I love working with teachers that trust you. I have been working in a school for 18 months now and one particular teacher, just wants more all the time. They are open for change, they want to shift their thinking and pedagogical practice and work hard to do so. What has been happening in this class over the last year has been really rewarding and amazing to watch, but today we crossed a threshold. We have had an alignment of several factors. The teacher has continually updated and reflected on their pedagogy, allowing me to encourage them to move more, to think bigger, to genuinely enable student agency and today, the students paid back and the teacher’s eyes have now been truly opened. The Rubicon has been crossed pedagogically, I witnessed magic today and these are the moments that make my job as a facilitator wonderful.
I have taken some screenshots from the conversation chain, I was not even working in the school in question today, but was there on Monday, where I really laid my cards out on the table, clearly the message was heard and in the intervening time, a real shift has happened in the classroom.
The website the students have produced is secured behind the schools sharing permissions, so I can only share a simple screenshots of some of the content, but the content and the quality of what is being generated on this site is amazing. However, the QR codes will take you to YouTube videos that the students have created. For reference the journal is the result of a book study of Stone Cold and a unit of work that we co-constructed called Stone Cold Roulette and was a transmedia focussed project, that used the book as the basis for what the students wanted to find out about/investigate, related to the book but not about the book.
What is evident is that the students have agency over their learning and they know it, learning has now become personal to the students, they have ceased having to endure being taught someone elses agenda and are now learning, learning what is authentic and engaging to them. As I said earlier the learning Rubicon has been truly crossed in this class, on to the next challenge!
I was in a year 1 class today and the teacher had set up a directions activity with the class. She had adapted my teddies activity and was using giant playing cards for the students to use as a grid or maze for them to collect teddies along the way.
What I was particularly impressed with was the precision of the language that these year 1 students were using. The teacher had used a key feature of each of the walls in the class, the numbers, the sink, the colours etc to enable the students to orient their character in the maze, without them having to use left and right, which is a directional skill they have yet to master. This solution was excellent, you can hear the precision of the language in the video clip.
I have been working in several classes today and the teachers were sharing with me how they are integrating CT into their classrooms. A year 1 teacher was keen to show me the colour mixing activity the students had done earlier in the week.
The teacher said that the students were really enthusiastic about the task. Initially the students rushed head long into the activity, but as soon as they saw the colours change progressively, they immediately became more measured and logical in their approach, used the algorithm to mix and record the progressive colour mixes. The students were amazed at how the colours changed as they followed the mixing algorithm.
The teacher will now use these mixes as a display for the students to reference when they paint in the future and the teacher will only put out primary colour paints in the future, so that the students have to use the colour swatches and the algorithms to get the secondary colours they desire for their creativity.
We have been creating a lot of activities that allow teachers and students to hone their computational thinking skills, but without needing to use a computer to do so. These non-computerised computational thinking activities are called “unplugged” activities.
We have been sharing these resources with our clients and they have been testing them. The feedback from our clients and the students is that they are really engaging.