It was suppose to be the last day of my #5posts5days challenge to myself and a few others. However, in my excitement to start my March Break yesterday I did not get my post out on time. But it does raise a question. Where do the breaks in our teaching year come from? I did a quick search for the origins of March Break and could only find that it gained popularity in the 1930’s and it usually coincides with Easter Weekend.
How many of our holidays are based on the Christian calendar and agricultural influence from days gone by? We are off for 2 weeks at Christmas, 4 days at Easter, March Break, 9 weeks for summer, plus a few more here and there. Has there ever been an alternative schedule in Ontario?
When I was teaching in New Zealand in the late 1990’s we worked on a 4 block calendar. We had 50 days (10 weeks) of classes then 2 weeks off. This was repeated 4 times, only the Summer/Christmas holidays were 6 weeks long between school years. It was a great schedule, students and staff were never burnt out and your term had very few interruptions. (FYI Christmas is during the summer holidays in the Souther Hemisphere)
Maybe it is time to get rid of our old calendar and look for alternatives that keep learning fresh and new. What do you think? (Leave your comments below or on Twitter)
Sorry for the short entry today. I had a family member in the hospital and I wanted to be with them.
A few weeks ago I visited Beal Secondary School in London to learn more about their Beal Innovates project. What I learned that day was inspirational. They have found a way to do away with subjects and create a true project based learning environment.
I was so impressed by what I saw that I could not help sharing everything that I saw with anyone that would listen. Check out the links below to see some of the really amazing stuff they have going on at the TVDSB.
I have been exploring the types of posts I have traditionally posted. On Day 1 of the challenge I shared my thoughts and on Day 2 it was a Podcast. Today is Day 3 of the #5posts5days challenge and I am working on a ‘How To’ to help my colleagues as our School Board migrates to 1:1 Chromebooks for all students.
A few weeks ago I was helping some teachers learn about Google Classroom. I was explaining to them that it was a great tool for assignment management but awful for keeping track of marks. Of course after I said that, I started to demonstrate how you can only download the marks as a .csv file and you would need to import them into Excel or another spreadsheet like Google Sheets.
Of course, just like when you are having computer problems and you ask for help the problem always disappears. Somewhere along the way I missed the memo that you could now export your marks to Google Sheets. Classroom is becoming more of a one stop solution for most classroom needs.
This is my second blog post in the #5posts5days challenge. It is not a reflective post but a podcast where I talk to other educators that I have learned from. Also, face to face with your PLN is a great way to spend a Saturday morning.
This weekend I interviewed Alison Bullock (@aliringbull) over breakfast. We talked about her passions and she taught me that knitting was 11th century coding. I always learn something from Alison, have a listen and you might too.
I want to be a blogger. I want to write things that people are interested in reading. I lack the discipline to publish on a regular basis. I wish I could do it!
I was updating my WordPress site on Saturday morning and I was thinking to myself, ‘I really need to blog more’. I started thinking about why I blog. I always hoped it would be a time of reflecting and sharing.
I do occasionally blog. I interview interesting educators and post the podcasts. I post ‘how-to’s’ for things I have found useful in the classroom or at home. I sometimes write reflective pieces and share my thinking. It is this last point I want to further develop.
When I read blogs by George Couros, Seth Godin, Mark Carbone, Vicki Davis, or Tim King. I appreciate the thought and effort they put into their posts and how they share their thoughtful reflections. These are the bloggers I would like to emulate so that I can become a better blogger.
So how did we get here today? Another great blogger, Donna Fry, saw my blog post on Saturday and we started an exchange of ideas on Twitter. Next thing I know, I accepted Donna’s challenge and posted on Twitter that I would be blogging 5 posts over the next 5 days as a way to jumpstart my writing. A hashtag was born (#5posts5days) and this is my first instalment.
If you are like me and find it difficult to attempt a 30 day challenge and wish you blogged more, join me on this challenge and blog for the next 5 days and see if that gets you reflecting and writing.
One more thing, leave your name, blog site, and Twitter handle in the comments so we can follow you.