May 17, 2015
by msnathan

How do we remember & why do we forget?

We’ve been working on becoming better researchers, better questioners and good self directed learners in Room 27 this term so we decided to try out some of the School in the Cloud big questions to investigate. It is fun because it is totally student driven, the students get to choose their groups and answer question however they like. It is hard because the question can’t be answered by one Google search! It is important to work together, use key words and use bits from lots of sources. It is also important to talk about the things we’re finding when researching because that will help us synthesize our information and come up with answers.

Here are some of our findings for the first question we explored (there are still some photos to add from the groups who chose not to use a Popplet), “How do we remember and why do we forget?”

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!

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.

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