Planning..With…Students

This year has been one of the most difficult years I’ve had as a teacher. Moving towards a more collaborative based structure with my students as planners has been a real struggle. Behavior and the ability to self reflect does not change in one year, yet I’m more than happy to take on that challenge….

Blank Canvas: Choosing the Best Brush

How often do we have the opportunity to express ourselves? What kind of brush would you use if you didn’t have breakfast in the morning? What type of color would you use if you slept the night on the floor? What type of image would you draw if your teacher always started the day with…

Comics: The Power of Design

Calvin is having a problem. He’d like to get back to Earth safely. Design a way for him to return to Earth using only 3 items. What do you notice about the above comic? How might we use design thinking along with this comic? What ideas would you or your students have to help Calvin…

Small Cubes, Huge Opportunities 

Throughout the last year I have been experimenting with the game based creation tool called Bloxels and I have been blown away by the possibilities. What amazes me the most are the attitudes of the students as they receive feedback from their peers and revise their game creations. These little blocks pack an amazingly powerful…

Do I have to work with them?

Think about that question in the title. What is that student really saying when they exclaim, “I don’t want to work with them!” Is it because students don’t want to share their ideas? Could it be that students don’t feel safe? Could it be the learning environment is not set up for collaboration? I really…

Wow! Thanks for sharing that Mistake!

I’ve been listening to the My Bad podcast recently created by Jon Harper and reflecting on how we can make these mistakes, that are all inherent in the learning process, be owned by our students. Think about all the mistakes we make throughout the day, how we reflect on those, and turn them into successes….

Thinking Differently

Throughout the day we have opportunities to think differently, to value thought patterns that might not be our own, and ask questions from different viewpoints. The question that I have been wondering about is how often do the adults think differently so that students can think differently? We are in a profession that is helping…

Perspective through Art/Design

I came across the #k12artchallenge today and thought that it would be a great way to bring perspective into what we do in our classroom. Perspective is:¬†a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Perspective is huge when it comes to design. Perspective allows for feedback, reflection, thinking. Perspective is…

Collaboration, not just with adults

To learn in just one way is to do a disservice to what learning truly is. Think of all the different ways that people learn, visually, online, books, social media, making, and more. If we were to just choose one way to learn, would we be better? Would we be where we are today? Those…

Challenging thoughts and culture

How we react to problems shows so much about the culture of a school, of a community, of a society. Think about what happens when someone constantly has en excuse for not solving a problem, what comes from that? Excuses keep us in the past, thoughtful reflection brings us into the future. When we begin…

Feedback……collaborative or punitive?

When I take a picture I get instant feedback on how I did. I can determine the exposure, color, framing, all within a second of taking that picture. Some might look at this as instant gratification, but I look at it through the lens of learning. You see, I really didn’t like taking pictures until…