Category Archives: Professional Activities

The Night before #TLDWpeel 2014

Cannot believe #TLDWPeel is upon us! Very excited for the next two day.

The inner workings of a "technology" teacher....well a teacher trying new things out

It’s the night before this years Teaching and Learning in a Digital World Conference #TLDWPeel and I sit here with my laptop in front of me at the island in our kitchen, coffee made, music playing in the background and my wife Shivonne (@SLewisYoung) to my left as we discuss our poster sessions and prepare for the two days ahead.  We certainly find our ourselves in a familiar situation with a little night before the deadline preparation.  For myself, I find the added pressure almost energizing.  Some might say that is the coffee but its Decaf.  Nonetheless, I am again super excited to be sharing some of my experiences over the next two days and I know Shivonne is just as excited to share her experiences.  Shivonne and a colleague will be sharing  their experience with Genius Hour in primary classrooms and I will be sharing my experience with using Social Media…

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Course Work with My Little Guy

I am almost completey done my Special Ed AQ Course. I have just my action research project to finish. Phil thought it would be a great idea to take Keelyn to the splash pad today while William napped so that I could have a few hours of quiet to focus. Great plan except William decided to nap for a whopping 40 minutes today so I was left to entertain a 2.5 year old while trying to work. Let me tell you it’s much easier to do this with Keelyn. You put out a bunch of craft things and that girl will go for hours. William not so much but… he did well today. It was much messier than I expected but I kind of just let him go for it. He did some gluing and I’m pretty sure it will take 3 weeks to dry. He also played with the sensory bins. I have two bins one with chickpeas and ones with lentils that I created as busy bins for Keelyn when William was a newborn. Keelyn is like me she would use the two bins but keep them separate and there would be little on the floor. William thought it would be more fun to mix the lentils and chickpeas and he also decided that they were better suited to the floor. He added scoops and cups and eventually his baby so it could play “in the sandbox mommy.”

My quiet work/activity time with William is certainly messy and a lot more busy but I’m grateful to have the one on one time with him. Usually when I need time to do work he’s napping or Phil takes him out and it’s just me and Keelyn. And I’m proud of myself for just letting the mess happen and let him create!

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Digital Leadership Conference 2014 #Peel21st

My colleague/friend Michelle and I spent the whole day preparing our Prezi for the North Field Office Digital Leadership Conference.  I’m super excited that our proposal to present at this conference was approved and we are going to get to share what we do and love in our classrooms – Genius Hour.

Michelle teaches Kindergarten and really every day is Genius Hour in her room.  Her classroom is a full on Inquiry Learning environment and a lot of what I know and have learned about Inquiry learning comes from her and the Kindergarten team that I use to be a part of.  Truthfully if you are not sure how to implement Genius Hour or Inquiry Based Learning then I encourage you to befriend a K teacher.  Spend some time in their classroom or chat them up on Twitter.  Better yet teach Kindergarten for a year you really will get a solid understanding of how it works!

I also use Genius Hour in my classroom and I’ve said this before but it’s been a game changer.  I started it because I have a wide range of students in my class and I wanted something that could address all their individual, unique needs at the same time and would allow them to feel good about themselves and be successful. This is totally happening and I’m so excited to share about it at the conference.

We are also going to focus on the technologies that we’ve integrated into our Genius Hour time like Twitter, PicCollage, iMovie, BookCreator, Educreations, Magisto, Aurasma, YouTube Capture, KidBlog, and so on.  After the conference I’ll share a link to our Prezi for all to view.  If you are a Peel District School Board teacher there is still lots of time to sign up on My Learning Plan for the conference on March 27th in the evening.  There will be an AMAZING Keynote speaker George Couros and you do not want to miss him!

Hope to see you there!

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