Originally posted on KSSreads:
As a librarian, it is always concerning to read about books being banned. The larger implications created when we narrow the opportunities to read, think, share and learn, are trouble for society. Diversity in our culture builds understanding. The diversity of ideas in books should be a reflection of our reality. Constricting access to ideas and authorship doesn’t protect our children but rather put them at risk. Loss of empathy, hate or radicalization is a likely result. The current discord and misinformation about race and theology in the Muslem community is an example. We need more knowledge and empathy not less. Books, especially well crafted literature, like Hussein’s Kite Runner, provide potential for discourse and freedom of expression.
Many classrooms around the world use the Kite Runner or provide copies in their libraries. Most schools use this title with Grade 12s. Like many situations, one needs to know…
View original 171 more words
I read this blog awhile ago during #etmooc course but thanks to my Twitter PLN, I rediscovered it. Today, in the climate of confusion and discontent in British Columbia public education, the themes could not be more contradictory with our classroom experience. Teacher professional development and reform doesn’t function in a vacuum. It is organically growing within the classroom setting- embedded with our young people. It is rhizomatic learning. Adapting, reaching out, and evolving in multiple tentacles, Pro-Dev thrives with good soil and fresh air. The BC Government is currently smothering teachers and even elected school boards. Public education as a societal ambition demands an empathy and execution much like we now see our ecological issues. Schooling is an organic collective of human beings much like a sensitive but resilient environment. It can absorb many body blows yet wanton disregard for life does result in extinctions and degradation.
People learn collectively and individually. Teachers and pupils forage for meaning. They flourish when nomadic not constrained inside a cage. The cages may be the restraint of many policies and cultures. Wreckless or ideological, leadership needs stewardship of people and environments not just accounting. BC education IS people. It is a living thing. It’s rhizomatic. Parents, teachers, students and our public deserve to treated by their elected officials less like container ships of iron ore and more like a rich vegetable garde. Teachers should be respected more like proficient caring gardeners and less like endentured labour. Leadership, like good parenting cannot be arrogant. Like gardening or parenting, family or nation, our children need measures of experimentation, boundaries and love. David Cormier’s blog, although assessing paradigms, is observing human relationships and culture. How does your garden grow?
Cormier tackles pedagogy and approaches change with the #rhizo15 paradigm. His insights are interesting for teachers embracing their own professional development. Sadly, #bced Bill11 is legislating mandated PD structures for teachers, while espousing ‘personalized learning’ for students. The paradox, if not hypocrisy, of this government’s strategy flies in the face of many progressive education reform. Teachers need considerable professional autonomy in order to be innovative and effective. The climate of teacher learning does directly impact the nature and degree of student learning. – Al Smith
- Why do we teach?
- What does successful learning look like?
- What does a successful learner look like?
- How do we structure successful learning?
It is that map that I think successful learning looks like. Not a series of remembered ideas, reproduced for testing, and quickly forgotten. But something flexible that is already integrated with the other things a learner knows. Most things that we value ‘knowing’ are not things that are easily pointed to. Knowing is a long process of becoming (think of it in the sense of ‘becoming an expert’) where you actually change the way you perceive the world based on new understandings. You change and grow as new learning becomes part of the things you know.
Sounds a bit like networked learning…? The rhizome is, in a manner of speaking, a kind of network. It’s just a very messy, unpredictable network that isn’t bounded and grows and spreads in strange ways. As a model for knowledge, our computer idea of networks, all tidy dots connected to tidy lines, gives us a false sense of completeness.( Cormier )
What does a successful learner look like?
In a recent blog post i tried to offer three visions for ‘what education is for’ to help provide a departure point for discussion. Workers take accepted knowledge and store it for future reference. They accept that things are true and act accordingly. The soldier acquires more knowledge and becomes responsible for deciding what things are going to be true. The nomads make decisions for themselves. They gather what they need for their own path. I think we should be hoping for nomads.
Nomads have the ability to learn rhizomatically, to ‘self-reproduce’, to grow and change ideas as they explore new contexts. They are not looking for ‘the accepted way’, they are not looking to receive instructions, but rather to create.(Cormier )
Cormier, D. “Dave’s Educational Blog.” Daves Educational Blog. N.p., 5 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://davecormier.com/edblog/category/rhizomes/>.
Time for Bed
Your kids aren’t sleeping enough—and neither are you
Emily Carr’s British Columbia
An unsettling journey through the archives
In 1884, the ban on the potlatch ceremony struck an additional blow, crippling an important mechanism for the consolidation of community and identity, and for the transmission of knowledge, property, and clan entitlements. Finally, as the twentieth century dawned, the landscape was increasingly ravaged by industrial logging practices. No longer was the natural world honoured as the seat of identity and spiritual connection, as it had been for millennia. Rather, it was aggressively reframed as a commodity, with Indigenous people struggling to find an equitable footing within the new economy. That struggle continues today.( Milroy)
When Elizabeth was three, social and emotional lags became apparent. “Alarm bells were starting to go off,” says Claire. She and Elizabeth began seeing an infant psychiatrist in Burnaby. The problem was a lack of sleep, but she had developed other behavioural issues that were more worrying. Elizabeth had several different diagnoses, including anxiety, a developmental coordination disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Children with chronic sleep deprivation are often misdiagnosed with ADHD, as both conditions result in distracted, frenetic, and grumpy kids.) The ADHD medication exacerbated Elizabeth’s difficulties, making it even harder to fall asleep. In addition, she developed a facial tic, and her emotions ricocheted up and down. When she told her mother, “My brain is crying,” the family….(Ashenburg)
Ashenburg, K. (2015, May 1). Time for Bed. Retrieved April 22, 2015, < http://thewalrus.ca/time-for-bed/ >
Milroy, S. (2015, May 1). Emily Carr’s British Columbia. Retrieved April 22, 2015, < http://thewalrus.ca/emily-carrs-british-columbia/ >
Originally posted on The Unquiet Librarian:
For the last month or so, I’ve been working with a section of Honors 9th Language Arts (hopefully, another more comprehensive post coming on this endeavor later in the spring). After completing a class study of To Kill a Mockingbird, the students selected a motif of choice and began presearching a topic of choice related to the motif. After completing a presearch search term map and arriving at a narrowed topic (which I’ve blogged about earlier this semester), we moved forward with another and more focused round of presearch while using EasyBib to capture information sources and take notes. After approximately two and a half weeks, most students had a body of notes on their focused topic. However, after many 1:1 student conferences and a formative assessment of collecting and reading their notes, the teacher and I realized many students were struggling with:
1. Recording relevant…
View original 1,507 more words
APRIL 29- MAY 2 , 7pm firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Some teacher directed Professional Development at Kelowna Secondary School. The KSS Library is sponsoring and guiding some workshops for faculty. The sessions will include brief demonstrations and exemplars of connected teachers and conclude with discussion and Q/A. Small group or individual instruction and collaboration follows as requested later in the term. All workshops are in the Joseph Boyden Learning Commons. Breakfast served in advance :-)
Workshop sessions for KSS teachers.
APRIL 22, 3:30-4:30pm
Social Media for Teachers
APRIL 23 3:30-4:30pm
Twitter for Professionals
APRIL 29 7:45-8:45am
Connected Learning: using social media for instruction and assessment.
- A) Social Media for teachers
- Blogging for teachers- as a web page, discussion or PD platform
- Blogging with students- as a writing and production platform
- Twitter as teaching tool
- Twitter for professional development
- B) Online Multimedia
- Streaming video options
- Managing YouTube or other video
- C) Curating print and online resources
- Curating and evaluating resources
- Using Annotated Works Cited tools for instruction, inquiry, and assessment
- Social Bookmarking with Diigo,
- Dropbox, and/or GoogleDocs as curating platform
Originally posted on Big Rocks First:
Trent Leon, a student from Anahim Lake Secondary, takes a shot on his hero, Carey Price, on a recent visit to Montreal.
Mikel Brogan is the Principal of Anahim Lake School. Last Friday afternoon, Mikel and I sat down in my office to watch a video telling the story of a young student from his school who had the chance to spend time with his hometown hero, Carey Price, a couple of months ago in Montreal. Of course, the video was not a surprise for either of us as the preparation time, a week of filming in the school and the Anahim Lake community, and a crazy few days in Montreal had been pretty intense. It had been six weeks of anticipation leading up to the release of the video on youtube. After watching the video, it was pretty easy to predict that the video had an excellent chance of going viral. At the time…
View original 1,443 more words
Some powerful strategies with many cross-curricular applications THX
Originally posted on Messy Professional:
Notes for presentation at the October 2014, BCTELA conference, Cultivating Passionate Learners
Why I organize my teaching around essential questions:
McTighe and Wiggins (Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding. Alexandria: ASCD, 2013, p. 17) outline several reasons why essential questions are so powerful. They:
- Signal that inquiry is a key goal of education.
- Make it more likely that the unit will be intellectually engaging
- Help to clarify and prioritize standards for teachers.
- Provide transparency for students.
- Encourage and model metacognition for students.
- Provide opportunities for intra and interdisciplinary connections.
- Support meaningful differentiation.
Below, I have outlined some of the questions and texts I have used in my classes.
Some principles in these units:
- I like threes. I think it is important to have more than two texts to consider.
- In each of the following examples, these are anchor texts. That is to say, we take them in…
View original 644 more words
We are celebrating our freedom- how about you? KSS OWLS – “we got spirit, how about you? ” #owlproud Who’s house? Owls house!
In contrast to our cart of banned books, not only to we lend a broad collection of books to teens, we give books away- free! Share the joy Canada. Visit your library now to celebrate choice and access.
Celebrate Freedom to Read Week
February 22-28, 2015
Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Freedomtoread.ca)
“Champions of Free Expression.” Freedom to Read. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. .
Originally posted on :
Students at West Bay Elementary School
I walk into almost all of our schools in West Vancouver and very often the first thing people want to show me or talk to me about is the changes happening around the library. Or more specifically, schools are taking great pride in their learning commons spaces that are developing. While the physical spaces are exciting, the changes to our mindsets are far more powerful. We are not destined for new schools in West Vancouver anytime soon but the rethink of the library has been both a symbolic and concrete shift in how we think about space and how we think about learning. The school library – a centre piece in schools – is now the modern hub for learning.
I like the library metaphor from Joan Frye Williams (shared in this blog from Joyce Valenza):
Our libraries should transition to places to do stuff, not simply…
View original 561 more words