Minute to win it

Today for our usual PMU (Pick Me Up) we did a Minute to Win It activity from the popular game show. A PMU is an opportunity to do something fun and an opportunity to see how the students relate together, handle competition and generally handle weird and wacky activities.

We have had many different types of scavenger hunts, dug out bindiis, completed jigsaws, played Don’t Make a Word, coin tosses, played marbles and solved conundrums etc.

It is fascinating to see who gets involved easily, shows enthusiasm (or not) and willing to take a risk.

Today’s 5c coin spin (Spin Doctor) saw a number of students get right in and have a go. Some held back until the last moment and one girl would not participate for some reason.

A small handful succeeded in spinning the 3 coins and trapping them with one finger in less than a minute.

I failed miserably.

Will definitely do this activity again and may suggest to the class to maybe run a night for families and friends.


Who is reading my blog?

I checked out the results on my ClusterMap today and it is amazing to see that my blog has been read in about 80 regions around the world.

My stats are not very high mind you so I won’t be leaving my day job any time soon.

It is reassuring to know that I do have a very wide audience, albeit quite small, and it gives me the confidence to keep writing about the wonderful challenge of engaging young people on their learning journey.

All teachers should blog?

Here is a blog post that really got me thinking.

Why teachers should blog.
“We live in a culture that tells us that you learn from your mistakes, yet which continually punishes and shuns those who make mistakes. It is teachers who have the power to change this. It is teachers who have the power to teach a generation that to fully live and to fully know one’s self is to fully live and to fully know one’s self in the public conversation. And that to be wrong or to come off as shrill is not always a bad thing; because those too are forms of experience and in reflection they too are to be learned from.”

I struggle at times to think of anything to write on my blog. What can I say? Have I got anything to say? Will it help anyone? Does it make sense? Why should I bother?

Why I continue to bother is that it helps me to reflect and focus on what is important.

It helps me to look at what I do and to try and find meaning and a way forward. To share this with others is scary and yet freeing.

Reflection on what we do is very powerful.

We ask students to do this all the time, so yes, all teachers should blog.

Sick – time to ponder how things are goin’

I have been crook the last few days and have had time to lie in bed and think and to browse the internet for brain-food on teaching and learning.

A time to recharge the batteries which have been steadily drained…

Also spent time on Facebook reading that some of my students were glad I was sick so they didn’t have to go to school…YOUCH! Still have a way to go for making school/learning more relevant…

Here are a few pearls of wisdom I found:

  • “I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.” (Mark Twain)
  • Take care that we pay attention to the kids, not to the content.
  • Much of what we do is unlearning school. (Elliot Washor)
  • The single most important contribution education can make to a child’s development is to help him toward a field where his talents best suit him, where he will be satisfied and competent. (Howard Gardiner)
  • There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed, and many many different abilities to help you get there. (Howard Gardiner)
  • “Don’t listen to what they say, watch their feet.” (Unknown)
  • Do, Think, Do (Big Picture)

When the student is ready…

Much of my time with my class is providing them with opportunities to DO…things, stuff, work, fun etc. Looking for the times they will get inspired then to show initiative…the spark for learning.
Then I found this neat proverb on a blog post about informal learning

When the student is ready, the teacher appears– Buddhist Proverb

This explains my role of an Advisor, rather than a teacher.

I am waiting, watching, provoking, challenging to see when the student is ready.

When they are ready I have the opportunity to teach, or advise, or facilitate, or direct, or ask questions.
Then the student is ready for learning.

The waiting and watching is the difficult part.

Many students have experienced years of frustration and failure and it takes time for them to be strong and courageous to have a go and DO.