I've had some great lessons this year. Here are my top 3:
3- Makerspace with grade 3s. Students were given certain materials to accomplish certain tasks. For example they had to build a bridge that would hold a certain weight or make a marble run with turns and loops. One of the final projects we did was using the idea from the cardboard challenge and create a fair game using concepts in the forces unit.
2 - Robots and coding. This year I was lucky enough to get PD in this area and then our school purchased many different robots to use in the classroom. My favourite are the Dash and Dot robots but I have used the EV3 and WeDo lego kits as well. It's interesting to see some students who traditionally excel in school and struggled with coding, where some students who struggle with traditional schooling excelled in coding. I struggle with coding because my brain needs to be trained to think in a programming way. So even though I may not have a natural ability with the subject, I still find it so fascinating and want to push myself to learn more. I also see the grit and resiliency strenthening in some of the students I work with.
1- Garage band app rocks! I used this app twice this year. The first time students created a Health PSA using the app to record their voice and add music for effect. The second time students made a silent movie and added music for mood. They also used iMovie to edit the video and audio. Through these projects, I saw students collaborate, organize and plan effectively and these are good life-skills to have.
The year is drawing to a close and reflection is how I cope with the transition, I feel a sense of pride in my learning this past year and I am glad I made the change.
*this post was written in June 2016 and published for viewing Sept. 2016