June 14, 2017

Transforming thinking with Ayodele Harrison

One evening back in April, I came across a tweet about a Facebook live professional development event given by Ayodele Harrison.

I was intrigued by the title – Strategies & tools to engage disconnected students who hate learning math. Free online PD – so went to check it out. I came in towards the end of the session and knew that I had found a kindred teaching spirit in Ayodele!

Ayodele had not been one of my Twitter contacts before that night so it was sheer serendipity that I found that tweet in my timeline. We are now connected on Twitter and if you have an account, I suggest you click on his picture here and follow him – his tweets and resources will be valuable additions to your professional learning practice!

His message is one of relationship around learning. As teachers, we have the power to design learning situations and create an environment that will allow our students to talk about math and, through conversation, become more engaged in their math learning. Ayodele does work in the area of teaching and learning strategies as well as in an area that is strongly connected to our ability to use and adapt to new strategies – and that is through our own sense of self-efficacy in teaching.

What I just described is a very rudimentary description of what Ayodele can offer. I connected with his message and his delivery so much that I asked if we could use some of the Facebook live footage on PD Mosaic. Lucky for us – he agreed!

He is in the process of turning the hour-long event into a series of shorter videos, each one framing a specific aspect of his message about transforming mathematical thinking in our students. The first two videos are already live on PD Mosaic and the others will be added as they are completed. They form part of a collection of resources called Rethinking Math Teaching and Learning. Click on the image below to go directly to this collection.

Rethinking math on PD Mosaic

I invite you to watch the series as it unfolds on PD Mosaic. These videos are designed for Math teachers however Ayodele also provides great resources for ALL educators. Besides through his Twitter link above, you can connect with Ayodele at the following spots:

  • Ayodele’s YouTube channel – what a wealth of online learning!!
  • His website – “Educating is about positioning all learners to discover, understand and walk in their greatness.“- Ayodele Harrison
  • Ayodele’s Facebook page – Like his page to receive updates about future online PD sessions and other resources!

I am so happy to have created this connection with Ayodele. As I often say – we can only truly get better together!

Posted in: News, PD, Teaching Resources
March 24, 2016

A note on turnkey teacher resources…

rustykey
Lately I have been involved in conversations about teaching and learning in many venues – from program implementation across the province to changing teacher practice in the classroom.

A similar thread weaves itself through all of these conversations – the (expressed) need for ‘clé en main’ resources for teachers.

Do you know why it is so hard to find ‘clé en main’ (turnkey) resources for the courses that we teach? Because they don’t exist. Nowhere else in the world is there another course exactly like the one you are teaching… Right. Now.

teacher + students + content = course

The content may stay the same for a period of time but the rest of the equation is made up of variables. And when just one of those variables shifts…the course is ultimately changed.

As written in this article (by I do not know who, an author who goes by the nickname Love Teach):

Nothing about teaching is one-size fits all

It is a lovely alchemic mixture distilled through …yeah, you were wondering when I’d mention it… relationship.

Our new programs in adult education (which are extensions of the competency-based reform in the youth sector) place the focus on student-centered and community-based learning – both of which are hinged on relationship.

We know that our students and communities change all the time.

Yet, a lot of time and energy is spent on either trying to create turnkey, one size fits all resources or in seeking them out.

One of my recent conversations was with Emilie, a history teacher at Nova Career Centre who was talking about why she organizes her classroom into learning stations.

Another was with Daniel, a math and science teacher at St Laurent Adult Centre who talked about how he records and shares his content with his students as well as how he wants to move towards learning stations in his classroom.

And yet another was with a group of four teachers: Natasha and Jonathan from Place Cartier Adult Centre, and Lethisha and Troy from Pearson Adult and Career Centre who got together to talk about formative assessment.

Again, there was a common thread in these conversations … but it was of a different shade, a different count. Each of these teachers said, when trying something new in the classroom, it was important to start small, to experiment, and to find out what works best for you and your students.

This thread seems much stronger to me than the one about creating turnkey resources.

(One definition of turnkey is jailer…)

(Keys generally only work for one lock and we usually use them to keep others out.)

(image: Key to… by pi di on flickr, licensed CC BY SA 2.0)

January 15, 2015

French Help, Whenever: Changing the stories of our teaching

fhw_avatarAlmost 2 years ago I began a small project in the spirit of a flipped classroom initiative. Marc-André Lalande and I realized that there was very little of quality out there for flipping a French 2nd Language classroom. We were looking for short video clips that went beyond grammar lessons, dictées, and contrived dialogs.

But wait, there’s more!