3 articles Tag final project

Finding A Problem and Solving It

After watching the TEDx talk below by Dan Meyer, I was inspired to try something like it in my class.

But I didn’t know what problem we could work on. I wanted the problem to be meaningful to the students. I wanted them to come up with a problem to solve and I think I knew the answer. In one of my classes, one of my students was looking through a pile of old yearbooks. She found on of when she was in Grade 1 and we had a chuckle at how cute the now teenagers looked when they were young. Then we started seeing some people we knew but no longer go to the school. We counted how many students that attended the school that were still enrolled now they were in Grade 8. There were only about six students… Six students! My student found this fascinating and asked me how many I thought would be left at the end of Grade 12. This gave me an idea…

I developed a unit where the students would follow this same process of seeing how many students are in the class that also attended in Grade 1. Then from graphing the results and looking at past data, they could estimate how many of them would be left in a couple of years time. All of the data will be really easy to attain by simply flicking through some past yearbooks. I think my students will really enjoy this unit and I can’t wait to teach it!

A Practical Guide To Sharing On The Internet

So much hype, mystique and fear surrounds sharing on the internet. As a result, it can be hard to know what is OK to post and what isn’t. Some teachers and students can be scared to share their work online. Others over share. It can be hard to strike a balance, know where to draw the line and be confident in your decisions when publishing.

A few teachers at my school (Garry Baker, Hiromi Hosoi, Joy Seed and myself) realized these problems were very prominent in our school. Administration had mentioned it, teachers had mentioned it and we felt it was important for students to see it. So we decided to develop a poster to help our community and other communities be confident when publishing by developing publishing guidelines.



These guidelines are designed to be used in all types of publishing situations, online and offline. They are good for students, but they hear these messages all the time. I think this poster will be the most powerful for teachers and give them some confidence when publishing their own or other peoples work online.

Please feel free to use this poster, it was designed to be used in any school. I made it A3 size so that it can be printed large without pixelating. All I ask is that you credit the teachers that created it when you use it.

A School Website Created By Students, For Students

As the final project for course 1 of COETAIL, the teachers had to get together into groups and come out with a project. So while at The Networked Educator weekend PD, I had a brainwave. I thought it would be an amazing idea to develop a wiki, maintain and develop by students, for new students, new teachers and in fact anyone in the community to get tips on the best goods and services in Tokyo. For example, the best pizza restaurant, the best bakery, the best supermarket, the best cinemas, the best shrines and so on. We could add a brief history of certain areas of Tokyo, maps, basic Japanese language lessons and so on.

I pitched the idea to the other teachers at my school that are also doing the COETAIL course: Miss Seed (a social studies teacher), Mr. Baker (a history teacher) and Hosoi Sensei (a Japanese teacher) as each of their students could contribute a large part to the wiki. They loved the idea so we started brainstormed the possibilities. As we started talking, the idea evolved into a website maintain by all of the students in the school. And instead of having just recommendations, we decided to develop it into a school website, that is made by the students, for the students and the greater community. It would be less formal than the official website and all of the content would be created and managed by the students, the teachers would have no say (within reason) what goes onto the site because it wouldn’t be theirs, it would be the students.

We thought this would be a great way to empower the students, involve all the students and teachers of the school in the process and develop a closer community not only with the students, but with the wider community as they could see first hand what the students are doing at special events, interesting features of the school, etc.

So we got together and develop the following unit outline:



Open publication – Free publishingMore coetail

We actually wrote up the unit very quickly as we were all thinking along the same line, from chats at COETAIL meetings as well as on the trips down and back from YIS. We are all very excited to start the ball rolling, I have actually started a lesson with one Grade 7 class where we brainstormed the name of the website and will start with the design of the heading/logo. In one of my Grade 6 classes, I plan to do a website design lesson to develop an understanding of the layout of a good website so that we can develop the structure of the website. Once we have the site up and running, we can start inviting other students in other classes and grade to develop the content. Hopefully by the end of the school year, we should have a functional and up and running website that we can share with the world.