How might COETAIL transform your practice and impact learning inside your classroom? Watch COETAILers’ culminating Course 5 Final Project videos to take a peek into their learning journeys!
C.A.R.P Jr: Redefining Design Principles for KG-G2
As the K-5 EdTech Coach, I noticed there was a lack of design thinking happening across all grade levels. Thanks to Keri-Lee Beasley’s Design Secrets Revealed eBook I was able to support upper primary teachers in their quest to address these design challenges in G3-G5. But I wondered if G3 was too late to be introducing the four main principles of Contrast, Alignment, Repetition, and Proximity (C.A.R.P)? Children were creating and designing posters and eBooks right from Kindergarten.
But are the C.A.R.P terms too advanced and complex for early readers? I immediately thought of young children’s fascination with dinosaurs and recalled my younger brother (nearly 30 years ago) using their Latin names like ‘Dilophosaurus’ before he could properly read.
I figured, if young children can learn long complicated dinosaur names, the only thing stopping young children from learning the C.A.R.P principles was us, their teachers.
As I wind down into my final COETAIL post and final project reflection, I can’t help but think about my own journey as an educator, my increased involvement within a PLN and, the way in which COETAIL has motivated me to solidify my educational passions and amplify my voice to a larger audience.
I feel like the structure of COETAIL is so synchronous to my own thoughts on teaching and learning that is has permitted me to basically blog about whatever I wanted to blog about and deepen my own educational philosophy in the process. I have never felt more motivated or more confident in my top-three values which include my educational theory Spark iLearning, the facilitation of transformative performance opportunities and, the re-imagination of teaching and learning.
5 Creative Ways for Students to Reflect
Reflection is a powerful strategy but how can we help students to reflect in the classroom? Reflection can take on many forms. This digital download walks educators through practical options to support reflection in the classroom.
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I know that the collaboration that has happened over the past few months would not have been possible without technology. But, I am actually happier about the fact that I feel like I was able to make coding relevant by connecting it to concepts and ideas already being taught in early childhood classrooms. In this sense, I think that that I worked in reverse a little, and redefined ‘Redefinition’ in a way. Rather that redefining how a curricular unit runs after technology is integrated, I redefined how concepts in technology can be redefined to link authentically to the early childhood curriculum.
I have received some wonderful responses that have really encouraged me to make this project bigger and more global next year.
Could we have done this without technology? As one of my students states, the main benefit of connecting online was the immediacy of receiving feedback and the ease of the connections. It opened his mind to more possibilities and helped to change his thinking. Another student laughed as she explained that we could have sent the artwork by post, waited to receive a letter or some art in return! The project might have taken a year to happen!
My students redefined their learning about art, by connecting online and began to develop a PLN as a result. They are sharing their knowledge and ideas online and learning from others they have connected with in return. Grade 7 are uploading their demonstrations to their blogs as I speak, in order to share their skills with others and are hoping to see some in return so they too can extend their learning. They range from Photoshop tutorials to how to draw and eye, pulling together their own learning from class and their personal interests outside of school.
As an English teacher, I know that the literary essay is the bread-and-butter of the course. But it always seemed fabricated. Honestly, who writes an essay in the professional world these days? Very few of us and those that do were probably English majors in University.
While looking for a Rage Against the Machine song, I came across a fan-made video. I was stunned: here was the assessment I was looking for! It demonstrated an understanding of the content, utilized technological skills, and, crucially, enhanced the viewers understanding of the song.
The students loved it! While I had a core set of poems they could use, over 90% of students chose to find a poem of their own. When I asked those students why they went through the extra work of searching through content to find the right poem, the answers were the same: they each wanted a poem that spoke to them in some way.
I’ve never seen the class work so hard on a project, but this one was different: they could make it their own, they could follow their passions, and they could share it with the world. That’s what learning should be like.
Flippin’ (the Ess) Ay!
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