5 things to try!
With more and more school closures, travels bans and some countries in 'lockdown'; schools and teachers everywhere are planning, preparing and delivering quality education for their learners, at a distance. And, while nothing is as good as in person, we can make home learning meaningful by following a few tips while using Seesaw.
How else are you using Seesaw? Let me know in the comments.
Makerspaces, STE[A]M labs, and Innovation Hubs are popping up in schools near and far. Maker Programmes provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage learners to think, design, create, iterate and innovate as they get stuck into science, mathematics, engineering and good old tinkering.
A Makerspace is not solely a messy art room, robotics or coding spaces, wood workshop or science lab but is likely to contain elements found in all of these conventional spaces. Therefore, it must be designed (and equipped) to provide opportunities for a broad range of projects, with a wide range of hi and low tech tools and materials. Transdisciplinarity-- a holistic approach to learning across the programme of inquiry in a Maker programme is critical to the design cycle and process being successful, and they are what set Makerspaces and STEAM Buildings apart from single-use spaces.
Step into the Primary Makerspace at Stonehill and might just see:
Working with Karen (Primary School Principal) and Anthony (PYP Coordinator), we have designed a space to accommodate such a wide range of activities. Our facilities staff have helped us through this process -- plug sockets, sinks and a lick of paint!
We spent the earlier part of the year, researching, brainstorming an articulating our needs to generate a space that works best for our learners, and aligns with the mission, vision and guiding statements.
We opened our newly redesigned Makerspace in January. With the design cycle in mind, our learners can find a place to progress through the process. As they empathise, ideate, prototype, and test, you will see and hear creativity, reflection and innovation -- as they problem-solve.
With a weekly after school activity club, lunch time makers club and a shared schedule across the primary school; already our Primary School Makerspace is the place to be!
Stay tuned for further updates! Follow us on Twitter #SISLearns
If you are interested to learning more -- get in touch.
Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
At Stonehill, a shift towards distance learning begins with a consideration of how we can intentionally align learning engagements with our school, mission, vision and guiding statements.
Increasingly, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting more and more places around the world -- Italy, India and Brazil most recently closing its doors and moving into alternative learning spaces. The WHO Director General just this week declaring it as a pandemic. If your school is likely to close but hasn’t yet, make good use of your time with your school community to make sure that everybody is ready. As we are all learning and seeing, school directives can happen without very much notice.
Deliberately using the term remote and distance learning rather than technology-specific labels such as “virtual learning days,” “e-learning,” or “online classes” is a choice that reflects our Stonehill values and principles -- learning can occur at a distance without solely relying on digital devices and being tied to a screen.
Speaking of technology. Now, while we might not use technology-specific labels, it has been a key player in our approach to distance learning. We can leverage digital and experiential learning in ways that bring the curriculum to life -- even when we are off-campus. Earlier this week, I was with staff and faculty from both divisions of our school. With our Language B teachers, we explored alternatives [Zoom and Google Meet] to conducting Lang B orals in case of a coronavirus emergency. In addition, to Zoom and Google Meet/Chat, our Primary faculty explored Seesaw and Google Classroom.
I'll drop a Tech Tools blog post later in the week. Stay tuned.
Look after yourself and each other.
As we moved remotely, the message to staff and faculty was clear -- find ways to keep the day as normal as possible:
As always, stay in touch. Share your ideas in the comments.
This week in the Primary School, we joined in on one of the most extensive education movements: The Hour of Code.
The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2019 Computer Science Education Week will be December 9-15. We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our young learners choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how the technology works.
'Discovery Week' is a statement that Stonehill International Schol is ready to teach these foundational 21st-century skills, as we live and breath our Mission: "to provide stimulating, engaging academics integrated with enhanced opportunities for technological innovation."
Equipped with a natural curiosity and demonstrating a growth mindset, students across the Primary School were seen expressing their creativity using coding and technology -- using iPads to create, design and innovate -- not just consume. Screens aside, we were 'unplugged' (no digital device) in P1/2, P4, P6 and P7: Learning to visualise a process that accomplishes a task, as well as practising and refining the design process. All students were actively engaged, monitored and adjusted their learning as needed; with every single student having a voice, a choice, and taking ownership for their own learning during Discovery Week.
If you'd like to connect and collaborate or bring a Discover Week to your school. Contact me using the tab above.