Saturday, April 30, 2016

Food for Thought: Marc Prensky's latest thinking about education

Dear all,

I hope you have a relaxing weekend planned for yourselves. It is another much deserved energy replenishing few days break.

Marc Prensky is very well known for introducing the terms digital natives and digital immigrant to educational communities. recently his thoughts have moved to the bigger picture of education and the what and how of creating a Plan B for schools.

Prensky believes that we must teach the world’s youth to become good, capable and world improving people by mastering effective thinking, effective action, effective relationships and effect accomplishment while finding and following their passion in symbiosis with evolving technology. 
Prensky explains this here  As you will note having watched the video and read the article many of the things that you are doing in your classrooms match Prensky's ideas.

Wishing you a good Liberation and Labour Day weekend,

Stay safe and relax,


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Food for Thought: How we address bullying in school

Dear all,

Decided to give you all a rest from Food for Thought as it was a long weekend last weekend. Wow, the school has been so busy these last two weeks with some great events, assemblies and sports performances. The school really is buzzing and looks great at the moment in all areas. The new Primary Apple lab looks fantastic and the decorations for 100 books/ 100 years have transformed floor 4.  As always thanks to everyone for your contributions to MUN, MRISA football, literacy month, PTO events, swimming, assemblies, exam invigilation and last but not least innovative teaching. Every day there seems to be something new to be celebrating which makes it exciting to come to school every day.

Complementing some of the work done by Robyn Trevyaud, through Commonsense media, with our students and as we start to plan for our advisory and homeroom programmes for next year, this post about bullying might provide food for thought for all of us in how we approach this particular topic. Bullying is something that we all hope doesn't take place in our school but know it does. Yes, we have policies in place but despite these research shows that bullying is as prevalent as it always has been and may in many areas appears to be increasing. Hence reading this post from Mindshift might help us all understanding some of the underlying features about bullying that we need to address in our programmes and classrooms.

I know for some of us keeping mindfulness practices going can be hard because we are often doing them on our own. This link is to a commercial mindfulness tool that could help you feel less alone, more supported and definitely more informed. Even if you don't want to join HeadSpace the website is worth a browse because it provides lots of information about mindfulness that could be shared with students.

Have a good Sunday,


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Food for Thought: Friendships

Dear all,

Another great week at ISHCMC with successes in many areas of the school that further indicate the positive growth that we are experiencing in student learning and performance in many different fields that stand out for me this week was the IB Diploma Art exhibition. This was my 26th Diploma Art Exhibition and I was incredibly impressed by the ability of our students to articulate their concepts and the artistic process that created their final exhibition pieces. I found their explanations mature beyond their years and their ability to share their academic thinking and research with an authentic audience very impressive.

Of course this does not mean that winning the Primary SISAC swimming for the second year, the Grade 5 entrepreneurial challenge and the Grade 3 Simple Machines UoI weren't also good moments this week. It is just that our Grade 12's stood up and demonstrated how well they have been taught and motivated in their programme.

This week a parent had a conversation about one of her sons and how he was deliberately resisting making friends because he didn't see the point knowing that in two or three years the family would be moving again. I shared a couple of resources about the importance of friendship in the hope that he will change his mind.   On Saturday evening,  Kate in her speech talked about the importance of friendship when you are away from your family at special moments in your life. During the day I read a few articles about positive psychology and the importance of friendship and liked the conclusion to this article

"So, how to make the most out of the assets of friendship?As always it starts with each of us acting as the agent of change in how we reach out, engage and remain active in the friendship. As we cultivate the friendship qualities, we will reap the joy it brings into our life."

This reading encourgaed me to reflect upon how important it is for us in our move toward becoming a Positive Education school to be building our own friendships and helping our students develop theirs and I found this article to be quite useful.
The overall conclusion for me this afternoon was that we have an important role to play in building the skills in our students to form lasting and meaningful friendships not only through our guidance but also by modeling in our relationships as a faculty.

Just to end my day I watched this inspirational video that pulled together so many of the ingredients that make friendships so important.

Have a good week,