Sunday, December 30, 2012

#Rechat...A Saturday Surprise

Sometimes I think things happen for a reason and today was one of those I look back over my winter break, I find that I have taken a much needed mental break from school.  I had a very busy fall and really needed to disconnect from a lot of things...However, yesterday I stumbled upon  #rechat and fell back into the groove quickly. The hour long chat went so quickly and there was so many great conversations happening, that it actually felt good to be easing my way back into the school mode. 

 If you are not sure what #rechat is, it is a Twitter chat that happens on Saturday mornings at 9:00 EST with the goal to "rethink, reflect, and re-imagine education. #rechat was started by John T. Spencer, who blogs at edrethink.

Yesterdays topic was about the role of play in school. Paula White moderated the can read her reflection here

Let's take a look at some of the great thinking and sharing that took place during the chat....

I love this quote from John. I think he really hit the nail on the head here. "Play" is almost treated as a four letter word in school. If you are "playing," well, then you MUST NOT be learning!

I think play is most needed in Middle and Upper school. That's when all the fun is drained out of learning because it is being replaced with content, content, and more content. Ugh...I think content is important, but not at the cost of our students future.

Crazy how fear drives everything that we do or do not do...I love this quote by Seth Godin...."Fear is the dream killer, the silent voice that pushes us to lose our passion in a vain attempt to seek safety. While you can work hard to dream smaller dreams, I think it's better to embrace the fear and find bigger goals instead." Isn't it OUR JOB to help guide students in finding their dreams and passions? Why, then would we let OUR FEAR snuff out our students dreams and passions...

Exactly! It is a shift in our thinking as teachers and as parents. It looks and feels scary because this is not the way we were taught. Does this mean that it's the wrong way then? I don't think so...but I would rather test out this process and fail and learn along the way, than not having the opportunity to at all.

I think play is anything and everything when you are discovering, exploring, being curious, asking questions, looking for answers…can't this be done with all ages? OR is learning defined by how well a student performs on a test or even worse a standardized test.

This makes me really sad to hear and know that so much of the hands on learning that once no longer happening. I guess the #maker movement is trying to help with bringing some of it back...

I will close with another quote and you think "it's possible to learn without play?"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hope in Humanity

"How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.” 
~ Dorothy Ferguson

Thinking about all those lives that have been affected...if there ever was a is the time, to not lose hope in humanity...