MaKey MaKey | A Creative, Unique Gift Idea for Everyone | Electronic Invention Kit - Buy Direct (Official Site) Bedtime Math Origami is creative math fun - Bedtime Math Origami, the ancient Japanese art of folding papers into shapes and artful forms, continues to evolve and attract new artists into the, ahem, fold. Origami requires spatial reasoning skills, thinking in three dimensions. It builds an understanding of geometric shapes and concepts. Origami is also creative and fun. I look forward to the Origami USA Conference each year so I can marvel from afar as my friend Debi Pfitzenmaier posts photos of her teen son’s amazing creations along with those of other talented folders. Move over soccer moms, Debi is one of a growing number of Origami Mommies. Origami is a hobby that can lead to lucrative careers that require math and modeling. Getting Started Debi advises parents to start children building relatively simple things like airplanes and other basic representations. Libraries and art centers may host origami classes or camps like Debi’s son once attended. Patience, Grasshopper Your child’s early pieces may not be much to look at. Intrigued?
CHS Short Stacks | They're short for a reason! Genius Hour Ideas On Friday my classes made their genius hour topic selections. At the beginning of the class I told them that I was changing the name of our time together from “Passion Projects” to “Genius Hour”. They seemed to appreciate the thought of me thinking they were all geniuses. I pulled up our brainstorming pages from last week and went through them again. I explained why some of the selections were great and others stunk. I them told them that we would be selecting our genius hour ideas. My classroom doesn’t have computers in it, so we all packed up and went down the hall to the computer lab. As the entries came flying in, I called them up one by one to either approve or deny the project. In the spirit of transparency I’m going to list all of the project selections that I received. We have not spent any time discussing the creation part of the genius hour projects. Genius Hour Ideas – 6th graders Once the students selected their topics they began their research. Until next week… That problem.
5 Year Olds Coding Without Technology Melissa Dann () is a prep teacher in Melbourne Australia who has begun exploring the concepts of coding with her five year old students. Yesterday she sent me the email below. As she reflects on her own practice, I applaud her confidence in considering a blog post – way to take a risk! As such, I asked if I could quote her here in this space to get comfortable. Hi Brian, Here is a quick overview of what been happening in my classroom teaching coding to 5 year olds. Game : Robots and Programmers Children work in pairs. Language development is an important part of the activity. I kept it to a maximum of 10 steps as the children were keen to ask their robot to take 100 or even 1000 steps however we realised (by counting how many steps it took to cross the room) that 10 was about right amount for the size of our room. After playing this game the first time, it became apparent that we needed a way to decide how far a turn was, eg ¼ turn, ½ turn. Thanks for your encouragement and support.
Agile Learning Center | Manhattan Free School The structure of an Agile Learning Center is designed to nourish a productive, vibrant, and healthy culture – allowing participants to engage authentically in a learning process that cultivates confidence, dynamic skill sets, mental agility, self-awareness, and group skills. Morning Intentions The day kicks off with a Morning Intentions meeting, which operates much like a scrum stand-up meeting would in an Agile Management environment. Each person takes a turn announcing their intentions -- making declarations for how they will spend the day, and making requests for any support they may need. This simple process only takes about ten to fifteen minutes, but serves an extremely important purpose of starting each day with intention and accountability. Afternoon Accomplishments The feedback loop that begins with Morning Intentions comes full circle at the end of the day with another standup meeting called Afternoon Accomplishments. Kanban Boards Weekly Sprints Coaches
Some Videos to Inspire at Back to School I wrote my post asking administrators to inspire us back to school simply because of my own hopes and dreams. I wrote it in the hopes that it would make someone think while they prepared their own meetings and activities, and it seems to have done just that. One question I have then gotten is which videos to show at back to school? Brave by Sara Bareilles – I will be showing this video to my students as well, but the message in it applies to everybody; I would love to see how big your brave is! The Fairy Scientist – to remind us how kids wonder and we should cultivate that. Suli Breaks – Why I Hate School but Love Education. Suli Breaks – I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate. Rita Pierson – Every Kid Needs a Champion. Diana Laufenberg – How to Learn? Introduction to Genius Hour. Kid President – A Pep Talk. Jimmy Casas shared the videos he shows, there are some great ones here too I haven’t shared. And then why not create your own school vision video like we did a few years back.
Twenty Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning In honor of Edutopia's 20th anniversary, we're producing a series of Top 20 lists, from the practical to the sublime. 20 Tips for Managing Project-Based Learning 1. Use Social Media One of the best ways to document collaboration and engage students with technology is use social media platforms like Edmodo. Students can use it to share ideas, you as the teacher can use it to formatively assess where students are in terms of products and content knowledge, and it is a great way to have real evidence of collaboration. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Bonus! A quick note on these tips: There is no real silver bullet to get every single kid under the sun engaged in your classroom, but good teachers use all the strategies they can muster.
Christine Moynihan: The Look, Sound, and Feel of Effective Math Instruction SimCityEDU | A game-based learning and assessment tool for middle school students covering the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong | by Alina Tugend NMSU: Learning Games Lab - Learning Games Lab