What if we were the IOC?

Next week the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics start and with it will start a whole wave of classes learning about the Olympics. My Year 10 class will be amongst the students learning about the Olympics over the next few weeks. However, I don’t want it to be a case of choose 1 country, find some facts and colour in the flag. I want some deeper thinking to occur.

Image via @zoelee

Image via @zoelee

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Constraints Causing Creativity

I first came across the idea of enabling constraints when investigating Complexity Theory for my thesis. The book Engaging Minds gives great examples of how the right level of constraints are required to truly cause creativity to occur. This was echoed recently in a post by Tom Barrett in his post about setting the right level of constraint for learning in your class.

As this school year started, Hobsonville Point Secondary School was entering it’s 2nd year of operation and that brings new levels of constraints. 2 Year levels to plan for so double the students and some (nowhere near double) new staff on board. So, how to evolve our structures.

First of all, the 3rd generation timetable:

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Specialised Learning Modules are co-taught by 2 teachers and last year had 2 teaching blocks, we wanted to deepen this so worked a way for each to have an extra hour this year. We also wanted to leverage teacher-student relationships more to enable learning so students will stay with the same teachers for a semester (2 terms) even though the focus concepts shift in the 2nd term from Culture and Diversity to Relationships. Continue reading

Inaugural Social Sciences Chat

Last night was the first #socscichatnz where we discussed Social Sciences teaching and learning in NZ. The first session was pretty much a general chat, moderated by Mary Robinson we answered these questions:

  1. What do you love about teaching Social Sciences? (With a 1. What topics do you like to cover?)
  2. What frustrations are there with teaching Social Sciences? How do we overcome these?
  3. What’s the value in teaching Social Sciences in schools?
  4. What skills and content are key to teaching Social Sciences?
  5. Share a great Social Sciences lesson you have taught this year

Here’s a storify of highlights from the chat.

These chats are running Monthly 8.30pm on the 3rd Sunday of the month. This means the next chat will be on November 16th at 8.30pm. Some ideas were gathered at the end of last night’s chat for the next topic so a poll will probably come out before then through @socscichatnz.