After chatting with Lindsey and touring the school (which included watching the K students get in their daily physical activity by having a little morning dance...so cute), I checked out a math class that is using video games to teach. Now at first I thought that meant gamification (which I do not know a lot about, but it involves a lot of external rewards, which I try to avoid in my classroom), but I quickly learned that was not what she was doing at all. Teaching through games is different. The video game she was using, Anti-chamber, is built on problem solving, which related directly to the unit of study in her math class. Students were engaged, on task and learning. Very cool.
I loved this post-it note activity and it is definitely something I am going to 'steal' from my visit. And that is what is so wonderful about these, as Lindsey puts it, "cross-pollination" visits...we can step into someone else's world, look at their classroom and units and 'steal' brilliant ideas.
When we are beginner teachers, we are told to "beg, borrow and steal" lesson plans from our colleagues. But I worry that once we gain experience, too many people stop this practice because their filing cabinets are now full of ideas and they don't have to 'shop around' anymore. But then we risk losing something so incredible...that conversation with our colleagues, both in and out of our own schools.
I love visiting...I love wandering the halls of my own school and checking out what everyone is doing and I love visiting other schools. Thank goodness for spring break, professional development days, and a principal who will cover my class so that I get these opportunities. Thank goodness for twitter, youtube, blogs, pinterest and all the other online platforms I use to connect with other educators.
Thank you Lindsey and everyone at your lovely school for inviting me into your precious learning space. I can't wait for you to visit my school!