My Day of Learning – Eco Schools and Maker Spaces

The students of 3B haven’t been the only ones learning.  I’ve had the opportunity this year to attend a lot of Professional Development. Some, physical which has had me out of the classroom and much on Twitter and online which I can participate in from the comfort of home in my pj’s.

This past week  the same day (Tuesday) I was given the opportunity to participate in both forms of PD. And when I went to bed it took me a while to sleep as my head was full of ideas, questions and excitement.

The first session was hosted by Peel and Dufferin Peel school boards.  It was about becoming an EcoSchool.  One of my colleagues and I have taken over the Green Team at Massey. Our predecessor retired this June and she was very eco active so we have big shoes to fill.  We’ve been just trying to figure out the recycling side of things so when we saw the opportunity to attend a workshop on becoming an EcoSchool we thought why not!? It scared us a bit.  I mean what would the commitment factor be.  We are both moms with young children and life has us feeling very swamped as it is so taking on something else might not be so great.  However, we left feeling very good about the process and it’s the kind of thing that you can start small and build upon so we are going forward with it!  Massey Families reading this stay tuned we are going to need your support!

The second session was an online learning community I am lucky to be a part of.  It’s a Social Media and Open Education graduate course through the University of Regina.  I found it this fall through Twitter.  I follow Alec Couros on twitter @courosa and he is the professor of the course and he had tweeted about the course being open to non-credit participants and network mentors.  I jumped at the amazing opportunity and I’m so glad I did because not only am I able to share my personal experiences weekly I’m learning a TON. This week the talk was focused on The Maker Movement and was hosted by Sylvia Martinez author of “Invent to Learn” .  Can I just say total mind blowing experience.  For me it takes inquiry and project based learning to a whole new level.  Give kids hands on materials (e.g., circuits, wires, batteries, LED, Makey Makey’s etc.) and let them tinker, computer, program and create and see what they come up. This totally fits in with our #geniushour projects we are already doing and it scares me because I don’t really know where it will go and I don’t understand most of it to be honest.  But I do know that I HAVE to do it. I’ve been researching what to include in our Maker Boxes but I also know that I have to teach some code and I’ve been told that Scratch and Code Academy are great starting points.

I totally welcome any other suggestions for coding, programming and what to include in Maker Boxes.

Arduino

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