Friday, February 22, 2019

Digital Learning Day is Coming - Feb 28th

Digital Learning Day, https://digitallearningday.org/ is just around the corner! I love celebrating this day with students and teachers every year. It is so wonderful to be a connected educator and have so many resources right at my fingertips. Being a connected educator I learned about Peter Reynolds relatively new book The Word Collector. It seems to have resonated with me greatly. You may have seen my recent post about using Scrabble Tiles to create/collect words. During my preparation for Digital Learning Day, I am also thinking that I will challenge teachers that visit our event. I have a large roll of white paper in #OurSTEAMCafe. I think I will ask them to offer their word associations for the term "Technology". As the words collect, I will photograph to show the time lapse of how our words were generated throughout the course of the day.

Someone online asked how teachers were planning to celebrate #DLDay. I began sharing some of my plans. As I wrote I realized that it might be fun to co-collect words with other educators beyond our building. So I have created a public Google Doc. It is editable. Feel free to add your own beautiful words around the theme "Technology". https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uGtQrgjxzJdHn9TfoM_4NNixaqepd9bHfRmISRkQet4/edit
Would you be kind enough to share a word or two with my teachers to inspire theme? Thank you!

Monday, February 11, 2019

February Word Challenge

Recently, I saw a few people share a meme on Facebook. The caption read, "Just bought a book from Ikea." The image had scrabble letters. It's a great adult parody. How many of us have been frustrated after ordering something that needed a considerable amount of assembly. What seems simple - some assembly required - can actually be quite complex to solve. 

Also recently, I had the opportunity to read Peter Reynolds' book, The Word Collector. The story involves a child that enjoys collecting words and seeing the beauty in various words. 

Both of these experiences swirled in my thoughts. I remembered that a few months ago I had purchased two bags of 100 assorted Scrabble letter titles. The initial idea was for students to get to make some sort of project with them. But time got away from us. The titles went unused. But as the earlier thoughts merged with the book and meme thoughts a new idea emerged. Why not challenge students and staff to create words with the letters. 

I created a sign that reads, "What words can you assemble for our February book?". I made a chart where visitors can tell us what word they created and who created it. At the end of the month we will create a book where we can define our words.

To get things started I gathered the letters H - E - A - R - T to spell "Heart". A great February word to get us going. Our lovely librarian visited and added "President". I love that she opted to connect her letters to the T in heart like Scrabble. It really shows that we all connect and collaborate, support, and work together. We really are a great team gathered for #wardtechpd.

I do love my colleagues in #OurSTEAMCafe. Additional staff visited today and added more words such as "rose", "pride", "dreamer", and "peace" to name just a few. 

Thank you to everyone that visited on our first day and helped our collection of February words grow. Throughout the course of the day more and more words were added such as "Black History", "pink" and "time". 

Part of what I love about this is the flexibility and room for creativity. Where were no rules. It was just everyone's interpretation of "What words can you assemble for our February book?" I didn't give locked down parameters like "Let's play Scrabble!" or "use just 7 letters" or "Can you build upon someone else's word?". I merely offered letter titles and a spark of inspiration with my H - E - A - R - T spelled out. Notice the spaces between my letters... Can't wait to see what we continue to come up with. I wonder if people will reuse titles borrowing from other people's words or keep taking from the big pile of 200 letter tiles. It is that sense of unknown that can bring some magic to our lives in #OurSTEAMCafe.