Turner's Graph of the Week
Related to our PDs on Close Reading, Turner's Graph of the Week is a great website for teaching graph-reading, which is a kind of literacy just like reading words.
Check it out and use it as needed for openers, special lessons, or topical tie-ins. Its a great way to teach reading in any course. Graphs relate to math, science, social studies, languages, and encore subjects.
For more specific lesson ideas and plans, check out the Lesson Ideas page.
My third grade daughter and I watched Big Hero 6 a lot over the snow days and in today's interview for our district IT videocast, I compared the headset our students use in our media center MakerSpace (photo above) to a similar controller on Hiro in the movie.
It got me thinking about how Big Hero Six is a perfect maker movie to capture our students' imaginations and inspire them to create their own projects in school maker spaces. The boy Hiro and his brother Tadashi are both makers. Sure, the "nerdlab" is pretty futuristic, but watching Hiro invent, have false starts, use a 3D printer and scanner, use a controller, hack existing designs, code, and, above all, decide to love school instead of reject what it has to offer, sends the perfect message to budding makers in schools everywhere.
The movie illustrates maker concepts such as design thinking, critical thinking, growth mindset, positive hacking to create a better world, and above all a maker attitude and ethos.
If you haven't done so yet, consider how to infuse maker ed into your class or school today. Here are 5 easy steps to start a makerspace from scratch in any school
Here is how to introduce a maker-friendly project in your classroom. You can always start with a clip from Big Hero Six to set the stage.
Gizmodo article showing the real life scientific inspiration for the movie
IO9 article about the show's science and artistic inspiration to connnect to your STEM plus arts or STEAM curricula
RELATED POST- Genius Hour lends itself well to schools that have maker spaces: Here is ours called Love of Learning
On Letting the Learning Be Messy
These two links below speak to the importance of a movement in ed that I am a big fan of: maker movement /genius hour /classroom as laboratory or studo.
Both of these links talk about how important it is to let kids run with their hare-brained schemes.
I am all for teachers whose gift it is to provide security and structure. However, back in the day that was considered the ONLY way to teach. I am certain that what public school's greatest gift to children, especially poor children, can be is NOT militaristic structure but a workshop and dream making space that they do not get at home but rich children (or bohemian artists' children, or the hyper-educated's children) do-or at least their parents ship them off to camp for once a year- if they are not like the moms in these stories who open their homes to chaos with a smile
Upshot for teachers - if you can be patient and let the learning be messy kids can achieve their dreams
Things Teachers Can Change
Sometimes I get bogged down with what's going wrong in the larger ed reform world.
During those times it's helpful to focus on what we have the power to change immediately as we continue to advocate for those changes others need to help us create.
Math teacher Justin Aion started this hashtag on Twitter and I ran with it enthusiastically (there's no other way I run)
Many of the ideas I shared in the #ThingsTeachersCanChange list are directly inspired by YOU-things you've told me, things I've seen you do, things we've discussed together that matter in ed.
If you or your students are feeling demoralized and need a bit of a pick me up, click the image to read the hashtag ideas, and also please add your own ideas! (If you need to make a Twitter account, contact me and I will walk you through it.) These are things you can change right now and you may like them. I'll be out of town on Saturday, but this is my way of helping the cause, using somethign I know how to do
New Page on this website- Check out Celebrating Piedmont!
I needed more space to show off the things you do so I created the Celebrating Piedmont page because there is always something special going on around here! Call me and I will add photos of your event.
I've only begun to put up my backlog of Piedmont amazingness. Check out the posts on Read Across America, some of the Olympics stuff, and ...
Coming soon I'll publish the great projects I see on display as I walk down the halls (like the art , math home design, science planets, LA cinquians and industrial revolution projects, too. I might turn it into its own website.
Search This Site:
Search this site: Use a Google search, type the words you are looking for and append the phrase "piedmontpd.weebly" to the search.
Lisa Gurthie is the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary holistic education, and unschooling school to reconnect academia to real life. One day she will modernize her "about" page. She curates this blog for the professional development convenience of the teachers at Piedmont, but the editorial comments are her own.