May 13, 2015
by msnathan

What Are We Looking At?

CEGxhtoWYAMEstNImage via The Guardian

This morning I projected this image onto our board with the question “What are we looking at?” and it generated a lot of discussion. I think it’s really cool how creative we can be with making meaning when we only have images and not words to work with! Some of the suggestions for what it might be were: a spiderweb, broken projector screen, gunshot, space, a supernova, the inside of an atom or a city.

What do you see?

March 24, 2015
by msnathan

We’re growing our mind(set)s!

IMG_5006Today we looked at the idea of a growth mindset. H/t to the awesome Kerri Tamatea for giving me some ideas on how to introduce this to my class!

Have you ever heard of a growth mindset? I put the phrase up on the board and the students brainstormed what the words could mean separately before considering what they might mean put together (those ideas are in blue). We then got into groups and researched the phrase ‘growth mindset’ to see if we could find anything else out (those ideas are in red). This was pretty tricky because most of the stuff written about it was for adults like teachers, psychologists and people at university. We read things out loud to each other that we found and tried to put it into kid language. For example, we turned ‘educators’ into ‘teachers’ & ‘developing intelligence’ into ‘getting smarter/better’.



IMG_5008Then we looked at some fixed mindset statements like “I give up.” and “I’ll never be as good as her/him.” and decided they were totally boring so changed them into new and exciting statements like those you see above!

Something else we talked about though was that sometimes, even if we work really, really, really hard things might still not work, go according to plan or get better. That there are some people that even though they work hard they also have natural talent and it is ok to sometimes feel bummed out when someone is naturally good at something you want to be good at, or when things don’t work.

It’s what you do next that matters. Will this feeling stop you from trying new things? Will it stop you from celebrating not just the things you are awesome at but also the risks you take and how hard you work? Not with a growth mindset it won’t!

Here’s a video some students found to help them understand what a growth mindset is. Do you think this is a good way to think about learning? Is there anything that could go wrong with this way of thinking? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

March 17, 2015
by msnathan

Signs, Symbols & Resistance

We are reading Amongst The Hidden by Margaret Haddix at the moment and it has us on the edge of our seats! It is a story about children who have to hide because the government has outlawed having anymore than two kids per family. Somethings that have come up has been rebelling against the government, demanding rights for everyone, secret symbols and a very powerful government that is able to get the people to obey a law they might disagree with. Now we’re working on creating either our own pieces of government propaganda or protest using this as our inspiration!

Have you ever seen any examples of propaganda or protest? What do you think about the quote on the first slide? Leave your ideas in the comments!

August 16, 2014
by msnathan

Homework Week 4, due Thursday 21st August

First up, watch this quick video explaining the Theseus Paradox or Theseus’s Ship. The guy talking is a little annoying but stick with it!

Here is another way to think about this paradox (remember, a paradox is a statement that appears to contradict itself yet could still be true):

Let’s say you build a ship using 100 pieces of wood. You name this ship “Ship” (obviously you’re a creative genius the likes of which the world has never seen). Every day, you take one wooden piece off Ship and replace it with a metal one. Eventually, you’ve replaced every single piece with a metal one. Now, what if you take all those wooden pieces and built a completely identical ship which you also name “Ship”? Which Ship is the real Ship?

– Your first task is to add your thoughts about this paradox in the comments section. You can either leave a comment or reply to someone else’s comment. Think about: do you think Theseus’s Ship is still his ship when parts have been replaced? If a new ship is built does that become the ship of Theseus? If so, when do you think it stops being Theseus’s Ship and starts being something new. Try to be detailed and clear in your response.

– Next, go to the Thunks website and read through some of the questions and statements then choose one you would like to debate on your blog. Post the ‘thunk’ on your blog (either copy and paste it into a post or retype it) and write what your thoughts are on it. Be detailed, give examples, think about it from different points of view before coming to a conclusion and reflect that in your writing.

– Discuss the ‘thunk’ with 2 or 3 people at home and summarise their thoughts on your blog.

– Choose three other blogs to read their philosophising and leave a comment with your thoughts on the ‘thunk’ they chose. Then, once some other people have also commented on it go back and leave one more reply. Also, try to reply to the comments people leave on your blog, too.

August 4, 2014
by msnathan

Asking the big questions.

This term students are taking even more of an active role in their learning and developing their own inquiry based around evaluating systems, models, plans and products. This is so broad! Like our surrealism work, we’ve started with some class thinking time to brainstorm ‘ungoogleable’ questions that could have many different answers (first two slides, the questions for the third are still to come) as well as challenging ourselves with divergent thinking by free association style brainstorming about a random topic and then making connections and extending our thinking down different paths (fourth & fifth slide).

What questions or ideas do these things make you think of?

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