March 20

My Vision for Education #IMMOOCB3

My vision for education? That is a good question!  If I had my druthers, what would my classroom look like, how would I teach, what is important for students to learn to be successful and prepare them for their future? There are so many aspects of education that I feel are important that it is hard for me to get my hands around it. So, right now all I have for you is a list of words that I feel are needed in education. These words make up my Vision for Education (for right now):

Student Centered

Collaboration

Creativity

Voice and Choice

Student Led Presentations

Coding

Research

Questioning

Critical Thinking

Empathy

Risk-Taker

Planner and Orgainzer

At this point, this is my vision for education. Under construction and to be continued….

March 20

School vs Learning #IMMOOCB1

There are many ways that I build on the conditions that support innovation. Project Based Learning connects very well with the LEARNING side of the diagram. Questions are what start any project. Students learn about fat and thin questions and how good strong questions are needed to guide their research. Students conduct mini-projects based on their passions and interests. Voice and choice are an important part to students’ education. They are empowered and excited to research, create a product, and then turn around and be the teacher by sharing their findings with their peers, parents, or a global audience. Students enjoy the social aspect of projects. They often ask if they can do projects together. Collaboration is so important to my students that almost every project is a group effort. The impact of the LEARNING side of the diagram on my classroom has been huge. Students love coming to school and they feel empowered in their learning. Students are motivated and excited. It has positively impacted the culture of the classroom and classroom management is easy. Now, don’t think that my classroom is 100% LEARNING side (drats that it isn’t). Students still take some time to find answers, they consume, I have a schedule…but, Project Based Learning connects well with LEARNING and I will continue to look for ways to bring more LEARNING and innovation into my classroom.   

March 20

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships #IMMOOCB2

I have been teaching for many years and have learned that the relationships I have with my students is the key to a strong, positive classroom culture. There are a number of things that I do throughout the school year to build and keep the relationships positive and strong. The classroom community is strengthened everyday because of the Morning Meeting. We greet one another with a smile, take some time to share our thoughts, and play a fun game. Personalized notes or verbal comments are shared with students often. These comments or notes come from the heart and are geared toward something positive the student has done at school, home or in the community. Humor is used often in the classroom. It’s the silly things that everyone enjoys. Smiling, giggling, laughing and sharing joy always brings people closer together. It is the small things that count: greeting students at the door with a smile, dancing with the students because it is a great day, showing students empathy and that you care and  understand them. Building strong, positive relationships is the key to a strong positive culture.

March 2

Purpose of Education

First off, thank you to George Couros in getting me to take this first and very big step in starting a blog.  I have read The Innovators Mindset, by George Couros and signed up for the #IMMOOC which started February 27. George has set up reflective questions for each chapter and has encouraged participants to write one post a week.  So, this is my first post on my blog, “Quest for Innovation in Education.”  It is a little nerve racking putting myself out there for others to read…here it goes…

What do you see as the purpose of education?

For me, the purpose of education is to make sure the future generations of our society are questioners, creators, problem solvers, innovators, risk takers and leaders.  I want to live in a society where children have the right to learn, the right to decide what they want to learn, and the right to question and then question again until they are satisfied with the answers.  The purpose of education is to  inspire students to explore, create, to dig deeper and want to learn more.  Their education should stretch their strengths, make them hungry for knowledge, and give them the courage to try, fail, and try again until they feel successful. The purpose of education is to help students make opportunities for themselves and then, take those opportunities and grow.  Students need to stay curious about their world.  They need to ask questions, work together, find answers, teach each other, create, innovate, and share their knowledge.  Students need to be present, involved and be a big part of their education.  They need to have voice and choice and they need to be heard.  The purpose of education is to prepare students for today, tomorrow, for life!