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Category Archives: Differentiated Practices

Design Challenge: Create an Inclusive Playground/Theme Park

Overview

“Children with disabilities are often excluded from, or restrained in, play activities because of the physical barriers of play structures and the surrounding environment” (Ripat & Becker, 2012).  According to the United Nations, 10% of the world’s population has a disability.  Canada and the United States report the rate of disability closer to 20%.  It was reported that only 17 parks and playgrounds in British Columbia were identified as being fully accessible (Accessible Playgrounds, 2014).

 

Design Rationale

Canada is often described as being a civil society.  We pride ourselves in our inclusion of others and our respect of diversity.  However, 1 in 7 Canadians are excluded from enjoying our playgrounds and municipal parks.  We need to revisit the notion of accessibility and ensure our play areas are inclusive for all users, including the disabled and the elderly.  

 

Problem Scenario

Your team has been selected to develop a prototype of a structural element or component of a playground that is inclusive, safe, fun, and engaging.  It needs to foster fitness, flexibility, and a joy of play.  Your team needs to consider issues of mobility, access, sensory challenges, etc.

 

Your playground structure must be a small-scaled prototype of a structural element or component that could be found in a playground or theme park. It must satisfy two of the following identified concerns:

  • Be accessible for someone with mobility issues
  • Be accessible for users of variable heights / sizes
  • Be accessible for someone with sensory issues
  • Be accessible for someone with cognitive challenges
  • Enjoyable for users of all ages

Success will be determined by

  • Uniqueness
  • Alignment of the prototype with the design sketch
  • Ability of your item to help the user enjoy play
  • Ergonomic design
  • Colorfulness to match environment and attract users
  • Intriguing enough to hold users’ attention
  • Degree to which it Is intuitive to all users
  • Functionality
  • Ease of long term maintenance
  • Alignment to design motto: “Make it smaller, stronger, do more, be easier to use, be cheaper, be clean, be greener”

Parameters

  • You must use some of all the items in tool kit in some way  
  • You must consider how to make your prototype colourful, intriguing and ergonomic.
  • You must prepare a group display which includes your design notes, your design thinking sketches and your prototype.

For teacher’s please read through the Facilitator Guide.

And here is the Napkin handout, the Placemat handout. (These resources were accessed from Innovative Learning Centre’s Taking Making into Classrooms.)

BELOW is an ingenious theme park, this video may be shown before the challenge or after. Is this theme park inclusive?

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Innovation in Tech with Student-centered Learning

Here’s a brief overview of a ‘spark/ignite’ session that I did this morning with all of our High School teachers at one of our sites.

  • There are opportunities for staff to further explore creativity and the design process – read Innovator’s Mindset and Launch as they are two solid books with practical strategies that teachers can employ the very next day. (If you want to listen to George, Katie, John and AJ speak on this topic check out #IMMOOC Season 2 – Episode 1 video that was streamed just 5 days ago.) I had my ignite groups listen to 8:45 – 10:30 and then at the end of my session to 58:00+.

LTPF Policy Direction 1

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to access, share, and create knowledge.

  • With so many websites, apps, extensions out there sometimes teachers can be overwhelmed, check out edtechteacher.org/tools for vetted resources.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate the competencies.

  • Have you ever been to an Escape Room? What if you could bring that into your classroom and have students dig into the curriculum in a different way by problem solving, thinking critically, collaborating and communicating in authentic and engaging ways. Check out breakoutedu.com for basic information and games.breakoutedu.com/atoc to see an existing list of immersive games that you can play. (Password – showyourwork.)

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to demonstrate what they know and are able to do, through effectively using a range of resources and media.

  • All of our students have access to Read&Write for Google Chrome – for use in GDocs, .pdfs and websites. Many ways they can provide teachers with information.
  • GSuite of core services – GClassroom keeps getting better and better, students enjoy access to online materials whenever and wherever they are.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning media to monitor their learning progress and inform decisions through the use of data and evidence-based reasoning.

  • There are many formative assessment tools, check out some of them below:

formativeassess

 

 

 

An Adventurous List – Would You be Game?

Skiing phenom Jérémie Heitz challenges himself to ski 15 of the Alps’ steepest 4,000-meter peaks in just two ski seasons.

Skiing phenom Jérémie Heitz challenges himself to ski 15 of the Alps’ steepest 4,000-meter peaks in just two ski seasons.

I make lists, most people I know make lists. Some are quick, some are longer. Sometimes they are checklists, other times they are steps to finalize a project. However, I came across a most adventurous list of an amazingly interesting person this week. His list is so ‘out there’ in terms of something people have not yet accomplished and his strength and passion for what he is doing was so compelling that I needed to write this blog.

I have added some ideas and questions that can be used in both English/French classrooms (the video is in French with English subtitles and some English).

TRAILER

La Liste TEASER 1 from TimeLine Missions on Vimeo.

Pretty fantastic!

I see this video being shown in middle years Language Arts and high school CALM classes as points of discussion. Overall the video is 47:22 in length, however, the questions that I created to accompany it may push the time to 90 minutes due to students composing and/or sharing their thoughts individually, in small groups and as a whole.

FULL LENGTH http://www.redbull.tv/video/AP-1PMT7S62N1W11/la-liste

QUESTIONS with timestamp (stop at the time and review the question)

Feel free to copy these questions into a collaborative document like a Google Document. Students could work individually or in groups to answer them and even use Read&Write for Google Chrome to assist in responses.

5:49 – Do you think Jérémie will ski all 15? Explain your answer.

8:17 – Who is Jérémie? What characteristics/traits were mentioned? Are there others that you would add to the list? Do you have any of these traits?

11:00 – Planning. What must Jérémie think about? (Factors – physical, environmental, technical, financial…)

14:29 – What is a high-risk activity that you have tried or would like to? Why?

20:30 – What kind of training is needed for steep skiing? Is it the same as downhill or cross-country skiing?

25:20 – Jérémie was excited to ski the same mountain peak as Sylvain 50 years later. Are there any other sports/activities ‘records’ that were similarly accomplished and/or broken that you can share? Is there a particular ‘record’ that you would like to accomplish/break in your lifetime? Describe and tell why.

29:25 – Hiking and sleeping on the mountain requires planning. What items, resources, and safety considerations must be needed? Share your inferences not just the facts.

32:00 – DO you think Jérémie will go back up this mountain and try again? Y/N. Would you?

36:20 – Conditions in mountain ranges can be extreme. Would you have the patience to wait like Jérémie? What does it mean when his friend says that Jérémie “has the strength to say no”?

41:21 – Jérémie was able to ‘redo’ a steep ski. How do you feel when you are able to redo a school project, assignment, or activity?

45:29 – Did Jérémie achieve his goal?

Overall, can you plot out on Google maps all 15 of the mountains Jérémie wanted to ski as well as their descriptions? Would you be able to suggest 2-3 other mountains in the world for Jérémie to tackle? Establish a criteria for a perfect steep skiing mountain.

What did you think of the camera and video production? Where there enough closeups, pan shots, etc? Would you change the video production in any way? How and why? Using a green screen, could you create an ‘adventurous’ steep skiing short video of one minute or less using some different video techniques?


NOTE

Whatever you do with this video in engaging your students, it certainly will be something they will never forget watching in class! And if you want to continue to see some other adventurous videos, check out http://www.redbull.tv/ (pre-screen videos before showing to students).

Feel free to comment on your experiences with this activity!

 

Creative Construction with MakeDo

INTRODUCTION

Makedo is a simple to use, open-ended system of tools for creative cardboard construction. Using the saw, screwdriver, and screws, students of all ages can build imaginative and useful creations from everyday cardboard. Makedo facilitates an interdisciplinary, hands on learning experience which engenders a deeper understanding of concepts with application to real-life scenarios. What’s more, Makedo is accessible for all types of students and their differing learning needs, Makedo teaches students to value the learning process as much as the results and Makedo develops collaboration skills.

EARLY YEARS


 

 

PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Middle Years Students

Below is the list of Chrome Apps that I recommend for grades 5-9 in the classroom. As with anything, please review each Chrome App to see if it fits with the work you are doing in the classroom before you share it with students. The five “bolded” Chrome Apps are shown via the 15 minute PeriscopePD video above.

BrainPOP – movies, info

Canva – posters, flyers, brochures

Coding with Chrome – beginner and advanced

Coggle – collaborative mind maps

Daum Equation Editor – create + save math expressions

Discovery Education – requires a subscription

DOGOnews – 3500+ ELA, Science, Social Studies articles

Duolingo – learn a language

EDpuzzle – insert videos with questions, etc.

Fluency Tutor for Google – students record themselves reading, requires subscription to use analytical tools

Geoboard – perimeter, area, angles

Geogebra Math Apps- interactive geometry

Google Classroom

Google Cultural Institute – artworks, museums, world events

Google Docs

Google Drive

Google Earth

Google Forms

Google Maps

Haiku Deck – presentations

InstaGrok – research search engine w/facts, websites, videos, images, pins, quizzes

Itch – Scratch Teacher Dashboard

IXL – adaptive K-12 Math, LA, Science, SSt practice, requires subscription

LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0

Newsela – current events articles at different levels

Pixlr Editor – photo editing

PowToon Presentations Edu – create presentations + animated videos, require a subscription

Sphero Blockly – visual code editor for the Sphero (for Chrome OS 48+, Mac OS X 10.11+, WIndows 10+)

TypingClub

Type Fu

Useful Periodic Table (lite)

VoiceNote II – Speech to Text

WeVideo – Video Editor and Maker – video editing

World Data Atlas

 

PeriscopePD: Chrome Apps for Early Years Students

Here is the list below of the Chrome apps that you see in the video. Bolded apps are showcased in the 15 minute PD session.

Ad-Block Plus – get rid of those pesky advertisements

Announcify – paragraph reader

Awesome Screenshot – screenshot, add annotations, blur, copy/paste, save

Calculator (Pop Up)

Google Dictionary (by Google)

Extensity – en/disable extensions and click on apps

goo.gl URL shortener – shorten all those long links

Google Keep – save notes, links, text, images, make checklists

National Geographic –  Photo of the Day

Print or PDF with CleanPrint – use only the text you want and eliminate the rest

Readability – declutter web articles, sign up to save

Read&Write for Google – reading, writing, research (requires a subscription for student use, free for teachers)

Save to Google Drive – quickly save anything to your GDrive

Scan QR

Screen Capture – screenshots

Send from Gmail

Speak It! – text to speech

VoiceNote II – speech to text

YoWindow Free Weather – weather stations with living landscapes which reflect the weather and time

 

What other Chrome Apps do you use and/or recommend for K-4 students?

 

Pigs + Innovation?

Design Thinking

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Critical Inquiry

And many more concepts are certainly part of the education vernacular in 2016. These are not new concepts, however what is NEWer, is that schools, administrators and teachers are re-inventing the use of flexible learning opportunities by changing how the school day looks and feels. No more, ALL students should use the same No.2 pencil AT THE SAME TIME, but more time given by teachers to provide a space for students to engage in some really interesting learning.

The commercial below reminded of the amazing ‘innovative’ work that I get to see within PSD70 and via the #psd70 hashtag of engaged and effective learning!

 

 

To continue your learning, check out:

DESIGN THINKING

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT (also ENGAGED THINKER, ETHICAL CITIZEN)

The Alberta Education system should strive to install the following qualities and abilities in our students:

  • Engaged Thinker: who thinks critically and makes discoveries; who uses technology to learn, innovate, communicate, and discover; who works with multiple perspectives and disciplines to identify problems and find the best solutions; who communicates these ideas to others; and who, as a life-long learner, adapts to change with an attitude of optimism and hope for the future.
  • Ethical Citizen: who builds relationships based on humility, fairness and open-mindedness; who demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion; and who through teamwo9rk, collaboration and communication contributes fully to the community and the world.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals though hard work. perseverance and discipline; who strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptive and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.
  • Some great documentation is found with the Cross Curricular Competencies, created by the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC).

CRITICAL INQUIRY

  • Critical Challenges found in Alberta’s Social Studies Program of Studies (password-protected). Once in LearnAlberta portal, then search “Critical Challenges” and you’ll find a goldmine of resources!
  • The Critical Thinking Consortium is also a great place for these resources. Some free but to dig into some more amazing stuff, get a membership! They also have some Critical Challenges but also so many more resources.