Tag Archives: #ontedleaders

A Vision of Effective Mathematics Teaching and Learning

What is your vision of effective mathematics teaching and learning in elementary school?

This is a new question for me.  This blog is Learning About Learning, and I have a lot of learning to do about mathematics education.

I am hoping you can help me.

Here are a few of the things I am thinking about right now.  What can you add to this? What have you learned in your own practice? What do you think about when you consider a vision for teaching and learning mathematics?

I think that efficacy is critical.  Students have to believe they can achieve at high levels.  Teachers have to believe that students can achieve at high levels and that teachers have the capacity to  get students to that high level.

Is mathematics skills (as I was taught), or is it ideas (as Dr. Marian Small suggests)?

Is math about making connections?  Is it important that we work with big ideas rather than teaching skills and concepts only in isolation?

I think students have to be able to choose the tools and strategies they need to help them solve problems.

It isn’t up to us to tell them what tool to use, but to teach them how to use many tools effectively so they might pick the one that is right for them in each context.

Math needs to be fun.  Kids need to be the ones doing the thinking. Teaching through problem solving can be very effective (problems are not add-ons).

Teachers need to collaborate with other educators, to share their thinking openly, to challenge the thinking of others, to read and write blogs about their work.  Isolation is a choice, and isolation is unprofessional.  Kids need the thinking of many professionals, not just the one assigned to them.

As I work through #mathleaderNEO over the next few years, I plan to grow this thinking.

I encourage you to share your ideas too.

Featured Image: shonk via Compfight cc

#GAFESUMMIT #ONTARIO Slides

Last weekend I had the privilege of sharing learning at the Ontario GAFE Summit in Kitchener.  I presented with Mark Carbone, CIO, Waterloo Region District School Board.  I have embedded our slides below.  These are presentation slides so there is not a lot of content.

However, I think you will find the links and resources useful.

We will post our slides from this weekend’s GAFE Summit in Thunder Bay after the event ends on Sunday.

Please be sure to check out these three key OSAPAC Resources:

  1. Digital Citizenship Resources for Educators
  2. Digital Leadership Resources for Principals
  3. Digital Leadership Support for Education Leaders

 

Theory Into Action: #supdsb

We talk a lot about how the world is changing.  We hear predictions that concern us for awhile, then we go back to our jobs.

But here we are: “Every single job function we can identify is being fundamentally transformed.”

(David Rose, in D. Culberhouse, The Future Will Be Very Different)

Continuing to do what we are doing now is a disservice to our children.

But how do we change?

We know three things that are essential:

  1. Creating the compelling argument for change (Creative Public Leadership, The RSA)

On March 29, I was privileged to learn with educators from Superior North Catholic District School Board and Superior Greenstone District School Board.

The TELT (Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching) Contacts understand the need to create a compelling argument for innovative practice to ensure all of our students are empowered to learn to thrive in their world.  George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, was invited to lead the learning for the day.

You can find a summary of the learning here and on Twitter using the hashtag #supdsb.

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SGDSB TELT Contact Stacey Wallwin (@wallwins) welcoming George Couros (@gcouros), thanking him for his support in the recent online study of his recent book, The Innovator’s Mindset.

 

2. Build Community

It was a very special day that focused on building capacity in our communities.

Educators from both English-speaking boards learned together in the same room.  In my experience, formal professional learning rarely involves co-terminus boards learning together, but we know that together we are better and this event was living proof.

Educators from SNCDSB and SGDSB sat together at tables, sharing learning from the day and building a learning network for the future.

SNCDSB TELT Contact Katie DiBiagio cheers on SGDSB Director Dave Tamblyn as he competes with SNCDSB Director Alexa MacKinnon, cheered on by George Couros.
SNCDSB TELT Contact Katie DiBiagio cheers on SGDSB Director Dave Tamblyn as he competes with SNCDSB Director Alexa McKinnon, cheered on by George Couros.

 

3. Flatten the Organization

How often as educators do we participate in professional learning events with only those in like-roles?

At this event, both Directors were present for the full day of learning.  Sitting at the tables were superintendents, teachers, community engagement leaders, tech champions, school leaders,  digital learning volunteers, IT staff and guests.

From DCluberhouse, https://dculberh.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/from-disconnected-hierarchies-to-connected-ecosystems/
From DCluberhouse, https://dculberh.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/from-disconnected-hierarchies-to-connected-ecosystems/

 

If we are going to innovate in 2016, we need to entrench practices that enable the flow of ideas.

Congratulations to SNCDSB and SGDSB for putting theory into practice, for putting learning ahead of false boundaries, and for taking some big leaps toward entrenching innovative thinking into professional practice..

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SNCDSB TELT Contact Katie DiBiagio, George Couros, SNCDSB Director Alexa McKinnon.

 

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Resources for the day

 

 

Let’s UNLEARN a Few Assumptions About School

Many teachers teach the way they were taught.

The B.Ed. program would do well to emphasize the unlearning of wrong assumptions about schooling – like “sit up straight” and “sit still” and “look at the teacher”.

Change won’t happen until we all deeply question our assumptions of what school should look like for kids.

Thanks to Joël McLean for sharing this video on Twitter yesterday.

 

 

How Do We Tackle “Crippling Incrementalism”?

Thank you to #YRDSBQuest for streaming keynote presentations and encouraging the sharing of learning on Twitter.  It makes it much easier to learn from a distance.

While working near Thunder Bay on Wednesday, I was able to keep in touch with much of the learning.

I also spent time last Sunday and Monday following the Tweets from the OPC event with Dr. Michael Fullan.  I found some relevant work like this:

But I also worried that leaders were once again embracing a lot of conceptual information, like this:

This year, I am wondering about how we can move learning forward.  I think a lot about Simon Breakspear’s plea for us to get out of the conceptual and into a very clear, specific vision of future practice.

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Original video and comments here: https://fryed.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/fallsim15-learning-from-simon-breakspear/

So after reading all the Tweets from Day 1 of #YRDSBQuest and watching the keynotes streamed, I came to this inquiry question:

I feel as though we have spent a lot of time in Ontario working on “building relationships”, building our emotional intelligence, talking about innovation, talking about 21C, reading books about the secrets of change, drivers, instructional core, sticky ideas and mindsets.

Isn’t it time now to take some action?

“We are now better than fifteen years into the 21st Century and educators are still discussing what role technology plays in education.”

Tom Whitby, My Island View, How Do We Stop Illiterate Educators?

Let’s look at the last bullet on the slide above:

“Ultimately you need people to take charge of their own learning…”

What if we invested in putting a simple, reliable mobile device into the hands of every educator (especially leaders), and provided reliable connectivity, then offered some basic instruction into how to self-direct their learning

…. imagine what would happen if every leader committed to learning and sharing openly, if every educator openly reflected on learning and practice on their own blog/website in a searchable, open way.

Think of the spread of best practice – next practice that could happen if all educators were simply empowered with those simple three things:

  1. A simple, reliable mobile device
  2. Reliable connectivity
  3. Basic instruction on self-directing their learning in open collaborative online environments.

How well would we then understand the critical needs to ensure that our students are able to self-direct their own learning in this world where knowledge is ubiquitous?

 

 

Resources:

See how some Ontario Educators are taking the next steps in self-directing learning:

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing from #BIT15: Heidi Siwak’s Keynote Address

If you were unable to attend Heidi Siwak’s closing keynote at #BIT15 this year, you missed an amazing learning experience.

Let’s see if we can share the important points.

Here is Heidi’s link to the resources.

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Here is the storify of the Twitter chat for the event.

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Why Leave All That Learning Only in Your Head?

So many educators reading so many books that impact their practice!

 

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That was my takeaway from #satchat this morning, and #ontedleaders last week as we were challenged to share the reading that was impacting our work at this time.

 

I can’t possibly read all of those books, but my colleagues in my PLN have made me so curious about what is in those books and how it might impact my thinking!

 

 

 

What if we all just blogged about oScreen Shot 2015-10-31 at 9.49.36 AMur reading?

 

 

We ask students to write book reports.

Why don’t we model the importance of sharing our learning in an open, searchable, collaborative way?

If we read a chapter, then reflected, summarized and shared, with appropriate tagging, how could we impact student learning as a community?

 

 

Thank you to those already doing this, such as Stacey Wallwin (@WallwinS) and Brenda Sherry (@brendasherry).

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If you haven’t considered it, OSSEMOOC can help you get started with creating a blog. and with viewing the blogs of other educators as examples.

As you think about your own PLN, consider what you are learning, AND what you are contributing to the learning of others.

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Resources:

Making Thinking Visible Through Blogging

Yes, It’s Time to Start Your Own Blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog

 

Sharing with #OPCPQP

The OPC (Ontario Principals’ Council) PQP (Principal Qualification Program) courses were, for me, hands down the best professional learning I had ever had at the time.

Taking my PQP Part 2 was, for me, an every second weekend,  20-hour, round-trip drive to Sudbury, driving a standard transmission car with a broken right arm (in a cast), and squinting through many ‘north of Superior’ blizzards.

And it was worth it!

Imagine my delight when now, a decade later, I was asked to share my learning with the #OPCPQP class of 2015!

Thank you to OPC PQP Instructor Lisa Neale, a model “connected leader” herself, for inviting me to share with aspiring leaders.

This time, instead of attending the course in person (1700 km away), I was able to work with the group through a Google Hangout from my home on a Sunday morning.

Today I am sharing the learning resources we constructed together on this topic:

LEADING Technology-Enabled Learning and Teaching:  Becoming a Connected Digital Leader

 

Here are the slides I used to focus our conversations.  Below the slides is a link to the collaborative document of resources.

 

Collaborative Resources on Connected Leadership for Aspiring Leaders.

Please feel free to contribute further resources to the document.

We are Half-Way: How’s Your #OneWordOnt?

In January, we asked educators, “What’s your ONE WORD for 2015?”.  In Ontario, we used #onewordont as a hashtag to collect the ideas, and Julie Balen created a word cloud to share.

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So how’s it going?  Six months in, is this word still a focus for your work?

Today I am thinking a lot about my word for 2015 – COURAGE.

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What does courage look like in practice?

Over the past six months, here are some places I have observed where courage is needed:

The courage to stop and not walk by.  If you are a leader and you just walk by, you say by your actions that “this is fine”.

The courage to take a chance on people.  I think of hockey players – talented players who flounder on one team, then thrive and lead on another.  Take a chance on people who may thrive in your organization while wilting in others.  Not all teams are right for all players.

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The courage to pick up the phone and call, rather than defaulting to an impersonal email message.

The courage to hire the right person, rather than the person who will make the fewest disruptions.

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The courage to let people rise up out of the little categories we put them in – to have a growth mindset about our coworkers and not just our students.

The courage to pick yourself up and dust yourself off again, and again, and again, because kids really do come first.

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The courage to give others a chance to be great.

It’s the courage to support failure as a part of learning not just in your words, but in your practice, especially when it comes to those you work with.

The courage to ask for feedback when you fail.

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In high scoring PISA nations, the courage and tenacity to stand up for what is best for children is valued and encouraged.

Earlier this year, Ron Canuel reminded us that being a connected leader is not enough.  You must also have the courage to use what you learn and move forward with change.

What have you learned by focusing on your #oneword this year?