Sunday, December 14, 2014

Coding For Success!

Anyone can do it and anybody can be successful at it!

Coding is creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication, it is valuable with interpersonal skills. I introduced coding on the first week of December to my students. I provoked the students' thinking by having each team link to an animation and play while seeing the inside. Students immediately figured out the how of coding. We began co-constructing a criteria and identifying the variety of coding for the script. On the classroom site I shared many coding articles informing parents about the importance of computing language. Once students knew about that same evening students were completing the Hour of Code certificate and exploring game designing and sharing them online on the classroom Padlet for coding.

In class immediate collaboration began, guiding each other through the how of coding and sharing new discoveries. Once the coding skills were established, it took students two days to become familiar with the computing language. Students began a project showing their learning about  Social Studies curriculum describing the causes and effects of interactions between European and First Nation for Grade 5 and for Grade 6 Canadian identity by various groups historical and contemporary communities.

Why was coding very successful?
  • Peer programming, thinking together 
  • Perseverance, resilience and persistence 
  • Self- Confidence
  • Problem solving
  • Sharing thinking 
  • Application of new knowledge
  • Peer collaborating to improve results
  • Explaining their reasoning
  • Analyzing 
  • Application of feedback
  • Reflecting and improving their learning process
  • Identifying and assessing ideas for creative application
  • Deep discussions and decisions ensuring team strengths
  • Collective responsibility for individual expertise 
  • Expression of point of view allowing teams to move forward
  • Encouraging each others' innovation
Essential skills were highlighted and practiced. Students were getting further ahead by restarting and rediscovering learning by overcoming any setbacks. They were problem solving and caring for each other.

I was activating and giving students the chance to build their self-confidence at learning and I was observing and asking students as they code about the how and what if of coding language. The engagement blossomed and shined and students became tech leaders at improving their thinking, It was a mindset of  learners and creators by unpacking a canvas of many skills.

Through Our Learning Connections Fair my colleagues Patricia Fiorino who teaches Kindergarten and Natalie MacDonald who teaches Grade one also spoke about Kodable, Daisy Dinosaur and Scratch Junior. I am sharing the Scratch presentation that has links to the padlets for both classes and also students' reflections and explaining the coding. A group of students also created a site and an Incorporation  for others to try their games and leave feedback.  During the Hour Of Code week my students guided the Grade ones through an online coding Scratch animations.

Please share your learning from your students when they start coding and unpacking skills.  How successful will your students be at coding?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Are Learning Communities effective?

An overdue post since superb conferences like GAFE and  BIT14 as well as amazing learning opportunities from our board the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) to the Learning Connection core team and our planning for December 10th face to face sharing with many colleagues from across the board.

Those three weeks in November have impacted my learning by curating more to my thinking. These thinking skills have confirmed and encouraged to deepen my practice with colleagues and my students.

On Saturday morning on twitter I came across this very pertinent tweet:

So true, without collaboration our growth is limited! These learning opportunities are always a result of collaborating face to face with colleagues. They have been a vaccination of thinking opportunities that jolts us to persevere and persist in our adventure with our students.

On Friday, being part of Learning Connection team and unpacking the 6 C`s  by Michael Fullan New Pedagogies for Deep Learning with my colleagues, tasks focused on the competencies of deep learning, These collaborative thinking tasks got the best out of us by developing a culture of collaborative thinking just like we are expected in our classroom.

The focus is always on the process of thinking skills not just the tools. We further explored concepts of tools, ideas on getting started and ideas for the classroom.  This culture of  collaborative learning takes determination, a culture of `yes`to collaboration, powerful pedagogical influences and seeking support with each other and empowering us to connect these pathways to our students.

As we expect from us to be learning partners with our students the same takes place at these meetings. Karen allows us to be in partnership in learning from and with each other as she permits for team collaboration of unpacking the thinking skills as she also becomes a learner with and from us.

These cultures of learning opportunities are permissions provided for us to allow us to take risks with our learning giving and taking back to our colleagues at school as well as our students where the transformational learning takes place.

As learning leaders where are we on these daily leadership journeys? How are we being grateful to collaborate and share our learning?
My learning is surely influenced on a daily basis from my colleagues at school, at the board office and colleagues from all school boards in Ottawa, Ontario and my large learning staff room twitter.

We need to always keep a positive learning perseverance, take those risks and keep connected for more learning practices and accept that learning is messy!

What new learning will I be trying with my students? I guess I need to keep publishing more of my posts rather than keeping them in draft. I should spend more time sharing the risk taking process of learning with my students.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Google Drawing And Documenting Learning

We have used many tools for capturing the thinking process and documenting our learning, from Audio Boom , explain everything and other IOS apps as well as GAPPS. In this post, I chose to share documentation of learning through Google Drawing. The students have been applying Google Drawing for explaining their thinking and learning since September. The students document their learning process by uploading it on the eportofolios. We have used Google Drawing with Keizena, attaching a link for the criteria on the drawing, checking for comprehension of a text, and screencasting for evidence of applying feedback.

Google drawing with Keizena: Many layers of sharing and documenting.

1- By commenting, this student explained her favorite photo taken during the Terry Fox walk in September at Kanata's Beaver Pond.

2- The student added a link to the same image, explaining her 2 other photos about the Beaver Pond in relation to the same image. At the top of this image the student's initials LC and next the link. 

3-The link leads to  the Google Drawing that explains what is in common of the 3 photos.

4- Students also added their voices to the Google drawing and teacher's  feedback was also recorded.

Google Drawing and success criteria attached on the Drawing. 

A student explained First Nation People adaptation to the environment. When the title (Les Algonquins) is clicked  the  document of the success criteria that is attached will be viewed for feedback.  The students made a copy of the original document of the criteria, shared and attached it to the drawing.

Google Drawing and assessment for reading comprehension

The students  either labeled the events or ordered the boxes after reading a text for a comprehension self assessment. 

We were very fortunate to have the WW1 supply Line Kit from the War Museum. The students created a Google Drawing explaining their feelings about the war by using the strategy CSI ( Color, Symbol and image). One of our focuses was to improve the French grammar, after feedback from the teacher, the students recorded the evidence of the feedback by using the extension screencastify or snagit.

The following video was uploaded on student's YouTube account:

Another video explaining how feedback was applied was uploaded on my YouTube account using my laptop as some students had difficulties connecting on the Chromebook with the extension.

Students connected  many skills when applying technology for documenting learning: 
  •  Responsibility and ownership of learning for providing evidence of the co-constructed criteria of tasks and learning goals, 
  •  The responsibility of planing, monitoring, assessing by peer, teacher and self-assessment,  promoting students' control of their own learning by being mindful, intentional and self-directed. 
  • Relating skills to self -regulation of the metacognitive process by promoting problem solving, trying and retrying,  applying many strategies, clarification of expectations, reflective questioning for their own perspective of designing learning. 
  • Collaboration for sharing, articulating their own learning .
  • Organization plays a big part of this process as students document their learning and upload to their eportfolios.
We will continue building skills focusing on the learning process with many tools for metacognitive purpose and making learning visible by the students for their classmates, their parents and for a global audience. Some self-reflective questioning that guides me while planning are:
  • Were the expectations clear?
  • Did I set a positive environment of trying and retrying by consolidating with my students?
  • Did I provide the time for learners questioning about the process?
  • Did I ensure learners were motivated? (Provocation so important)
  • Did I provide the resources for scaffolding and feedback?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

When students become passionate about History!

How will we ensure that learning goes beyond the classroom?

How do we ensure students get engaged in history?

How  do we ensure that the learning is rich and deep enough that every students finds passion of learning?

Strong provocations hook students to passionate learning and critical thinking. Capturing students passion through experiences that leads to interactions, questioning and discussions of historical events. We began our historical analyzation by Exploring the The Giant Floor Map of 1812 from The Canadian National Geographic.  In a previous post on unpacking what is history and Geography? Since early October up to now students are still referring to their experiences of the War of 182 and are familiar with the concept of events and timelines. Building knowledge of the first inhabitants in Canada and how they have arrived and adapted to the arrival of the Europeens.  From a living library with aboriginal artifacts to the Blanket exercise with my English partner Ms Brambles. Visiting the virtual museum and building individual passion by exploring aboriginal peoples needs. Now we are immersed in the learning of WWI through WW1 Kit form the War Museum. Students have gone home and independently continued searching and sharing their excitement about history through building of lego. iMovies, Powtoon, Google presentations. Students are excited about reading and synthesizing the historical aspects, causes, effects and perspectives. Students are applying their historical knowledge through conversations with respect to the facts from long ago that shaped our lives today.

The passion for learning is stretching students thinking and learning by slowing down to allow them ownership of explorations, discussions. Passion for learning is living the moment for quality rather than quantity of learning,  allowing the curiosity to flow and build a learning community of new concepts through many provocations and thinking skills.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Connected Educators!

Last weekend I was privileged to attend the Ottawa GAFE summit.  It was an honor to meet with colleagues whom I already connect and learn with as well as meeting Canadian and international educators whom enhanced my technological skills and confirmed classroom learning process.

I recommend Kern Kelley, Jim Sill and Monica Martinez for international presenter on technology.  I attended Julie Millan's session on For, As, Of Learning: Using Google Apps to Integrate Assessment Practices to which I connected to her presentation and gave me the boost and excitement of confirming what I practice in class with my students before my presentation on  How GAPPS Support Thinking and Transparency of learning joined by Cathryn Wake for English Junior and Primary samples.

The reason I choose to only add links to my whole presentation is because I believe to only speak to real evidence of students' thinking. Most of the process that I spoke to, I have been developing for three years now and that I continue to enhance with my students and find a purpose for empowering students' reflection and giving them a chance to speak to their learning process and their thinking.

I also spoke to the" seeing and hearing" of the students' voice when collecting evidence of learning with students for their parents. I had a Google doc during the presentations that had links from the past years to the present showing 'the how' and 'the what' of students' voice and empowering growth through digital portfolios.

Thanks to Cathryn Wake for joining in and showing her application from last years' Grade four students and tempting Google with the Gr 1's. Thanks to Natalie MacDonald for sharing all of the Grade one digitable collaboration with Jennifer Flinn. Thanks also to all who attended and their feedback. Thanks to Jennifer King for staying after her presentation and her feedback while presenting.

I would also like to thank Karen McEvoy for inviting me to be part of Learning Connections and evolving through the years with the skills of learning and being a connected educator by sharing, exploring and reflecting with colleagues on my learning process through technology from my students.

On my twitter connection today I came across this tweet by Tom Whitby.It is true that as educators we need to have a mindset of learning, collaborating, reflecting to become a conceptual teacher focusing on the process of learning than the product of learning and using technology when appropriate for teaching and learning.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We should never assume what students know!

Our school received the Giant map of 1812 from the Canadian Geography. These giant maps are perfect for students' inquiries on Canadian History, Geography and Science. If you have not ordered one visit The Canadian Geographic Site for the Giant floor Maps

Provoking (Previous post) is the most important step for inquiry especially relating to the current Canadian and world issues. The Franklin Expedition was on the news and we began our discussion on why is it important for Canada to spend money retrieving the expedition? Why did Stephen Harper show an interest in visiting the site?

I was presenting the social studies curriculum to the Gr 5/6 students to start our inquiry about the Canadian History and Geography. I told my students that history is all about asking questions.
I thought I would ask the first question what is History and Geography? It was so interesting to find out students' reaction in teams and brainstorming of the two concepts. History was a little easier as they had some knowledge and no idea about Geography!

Hold on! Before I proceed with the war of 1812 and unpacking the overall expectations of the Social Studies Curriculum., An unexpected great discussion was necessary that I assumed students knew!

I gave students time to explore posters from the Legion about Canadian participation in wars. I had just participated in the Army Run and shared my shirt that showed celebrating
100 years of WWI.  We revisited  the graph on what they knew about History and Geography and so many more ideas were provoked and added.


By analyzing the meaning of history and geography and taking time at exploring these general concepts students have developed a meaning and interest at not only looking at the passed, also at reasons for our existence of where we are and provoked discussions and interest in exploring so much more of the changes, effects and how do we know what we know?

An unplanned discussion by listening to students is important. The extra time spent on this discussion engaged students' focus and perception of presumably simple knowledge to excitement and inquiry through the the curriculum that they will start this week. 

The map also provoked an understanding of historical events prior to 1812 for the G5 curriculum and historical Canadian identity and contributions for the Gr6.

It was a powerful, unexpected progression in which the students became completely aware about the reasons and impact of history and geography. I do not regret taking that extra time as it merged them into a meta-inquiry of why we learn history and geography. 

This made think do we always have to rush through the planned activity?  Do we have to rush from activity to activity? 

A short video of the Gr 5 historians and geographers on the map of 181.

The Padlet for provoking historical and geographical events. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why A Learning Community?

After spending two weeks on building collaborative skills, the accountability of learning, designing and reflecting on the learning process. Self-regulation became a focus during the learning process while collaborating. How do I stay accountable during distractions? How do I commit to compromise during team discussions? How do I build and learn from my teams' thinking? What is designing a project? Why create and explain my learning?

Students were given opportunities to reflect and fortify the thinking skills when designing and creating a task. Students reflected on the importance of learning outcomes when creating and found that creating is more than just assembling items or objects together.

The students pointed that throughout the process of building the scribble bot, they were:
  • Thinking
  • Trying and retrying.
  • Problem solving
  • Confirming learning and discovering new learning
  • Referring to criteria for expectations
  • Covering learning concepts: French Science Social Studies Arts Math
  • Collaborating
  • Learning from the team
  • Having conversations
  • Reflecting, and adjusting
  • Improving, through many attempts, there was lots of growth
  • Accepting, feedback- from team members
  • Compromising on ideas  
  • Stopping. thinking and deciding

Students in teams unpacking the learning process of projects.

QR codes of the projects were posted and students were able to give feedback to classmates. They unpacked what is reflection, what is feedback and constructive criticism. These conversations lead into fixed mindset and growth mindset that we will continue unpacking by focusing on habits.

Students also shared their expertise on technology for the project. I did not teach them the how to of the tools they developed the skills to be successful and creative with the tools. (ShowMe, iMovie, Google presentation, Thinglink, Fotobabble, 30hands pro)

After 3 weeks, I am starting to see students understand that thinking is not just something you keep to yourself. It is what you can share, reflect, reapply, create, explain. Learning is a community full of feedback and new learning. The trust during learning with no judgement, increased risk taking for achieving and succeeding. We focused on the success and the improvements during tasks.With the open ended tasks students became problem solvers, designers (all scribble bots were different). They understood concepts of structures, electricity and developing French language through team conversations and explaining. We worked with our needs and built our learning community!

My goal is to make students confident, and think of school as a learning environment where they lead their learning, make mistakes for growth and design their thinking.

How are you encouraging growth, self-confidence, self regulation and collaboration?

The eportfolios for housing the tasks and reflecting about the process of learning.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All About Learning Experiences!

Yes I have not tackled the curriculum content yet!  I am still creating learning situations for students to unpack, why collaborate? How to collaborate? What is a task? What is thinking? and What is creating?

These learning experiences are life long skills that would embed in any content and any situations at school and outside school. They are skills and habits that students need to be immersed in and for themselves to develop react and reflect.

Yes of course there are moments that are chaotic, unexpected, as it should be! Teachers need to know the real meaning of scaffolding during all learning experiences, when to stop the whole class and react to the situation, reflect and readjust. These situations become the co-constructed expectations for building a community of risk takers, amplifying students' voices , students becoming accountable, reflectors and owners of learning from these experiences.

Many learning situations throughout the year are successful and unsuccessful, how are we taking the responsibility of owning the learning and reflecting?

During week two we consolidated on the criteria of collaboration. On a daily basis and even throughout the tasks we are determining individual goals on the collaborative criteria, stopping, reflecting and resetting goals. Last week post explains collaborative tasks.

The best moment was when students began discovering that learning is a community. In groups they were writing questions to promote french oral conversations about daily needs. Students come with a backpack of knowledge, we need to give them a chance to share it and learn from each other. In groups they shared their questions and already learned from each other the verbs, the format of questioning. I gave them time to share and add their new learning in their French notebooks.

Meaningful learning experiences are, when students are given opportunities to take ownership, reflect, share learning and apply it. A meaningful learning community is a community of respect for opinions, respect for sharing thinking, questioning, adapting when reflecting. 

This week we also explored what is creating and explaining based on last week's project on the scribble bot. Students' described what is creating, how to explain about the scribble bot and how to capture learning by using some tech tools. Lots of thinking, unpacking of learning that students will continue reflecting on, creating, explaining, sharing learning and skills on using tech tools. Lots ahead!

Some pictures of week two of students' experiences at learning.

What will be your students' learning experiences this coming week? We have lots ahead to revisit and reflect. I would love to hear about your experiences with your students!

Thank you for the feedback from last week's post and so exciting to have teachers try the sticky notes needs in class. As promised I will share our next steps. Students categorized the items and wrote questions about their needs since we are French language learners class. A group also took ownership of finding the cost of the items as we are learning to be a caring community . I had the students reflect on this video: 

With students' permission I am sharing a couple of projects on explaining:

A link to 30 hands about the Scribble Bot: 30 Hands Pro  Another video: Sharing learning

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The What, Why And How Of Fun On The First Week!

Exciting faces and laughs are a reminder of how lucky we are to be teachers and be able to work with students who become our new family in our learning shelter. 

I find it important to build this community of family as soon as the new members step in with so many wonders about their new home. It is important to immediately make this new home a happy and comfortable environment, Yes even on day one! Letting them connect and feel the ownership, the belonging, making decisions, having all voices recognized, the inventors, the wonders, the responsible and the joy of being together and respecting each other.   

The only instruction that I shared with the students were, where to line up outside for coming and leaving to and from school and how to change classrooms from French to English. I let them discover their needs as the day developed and had them make their decisions on where, how, when of daily routines and with whom to sit. Students discovered cupboards, closets, dug through school bags and around the classroom labeling in French their classroom needs. There was laughter and team collaboration. We will continue this activity by adding on questions for our needs. Some even labelled me as a need and Liam labelled himself being important for his team. Why was it fun? because it was unusual! It was a different first day, it was them moving, deciding, gathering together! 

Met my students through crumpled papers guessing names and selfies shared on Padlet of what makes them happy. 

The goals of the week where to let students explore through tasks to unpack skills of collaboration and self-regulation. Giving them opportunities to learn from and with each other on the first week. To have them feel the sense of accountability and the need to explain their thinking in second language. The videos below capture our tasks.

 Audioboo was introduced to capture voices of collaboration, voices of joy, attempting and sometimes succeeding, as well as communicating in a second language. We co-constructed the criteria on collaboration and the actions required to improve the French language. 

Throughout the tasks I was scaffolding students' attention to become the observers of their actions and reflect on team work.

listen to ‘Equipe 3 JKPB’ on Audioboo

Questions to focus on while I continue to establish the happy and comfortable environment:

Have I established the purpose of  the classroom environment?
Have I established the connections between the students and me?
Have I incorporated risk taking and ownership?
Have I thought of fun and  realistic tasks?
How will I  downgrade my control and promote autonomy?

Twitter is also my learning classroom. I am sharing a couple of tweets that I came across Saturday morning that reflect my thinking.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Because of the students!

I  look forward to another academic year in adapting the suggestions and reflections recommended from last year's students. To be an effective teacher, you must learn with and from the students. Listening, activating, learning and to become a skilled teacher I have to ask students to reflect on their learning and reflect on my interactions with them.

Teachers need to be open minded and not ruling out our learning by asking our students for their guidance and opinions. Making connections, being spontaneous in class and not to be always planned and to go beyond than just us being the only expertise in our classroom.  Living the fun learning process that engages us in learning than just delivering or mastering knowledge of content. Building that momentum of community of learners from the first day, having students decide on the how, the why and the if' in the classroom, will set that enriched community of learners and collaborative seekers.

As I looked through the students' recommendations for me from 2013 & 2014  academic year, they have guided my thinking ahead for this year. I asked students to share: What do I need to keep? What should I change? New ideas for ownership of learning on a Padlet and Google form for 214- 2015 academic year.

I value my students' feedback, they are the ones who impact my learning! I will continue to add fun and joy to everyday learning, I will focus more on mental health when we are learning. I will continue relating all learning to everyday and real life experiences through relevant tasks, creating context together and even at times looking like nontraditional learning.

The following are statements by the students that I copied from the form's responses:

Est ce que le classe peux avoir plus de coding? Beaucoup des personnes comme nous, aimons le scratch, et c'est bon pour apprendre.

Dominic: Réflexions parce que je peux réfléchir sur mon apprentissage en classe. 
Les paddlers etait tres Bon 

Chaque jour, va sur radio canada pour les nouvelle. Ne change pas ca.
J'aime le classe de Mme T. parce que tout le temps tu interagir avec tout d'autre etudiants et j'aime Mme T. J'aime aussi les jeu avec Mme et d'autre etudiants. #2014 #MMETIBSHIRANI

Cette annee etait merveilleux! Mes temps prefere etait We Day et St. Bridget's Camp (Le mud pit) :) J'aime tout l'anne, et tous qu'on a fait. Je pense que les reflexions serrait un bonne idee pour l'anne prochiane parce que tu doit reflechir, ou tu ne comprends pas, et aussi je pense que ca aide avec l'independence, responsabilite et l'organization. Aussi je pense que l'involvement avec Me to We c'est un tres bonne idee, parce que c'etait un tres bonne experience, et maintenent je sais beaucoup sur notre monde, et aussi We Day etait un experience que je ne vais pas oublier. Merci pour une annee pleind d'amusement, aprentissage, et pour etre la merveilleux proffesseure au monde.

I am looking forward to continue learning with my students in another exciting academic year. Instead of them having to thank me for a fun year, I need to thank them for letting me share my learning from them with the world.

The students also surprised me at the end of the year by planning a video with the most amazing Mrs, Wilson. They planned the surprise with a presentation and a video.

The best learning is through play with the students. Are you as excited as I am and to be empowered by students for another year of learning?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Than Interactive Cardboard Boxes!

What do you get when you give students a chance to explore their own curiosity, plan for fundraising to make a change and science tinkering with electricity! Interactive arcade cardboard boxes for the whole school to participate and play for making a change.

I have shared a blog post about the curiosity blocks where students lead their own curiosities. Being involved with Free The Children, students decided to create arcade games during curiosity blocks and fund raise for building schools. Blog about Curiosity

This blog post   by the Gr 6 students documents and explains all initiatives that they have organized For Free The Children. The students were also featured on Free The Children Blog about their creative fund raising. St-Gabriel-plays-change Free The Children

Students have already created the arcade games for the First Initiative for Play For Change . As a class we decided to keep the arcade boxes and turn them interactive to apply electricity (Science curriculum for Gr 6 students). We started with the fundamentals by exploring through several tasks at discovering what is static electricity and how is it applied in everyday life? What are circuits and how do switches activate circuits? What are the different kinds of switches? The overall expectations of the curriculum were unpacked by the students. Please see previous posts from this and last year explaining how students unpack the curriculum and set their learning. 

Students take ownership of learning when they are creating and producing. Through making students seize control of their thinking especially when they are reflecting during the process on what they have learned and how they have accomplished their creations. Classroom Blog on Electricity by Gr 6 students

As teachers we have to keep in mind that the work should be done by the students. We need to give students the chance to have a voice and control of their thinking, share learning, create, fail and learn from each other. These Interactions are about the assessment and the reflections that are part of the inquiry and thinking process. Through making, collaboration, problem solving and the sense of wondering are ignited which it reinforces skills to solve real problems.

This Padlet has some examples of students' creation on electricity:

Propelling Curiosity!

 It is important to provoke students' learning for curriculum inquiries in many exciting and innovative ways. It could be artifacts, videos, current event news, objects, interviews, wordles, pictures and even from a story book.  As teachers we always have to bring reality into the the inquiry process to connect real life experiences into everyday learning.

There are multiple ways of  propelling curriculum curiosity in class and inviting students to spark and ignite in questions that they never seem wanting to stop learning, sharing and collaborating that conversations become an ongoing vehicle of exploring and developing ownership of learning.  It is so exciting to see students push each others thinking and learning by questioning, seeking, pursuing, confirming, convincing, comparing their ongoing development of thinking and reflecting in depth on their learning.

Of course along the way students co-construct criteria not only for the purpose of reading, writing and speaking, also for the learning skills. These foci of strategies that overlap and extend thinking as well as learning skills (responsibility, self-regulation, collaboration, independence, organization and initiative) that loop and promote metacognition and reflection on learning. Reflecting (at the end and the beginning of the day) on learning, is what drives our thinking throughout the process and determines next steps and learning goals. It is explained in this post on Metacognitive Discussions.

The focus of this post, is to share some examples that created opportunities for thinking and provoking curiosity leading students in ownership of learning.  During this process, I become a mentor, a listener, an observer and an activator while students developed their curiosities. Students' questions always lead the inquiry process. Provoking focuses on students' questions, which is a very important step in letting them engage and take leadership and ownership of the process. The process is carried on with categorizing of the the questions then comparing them to the overall expectations of the curriculum.

These questions are a routine in activating conversations:

1- What do think is going on? Background knowledge
2- What makes you think this? Students support background knowledge and share the how and the why of their knowledge before searching to confirm and proceed to new learning. It is very import to give students this opportunity of building on each other's background knowledge and engage in conversations to pursue thinking and inquiries.  I love this stage as it solidifies their dependence of learning from each other then it provokes more thinking and further questioning actions and new inquiries through discussions. This is a very important step to takeby encourage listening, speaking and respecting other opinions and knowledge for further clarification of concepts.
 3- What would you wonder about? (After their discussions). What new learning are you wondering about? Throughout the year students develop searching skills, annotation for reading and choose ways to share new learning.

It takes time to immerse students in skills by providing exciting learning opportunities.We spend time building skills at the beginning of the year which become the core for our success and reflecting on these actions during the process to improve accountability.

There is so Much to share I will post some and every year I keep focusing on getting better at capturing the process through blogging. Some of the process captured on the Classroom Blog by the students  We focus on French daily that typing the process in English lags a little.

I seek the subject related examples off the news and social media.  Some examples of Science and Social Studies for provoking curriculum inquiries:


Gr 6 

Ottawa's Great Forest  Before our walk to Beaver Pond



Social Studies:
Gr 6
infographics-on-nelson-mandela  classroom Blog post about Mandela



If the-world-of-100 villages


Nestle 'to act over child labour in cocoa industry' For Gr 5 on refugee and citizenship

Indian's exploited child cotton workers For Gr 5 on refugee and citizenship

etats-unis-malala-yousafzai-inspire- Gr 6 & 5

Gr 5
-confederation-line Ottawa’s world-class light rail


Comment organiser une cérémonie de citoyenneté

An example of students contribution after deconstructing the curriculum expectations:

Provoking learning does matter for curriculum inquiries. Students become so engaged with daily issues that themselves will continue searching and sharing realistic examples in everyday life experiences. What will you do to provoke your students curiosity this coming year?