This week we explored how play helps us embrace change. We also discussed what implications this has for us as professionals. Several students defined what play was; this was not an approach I took, however I enjoy learning through play. I often watch my youngest child play and am amazed at how much she is learning just by playing, even by herself. I think as adults we forget how much we can learn by just exploring things. Along with exploring comes an element of risk and a willingness to change. While I am not comfortable with taking risks in games, I am comfortable taking risks in the classroom. Since I am not a gamer I am fearful of anything that might force me to take a risk or might be scary. In the classroom I view risk taking in an entirely different manner. I want my students to see that I am willing to look at how education and technology are changing and try new things in the classroom; even though these changes involve taking a risk.
I spent some time reading through Thomas’s page. He mentioned how much students can learn when teachers are willing to try new things in the classroom. Students learn that even teachers are uncomfortable with change, but they also learn that change can be positive and can be looked at in a positive manner. I shared some different ideas with Thomas that might provide differentiation and choice for his students. I suggested he look at using TicTacToe Boards and that he explore “Genius Hour”. I also spent some time talking with Megan about Genius Hour as well. Google initially came up with Genius Hour to offer time for their employees to pursue their own passions. Employees were allowed to use 20% of their work time to work on their own projects (provided that these projects had the potential to be used for work). Now, teachers are looking at using this same idea in the classroom. This seems to mirror Dave Burgess’ idea of finding your passion and using it to be a successful teacher. Now, we can help students find their passion and be successful as well!
Finally, I discussed Kagan Strategies and Robert Marzano’s Strategies with Leslie and Donna. Kagan structures are a great way to improve engagement in the classroom!
I also began working on the Wiki page by reviewing one game. I have only begun this process. I spent some time reviewing Math Baseball. I have not written a summary of my evaluation yet, but I have filled out the teacher side of the rubric for this. I am finding it difficult to keep up with all of the different blogs, wikis, and class assignments, but I am trying.
Burgess, Dave. (2012). Teach like a Pirate. Dave Burgess Consulting Inc. San Diego, CA
Embrace Change in the New Year with Genius Hour. (2014). Retrieved from http://gettingsmart.com/2014/01/embrace-change-new-year-genius-hour/