49 Replies Latest reply on 12-Jul-2018 3:31 AM by aflynn

    Module Two: Discussion

    teachontario.team

      What are your thoughts on the research presented in Module 1? Do you see parallels between “making” and Piaget’s work? Share your thoughts here...

        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
          mattlet2002

          Making allows us to better understand what we are doing and provides opportunities to develop questions for further inquiry.  I look at my neighbour who has a habit of purchasing old lawnmowers, snowblowers and BBQs at garage sales.  I ask him why he buys these things and he tells me - "I want to see if I can get them to work".  Could he acquire his knowledge and skill by someone telling him how to fix these things?  No.  He learns how to fix them by working on them.  This was Piaget's theory.  We develop greater background knowledge by doing.  Making provides students with opportunities to become involved in their learning.  I liked how the video showed that one of our responsibilities is to provide students with the experiences to help develop the file folders in the brain.  I spoke with a teacher last week who has Car Trunk Monday.  Basically he doesn't unpack his trunk from the weekend and then on Monday his class looks through the trunk and works with the materials, such as assembling a tent.

           

          Coding gives students experiences to acquire different concepts and knowledge through a different methods than a textbook.  The connections I have seen so far between coding and teaching Math concepts support Piaget's theory.

           

          One question I need to consider for next year is how to approach maker tasks in the Library?  Do I attempt to connect maker tasks to the grade level curriculum, or do I hop around the different grade levels to help develop background knowledge for future learning? 

            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
              christygarrity

              Hi Matt,

              I think I might be your neighbour and you are talking about my husband. He was one of the original "makers." some people call them hoarders and some people call them makers. Needless to say, everything can be fixed and if it can not, at least there is learning that happens from the taking apart and looking closely. This can happen in our classrooms if we provide the right materials and the opportunities. I am just now seeing the connections to making and coding. I am a novice and eager and open to learn more.

              thanks for sharing,

              Christy

              • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                aspinabr

                The library is a fantastic space for "maker" activities.

                 

                I have had better success linking to any curriculum I notice. If my grade 7s are building with Makey Makey, I try to refer to grade 6 Science (circuits) - whatever I can do to make it authentic and meaningful.

                 

                Is there an opportunity to have different grade level classes participating at the same time? I wonder if different teachers would recognize different curriculum entry points.

              • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                angelo

                What are your thoughts on the research presented in Module 1? Do you see parallels between “making” and Piaget’s work? Share your thoughts here...

                 

                I enjoyed watching the videos presented on the Constructivist Theory/Piaget Theory/Seymour Papert models. I loved the analogy of experiences becoming file folders of schema in children's brains and how children can either gain connections or make/accommodate and make new folders when they add or create experiences. I never heard the Contructivist Theory be explained like this and found it to be very easy to remember and understand this way.

                 

                To me there are so many parallels between "making" and "Piaget's work" because it is through "making" that experiences and as a result new file folders can be created. Providing our students with opportunities to make and develop their understanding instead of simply being "told" things is key.  Planned and purposeful experiences are vital in our classrooms because they help students to learn and thus make and create their own meaning and understanding/learning. Student engagement and interest is key. If we as educators plan engaging, tangible, and relevant experiences for our students then they in turn will be able to create more deep connections. As a result, they will experience more powerful learning than if they were just "told something."

                 

                I also enjoyed watching the Scratch tutorial and loved seeing how coding allows students to construct their own meaning and build on experiences/make connections.

                • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                  christygarrity

                  What are your thoughts on the research presented in Module 1? Do you see parallels between “making” and Piaget’s work?

                  After reading the article and watching the research videos, I was a bit overwhelmed and needed to re-watch them again to help me get a clear picture of constructivism and constructionism. I was hung up on the comparisons: I am a visual learner so I made a chart.

                  Paget: (Constuctionism) Mental /thinking, conscious, Theory and science.

                  Papert: (Constuctionism) Physical, doing, active, method and practice           

                  But both believe in children taking control of their own learning. I connected with the statement, “We can not teach anyone anything.” That we do not learn by lecture format or transmissive forms of instruction. I was shockingly reminder of this, by the comparison examples: strapping a jet engine to a stage coach, having today’s surgeon going back in time to visit a hospital and showing the clear progress that has been made through history. But that an educator could go back 100 or 200 years and know exactly what to do because we have not changed a thing.

                  Our new K document and communication of learning is such a departure form the old ways. It was a long time coming but I and many of my colleagues have whole heartedly embraced it. We provide the opportunities for our “curriculum” to unfold naturally through daily hands on collaborative activities that are based on the interest of the children in front of us. It seems like a revolutionary model but this is what Piaget and Papert were talking about.

                   

                  Piaget began talking about this in the 1950’s and Papert in the 1980’s and we are still debating the merits of “making” in education today. Leaders in education have been talking about the “maker movement” for over 50 years! The content may have changed but our teaching practices have not. Shame on us! Are there opportunities in our faculties of education to value and support inquiry based learning and the maker movement? It has to start here and then grow out from there. Faculties of education do not even encourage placements in K classrooms or have connections to the leaders in the maker movement to bring this to the educators who are most receptive to creating change. There is a need to have these discussions with administrators and higher ups so they support those who are trying to make a change and plant the seed for others who are reluctant to change. There is such a disconnect that I worry that the few who are strong advocates may give up I was asked to place separate language, math, science etc. blocks of learning on my schedule but refused. Our learning does not happen separately. My lesson plan is completed after the days learning and includes pictures, student voice, learning notes and next steps. Having that blank plan in the morning can be intimidating but also liberating. The maker movement is alive and well in many classrooms. I would not go back to the old ways. It is what this generation values that will be our legacy.

                    • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                      The comment about a teacher going back in time and knowing exactly what to do was a real eye opener for me as well. I teach Kindergarten too and can attest that the maker movement is alive in our classroom.  Several years ago one of my parents jokingly accused me of stopping by all of the recycling bins on my way to work everyday as these materials were reflected in his child's creations.  It is not surprising that some of my favourite books are Not a Box and Not a Stick ! I agree that learning is constructed in a social context through experiences and access to expertise.  This course is a perfect example of this.

                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                          Hi Jane,

                          One question that I always get from my colleagues is about what/how our K families feel about inquiry based learning or maker spaces. They are shocked to hear how supportive our parents are and that they often join us in our investigations and always contribute a variety of materiaks that they think we could make use of or we would find very interesting to look closely at.

                          My faviourite books are:

                          I wonder by Annika Harris

                          What To Do With An Idea by Kobe Yomada

                          The Most Magnificent Thing

                          Iggy Peck Architect,  Ada Twist Scientist, Rosie Revere Engineer By Andrea Beaty

                          There are so many great resources and books to help spark children's imangination and encouage them to develop an idea through trial and error. The first step as an educator is believing that this is the best way for children to be problem solvers not problem makers.

                          Thanks,

                          Christy

                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                              Thanks for sharing your book list Christy...I love the Andrea Beaty books too!  I saw a Marcus Pfister book called Questions! Questions!  on a site that I thought looked interesting as well for inquiry.

                              You are so right when you said the first step as educators is believing that this is the best way for children to be problem solvers. Our Grade 5/6 teacher has this mindset and he worked with his students on some very cool projects this year (robotics, gardening, rocket launching). I was so excited to see them outside, out of their desks, engaged in hands on activities. It is possible for Grades other than Kindergarten to learn this way...the Trojan horse is there...we just need the army inside to make it work!

                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                              mrsnerino

                              I love Not a Box!  I've used it to launch the first day of classes, and the response and engagement I got was amazing.  Kids worked on their "not-a-box" for the rest of the first week, and it was a nice way to set the tone for a more inquiry-based environment.  I literally plunked down some boxes and loose parts, read the book and got out of the way  

                          • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                            Wow!  I have certainly been adding to the existing file folders in my brain and creating some new ones today.  This was a great analogy.  I agree wholeheartedly that children must be engaged in their environment, experiencing and figuring things out on their own in order to build schema. The role of the educators are vital in setting up this environment with invitations and provocations and then acting as facilitators or guides. I was reminded of Bengimin Franklin's quote, "Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn." We often discuss at staff meetings when student disengagement with learning and school occurs?  They seem so keen in Kindergarten.  The quote from today that stuck with me was "Education has very little to do with explanation.  It has to do with engagement. Falling in love with the material."  We are lucky that we have a new program in K that values play and inquiry but that is just the beginning.  We have so many colleagues that want to follow this model in other grades but are afraid because it does not correlate with their report card.

                            After watching the clips about Papert, I wondered what his thoughts would be on the focus we are putting on Math in the province now that the EQAO scores have dropped?  He certainly recognized that not everyone learns the same way or is even interested in the same things and how does one measure this?  The creation of Mathland might be the answer.

                              • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                ferren

                                The Constructivist/Constructionist material was interesting to me, to a point: I don't think that anyone who doesn't believe in the value of learners being given the opportunity to create their own meaning through the learning process would be taking this course to begin with. After all, isn't that what the gradual release of responsibility model is all about? I very much enjoyed the video about Scratch. As students learn to take the first steps toward making personally relevant modifications to the program, I can see them beginning 

                                to appreciate all that coding can offer them. This is exactly the type of insight that I hoped to take out of this course. I have downloaded the Scratch PDF guide, and plan to gain - through my own experimentation - a thorough understanding of Scratch before school resumes on September 5th.

                                • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                  We have a sign on our classroom door that says: " Welcome To Team Wonder World." I think we should also add another one that says, Welcome To Math Land.  K educators are so lucky to see maths in everything our children do. Our job is to Name it. I had so much documentation to support the Deminstrating Math and Literacy Behaviours frame that it was hard to choose.

                                  • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                    I love the Benjamin Franklin's quote.  We talk about it often during staff meetings too.  I know what I must do, but I am not sure how to do it.  I am not very creative and that is my problem for coming up with all those cool ideas.

                                  • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                    lkl88

                                    When watching these, I thought about those students who, for one reason or another, zone out in class. It doesn't matter what they are told or asked, if they are not actively processing what is going on, they are not going to learn. Active learning can be students moving around and physically building, which to me is Papert's extension of Piaget's ideas, or it can be mentally working out a strategy to solve a problem. How many of us have read a page in a book then realized we don't remember what it said? Learning depends on focus and actively processing information. For many students, physically manipulating concrete objects (and making) allow them to focus on the tangible in order to create their own paradigm. The physical materials demand problem solving and troubleshooting that helps students develop a variety of practical skills as they build and test their ideas. The physical artifacts of learning are available to more of the students' senses, and there are more opportunities for exploration than any lecture might provide. Hands-on learning is in many ways more developmentally appropriate than "traditional" methods. 

                                    I really like the file folders analogy, and plan to use that with my students in the future.

                                    I was less enthusiastic about the Scratch video. When my own kids began with Scratch, they started into it without any intro--just experimented and played with it. I think that there is a huge benefit to doing that rather than copying and modifying existing programs, at least at the outset. I believe that that sort of play would require a greater level of engagement and experimentation than modifying existing programs. I do like the hints menu though, and I think that might be a useful way to scaffold for students who are struggling.

                                    • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                      ejinks

                                      I enjoyed learning more about the educational theories underpinning coding and the maker movement. I agree that students learn best by doing and the work of Piaget and Papert are revolutionary. It saddens me that Papert's work has been so misunderstood by the educational community. I am a child of the 80's and I remember our trips to the computer lab at a different school to work on the Logo program, moving the turtle around and creating our little programs. Unfortunately, Papert's idea of being immersed and learning about computers through exploration did not happen for me and my peers. Instead of focusing on learning through making, computer instruction was reacting to a pre-programmed "game". I hope I can help my students find their Mathland.

                                      • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                        deannapecaskimclennan

                                        What are your thoughts on the research presented in Module 1? Do you see parallels between “making” and Piaget’s work?

                                         

                                        I fell in love with Papert's ideas the moment I was introduced to them - I see so much beauty and passion in them and feel they relate completely to what we are currently trying to achieve in Ontario's FDK program. Never have I been more passionate about the work I do, or the importance of early childhood, than I am now.

                                         

                                        I'll be honest and say that I always seem to need a refresher, even after my refresher, on Piaget's work. Like others have mentioned in other posts, I tend to get hung up on his terms and travel back in time to my old ed psych courses. The video was a much needed reminder of just how influential his work is on emergent curriculum in kindergarten and why we must honour children's previous experiences and ideas as they relate to ongoing explorations. Every child enters kindergarten with different pre-school experiences and these can offer a wealth of ideas to the classroom. It can also be a challenge when children's experiences are quite limited.

                                         

                                        In our FDK classroom we embrace a playful, inquiry-based approach to the curriculum. The children are the heart of our classroom and their interests, strengths, needs and next steps guide our every day work. Educators offer thoughtful invitations to supplement the child-directed activities happening at the centres, and making really is at the centre of every area in the classroom. Whether children are creating art using recycled and consumable materials, designing and constructing with loose parts, repurposing objects for dramatic play in the house centre, composing pictures, letters and stories at writing, or using natural materials for invented games outdoors, they are always making.

                                         

                                        One of the biggest reasons I feel coding is perfect for kindergarten is that it really is another makerspace; children can imagine, design and create using digital tools. Not only does it inspire rich math and 21st century competencies (which all children in my opinion have a right to learn) but the creation that coding inspires empowers children to think beyond the metaphorical walls of our classroom. Coding and tech can travel beyond their immediate space and help children connect with others in the community and beyond. It's incredibly exciting to think of the potential and I have so much to learn!

                                          • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                            I totally agree that making is at the centre of everything we do in Kindergarten.  I am always amazed at what the children do with the materials that are provided...often something that I didn't expect!  The children are natural innovators and problem solvers.  A few months ago one of my students asked if I wanted to go bowling.  He brought me to the carpet area where he had stood up the magnetic arms from our Magneto set and gave me one of the magnetic spheres from the set for my bowling ball! I am sure the designers of these materials never anticipated this! I look forward to seeing what the students in our classroom do when they are provided with another means for innovation and problem solving through coding.  I am learning right along with them.

                                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                              Hi,

                                              I agree that a refresher is always needed. I can not remember studying the work of Papert but he is a significant figure so I probably did. Maybe this is support that adults need to revisit their work just like the children enjoy doing in our K classrooms. My favourite Papert comment that spoke to me was that, Children develop intellectually without being taught," Mathland is such an interesting concept as well as in Our classroom math is everywhere.

                                              I also believe that coding when simplified is about making, which is the only way we explore and investigate in our inquiry based program. I am ready for the challenge that is coding. I hope to be proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

                                              P.S: Your work and your sharing has been an inspiration to all of us looking for a place to start and for validation that we are authentically doing what we know is best for our children.

                                              Thank you!

                                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                              fronkstags

                                              The main message, that children learn by constructing their own knowledge through experiences, is a great way to focus events in the classroom. The “making”, or “creating” part is the key component to deep learning. It provides the opportunity to interact with, manipulate, test... the material or concept being taught. This is why “makerspaces” have become popular. The initial instruction is a valid place to begin, to focus the attention to the learning goal. It sets the stage, and provides context, but if what Piaget is true, the real learning begins when students are then given the opportunity to construct something tangible that someone will see. It extends to Papert’s idea of “mathlands”, where learning happens as a consequence of experience, and making something. This is why we post to discussion areas, we have to take a concept, demonstrate our understanding, making it ours, build our thoughts, and then share with each other. Essential, each of us has created a product!

                                              • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                                 

                                                I definitely see parallels between making and Piaget's work. In fact, both are making. Piaget is having students make new ideas, theories, concepts and Papert is focussed on the physical construction or reconstruction of things. And while Piaget doesn't require a 'maker' approach,  Papert's constructionism inherently requires a constructivist theory component if it assumes that students are creating and using their own schema to build.

                                                I love the research and ideas presented in both theories, though admittedly do not foster them enough in my own classroom though I have a renewed sense of purpose to that! The analogies given by Papert, through his colleague and student in the Tedx talk were amazing. And so on point. You can go back 100 years to another classroom and be able to pick up where the kids are and asking if a computer is necessary for all children is akin to asking if a pencil is. What strikes me most though is that some of these comments were made almost 40 years ago.

                                                • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                  iainbro

                                                  An anecdote.

                                                  At our learning area functions and PD, I am sometimes identified as 'that math guy.' The conversation usually goes like this:

                                                  - Oh you're that guy who teaches math!

                                                  - Nope. Not me.

                                                  - But aren't you the one who gives inservices and everything?

                                                  - Yup. But I don't teach math.

                                                  - You don't?

                                                  - Nope. I teach children. They need to learn math.

                                                   

                                                  Inexorably, we are slowly getting to the point where we are going to have a truly child-centred learning system. Dewey hints at it, Piaget let us know why it works, and Papert laid down the foundations of how to go about it. The making that Papert talks about does not have to be a physical thing, nor does anything in the maker movement. The important aspect of the making is that you will be sharing it. The idea that you should share the knowledge that you have gained publicly is at the centre of inquiry- and project-based learning. How you share it, in an ideal classroom, would be up to the student. That knowledge should be public and shared with those who do not have it yet is incredibly motivating to kids. That we reach them in a way that satisfies their learning needs and styles makes them into better learners. This is also a central tenet in Ontario's Learning for All and the FDK program. If the FDK program spreads upwards, we'll have made it.

                                                   

                                                  Iain

                                                    • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                      mrsnerino

                                                      Hi Iain,

                                                       

                                                      You've highlighted something that I'm trying to balance in my own teaching.  I whole-heartedly believe in the tenets of Learning for All and in the way in which the FDK program is designed.  The open, inquiry-based, four frames curriculum seems to lend itself especially well to constructing and experiencing learning.  The current 1-8 curriculum, although of course inquiry is still possible, is less open and developmentally appropriate in many areas.  I agree that the FDK program needs to spread upwards.  Until then, though, I'm finding that it's a very challenging transition for both students and parents.  As a teacher, I'm often torn between letting the kids have at it and learn deeply about an area of interest and my responsibility to 'report' on specific topics and themes. 

                                                       

                                                      I know it can be a bit of a minefield...but I'm curious to know how others have experienced and handled this. 

                                                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                          iainbro

                                                          Hi, Christie.

                                                          I'm finding that you can find all sorts of links to the different curriculum subjects when you go big with inquiry.

                                                          Climate change? Science, math (easy links), language (receptive to learn, expressive to share), geography in 7/8, social studies 1-6 (study of our world), history (lets us see things in relation to the past), the arts can be a way to help our expression when sharing learning. Coding can be used to model situations so that we can either experience something or explore it. Here's a morbid one about mosquitos and malaria. https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/145628420/#editor

                                                           

                                                          My kids like being assessed for more than one thing at a time. It's more efficient. It's definitely more realistic.

                                                           

                                                          Iain

                                                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                          mattlet2002

                                                          As a teacher-librarian, I see the challenges in advancing concepts such as coding and makerspaces to the higher grades.   For a number of reasons, the FDK and the younger grade teachers seem to be much more receptive to trying these ideas.  It seems like we have arbitrarily decided that at a certain age we need to abandon Piaget's theory and promote a more traditional style of learning.  I spoke to a middle school principal recently who talked about his struggles with changing the teaching and beliefs within his school away from how people think a middle school should work.

                                                           

                                                          We know that education seems to swing on a pendulum and I feel that coding and makerspaces are step in bring back Piaget's theory.  We lost many of our traditional design and tech and/or family studies programs a decade or more ago.  Students lost that ability to build and construct.  Now we are attempting to recreate this learning through activities such as coding.

                                                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                              iainbro

                                                              I am totally with you, Matt.

                                                               

                                                              I am used to hearing teachers saying they have to get the kids ready for the next grade (without really understanding what that entails) as an excuse for [insert old style teaching method here]. One great high school teacher took me aside once and said that all I really needed to do to get my grade 8s ready for high school was to teach grade 8 amazingly, he would take care of all the grade 9 stuff as that was his job.

                                                               

                                                              We are using coding and CT in our classrooms not as an add on, but as part of the learning process. We're using it mostly in math right now, but we hope to branch off into other areas as well as we gain experience. It's like what Papert said about pencils vs computers.

                                                               

                                                              Iain

                                                          • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                            mrsnerino

                                                            I decided to do my own little experiment on the parallels between 'making' and Piaget/Papert.  I set up a Scratch account and put my laptop in front of my 6 year old to see what would happen.  He clicked around for a few minutes and checked out the different commands available in 'create'.  He strung a few together, then tried for a bit to get the program to run.  "Hmm," he said, "I'm missing something.  What am I missing?"  He then went to YouTube and searched for a bit until he came up with the Scratch tutorial, which he watched without sound.  "Oh!" he said after awhile.  "I need those browny-orange directions to tell it to start!".  Back to Scratch he went, in search of the 'browny-orange' directions, and within about 15 minutes, he was able to string together enough of a program to get his little cat sprite to perform some basic actions. 

                                                             

                                                            I'm currently taking a Jo Boaler Mindset Maths course, and she talks a lot about the philosophy of only providing a method once students need it to solve a problem -- and then, only providing as much of the method as needed until students encounter a new need.  It's not about "hoarding" the knowledge, but it is about ensuring that it's contextual and meaningful.  Because students have already struggled with the concept, their brains are primed to acquire and understand whatever new method they need.  It struck me that my son's own inquiry was a lot like that -- instead of listening to the tutorial, for example, he just watched it, then went in search of 'browny-orange directions' to solve his particular problem. 

                                                             

                                                            It's all about how deeply a learner is invested -- those are the parallels I'm seeing.  Genuine investment, as opposed to false excitement built up with 'pretty lessons'. 

                                                              • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                mattlet2002

                                                                This philosophy of problem solving is very relevant today as we try to teach in our technology centred world.  I like how your son used 21st century help to figure out Scratch.  There is so much information out there and it's so accessible to us that we don't need tons of ideas beforehand to deal with a problem.  In Math, we often give lots of strategies to solve a problem when we could be giving ideas when problems happen.  Even when doing Scratch we use technology to help us when we get stuck.  I don't research every possible way I might get stuck before I attempt to code.

                                                                 

                                                                This reminds me of the importance of the mini-lesson.

                                                                • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                  rplant

                                                                  That is amazing!!!!! Our kids are already becoming better problem solvers! What a clever kid! Its amazing to see what a 6 year old can do! Some think coding is just for high school kids, or upper elementary, but I've seen kids code a Sphero ball with NO instructions or lessons on how to do it. I think they are already being born with 'different' brains... evolving and adapting to the world around them.

                                                                • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                  mrselin

                                                                  The videos are informative and terrifying and strange. How could the "education system" have screwed up so bad? These concepts and ideas, being basic fundamental principles, appear to have been hidden because they were unorthodox. We owe students the opportunity to learn and think without care about scores or appealing to others. I love the connections between construction-ism-vist-ionist and making them identifiable. Investigate the tools, make noise and make change.

                                                                  • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                    pevert1

                                                                    First of all thank you for introducing me to Papert. I am going to visit the Daily Papert once in a while. It was refreshing to have someone share my opinion about computers in the educational system and how frustrating it can be trying to think out of the box or around the box. I am particularly intrigued with the idea of mathland and embedding it our natural environment. Something about the honey bee and the hexagonal hive. I have a lot to learn and need some scaffolding myself.

                                                                    • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                      rplant

                                                                      I love the idea that through both theories as well as our new ‘old’ theory of learning, it is clear that we are all on the same page as Piaget and Seymour that making and doing and touching and tinkering and trying and failing and trying again is the way to learning in its deepest form. I am so excited that as educators we are at the very least trying to provide these experiences to our students. We are all here in this course because we want to better our practice and service our students the best way we can! While working with a SWST teacher in our board a few years ago, I truly embraced this way of teaching / learning. I threw out the tests and solo projects and embraced conferencing and as learning assessments. I love watching kids come into my classroom unable to even have a conversation about the weather without arguing with each other and leave in June able to collaborate, create ideas, plans, projects and able to problem solve (at an age appropriate level).

                                                                      I see so many connections between Piaget’s work and the movement that is taking place now in education. It is my hope that with the maker spaces, robotics, coding programs, Lego walls, access to technology, and so much more - that the next generation (my own children’s generation) will go ahead and change the world!!!

                                                                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                          aspinabr

                                                                          The more and more I read - the further back in history I go and see many parallels to the "movement" you have described. I am forever fascinated by the work of Reggio Emilia, especially with regards to assessment and evaluation (without the testing piece like you mention).

                                                                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                          gmctiernan

                                                                          What impressed me the most from the videos was that "children learn by making experiences" (Piaget). This matches exactly with Papert's idea that students demonstrate their learning by making something to share. We do this well in JK- Grade 1, but somehow by the time students have reached the Junior Grades, we think that they should be able to handle sitting and listening to take in knowledge. When I think back to my own education, it is the experiences that I remember - field trips, projects we made, science experiments, art activities rather than the traditional learning experiences. I am old enough to remember learning Logo in high school. I actually remember making a computer program that was like a very basic travel website for resorts in Mexico - where you would choose your resort based on it's amenities and it would calculate the cost based on the number of children/adults travelling. Now, I would not say that I did anything with computers since then beyond playing games, typing assignments, surfing the internet and emailing. In University it was the math geniuses who went into computer programming. That was definitely not me. When we view computers as a tool to construct creative projects it shifts our thinking, and enables students to demonstrate their learning in a different way.

                                                                          • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                            gillianlr

                                                                            One of my favourite quotes in education is 'Play is the highest forms of research' by Einstein. I think along with Piaget these theories and ideas are undeniable. Our students need to be genuinely invested and interested in what they are learning in order to really engage. I work with struggling learners and I do find it is necessary for me to be one step ahead with these students so I can predict road blocks and struggles they will have so I can help guide them around these while feeling successful and not giving up under the feeling of frustration and failure. I typical student I think can move around these barriers but some find them defeating. A main reason why I wanted to expand my own knowledge in this area. However, as soon as  student is hooked into something, they can be my greatest teacher. I had a student this year who was a master at the Stikbot animation stations and could teach others much more readily than I could. I think the idea of perseverance/power of yet, etc are very important to develop in our students so they can 'play' successfully. The Scratch program looks great. I know I have a few classes using it at school but not many and I am eager to check it out this summer myself. Perhaps my 5 year old can help me!

                                                                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                              mpetrella2

                                                                              After watching the videos and reading the article, I am left wondering why it has taken us so long to climb aboard this way of educating our learners. I agree with Piaget’s theory of constructivism, “knowledge is constructed by the learner.”  Providing students with new experiences in a play based manner enables mental constructions to form. Creating new file folders or adding to existing ones are enhanced when given opportunities to engage in learning that is meaningful to the learner. We often see this style of learning in kindergarten but why not so often in the older grades?! Hmmm is it maybe because of accountability? The need for testing? Providing students with ongoing feedback throughout a rich task, whether it be teacher, peer or self is a powerful tool. Students are set up for success, feel less pressure and provided opportunities to reflect and reconstruct their thinking.

                                                                              I believe and appreciate Papert’s theory of constructionism that learners will be deeply involved in their learning if they are constructing something others can see, critique and perhaps use. This is why it is important to incorporate opportunities for students to “make”, construct, play, collaborate, etc.  Through these opportunities students face complex issues, make efforts to problem solve and learn because they are motivated by the construction.  It is important to provide students with rich tasks. We want students to embrace failure not be inhibited by it, persevere and be resilient, be empathetic and passionate about their learning. “Learning to think is more important than just learning about a bunch of stuff.” Allowing children to learn by using technology will empower them, creating an intellectually rich society. My goal is to continue engaging learners with the use of technology and provide them with opportunities to learn through “making”. 

                                                                              • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                vreinsalu

                                                                                Wow. What a find..I <3 the ideas of Dr Papert. (I've bookmarked the Daily Papert too now so I can learn even more.)

                                                                                I'm that teacher with the area behind the desk filled with cardboard, foil, paper rolls, and anything recyclable and reusable in order for students to take and make. Regardless of how one feels about different multiple intelligences and learning styles, I've seen how students so much enjoy and learn from creating and making! One of the best parts is the energy they take to tackle and solve problems, help one another, support and give advice as well as teach each other. Can I add that reflection is a big part of this constructivist/constructionist method. It's all about the iteration. What could I have done differently? Is there another way I could have solved this problem? What else can I do? etc. How did I contribute to finding a solution? How did I learn from others? Such a rich experience to learn through hands-on experiences. By the way there was an awesome one day conference in Toronto last week put on by a great group of dedicated teachers. Here's a link to the host web site: http://www.makeredto.com/  There were interesting discussions and sharing of effective and engaging student learning. It was a fun day!

                                                                                • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                  susieellis

                                                                                  I find Paperts work so interesting and to think that he did a lot of his research like 60 years ago, kind of tells me that we need to work harder to change a system that wants to be a 'fact provider' rather than a system that creates 'thinkers'. I think this has a lot to do with educating the public/parents on how learning happens. When you understand that we construct knowledge by creating and trying out ideas to see if they work, it kind of makes you think about how the education system of listen, memorize, regurgitate information doesn't always promote creative, critical thinking.

                                                                                  I think some of the things that I remember most from my own education was where we were encouraged to create and design and work with a group to figure out a problem. I believe that we need to provide our students with opportunities to build and share. Sometimes all they need are crayons, glue, cardboard and blocks.

                                                                                  • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                    a.wong

                                                                                    Catching up of my reading after down the count with illness.

                                                                                    There are many parallels which have been discussed in previous postings.

                                                                                    To sum up the key ideas, I would like to use the Chinese proverb of:

                                                                                    " I hear and I forget,

                                                                                       I see and I remember,

                                                                                       I do and I understand."

                                                                                    To foster a deep understand of learning, learners should have multiple opportunities and time to explore, investigate, evaluate, synthesize and create. The process is the most important part of learning.

                                                                                    • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                      sunnyblonde

                                                                                      Similar to what Alice Wong wrote, I was thinking along the lines of "give a person a fish and they eat one meal.  Teach them how to fish and they eat for a lifetime".  I do see the parallels between what we learned in module 1 and Piaget.  Giving the students something they can work does solidify learning.  Providing them with the tools to solve a problem on their own engages them far more than learning rote times tables and other information. 

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I had never seen Scratch.com so will certainly be exploring that further.  I also signed up for the dailypapert as I was really impressed with the Tedtalk.

                                                                                      • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                                                                        I have read so many great quotes in previous comments or from the videos:

                                                                                        "I hear and I forget.....I do and I understand."

                                                                                        "Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn"

                                                                                        "file folders"

                                                                                        "children learn by making experiences"

                                                                                        "I teach students.  I do not teach (insert subject)"

                                                                                         

                                                                                        During our staff meeting or during PD day, we talk about this often.  However, we are not always given the Tools ourselves to be able to achieve it.  I want to implement it in my classroom.  I know that I already do some, but want to do it more often.  But my creativity level is low and lack ideas to implement expériences in my classroom.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I need to know how to link scratch or any other coding to my grade 7.

                                                                                        • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                          madame_hass

                                                                                          I find that I have been leaning more and more towards a constructivist form of teaching. Makerspaces are one of the best playlabs and sandboxes where students can explore and experiment. I have been trying to get a Makerspace in my school and the largest problem comes from convincing the administration that these spaces are important and will help students to develop a growth mindset. I have been reading about mindsets and I feel that students need to be encouraged to find problems that they have to struggle with to overcome and solve. The problem solving process allows them to try out what they know and understand and when they run out, they have others to watch and learn from.

                                                                                          • Re: Module Two: Discussion

                                                                                            The video and articles were very informative.  It was great to review Piaget's and Papert's theories explaining how we learn and grow by experiencing the world around us.  I loved the file folder analogy and agreed that students must be able to engage in learning that is meaningful to them. It is important to provide students with the opportunity to construct, collaborate, create and play.  Rich tasks and deep learning in an environment that encourages taking risks and making mistakes are exciting to experience.  Students love to share their learning when they are invested in the process and interested in their learning.   Education is moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go, especially as we move into the higher grades. 

                                                                                            • Re: Module Two: Discussion
                                                                                              aflynn

                                                                                              My opinions: I am glad education talk is reinvesting in making. We need to be careful about the debris being created too = so much is ending up in the trash. Limited benefits, wrong message to the young creator. It would be good also to encourage mending - I am a person (mom) who lets a pile of clothes get bigger, for years, and all that is needed per piece is about five minutes max of mending. Even before I had children, I had those piles. So in maker spaces where I see sewing machines, crochet, knitting opportunities... (so old it is new), it would be nice to see us encourage students and colleagues to bring in their mending. It amazes me that suddenly embroidery is a cool thing if it is done via  coding program. Let's honour the embroidery artisans of ages past, etc.  Let's make sure students understand the value and the neglect of women and their crafts, days gone by, still too true today. Thank you for letting me share.