Genius Hour - Looking Back to Move Forward

Genius Hour – Looking Back to Move Forward

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. Source: http://www.aneverydaystory.com/beginners-guide-to-reggio-emilia/main-principles/ […]

Hello World - A Coding Journey!

Hello World – A Coding Journey!

Follow me on a year long journey exploring coding in Canadian schools. This video is a part of the requirements for my MPED Capstone project at Western University. This documentary will recount a full year in review from my perspective (and recording on my phone) and will explore the grassroots coding movement across Canada from […]

Coding an Unfair Coin With MicroBit

Coding an Unfair Coin With MicroBit

In this activity we will code an unfair coin to demonstrate probability with the MicroBit. It was announced this morning that MicroBit is launching an educational foundation and educators across the globe will be able to get their hands on this gadget. As such, we will build a quick app to demonstrate an unfair coin. […]

Coding an Interactive Map of Canada

Coding an Interactive Map of Canada

In this activity we are going to code an interactive map of Canada.   Thanks to Ryan Smith (@ryan_psmith) for the lesson plan.   This. Totally This. https://t.co/bDapD4WPxM — Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) October 16, 2016 The Scratch app will detect what colour your mouse cursor is hovering and reveal the appropriate Province or Territory. In […]

A Fair Chance For Learning: Niagara Falls Edition #FCLedu

A Fair Chance For Learning: Niagara Falls Edition #FCLedu

A Fair Chance For Learning: Niagara Falls Edition Ignite Event Empower Innovators. Inspire Educators. Transform Learning. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/a-fair-chance-for-learning-bit-edition-tickets-28584043644 Our mission is to provide educational leadership and meaningful professional learning services that inspire teachers and learners to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.fairchancelearning.com Big news, Ontario! Join us for a night of […]

Maker is a Culture, Not a Space

Maker is a Culture, Not a Space

Makerspace is a growing trend in education that requires aligned pedagogical beliefs and philosophies, but unfortunately gets implemented without much foundation, research or understanding of constructivism. Maker culture leans heavily on the idea of constructivism – that is, the notion that learning is best done through doing. “I am convinced that the best learning takes […]

Coding Random Letter Games With Scratch

Coding Random Letter Games With Scratch

In this challenge we are going to create a Stopwatch (Countdown timer) and Random Letter Generator using Scratch. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, debugging) Mathematical Thinking (greater than, less than, integers, random) Literacy (consonants and vowels, parts of speech, rhyming, patterns of speech) Activity: You might wish to do this activity as a class and […]

Coding: Developing Rigorous Thinkers

Coding: Developing Rigorous Thinkers

I may have caused some tension on Saturday when I sent this tweet. In no way was I suggesting we shouldn’t teach writing (or any other subject). Teaching kids to code means to make them think and solve problems through risk taking and trial & error. #FCLedu pic.twitter.com/FlJzLM6dAw — Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) September 17, 2016 […]

Coding & Inquiry - Determining Integer Operation Rules Through Observation

Coding & Inquiry – Determining Integer Operation Rules Through Observation

In this challenge, students can code an app to determine the rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division of two integers. Classroom application: After building this Scratch app, have students run through a set of different numbers and record their observations (e.g.: multiplying two negative numbers yields a positive product). From here, have them determine […]

Physical Literacy & Math: Coding the Beep Test

Physical Literacy & Math: Coding the Beep Test

In this challenge we are going to write code to simulate the Beep Test training program using Button A as input to trigger the application. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, patterning, debugging, analyzing) Number Sense (Intervals, Data Ranges) Physical Education (Running, Sprinting, Interval Training)   The multi-stage fitness test, also known as the beep test is a […]

Creating Simulations: Coin Flipping With Micro:Bit #CTMindset #FCLedu

Creating Simulations: Coin Flipping With Micro:Bit #CTMindset #FCLedu

Task: In this activity, students will create a working coin flipping simulator using the Micro:Bit (or online simulation). Learning Goals: • Compare experimental probabilities with the theoretical probability of an outcome involving independent events. • Create simple algorithms that reflect computational thinking • Create visual representations of problems and data • Explore visual programming Head […]

Swirlly - Online Spirograph

Swirlly – Online Spirograph

As part of the requirements for my latest MPed course, I created swirlly for students to inquire about changing variables and drawing circles. The goal of this course was to explore STEAM – more specifically how to engage kids in arts and mathematics. As a grade 8 math teacher, I thought the spirograph would be […]

STEAM: Creating Strong Intellectual Skills

STEAM: Creating Strong Intellectual Skills

In the article “Why the Arts Make Sense in Education” Linda Nathan makes claim that “our young people need to be immersed in artistic experiences (and) they must also develop strong intellectual skills” (p.178) which sounds very similar to Papert’s Mathland when describing LOGO in Mindstorms. “The Turtle World was a microworld, a ‘place,’ a […]

What is Your Workflow?

What is Your Workflow?

Last Saturday marked the 2nd TEDxKitchenerED at the Centre for International Governance Innovation downtown. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to share the stage with some very amazing folks from across Ontario. Check out the speaker line-up here. During intermission, I had an interesting conversation with Jamie Weir, Will Gourley and Dina […]

The Myth of Average

The Myth of Average

  The notion of “wide walls”,  “low floor – high ceiling”, “multiple entry points”, and “personalized learning” have me in a bit of a tiff this morning. Yup, a TIFF. All great ideas and proven to provide confidence in learners when all can be successful but how can we truly provide multiple entry points, “rich” […]

Have You Ever Flown Bearskin Airlines?

Have You Ever Flown Bearskin Airlines?

Recently I had the opportunity to visit some very northern parts of our beautiful Province. Full disclosure, I consider Sudbury to be quite north and it isn’t even half way to Sioux Lookout, so I was slightly apprehensive about this trek. I experienced the wonderful Bearkin Airlines and met some very friendly people who could […]