Thursday, 4 October 2012

Shauna's Learning - iPads in the Classroom and Sir John Jones

On Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to go to a Lead the Way event run by the Parent Engagment Committee and the Leadership Committee in the OCDSB. I met all kinds of wonderful students and learned about the projects that are going on in their schools.

My friend, Jodi, is a teacher at Adrienne Clarkson and did a project last year with 20 iPads in her grade 1 classroom. She brought three wonderful representatives from that class (they are now grade 2s) to demonstrate the success of the project. These two students were enthusiastic and knowledgeable and were happy to show me some of the great tasks they knew how to do on their iPads. They even had business cards with QR codes (we need to try this in our room!)

Adrienne Clarkson students showing me their iPad skills!
I also got to talk to a student from Leslie Park P.S. about her school's Kindness Club. Their school is tiny, it only has 128 students! 22 of them are in the Kindness Club and they meet at lunchtimes each week. They promote kindness within the school and community. They have a Pay it Forward Day where all students receive 2 kindness pins that they can give away to someone who treats them kindly. They also raise money through Freezie sales, bake sales, fruit and goodie sales, clothing sales and a garage sale to support the Ottawa Mission, Ottawa Humane Society, CHEO, Salvation Army and Christie Lake Kids.

I was inspired by the amazing, innovative projects kids and teachers are working on in our wonderful school board.

This is what a real knight looks like!
 The inspiration of the evening continued as I got to see a real live knight - Sir John Jones - speak! He talked about creativity and individualization in education. I laughed and I even cried during his presentation!

I was pretty excited when he used the word "daft"! Sir John is British and it's a pretty British word, but I think he'd fit in well in our classroom!
Who do you think will get the best marks on this test?
 I hope you can see this cartoon. I really think it says some interesting things about education!

Sir John Jones talked about the future and told the audience of students, parents, community members and school staff that 80% of the jobs that you students in Room 209 will have don't even exist yet!

He reminded us teachers that it is so important for students' voices to be heard in the classroom. He said that classrooms often look like "30 children showing up to watch an adult work"! Many classes have the teacher talking 80% of the time. He suggested we try to switch that around and have the teacher talking for only 20% of the time and the students talking for 80% of the time.
 I want to talk about this in class. What do you think are the things we do most in class? What are the things you would like to do most in class?

Sir John said that the job of teachers is not just to teach students the subject, but more importantly, to teach students to love the subject and to feel passion for learning. He calls teachers "Magic Weavers".

A lot of the things Sir John said reminded me of the work we're doing in Room 209. He showed us a list of the skills students develop in Finland. They are called "Citizen Skills" and reminded me of our Class Expectations.
Citizen Skills in Finland
-Initiative and self awareness
-Personal responsibility

He also showed us the list of big ideas in education in Singapore.
Education in Singapore
-Teach less, learn more
-Problem solving

He spoke about his ideas that matched our "Outside the Hoop" thinking. He talked about being creative, breaking the rules, and taking risks.

I also loved what he said about great mathematicians. He used the word "resilience" to describe the perseverance that mathematicians show by never giving up. I think we should add resilience to our list of assessment criteria for Mathtastic 521!

The best piece of advice he gave, I think, and I hope you've read all the way to the end of this, is: "Find something you are passionate about, and find someone to pay you to do it. You'll never work a day in your life." I'm lucky that I am passionate about teaching, and I hope to help you all get on the track to finding your own passions this year!

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