Well here we are in August, on the downward side of summer holidays and school is fast approaching again!
Looking ahead I am not entirely sure what the future will hold in the new school, with a new grade level, new students, families, colleagues and whatnot but what I do know is that it will be a new adventure! I always say change is good; therefore this move will be a nice change of pace and location for me, as my own students will be at Lakewood, which will make life before and after school a wee bit easier for my family!!
As for my new students; I am looking forward to an older crowd! Last year we touched on many new and innovative things in grade three, but I found we started to top off around April where and when I could not take kids much further into the digital world, as things began to become a little too far abstract and difficult. So, as with any problem and issue; I reassessed and regrouped and thought why not lets give an older group a whirl and see how far and where I can take them!
So, looking ahead this year one of the things I am very excited about is the sheer independence and depth I can take kids on through a new means of acquiring learning; project based student inquiry driven assignments and tasks. Very individualized and hands on more so for the students and less so for me. So a bit of a flip for most people; myself I will have to adapt tracking, conferencing, documentation and consolidation methods. Be more insightful and creative with my ideas and suggestions for students to add more depth into their projects, consider teaching students the ability to connect and collaborate into a new realm of twitter, skype and blogs within the safe confines of the classroom as well. I want to instill the passion I have for collaboration, networking and learning alongside people digitally and globally!
Some of the projects we will be jointly exploring during student driven 20% time; thanks A.J Juliani and John Spencer (Empower Book – Fantastic Read by the way!! Highly recommend it) will be; Write to Give writing and publishing a book for students in Kenya, Africa (where I will be travelling next August – thanks Write to Give!!), Koen Timmers; Global Climate Action Project in October (very excited to partake alongside over 250 other classes throughout the globe and 59 other Countries), Working with Micro:Bits and @dkiang ibook ‘Making with Micro:bit’ and actual Micro:bits (I will be requesting parents to purchase) first time ever exploring this but have worked through the 14 week Intro to Computer Science Coarse during the summer with my own three kids and they loved the Project Based Learning / Maker Projects!! Super excited to work with these great little coding machines and continue learning from https://www.fairchancelearning.com/ Team (Fantastic Group of very knowledgeable people); Lead by the energetic tandem of Martha and Dustin Jez; the dynamic dual behind the Company! This team provides so much; please take a peak at their site for lots of awesome stuff; also online purchasing of Makey Makey and Micro:Bit Kits too!!
Something I am going to continue rolling with and amp up even more so this coming year will be the depth of Coding and amazing tech to lead and use with Coding such as; Makey Makey, Micro:bits, Ozobots, mBots, Dash and Dots (can now borrow from Public Libraries), Vex Lego Kits, Sphero / Ollies (purchased two this summer from Kijiji) and so much more! Endless possibilities and links throughout the entire curriculum!
Another thing I am getting right into this year is Maker Spaces! I am going to work on a ‘Maker Mentality’ type program within my classroom, which will be the driving force behind all project based learning throughout the year! I have acquired many, many resources and will be requesting items from home, community partners and much more! Super excited to partner with Norfolk Public Library for 3D Printing to add more depth to my Maker Mentality / Mindset within the classroom…..possibilities are endless this year!! Super excited to take what Nicholas Provenzano (‘Your Starter Guide to Maker Spaces’) and John Spencer / A.J. Juliani’ Empower Book taught me about Maker Mindset and Spaces!! Two incredible reads if interested in Maker Spaces!!
A side note; Norfolk Public Libraries (I also know Brant as well) are implementing and trying to support schools with STEM learning, so please be sure to connect and touch base with them before school to see what they can support and offer to classrooms too!
Super Excited to also implement and include my former Nipissing Teaching Students STEM Club OneNote Binder within my weekly schedule! We will be exploring their numerous STEM activities and lessons weekly to link students to curriculum in meaningful / fun and exciting ways!!
STEM is excited but armed with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the amazing Surface Dial I am going to add the ‘A’ to STEM and make lots of ‘STEAM’ going the distance and adding Art into programming within STEM! Look out Archer’s 5/6s this year are going to be ‘STEAMING HOT”!!
Looking forward to connecting with new colleagues, teaching / grade partners at Lakewood, developing new connections within the community (which should not be too hard seeing as I live in Port Dover already and work as a Volunteer Fire Fighter and have numerous connections already). Also excited to continue working alongside Nipissing University taking on Teaching Students; hopefully would love to continue with High School Co-op Students, and for sure will be continuing with Indispire Native Support for the fourth year!!
This will be the first year I will be remote from my amazing A-Team comprised of some dynamic teachers (Krista King, Nick Reynolds, Presley Sibbick, Joseph Bishop, Christina Demeter) distance will be troublesome yet just a small hurdle to work around!
Looking ahead; things look super exciting and bright!