Saturday, November 19, 2016

Connecting With Experts Using Hangouts

Over the past few weeks we have been learning about ecosystems and the impact humans have on their delicate balance. My teaching partner came across this website and we signed up for a camera spot. We connected with National Geographic Education's special guest Jonathan Colby who is studying frogs and the impact of the Chyrid fungus on their survival. The students listened intently as he described what he does (loved the idea of hanging out in tree canopies in the rainforest), and how they are working to protect amphibian species. Students from all ten connected classrooms from around North America had the chance to ask questions at the end of his talk. It was an incredible opportunity to connect with an expert and really brought the curriculum to life. 

Check out the website here to book your own camera spot:

Grade 7 Students listening to Jonathan Colby's talk. 

Curriculum Links

Provoking thinking about human impact and change.
See tweet below for link to watch the hangout:
Continuing the connection with our class Twitter Feed:

Connecting with experts and organizations through Google #hangouts provides us with such an incredible opportunity to make the curriculum come to life for students. It is empowering for them to see and hear how people are making a difference in the lives of others (& lives of frogs).

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Trials and Tribulations of Trying

Our subsequent prints have led to some rather interesting results...

 It is our thinking that the filament got tangled about half way through the printing process which led the extruder to be pulled and the calibration offset.

Although the print was not what we intended, we do believe it is a rather beautiful failure - almost a work of art!

I sent our images to the M3D tech support and they stated it could be an issue with the motor. They suggested we conduct an x-axis skip test and record the process.

Let me pause here and note the vast amount of learning acquired through our trials. So far as part of this project we have uncovered the extruder and examined the mechanisms, learned the logistics of calibration, and used the manual to navigate the software to perform diagnostics tests.

It is clear from our x-axis diagnostic test that our motor is skipping. We attempted to rotate the rod to a looser position as it states in the troubleshooting guide with no luck.

M3D tech support responded that a new motor should solve this issue and have sent a replacement.

We are in a bit of a holding pattern in terms of printing until our new motor arrives ...

Have our experiences been perfect so far? Definitely not!
Have we experienced set backs and frustrations? Absolutely!
What learning is perfect and free from set backs?

Although we are looking forward to successful prints, we recognize that failure is a part of learning and this is an important, and often uncomfortable, realization.

What's Your Sentence?

Last week, we visited Daniel Pink's website as a class and viewed examples of "What's Your Sentence?" responses. Students then spent some time thinking about who they are in a quest to come up with their own sentence. I found it quite incredible how much you can learn about somebody from simply one sentence. What is the essence of that person that they wish the world to see of them? Powerful!  

Students then added personal reflections about their sentence to their blogs. I am adding purposeful time for meditation, prayer, and reflection to work towards the Catholic Graduate expectations. This includes providing more opportunities for students to reflect on who they are and how they wish to impact the world they live in. 

As the students completed their own blogs, I reflected on my own sentence to model reflective and creative thinking. Summarizing oneself in as few words as possible is a difficult feat. Who am I as an educator, a leader, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a colleague? This is what I came up with ...
She had a feeling heart and a curious mind. 

What do I mean by a feeling heart? As long as I can remember, I have been someone who feels things deeply and seeks to understand the feelings of others. In my personal relationships I am someone who takes on the role of nurturer and caregiver. Sometimes this has led me to disappointment when others don't seek to feel and understand in the same way. This has also brought me a great deal of happiness as being valued is something that is important to me. In my role as an educator, I have the privilege of connecting with many and I believe my feeling heart helps me build relationships that encourage others to reach their potential. 

A curious mind? Just this past weekend I spent the afternoon on a forest walk. I paused on many occasions, looked up and observed the leaves falling and the clouds meandering across the sky. I am a wanderer and a person of wonder. I want to know and understand how things work, how we learn, and ways to connect this with my everyday life. I don't claim to be an expert at any one thing. I am in a constant state of learning and that's just how I like it.  

Is this my forever sentence? Likely not! I think it changes as we change and evolve, but spending the time reflecting on who we are and how we want others to perceive us is valuable. 

I wonder how conducting this activity with staff at a school might impact the culture and community....

What's your sentence?