Learning Factories

Here is an excerpt from an interesting blog post called The Invented History of 'The Factory Model of Education.'  Schools might feel like highly de-personalized institutions; they might routinely demand compliance and frequently squelch creativity. But they don’t really look like and they really don’t work like factories. I disagree. I do agree that there was... Continue Reading →

How to learn?

Give it a try. Google "how to learn." I was expecting to see various learning theories from psychology or philosophical discussions of ways that knowledge forms and develops in the mind. Surely something like assimilation or accommodation would be somewhere in the list...? Google provided me with various links to online courses or articles promising... Continue Reading →

5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’

Last year I posted an article called Turn the Hour of Code into the Year of Learning. This year, I wanted to share a few ideas about how you might do that. After checking out some hour of code activities with your students (this year, officially, December 4 - 10), take a look at the... Continue Reading →

2D mapping project in Scratch

This blog is a reflection on a Scratch project I have been working on. I wanted to capture, at an overview level, my thinking and progression through this project. The purpose of this post is exploratory and preliminary. I’ve started a collaborative inquiry with one of the teachers I am working with this year, and... Continue Reading →

Learning Design by Making Games (in Scratch)

During the summer of 2016, I read this book (left) edited by Yasmin Kafai and Mitch Resnick. I was inspired by Chapter 4 (called Learning Design by Making Games). In it, Kafai described her study in which a group of 4th grade students spent one hour per day (over a six-month period) writing, designing and... Continue Reading →

A critical thinking paradox

Okay... indulge me! Try this experiment (and try it with your students, too!): Activity #1  - Think of a topic in which you have a strong interest, and broad, expert knowledge/skill. Then, search the web and find three really good sources of information for that topic. Activity #2 - Think of a topic in which... Continue Reading →

Modern Literacies

I received an email from a teacher colleague last week and it contained a single sentence--a question: "I wonder if you might give me your definition of modern literacies?" I was intrigued, not only by the question but also by the reason behind asking it (which she explained in a later email).  In any case,... Continue Reading →

Show me the math!

Where is the math in coding? As much as I think that the connections between coding and mathematics are obvious, I think that there is a process involved in noticing and noting when mathematical concepts are demonstrated--some are clearly in use in students' code and are easy to notice; other concepts are also in use... Continue Reading →

5 realizations that defined me as a teacher

Thanks to Jonathan So for the provocation: https://twitter.com/MrSoclassroom/status/900529785591431169 In my own mind, I prefer to think of my list as realizations that defined me as a teacher. Teaching grade one made me (professionally speaking) I have spent a total of six years of my career teaching grade one or a one/two combined class. My very... Continue Reading →

Star Wars and the micro:bit

“I wanted to make it play the theme from Star Wars.” So began a Grade 5 student’s response this week when I asked her what she was working on with her micro:bit program. It was her very first session with it but she, and the rest of class, did have several other experiences in recent... Continue Reading →

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