Among the more ambitious spontaneous projects I’ve attempted as a teacher, the 30 Person Rock Band project came out of a conversation with my guitar class about what our next endeavour should be: songwriting, another recording of individual or group progress, a performance, or… something a little bigger. Something we’ll discover as we go, together. […]Read more "The Thirty Person Rock Band"
Tonight you reigned in triumph, and I hope that you each savour what this experience has revealed of the possibility you hold within yourselves. You will know success in this life for what tonight has taught you about the personal nature of success, the irrationality of fear and the necessity of friendship. Do not despair […]Read more "Shared Solitudes"
Linked from the TALONS Blogging page on this site. As a personal professional development and learning tool, I began this blog during the spring of 2009 as a means of connecting to the web and the world in the most personalized manner possible. After experimenting with Twitter, Delicious, and an English Department blog at work, […]Read more "TALONS Class Blogging 2011 – 2012"
Though almost two months old, Liam’s English 11 Final Project – any substantial meditation and communication of a unique theme of the learner’s choice – is a compelling contribution of ‘student-voice’ in the conversation of education reform. Liam’s skills of research and storytelling, as well as argument and presentation are particularly on display throughout, as […]Read more "Liam’s English Final as documentary film: On Education"
This week the Talons English class will be embarking on a novel study in a manner different from what we have explored in the past. Previously, the group of 28 students – completing requirements for English 9, 10 and 11 at the honours level – has undertaken the study of a single book that has […]Read more "Novel Study Preview"
As a means to delve creatively into the cultural geography in Western Canada, our socials ten students will be undertaking the creation of public service announcements on issues relating to the present states of plants and animals across several different biomes. Having practiced digital storytelling skills in writing, performing and editing a brief time-line of […]Read more "Cultural Geography Public Service Announcements"
The other night my teaching partner and I, along with two of our students, gave a brief presentation to our local School Board Trustees outlining the basic tenants of our Autonomous Learner Model-inspired two-year gifted students program. At the conclusion of our small talk, our superintendent offered praise to our learners’ poise and confidence in […]Read more "Think Different (Or: Do as we say, not as we do.)"
My sister showed me a quote from David W. Orr she came across during an Environmental Education course this summer. When study is meaningful, the subject is often not what is learned. The goal of education is not mastery of subject matter, but mastery of one’s person. Subject matter is simply a tool. Much as […]Read more "David W. Orr's "Goal of Education""
As the final week of our class’ Eminent Person Study draws to a close, my RSS feed from our blogs has filled with reports on interviews, summaries of learning centers, reflections on the Night of the Notables itself, and the students’ work continues to astound. Though the grade tens in the class are busy at […]Read more "Eminent Person Wrap Up & Student Examples"
Dear Jordan, Justin, Louise, Kiko, Ariana, Julie, Saskia, Katie, Clare, Nick, Andrea, Steven and Darren, Tonight you were fifteen and yet brimming with a wisdom so beyond your years. You were the inhabitants of characters written into history, and yet discovered newly in these last weeks, lit aflame under the power of your sheer determination. […]Read more "A letter to my students, on a night they were alive"