A Ted Talk, Social Media Thoughts & A Visual Arts Lesson


Hello All! I have finally found a little down time to share a few ideas and thoughts this week.

I am arriving home from a Dan Meyer Ted Talk. Although the talk was geared towards secondary school teachers, SWOAME (Southwestern Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators) also invited elementary peeps along for the experience. It  definitely gave me a renewed kick in the butt to finish off this crazy-wild-ride-of a year on great footing.

Please allow me to digress for a moment......

After being jostled around from grade to grade and school to school each year, I have recently experienced a great deal of "calm". It's ODD. Yes, I will get slammed with a pink slip once again this year and pack up my classroom and head on the next wild adventure....... but I have begun to look at things differently. Hence the rsvp "YES" to this Ted Talk. Every conference, workshop, seminar etc. that I attend, I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone a little more and embrace 1 or more ideas the presenter offers..... no matter what direction my future will take, I am committed to the present.

Which brings me to today-----

Here's a little about Dan Meyer for those unfamiliar:

What was this talk about? As teachers we threaten and we persuade. We try to add real-world context problems. In spite of our efforts, students still often disengage from math. Today, Dan described research-based methods for instilling a need for new learning. We learned how to make the curriculum expectations practical and more accessible to students.

Although we learned quite a bit, here is one part that stuck with me. The 3 Act Math Task (which for fellows Ontario teachers is the 3 Part Math with a slice of lemon and maybe some cayenne pepper).

Here's a sample of his ideas and how he encouraged us to approach our math classes from time to time.

Definitely excited to use some of the phenomenal resources that he provided to us and expand my repertoire of math teaching. If you ever get the chance to attend one of his talks, it will be worth it.

Take his ideas in strides and make it your own. You know your class best.


Throughout the last few weeks, my class and I continued our discussion about Social Media and how to use it appropriately. Here are a few eye opening videos that brought about great discussion in my room this week.....

Click HERE for more engaging and thought-provoking videos for your tweens.

My thought--Our kids need to have open dialogue about these devices and we need to get on board. That doesn't mean we need to lecture on the negative effects and how there is little use for them in our society (because they are using them any way), but rather teach them HOW to use this technology in safe and in some cases, beneficial ways.


As mentioned last week, I love using online instructional videos to assist me when teaching Visual Arts. Why? Because this is not my forte and I am not ashamed to admit that.  Here is a lesson that focused on a 2-point perspective, as well as shading techniques. I always make sure I preview all videos prior to the lesson, making sure that my learning goals are targeted and that I can explain what is taking place throughout the video. I pause the clip frequently to discuss various elements.

Here are a few looks at the finish products. The kids were amazed! Ha!

And I leave you with this for the week.......

6 weeks left... and still trying.

Have a great week ahead :)