We are almost half way with in-depth projects before our celebration evening on May 30th. In addition to the mentoring aspect, the emphasis is on the process more so than the final project. What skills are we learning? How does this project offer us insights into ourselves? While writing our blogs every two weeks, we are reflecting on our learning along the way, our struggles and triumphs and what is ahead of us yet to be discovered.
We tell our learners that we learn the most when things are challenging. No exception for me this week. My dissertation has taken another detour; therefore, no time to learn to embed technology into my post this week.
However, Mr. Jackson has set up a math wiki and science wiki for our classes. As soon as my own studies are back on track, I will return to my previous goal, stated in week 6. We tried to tape my math “lesson” yesterday because a student was going to be away and thought it would be helpful to post this lesson for her viewing at home later. This was a first for me. It was fun. I joked with the class about being self-conscious about what to wear, making sure there were no stains on my clothes, for example. Not sure why it mattered now, because I never pay much attention to that sort of thing!
It is interesting how we sometimes think about the little things that may get in the way. I know the little things do not really matter, in most cases. “Don’t sweat the small stuff: can be heard in our room.
In Talons, we do not use the more traditional, teacher-centered way of instruction for long periods of time and only when absolutely necessary. At times, direct teaching is an opportunity for teachers to scaffold the Talons’ learning, to preview challenging concepts, to extend the lesson (add tangents!), to raise awareness of the applications of math whenever possible, and to clarify common conceptual errors. None of these processes are written or highlighted in the workbook pages. We frequently condense three, four or even five lessons in a 30-40 miniature lecture followed by several days of independent and quad study to grasp the briefly taught concepts.
This facilitation approach is similar to the in-depth approach. The learner meets with a mentor when needed, learns a new skill or sub skill, practises the skill at home and returns next time for feedback and so it continues.
Interested in learning alongside one of our learners? Check out the following blogs:
Immy is being resourceful in her own community, collecting natural objects to be turned into paints!
Sara is learning how to draw and paint. Check out her photos.
Megan is learning to use the potter’s wheel and to play with clay. Check out her photos posted two weeks ago.
Iris is learning to play the guitar. Listen to her song.
Jenna is exploring photography. Check out her posted photos.
Toren has finally found a mentor and is trying to contact two other experts on music composition in our Tri-Cities.
Liam is practising using a sword and much more. His PE classes are paying off as well!
Jason’s vegetable/fruit carving classes are helping him to discover art. Check out his latest successes.
Stephanie is learning Latin/ Greek prefixes, roots and suffixes and is volunteering regularly at a medical clinic.
Veronica’s vocal classes are described vivid detail.
See you in two weeks.
My own studies need my attention.
PS: A public note of encouragement for Talons learners. Your “This I believe” essays received constructive criticism this week. They were chopped, bits deleted and sometimes entirely new essays were written. It is my turn this weekend to begin to rewrite mine. Writing is hard, as is almost everything else, if you want to learn to do it well.
Keep practising your in-depth skills. When your skill matches your challenge, you will have an optimal experience or be in the zone!
This is another example that we are in this together. We are learning alongside of each other. There are no boundaries for learning, our new district’s vision!
Keep enjoying every learning moment, no matter how hard it gets.