Getting Outside

Nature. The Great Outdoors. The sounds and sights of being outdoors.

Being in an online classroom does present some challenges. One of them is it’s hard to organize to get students outside. It’s sometimes hard to get everyone to go outside as each person is in different circumstances which makes their access to the outside different. Not all students live in a house with a backyard. So today, when planning to have students go outside I was very aware that there were students who did not have that option so had to provide the option to be able to do what we were doing while inside if they had no way to go outside. What I wanted to encourage was for students to get up and get outside if they could.

Re – Thinking Planning

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s new book The Practice in which Godin discusses the shifting social reality in which the ability to share our thoughts, our work, our Practice with other people is important. That is allows us to serve others and help them by sharing the work we are doing. The idea is that we need to show up each day and do the work and then share it with others. Now, not everyone will like it and that is part of sharing. Not everyone needs to like it. You aren’t making it for everyone, you are making it for someone.

Not everyone likes the same thing. In fact, if you were to begin to really explore some of the things we do, we might find that there are some people who would not be interested in what we do. Like camping. Most of my family really likes camping. We like being at the campsite, being outdoors and enjoying that time. Except our one son. He doesn’t like camping. He doesn’t enjoy the experience very much. When he was younger, he had no real choice but to go on these outdoor adventures with us but now that he is older, he doesn’t have to.

So when we’re creating things for others, it’s important to focus on that fact that not all people will like it. And that got me thinking about my planning for school. How can I approach my planning in such a way that I can honour that not all students will like it yet balance that knowing there are particular outcomes that are required to be explored. (I don’t like the word covered.) How can my planning begin to offer options that will allow students the opportunity to explore the outcomes within the parameters of what we are doing? In some areas, I am much more comfortable with this while in others, like math and science, I struggle mostly because I am unaware of options. One of more recent posts was how a short PD session one night really helped me to see more options for math.

Venture Outside

I like the outdoors in the summer. The winter, not so much. In summer, there are so many options. And there are so many options because I of how I approach being outside – I have a positive mindset about being outdoors in the summer. But in the winter, yeah, nope. I know that there are many many options for doing things outdoors but my mindset isn’t positive. As I reflected back on the ways to have students doing things today, I realized that it wasn’t just my lack of awareness about what to do in those other areas, but my ‘practice’ was much more developed in some areas. I had taken time to find things and study that I just wasn’t doing with those areas in which I struggled.

This means I need to venture outside of what I am doing and explore new approaches. I am reading Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics by Peter Liljedahl as I take a step on that direction. It’s something that the school division is exploring and it provides an opportunity to explore with a group of others who are doing the same. In the past, I would have said I was venturing outside my comfort zone but I now see it more that I have become aware that I need to do more learning. Out of my comfort zone is snowshoeing in minus 25C weather. That’s out of my comfort zone, for now.

I’ll see where this practice will take me. I may not ship it to everyone but I will definitely be sharing it with someone – hopefully my students.

Just some of the things I’m thinking about today.

Remember, wherever you are, Every Day is a PD Day.

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