Recently I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Belleville with the team from Hastings and Prince Edward DSB. We connected with Simcoe County DSB for their second full group meeting for their project. For information of their project and the initial planning, see my post for my visit to SCDSB.
This project is all about creativity, critical thinking…and most of all, collaboration. The collaboration of this group is evident as each of the partnered teachers from the two districts have already met online and started co-planning their activity/lesson/project. The purpose of this meeting was for the partnerships to share their progress and discuss next steps. Using a shared Google Presentation, each team shared their work and the details of their individual projects.
Jamie and Trevor:
The focus for this partnership is to co-plan the Fluids unit incorporating Data Management and mathematical processes with scientific inquiry. They created a series of minds on activities where students will then co-construct questions in a Google Doc. From these questions, students will be in small groups across the two districts to explore one question with a focus on quantitative data collection through experimentation.
Next steps: connect the two classes and determine how students will collaborate.
Paulyne and Jennifer:
This team will focus on the units Form & Function for the SCDSB grade 7s and Mechanical Advantage for the HPEDSB grade 8s. Students from the two classes have already met online for a “meet and greet” and will start meaningful inquiry focussed meetings soon. Their inquiry theme is to investigate a real world problem. Students will then design, construct or improve a structure, simple machine or device that is connected to their problem. You can follow their project @MSTproject!
Next steps: individual groups will meet online and teachers will determine how the students can incorporate mathematics into their projects.
James and Warren:
These teachers are co-planning the Structures and Mechanisms unit for grade 7 Science and plan to link their project to the Data Management and Measurement unit for Mathematics. Students will design a bridge in partners and use mathematical communication skills to create identical structures across the two classes. The two classes have met online through Google Hangouts and will continue to collaborate through Google Docs.
Next steps: with support from districts leads, they will determine the most efficient way for the students to communicate, collaborate and co-plan.
I really like the STEM focus of this project and the approach to have the teachers lead their own inquiry with their students. Although the collaboration across the two districts has been challenging at times, the perseverance of the group is admirable and some great learning is coming out of this project. It is my hope that some day, collaboration and communication with these “newish” technologies become second nature in education and collaboration between districts will be easy. Keep up the great work in paving the way!
My fun pic: the usual 2 hour drive took me 3 hours due to crappy road conditions on the 401. Out of necessity, I stopped at the EnRoute in Trenton to get lunch at Tim Hortons. Lucky for me, I arrived when I did because bus loads of students showed up as I was ordering lunch! I would have never gotten my food if I showed up 2 minutes later.