I was out walking in the forest with Lily & she was very concerned with where we were and did I know how to get back. I know one of her greatest fears is getting lost, but as a kid I got lost all the time. I swear sometimes we'd even pretend we were lost because it added an exciting element to whatever game we were playing in the back field. Road trips in high school & university often had a large getting lost aspect to them. I remember yelling at a Do Not Enter sign, "I'm not entering; I'm exiting!" because somehow we had gotten turned around in a place we weren't even supposed to be in.
But isn't that the point of growing and learning? Thinking you are going one way and finding it's not the right way. Trying to figure out where you'll go next or following an exciting path that you like and finding you are somewhere new, maybe even somewhere better. It involves failure. It involves our students taking risks & exploring areas of interest. It involves the engagement that comes with choice. I believe our students should be experiencing that!
I'm making my library board up in a couple weeks & want to know how you Get Lost! I have good guesses for some of you & I'm sure you know I get lost in words & the ideas they share. Unfortunately I don't get lost in the forest or on road trips as much any more.
How The Library Can Support Getting Lost:
Don't Be Chicken: Here's a different partnering strategy! I've booked an incubator & chicks for May to June from Green Acres! Planning that life cycle, animal, community or probability unit? Plan it around this event. It will be so much fun! Maybe we can even extend it with a Cow Patty Bingo as a fund raiser in the spring. I've got a connection with some farmers & cows....
Design Challenges: Although I'm happy to partner with people on technical aspects of computer programs and research, I can work in other areas too! Design Challenges are an important part of our Science Programs. They give students the chance to analyse a problem, explore ideas & experiment. PBS's Design Squad has a ton of great ideas to implement into your science programs and the library has the space for your students to build and explore without cluttering up your classroom. I would love to do more work with classes in this area!
Reading Strategies: I'm beginning to think of teaching reading & writing is more like coaching a sport than teaching a subject. It's not content based, but skill based. Our students need practical strategies to explore, practice, experiment with and, eventually, own. I'd love to partner with your class, whole group or small group, to work with students on strategies, so they are able to get lost in the information that pertains to their interests.
The resource which will support this is Jennifer Serravallo's The Reading Strategies Book. I read it this summer & am planning to use it in my language program. Each page has one of 300 strategies with a simple set-up we could use to develop skills with small groups or a class at large.
Even if you are a content-based teacher, there are some great series of lessons to support students' ability to interact with the non-fiction reading that will take place in your class & ways to build those rich conversations to support the thinking of all learners.
Getting It Out There, AKA Writing Fluency:
For our students to have the capability to express themselves competently & quickly they need to be able to write and type.
Starting in October, if possible, I'll be running Cursive Club for all those students who wish to develop cursive writing skills. One aspect of cursive writing is that it allows the pen to flow, so students can get ideas down quickly.
In January, I'll be running Keyboarding Club, so that students can learn to type quickly. Our students will be spending a lot of time with keyboards over the years and the ones that are ergometrically correct & might help them as adults avoid neck, shoulder and arm pain, need students to be able to type with two hands. The best program I've seen for this, and the one I'll be using is BBC Dance Mat!
I sent William to University this year....okay, I really sent him to a Makerspace Camp at UOIT. One, I knew he'd love it &, two, I knew I'd get to check everything out on the Friday when the parents get to come in & see what their kids are doing....
I like their structure of I Explore, I Do & Digital Learning. I think every month I'd like to have a different element for kids to explore on Tuesdays. They may have to sign up or it may be open ended. It could be crafty...making bracelets using all those weeded books. It could be computer-based, exploring different programs. It could also be techy exploring Lego Robotics...the board is offering training this year, Makey-Makey, Little Bits or Squishy Circuits. We could also use these in centres to go along with programs you are teaching. It could be a fun aspect of your program!
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Hopefully Laura won't tell me to getlLost when I ask for money for any of these initiatives!
If there is one you a truly interested in, let me know & I can focus on that one above others.
Come on! Get Lost with me in the library this year!
See you soon, Stef