Summer of Learning 2017 – an incomplete thought on what “has” to be learned/taught
Recently I read a great blog article about thematic learning and what could be done if we erased subjects…..what would need to be taught: http://paper.li/markbarnes19?read=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edutopia.org%2Fblog%2Fdoes%2Dspelling%2Dcount%2Dshira%2Dloewenstein
So…..some of my thoughts (aka questions I’ll ask my kids when they want ‘quiz time’ – as long as there is also family trivia linked in…such as who flushed their phone away…?)
Basic sight words. Understanding “how words are made” (aka not spelling lists) and access to a thesaurus. Then differentiate based on themes being explored. My take: gotta know the sight words to enable further spelling rules and be able to play with words via poetry!
Adding. Subtracting. Understating multiplication and division, but access to a 100s chart. Then focus on authentic (hands on) problem solving that enforces why the topic is being explored. Speaking of math….math misery http://mathmisery.com/wp/2014/07/15/math-misery-i-think-i-know-why/
My take: I’ve seen (encouraged) teachers who have shifted away from a logarithmic approach and focused on using similar approaches that have been successful in reading & writing…..and “surprisingly” when math isn’t worksheet after textbook after memorization drill, they start to identify math as a favourite subject…..
Regional facts. Capitals & territories of nation. then G20 then by continent for an intro – would love it if animatics were up to date: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x88Z5txBc7w also the structure of government – I still know many who think in Canada we cast a vote for our prime minister- but as a constitutional monarchy we vote for a party representative…..and it’s interesting to see what happens when students start having hands-on roles on school & local governance systems!
Nation & continental “main features” (again start regional and then branch out) to know main mountains rivers and lakes and major forms (prairies, Canadian Shield, seaways, etc!)
I’m seriously thinking of using these to explore history – why were these posters produced, what do they tell us about the way things were (because the good ol’ days….weren’t – heck a look into & debate about the origins of sports team names can be very eye opening)
Explore a second language…..or explore a local First Nations dialect. Then explore the cultures that have been and now are in the area.
Time zones. Because it’s important to know then for tv choices, podcasts, live streams and #chats
Self Regulation. I know that people say that it’s because we live in a world of unlimited choices and access to all the information that we have an increase of mental wellness issues such as anxiety….I argue that it’s always been there, we are just doing a better job keeping those students attached to school and focusing on the “why” the behaviour is, not simply consequences for students ‘breaking rules’ – because isolation (detention) shaming (making an example of one) etc don’t work – but using physical pain to “teach a lesson” is definitely ‘easier’ (but historically ruling by fear = revolution) http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/07/20/texas-school-district-approves-paddling-misbehaving-students.amp.html
And via a tweet, I received a good reminder of what we don’t want….to punish for want of a pencil: https://www.google.com/amp/s/drjoeclarkblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/of-pencils-sporks-and-compliance/amp/
And in my discussions around using eportfolios instead of transcripts and facing the key question: what would the universities say? well, MIT has some thoughts: http://www.wbur.org/edify/2017/07/11/masters-mit-poverty-lab?_lrsc=59c1ed17-24ff-414a-8ca8-0f7126bc891e
And one of the banes of my educational experience: cursive (I used to tease that my classroom was where cursive came to die)
An article just was released that “coding is the new cursive” https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/coding-is-the-new-cursive-writing-and-we-have-to-embrace-it/article35776671/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile
But learning can be (as I like to say) collaboratively personalized. Coding is great for many, but not all (and definitely not always who you assume) much as poetry is great….and algebra is beautiful….pointillism vs realism debates……but not for all…..one size doesn’t (never has) fit all. Provide support wherever you can: https://youtu.be/pKXmLdXmKpY Don’t rush learning to make an artificial deadline to “report on learning”. As I have practiced and preached: quality over quantity.
Time to meet the needs of the learners, not the wants of a gradebook.