Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I'm a Genius!

Yes, it's true, I'm a genius! How do I know this? because Facebook told me so it must be true. Apparently my geniusness (my own word - because I'm a genius and allowed to make up words) is demonstrated in my ability to notice the missing number in this sequence and type it in the comments below. 

Or because I can think of a word that starts and ends with T, as apparently less than 10% of the population can do this. The thousands of people gleefully posting their word in the comments below are apparently also geniuses as are those who, like me, can find the number 1 in a sea of 7s or solve this puzzle that has the internet baffled. 

Once my geniusness has been confirmed I could of course post an "Amen" for the poor sick child or the animal that has been cruelly mistreated, because I wouldn't be so heartless as to scroll past without liking, sharing and commenting. Because everyone knows that God will only save the child or animal if I post to Facebook and the post gets over 5000 likes.

Or maybe I can win one of 500 BMWs or the 1000 Round the world trips in the competition by just liking and sharing the page, the one that was only created a few weeks ago. It is a shiny,new page so it must be legit, right?

Joking aside, I am pretty sure that all the above are just "like farming" or setting me up for some sort of scam. But over and over I see them in my feed because a friend has liked, commented, shared or copied and pasted. So it is working for the scammers.

Then there are the "copy and paste, don't share" posts". Thanks to Allanah King for sharing this article which confirmed for me the reasons why I never do this.

It's pretty simple to stop these scammers in their tracks. All we have to do is think for a minute before we like, share etc that post. Think about why they might be posting/asking you to do this and ask ourselves is it true/real? How can I find out? While you are at it apply the same questions to any "news" you see posted.


Cima da Conegliano, God the Father

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Developing an Inquiry Disposition in the First Month

I was inspired to write this after reading a few posts from people I admire. Firstly  
Kath Murdoch's post 'Establishing a Culture of Inquiry Through Inquiry' caught my eye. In it she discussed some of the questions we might ask of students so that they are involved in designing the learning and developing a learning community in the classroom. Questions like "What do we need we find out about each other? How could we go about this?", "What should I (as your teacher) learn about you?" and my personal favourite, "What are you most curious about when you think about the year ahead?".

Taryn Bond Clegg showed what inquiry in the first week might look like with her post 'What Does an Inquiry- based First week of School Look Like?', I loved that students were invited to post their questions first rather than being told what the teacher thought they needed to know and their questions were honoured. "If Mrs Griffin was the answer, what might the question be?" was a great way to value students' questions as well as helping the students get to know their teacher.

Then this morning Leigh Hynes shared her post 'Okay - It's the First Week of School - What am I going to do with my students?', discussing how teachers in secondary schools might define their role through their actions, whilst developing strong relationships with their class and ensuring students understand the relevance of what they will be learning. In Secondary Schools, especially in the higher levels with the focus on achieving qualifications, it is very easy to lose sight of what really matters in a classroom in the rush to fit everything in.

So as you move through this first month of school here a a few questions to keep in mind:

  • How are you modelling and developing an inquiring disposition in the classroom?
  • How much agency do students have? 
  • When deciding things like what groups will be called or how the furniture will be placed, have you asked the kids?
  • Do all students feel that they are accepted,  welcomed and part of a learning community? How were students involved in that happening?
  • How well do you understand the purpose and relevance of what the students are learning?
  • How well do students understand the purpose and relevance of what they are learning? 
  • Are you a role model in the classroom? Do your actions match what you are asking of students?
  • How well do you know the students in the class and how much do they know about you?
  • Who owns the learning?
  • How will parents/whānau be involved in the learning?
I could also ask how you will develop the 6Cs - Deep learning Competencies of Collaboration, Character, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Citizenship and Communication, but that's another post.