Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Flip Video

Last week I made this video on using the calculator to find key features of a Quadratic Graph. It reminded me that I had yet to blog on such aspect of my teaching! So here we are...!

At my school we have an online platform that students can logon and get homework, class resources and extra help. We are fortunate to have document cameras at our school and with a quick free download off the suppliers site can also use them to create easy videos! NB: No Academy Award will be awarded (but I am ok with that)!

The program is as easy as click - record - save - upload. I have found the easiest way to create these movies is by using a mini whiteboard. I use this if many students need to catch up (Language trip etc), summary of a new skill so they can review and practice at home, or flip lesson for understanding features on the calculator. Collecting materials, recording, youtube upload and embedding it in our site, all up took just over 15mins.

Why you should make your bed everyday

This came up in my news feed and by chance I clicked and watched it - and didn't regret it!

Life is busy. And especially busy when theres lots of change with work, demands from family, social events, celebrations, staying healthy, meetings, housework .... and the list goes on. A day in the life of anyone can make your brain boggle!!

The video below is of Admiral William McRaven 2014 Commencement Speech at the University of Texas. Making your bed is not high on your To Do List...? Well, maybe it should be...

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Slow Motion Photography: Illustrating Quadratics

Many years ago I came across an article that had an image of chronophotography of a water skier. Chronophotogrpahy places time lapse shoots on the same photo to show its motion or trajectory. I got really excited as it was a great way to illustrate motion in my class - and give a visual aid for students in my class. A few years ago, I made a set of two sheets for Quadratic Modeling using these photos as inspiration. I built equations and questions to suit each real life photo. It was a lot of work at the time, but the worksheets have been so effective I have used them every year in my class.

Design Thinking: LAUNCH

A link from my K-12 Design Thinking Course. This clip uses the acronym LAUNCH to pass thought the same stages of Design Thinking. Cute, powerful and to the point. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

W.I.N Time: What I Need

I got this idea from my wonderful friend and colleague in the 7th grade. This is great for a review lesson or project time. WIN stands for What I Need. I have used this frequently this year during a review lesson to give students choice and direction to use their time and differentiate. I will usually have a general review resource available, but also under the "other" heading supplementary activities (IXL) or worksheets to help those who need a little bit more support.

Friday, 1 April 2016

PD: Design Thinking

I have enrolled in (and just completed!) a course Design Thinking for K-12 Educators on Canvas Network. It's my first online course which I am excited to explore - both the format but also the content! Here are some of my notes form each Module.

Module 1: The Design Thinking Process
  • Go through the complete process of design thinking
  • Learn to apply empathy in the design thinking process
 (Links to an external site.)

A great introduction to Design thinking - even for those new to it - see video above. Complemented by an Edutopia Article outlining the 5 stages of design thinking Improving schools through Design Thinking

Module 2: Why Design Thinking? Why Now?

  • Explain what it feels like to be a student in your classroom.
  • Describe how the design thinking process might be useful to you and your students.
The promt question is, what do our student feel or what do we want them to feel in our classroom? Followed by some reading on preventing school students being tired stressed and bored and Can Design Thinking Help Schools Find New Solutions to Old Problems. One of the things that stayed with me was the trailer to Most Likely to Succeed (along with zaption). It emphasizes the shift needed in education towards design thinking:  
 analytical thinking + creative things = designs tackling ambiguous real world problems

Students must understand their audience, take risks and see falling isn't as a bad thing - but a way to get to the best possible solution. A way to blend ideas together, encourage creative thinking and growth midst.
In this module I also saw flipgrid for the first time! I thought it was awesome. It is a video collaboration and discussion platform.

Module 3: How do I engage my students in Design Thinking? 
  • Go through the complete process of design thinking
  • Learn to apply empathy in the design thinking process
A series of short and impactful videos by Graham Henshaw on Design Thinking using the "Wallet Challenge". 
He starts with a "false start" - not using empathy and understanding the audience..
Its an activity you can easily do with a class or with teachers in training to illustrate the importance.
  • Emphasize - explore how it fits in with their life, questions things that you think you understand
  • Define  -  create a Point of View Statement (POV). POV has 3 components – a description of a user, a resonant need, and an interesting insight that helps explain the need.
  • Ideate -  it’s not just random brainstorming, but leading to address the POV statement identified. Generate as many ideas as you can without filtering or evaluating - try to use pictures as much as possible, only using text to call about the details. Use a feedback capture grid.
  • Prototype - the goal is to create a physical manifestation of their idea so that their partner can really experience it. Low resolution prototypes invites feedback.
  • Test -remember to tell participants to “let go” of their prototype physically and emotionally. 

Module 4: How do I create my own Design Thinking challenges?

  • Create own design thinking project

Given a grid and example I set out to look at an issue (curricula or community based) to plan a Design Thinking project. i chose Gender Stereotypes, and my plan can be found here.

Through the discussions we explored what makes a good challenge and questions we had. I came into this course with one question - what is Design Thinking...and leaving with many more!! A credit to stretching and expanding my thinking! :)

Some further reading and resources from this section are: what makes good projects, design challenges for students.

PD Reflections:
I really loved this course. It was a great introduction for me into Design Thinking. The way it was pitched gently moved you from understanding the stages to then applying them to your own projects. The discussion boards were good to see other peoples thinking. 
Image credit