Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Hack the Classroom 2018

In order to effectively support my students and facilitate learning experiences that are authentic and meaningful I need to continue seeking out ways for them to see themselves as creators, builders and changemakers.

I attended my first Hack the Classroom in 2016 and was inspired the passion and enthusiasm of educators at the Microsoft Store and those sharing via Live Streaming Microsoft #HackTheClassroom event. From there, I have had the honour and opportunity to attend sessions guided by Fair Chance Learning and TakingITGlobal #CanCodeToLearn as I tinkered and played with Micro:bits. So what? Well, when it came time to support students from brainstorming an idea, to believing in their idea and providing the tools needed to take their idea from conception to realization… I was ready to be their facilitator!

WE need to create opportunities to immerse students within the Global Competencies to develop deep learning through experiences that integrate creativity, inquiry and entrepreneurship.

Students STEM-based ventures explored the nature of ‘play’ to create innovative and intriguing games; and going beyond being consumers. In fact, students craved being creators of content and solutions that connected to their learning; in order to spread awareness about an issue that concerns them locally or globally.  Ventures focussed through the empathy lens, students developed unique ideas based on the needs of their user (potential customers) and within their companies, concepts evolved as students’ ideas evolved from conception and after many iterations, into realization within the development of their company.

Within student company Arcaderade students developed, designed and built several unique interactive cardboard arcade stations that used MakeyMakey and Micro:bit kits. After surveying several students and speaking with a few in group sample population discussions in our school community, this team wanted to create games that students in our Deaf & Hard of Hearing (DHH) classes could participate independently and learn about their fundraising message. The Micro:bit counters and scrolling message shared and engaged our DHH and all students in play! Furthermore, students researched the story behind the inspiration of Caine's Arcade and his influence on young makers to fuel their passion for promoting ‘Play and Be a Part of Life’.

Truly, I am inspired by the Grade 4 & 5 student commitment to support one another, as they worked through the challenges of collaborating & compromise, took risks in their learning, made connections with community members/partners to bring about change with an idea that was STEM-based inspired.

Read more about our entrepreneurial venture in my blog zeliacapitaotavares.blogspot.ca Passionate about Learning: Business Day 2018.

Being invited to co-host at the Hack the Classroom viewing party at Square One Mall, Canada with Christine Holloway and Sarah Elliott was truly awesome! The event is ‘devoted to the changemakers in education and the passionate innovators in students-centered learning’. To be a part of this learning community is reinvigorating and refreshing as the focus continues to be on the student. Sharing my learning alongside my students is a privilege and one that I gladly do as often as possible, because our students are making a difference in our learning community each and every day.

Zélia Capitão-Tavares, OCT, MEd
TDSB Hybrid Teacher - Digital Lead Learner

Monday, November 12, 2018

STAO 2018: Science for All

And just like that, the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) Conference wraps up for another year! STAO is an incorporate non-profit organization with the province of Ontario.

I had the honour of presenting at STAO 2017 with Arianna Lambert: Design Thinking in the Junior Grades. This year, we presented again with the focus being within the Elementary Grades! Check out our slide deck here.

Having been there for the day and tweeting about the absolute awesomeness of the many opportunities educators had to access information, resources, meet other educators, to share and learn…. I was approached by Mahfuza Rahman who suggested I consider being a member of STAO and join the promotion committee. A year later, here I am reflecting on my experience, albeit a small part of the entire conference, and all that members and volunteers offer to guests, presenters and business partners.

Simply put, WOW! The passion, energy, time commitment, endless hours of pre-planning and adjustments made during each day to ensure everyone was getting the most out of their professional learning experience was simply WOW! As a photographer, taking a moment to stop and capture photos almost puts a delicate veil on the level of intensity towards the organization, timing and teamwork from all committee members and volunteers throughout the conference.

I also have the privilege to capture a few sessions and live stream them via Periscope and then, Twitter. You can view a few sessions via Periscope scp.tv/staoapso/follow.

A few of the sessions I had the privilege to attend focussed on the environment, Indigenous Knowledge and Science and providing learning experiences for students in a respectful way. Miigwetch to Dr. Niigaan Sinclair for his powerful keynote and continuing to share throughout the day with educators. And, for reminding me that Asemaa (tobacco) is given as a gift; an offering or exchange. Joe Ross for sharing connections to and immersed within our land in his session about Indigenous Themes in Environmental Studies. Also, Haley Higdon for sharing Indigenous Perspective in Children’s Environmental Inquiry and using Natural Curiosity 2nd edition as a resource to integrate Indigenous lenses when designing authentic experiences for students.

Truly it was an honour to offer my small contribution and being part of the promotions team to capture the awesomeness of the day, building and support PLN, and all of the learning and sharing of the annual 3-Day conference!

A shoutout and much appreciation goes out to Racquel Carlow, Mahfuza Rahman, Brennan Caverhill, Christian Cepeda, Heather Theijmeijer, and Sylvia Welke. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your team!