Learning Spaces: My Ten Picture Tour (#10PIXTR)

I’ve been thinking a lot about learning spaces recently. With Trinity’s World Languages Program, I have the opportunity to tour a number of people around our school and every time I walk through the halls, I see things that inspire, challenge, and excite me. I needed a break from today’s routine and found a few extra minutes on my Outlook Calendar. I decided to wander, with my camera, and thanks to Brian Barry (@Nunavut_Teacher), Katie Hellerman (@theteachinggame), and Cale Birk (@birklearns), I decided to post my ten picture tour. Here is my #10PIXTR from Wednesday, April 6th.

Personalize: A key phrase of Trinity's mission is "to achieve his or her unique potential," and much of the work I do is centered on personalizing learning at the elementary level.

Personalizing Learning: A key phrase of Trinity's mission is "to achieve his or her unique potential," and much of the work I do is centered on personalizing learning at the elementary level.

Integrity: The 6th Grade Leadership Class decides the school theme for each school year. This year, it's integrity.

Integrity: The 6th Grade Leadership Class decides the school theme for each school year. This year, it's integrity and the 6th Grade students must model and teach the importance of this word throughout the school year.

Design Thinking: First graders build an igloo out of milkjugs. They must work together to brainstorm, plan, and build an igloo that can fit at least ten students.

Design Thinking: First graders build an igloo out of milk jugs. They must work together to brainstorm, plan, and build a structure that can fit at least ten students.

Curiosity: These three students are peering in the window of the lower school gym, trying to figure out what they'll be doing when they go to PE class later in the day.

Curiosity: These three students are peering in the window of the lower school gym, trying to figure out what they'll be doing when they go to PE class later in the day.

Technology: At Trinity, technology must serve pedagogy...not the other way around. This is especially true in our 6th grade 1:1 tablet program.

Technology: At Trinity, technology must serve pedagogy...not the other way around. This is especially true in our 6th Grade 1:1 tablet program.

Play: These Kindergarten "drivers" experience both structured and unstructured play as they navigate the rules of the road on their trike bikes.

Play: These Kindergarten "drivers" experience both structured and unstructured play as they navigate the rules of the road on their trike bikes.

Metacognition: Students learn how to learn at Trinity. In World Languages at Trinity, goal-setting and self-reflection are essential in this personalized course. Students use Rosetta Stone for language acquision and can take any language out of 23 offered.

Metacognition: Students learn how to learn at Trinity. In World Languages class, goal-setting and self-reflection are essential in this personalized course. Students in K-6th grade use Rosetta Stone for language acquisition and can take any language out of the 23 offered.This first grader's journal displays her learning target for the day.

Cooperative Learning: Learners collaborate. These teachers (one music teacher, a second grade lead, and a second grade assistant) are working together to create a song about Earth Day to the tune of Katy Perry's song, Fireworks.

Cooperative Learning: Learners collaborate with one another. These teachers (one music teacher, a second grade lead, and a second grade assistant) are working together to create a song about Earth Day to the tune of Katy Perry's song, Fireworks.

Cross-Curricular Work: Fifth grade student's study of Ancient Greece is combined with art, architecture, and math, as groups of students (this team: Corinth) work to draw Greek architecture to scale.

Cross-Curricular Work: Fifth grade students' intensive study of the history Ancient Greece is combined with a study of Greek art, architecture/math, sports, and literature. Groups of students (this team's name is Corinth) work to draw Greek architecture to scale. The study culminates with Greek Olympics of the Body and Mind.

Imagination: Trinity's Storywell is a beautiful space where students can curl up with a book and be transported to places beyond their wildest dreams!

Imagination: Trinity's Storywell is a beautiful space where students can curl up with a book and be transported to places beyond their wildest dreams!

Five Easy Steps: How to make a “Ten Picture Tour”

  1. Use a cellphone camera, then you won’t have to pack/find another electronic gizmo.
  2. Take 10 minutes. That’s it.  Then you won’t find a reason not to do it.  And it won’t be too “staged.”
  3. Take pictures around your school that you think showcase some pretty cool things.  They don’t just have to be of kids learning, we believe you when you say they are…
  4. Put them into a blog post with basic captions so we know what we are looking at.
  5. Put it as a link on your blog page, so that when we come and visit, we know that when we see a link called “10 Picture Tour” we will learn a little bit about what your learning environment looks like.

(These Five Easy Steps are revised from the #10PIXTR post by Cale Birk (@birklearns) on The Learning Nation.)

November Noticings (Flickr 30)

A few members of the Klingenstein cohort have decided to embark on a photography journey for the month of November. We are committing to taking a picture a day (a far cry from those who commit to take a picture every day of the year) in order to notice the “everyday” things. I think this is especially important as we are thinking and reading and discussing BIG things like privatization of schools, inner-city education, and ethics of educational institutions.

I hope to write (one day soon) about the Klingenstein wiki and Flickr site – and why I’m excited that other teachers and administrators are beginning to see the implications for these tools in schools.

My first entry, a photo of a strong tree in Central Park, reminds me of a poem by one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver. “When I am Among the Trees” fits perfectly with my pictures from the first and second of November. Enjoy!

November 1st, 2009:

Flickr1

November 2nd, 2009:

Flickr2


“When I am Among the Trees”

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Mary Oliver, Thirst