need a distraction….just not all the time) and creating or consuming – I like it when learners are making (and collaborating) with digital tools. Mindful use at any age – I even like that my latest iOS update lets me know how often I am using my screens and for what purpose – helps me keep myself in check!
And I always wonder about causation and correlation with reports such as these….!
I try to keep myself up to date with tech issues such as wifi and devices – and I support age appropriate use of devices – but less use by younger learners for certain. I have “worries” about the fine motor skills of some young learners who do not have enough experience colouring on real paper (crayons and pencil crayons) much in the same way I would like more kiddos to have a better sense of rhyme – which comes best by person to person interactions. Definitely interested to see where this research and studies lead us next!
Day 67 (of 187) my prethink for #bcedchat wine-ing or winning!
What happens when you squeeze a grape? It lets out a little wine!
report card reading. ugh. bland…not really descriptive (aka helpful) Im kinda bored of the past tense.
I could tell the teachers knew who their kids were….but it still didn’t do justice to the work that went on in the classroom and the gains individuals have been making.
end comments like “keep trying (hard)” or “work harder” …., I just have to w”h”ine that once you’ve started using descriptive feedback (and ideally looping it) because what else helps motivating learning….
But it all is differentiateable – after all I’m not opposed to tests, just “always tests” and especially “the same types of tests” – especially after a “week of code” which due to popular request is going into a second week (and yes, I will be changing around some of the stations!)
And sometimes, much like wine (and other spirits) the whining and winning all get better with age – even in teaching then the thinking evolves from “embracing chaos” to “trusting the process” – sometimes experience helps us realize what is serious and what….isn’t….
And sometimes we stumble on sayings that feel “just right” such as….
So glad it’s December! (The best birthdays are this month!)
Day 66 (of 187) thank you @hadip @codeorg #hourofcode
Every year it’s kinda the same thing: really? You want my class for a whole hour? To code? My class is too (young/wild/non-techy/ etc) to code. But I know to trust the process…and admittedly deviate a bit from Hadi’s starting point.
I was an early adopter of code.org and the Hour of Code and have done “whole class – same activity” before as I freely admit that his site makes exploring coding language very easy for users of all ages! And I love when kids share what else they’ve coded on MITs Scratch and more!
But I also have tossed in a dose of differentiation into my Hour of a Code – but it’s led to everybody finding something to connect with that encourages a coding mindset. But they have to “try” and not just “rely” on one activity. And of course local “experts” help make the experience very collaborative; from showing how to use the AppleTV button to secret levels on Mario to using wires with Snap Circuits. But then I’ve always found my most-tech infused classrooms have been the most collaborative.
So as science week continues, I hope more and more people take a dip in the virtual ocean – it’s why on T(ec)hursday I like to add new/more games: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/virtual-assignments/
And join the more than 3000 Canadian sites and over 200,000 worldwide sites exploring code….at least for an hour! (Or as I heard from some “can we do this everyday? – because we could….)
So thank you Hadi – I may have gotten here eventually, but I would not have been as risk-taking without your encouragement and support!
Day 65 (of 187) maybe Gary Larson has it right… #hourofcode
Once upon a time, the Far Side was a comic that was the reason I had a newspaper subscription. I have all the books. The anthology, the prehistory and everything in between.
I love his observations and social commentaries. And even his predictions (not going to even get into the stories about Cow Tools….”)
But a vision of the future and coding & tech:
Hahahaha. People being paid for playing video games. Next thing you know people will be watching adults play kids games like baseball and hockey.
Wait, what!?!? People get paid to play sports and they are some of the highest rated programs – and millions watch these sports daily – so why not watch others play games? And games now make more money than movies – so why not encourage coders as much as we encourage aspiring actors (YouTube is another topic altogether!)
There are now university teams around digital sports. And scholarships. And big arena events. And fans of top gamers. It’s a thing. Even I enjoy watching some/many – and it kinda started with Leeroy Jenkins! Yep- there is even sponsorships….
Digital media is changing how we create and consume information as well as entertainment. And gaming (and gamification) can help the brain – one of my personal warnings with tech is the balance between consuming and creating. If you’re going to do too much of one of them, create more than you consume. Keep the brain active with games that include
- Problem solving games
- Focused attention
- Creating something
- Working collaboratively
- Learning that mistakes happen and there is always an extra life (or reset button…)
So of kids go home after Hour of Code and say “we got to play video games” I’m okay with that because sometimes a coding mindset needs a gamer emphasis once in awhile….just like in the classroom!