Thursday, April 20, 2017

40 years on...

40 years on from the time when Mr V flicked the 'learning switch' within me,
Six months on from tracking my form one and two teacher down in Niue, where he now resides,

and today we met up again!

Wow, what an incredible privilege to meet again face to face!  Our email exchanges over the past few months have paved the way and we recognised each other instantly. 

I was transported back to the very enjoyable time of learning... the time of photos taken on Keith's camera around Allanton, developed in the converted cupboard at the top of the stairs from the staffroom.  I can still close my eyes and reimagine the smell of the chemicals, and the trays, and tongs, and the importance of the procedure and process.  I still feel the overwhelming sense of trust Keith had in us, respect and trust.  

The photos may have faded, but the memories and the history is strong... 

Agh, the times of going door to door around the community, gathering favourite family recipes, typing them up, and using the banda machine to copy of recipe books to sell to raise funds for school camp. There were enduring elements of trust, fun, choice and self direction in Keith's programme.  

I have always attributed my love of photos to Mum and her 'box-brownie'.  Just today, I realise, that Keith, you probably enhanced this. As we have moved to the digital error, I take countless photos... something like 20+ a day on average... and have treasured memories of most of life's journeys.  I am always capturing perspectives through the lens, and think I always will.

Our relaxed chatter over lunch was a real privilege after a 40 year gap.  So much to catch up on, so little time.  A precious reminder - take and make time for the important things in life. Who has had a significant impact on your life?  Do they know? If not, maybe now is the time to tell them...

Today though marks a very special day for me... I am an educator, I am a connected educator, I am a facilitator, ... maybe, as Mum calls me, I really am a 'facilitator of happiness'!!!

Happy to have reconnected today, thanks Keith!

Forever grateful that I took the time to write about my 'learning switch' flip,
Forever grateful of the chance connection to locate you via email in Niue,
Forever grateful for the passion for learning, that you modelling, and the empowerment and agency you gifted us...
Forever grateful that I held the dreams you gifted us, and went on to become a teacher...
Forever grateful for the power of technology, when used for good, to connect us online, to enable the face to face connection,
and even more grateful that this face to face connection will endure future online catch ups....
Until you return later this year.... lunch is on me next time!

Thank you for the trust, respect, passion, love of learning, inspiration and genuine care...
The world is a greater place when people inspire others... You inspire me, and in turn, may I be half as inspirational to those I walk alongside....

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Independent Reading Activity with Instructional Series

How are you using the Instructional Series?
I would like to share how I have been working with classes to use this site for a follow up independent reading activity after an Instructional Reading Session. 

On an iPad, using Safari (yes truly Safari), type in  
Use the filter function to the level of books your learner is working with. I have filtered to purple.  If you click on the word purple you will see the titles that are available to listen to independently or with a buddy or group. (using ear buds, or using as a listening post with a splitter.)

On the top right of the iPad, click on the upload icon, then click on 'add to Home Screen'

Click on the Add button on the top right.

This appears as an icon on the iPad to books in the Instructional Series filtered to Purple. 

The critical step now, is to add a purple sticker or dot to this iPad, so learners know if they are on purple this is the iPad for them. 

Repeat filtering to other levels, and adding other dots.

I would love to know how this works for your learners.