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Learning Walk K-4

amy-kilbridge-quote

One of the keys to success as an educator is learning how to steal great ideas.  The best way to steal great ideas is to go on on a learning walk.  For the record, of course I am not talking about the unethical practice of taking from others.  When you allow yourself time and the freedom to wander around the school and witness the works of others it can be an enlightening experience.  

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to visit every K-4 classroom at MVPS with Nicole Martin.  We held ourselves to a quick pace and caught a glimmer of each classroom.  So this was not an in depth analysis of educational practice but it was very insightful.  During one class we saw students working independently, exploring various way to learn and practice math.  This reminded me that students need to have choice in how they learning.  In another class student were prepping for a debate.  Each student was spread out in various corners of the room reading and gathering information to create an argument.  Debate sound like a sophisticated endeavor but scaffolding properly all levels can create a valid argument.

I  witnessed second graders working in teams to craft public service announcements.  Some students creating posters and some writing messages to warn of the dangers of smoking.  I even was able to enjoy snack time while kindergarteners listen to an engaging book.  These moments allowed me to reflect on the joy of learning and the impact curiosity can have on  the learning environment.  

The learning walk was capped off by hearing the stories of students shopping at Home Depot.  They are in the midst of planting an organic garden and realize that wild animals like spinach also.  These fourth graders designed a plan to combat the critters and had to purchase the necessary items to bring their ideas to life.  Real World problem solving in action.  Next step learning walks on the Upper School Campus.  

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The Year So Far…

“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.”

John Dewey

Version 2

This marks week six of the school year and I am asking myself where has the time gone.  A lot of exciting things are taking place and my desire was to capture and reflect on these various experiences. Six weeks in and I have fallen short on the capturing, no reflective writings or moments of stopping and reflecting.  Right now I am in a state of doing and struggling just to “Be in the Moment.”  Here is what is happening in the world of JamCam…

  1. Grade 9 Humanities course is no longer a theory but a living functioning organism.
  2. The Humanities PLC still meets to craft, restructure and develop the program.
  3. Mentor Program for new teachers meeting 1 complete, meeting 2 coming soon.
  4. HOG duties are kicking in Folio Meetings, 73 and Under Reports, Team Building.
  5. Advisory with Grade 11 is different from Grade 9.
  6. Football Coaching: one last second defeat and one hard-fought win .
  7. MVIFI is in motion with Collider coming and School Visit day soon.
  8. The Teachers Guild is ready to roll: Civics Education and STEM.
  9. Both boys are in school, 2 year olds and 8 year olds have different needs.
  10. Leadership team still building capacity for PBLs, Instructional Rounds and more.

Those are the Top 10, more to come…

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