The power of a personal learning network shows itself to me in ways I could not have imaged 15 years ago. Today my peers, my students, my friends, and even some family members keep my network flourishing with timely ideas and knowledge. I have been delinquent in my sharing, but today I share an article sent to me from one of my current students. Good find and most appropriate as we head back to school.
As districts across the country purchase technology at a feverish pace, they must ensure they have a solid implementation plan.
As I was going through my selected readings I come upon this article about cursive writing. I have not been a fan of teaching cursive for quite some time, but maybe I need to rethink or at least reconsider its importance. I have excellent handwriting and always have. I take time to form all of the letters to make a readable copy. Even my signature is readable, not a typical scribble I see by many. This article does make me think about what cursive writing can do for someone beside good penmanship. We need creative learners so maybe we need people who can write …and read…in cursive.
There’s a brain-building skill schools are teaching less and less.
On April 26, 2016, iBuild Academy, Inc. celebrated its Grand Opening. The event was well attended and open to the public. It was great to see so many community businesses supporting the idea behind the program. We are having fun with children through hands-on interactions supporting science, technology, engineering, and math themes. We have built physical fitness courses in Minecraft, programmed robots to follow a maze, attempted some Rube Goldberg machines, and built weight-bearing bridges so far. The more the children are engaged in the process, the more learning takes place. The biggest area of improvement with the children has been in their social skills. Respecting the space and working with others are two of the main areas we focus on as children are solving the challenges presented to them. The future is here and iBuild Academy is doing their part to instill life long learning in science and technology.
Today is the last day of the first month of operation for iBuild Academy, Inc. We had many firsts and I am proud to say Month 1 was a huge success. We had several children take monthly sessions in all three ecosystems, Minecraft, engineering, and robots. We had a huge turn out for our first Day Camp. Both sessions were full of excitement, problem-solving and fun. But I think the most fun was the Parent Night Out. The theme of the night was “An aMazing Adventure.” Everything the children did during the course of the event was based on a maze. The warm-up activity was a simple paper-pencil maze, that was pretty difficult. the teamwork started at that point. Then we started on the main even activities. In small groups students built a maze for the robots to move through, a marble maze was made in sticks and cardboard and then mazes on the ground and in the sky were created in Minecraft. The children were so busy we had to force them to stop so they could eat dinner. I find it very satisfying that iBuild Academy is immersing the minds of the children into creative problem-solving tasks that they are having fun doing. Parent Night Out hard a hard time ending. The good news is there is another one next month. March 2016 is Month 2. We already have children signed up for monthly sessions and Spring Break Camp. I predict another successful month. Take a look at the intense faces from the last 30 days.
Teaching kids to think is what iBuild Academy, Inc is all about. A skill that will stay with them for a lifetime. Children learn by playing games and practicing. They need to practice solving problems and testing problems. Preparing kids to take a test demonstrates what they remember at a given point in time. However, understanding how to pick a problem apart and start to solve it is when real learning shows up, a skill that is lifelong.
This is what I have been saying for years. If reading is meaningful to kids they will read. They will need the information to help with their project or activity. I have heard so many parents tell me that their kids learned to read from playing games. Many computer games provide clues or tips to help advance through the games. Following directions when building a complicated toy is another way to increase and improve reading skills. Let’s keep it real.
Should we invest our limited education resources in teaching critical reading skills or in what’s known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and math? Here’s how to do both.
I have been using Google Forms for quite some time. It is a great way to collect information and have it neatly organized for you. My good friend Alice Keeler is a Google Forms guru and loves spreadsheets. She is always sharing her knowledge about how she uses Google Forms and her tips are really useful. Take a look and see what you think.