Mathland Reflections – Game Design

One of my blogging goals is to share more often about coding to learn experiences of the students I am working with at various schools. Case in point, on Friday, some grade 5 students were hard at work during their fourth session (our first was October 3) of game design using Scratch. In January, they... Continue Reading →

Turn the “Hour of Code” into the “Year of Learning”

It’s great that so many students and teachers I know, and many whom I do not know (but am aware of via Twitter) are checking out code.org or other hour of code sites next week. There are so many great resources that always result in a fantastically exciting hour for students. Coding has become the current term... Continue Reading →

Why do you want kids to code?

I made this because I think there is an important distinction between learning to code and coding to learn.  I think the focus with students doing coding in schools should be coding to learn. Bill Ferriter’s graphic called what do you want kids to do with technology was the inspiration for my graphic. I created this for... Continue Reading →

Why play? Why inquiry?

I'm reading this book. It's hard, but it's fun. I'm playing around with the ideas and it's making me think a lot about teaching, learning, playing, and knowledge. Play, making, exploring, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, maker spaces, and so on... these are all justifiable reactions against the arbitrary segregation of various subject matter... Continue Reading →

Teaching as a creative act

I think children learn best within a social environment in which the group of people genuinely know and care about each other. I strongly feel that this forms the foundation for the most successful classrooms. To me, Rita Pierson in her 2013 TED talk described the need for relationships in education most clearly and passionately: “Every... Continue Reading →

Can expertise cause bias?

Can expertise cause bias in such a way that it prevents an expert from looking at new ideas with an authentically open mind? I was inspired after reading this blog post about "calling BS" on educational bandwagons, trends and fads. It struck me after reading Dean's post that, while I highly value the usefulness of... Continue Reading →

Spiraling cycle of design in Scratch (#peel21st April 2016 blog hop)

This blog hop topic of ‘design’ could not have come at a better time. Students and I are in the midst of designing a game called ‘Peela’ or ‘The Yellow Bug’ game in Scratch (click to try it). This project serves as an example, challenge and provocation for students. There are so many decisions that... Continue Reading →

What does global citizenship mean to you?

Recently, the Ontario Ministry of Education released "21st Century Competencies: Foundation Document for Discussion." I think that the outlined skills on page 56 in the 6th box called ‘global citizenship’ are excellent: I also really like the way the Asia Society discusses global competence.  Essentially, their central idea is that knowledge and skills that are explored... Continue Reading →

Five useful tools to support music education

Here are five of my favourite apps/online tools that can be used to create, share, or listen to music. In the list below, click on the name of the tool to visit the web site and find out more about what it can do and how to download it. Explain Everything (iOS & Android) This... Continue Reading →

Memorable learning moment (#peel21st Nov 2015 blog hop)

A grade six teacher and I had co-planned a series of sessions with her students around coding with Scratch. In one of the later sessions, I was working with a boy who was frustrated with the game he was making and told me he wanted to start over again.  In age appropriate words, I reassured... Continue Reading →

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