Showing posts from June, 2013


Have a wonderful summer.  May your inquiries be  filled with wonder and may  your time  seem  endless.

Summer is approaching

I have been reading many plans for summer projects from my Feedly list. Some great inquiries happening over the summer months. I love the self directed PD, and the time for personal inquiry. Like 20% time, or Genius Hour, or I-Time, but an entire summer of it. As for me, I will be taking the opposite approach this summer. I will be disconnecting. No internet and no school. Not until August (well, I will occasionally check my email). After finishing my M.Ed (this friday), I need time away from personal inquiry and writing. I need to let it all sink in. The best way to do that, in my experience, is to put it out of mind. Sure, it will sneak in there every now and again. I will get ideas, and I will jot them down. But, I hope to have the strength to let them go, and to just enjoy the moment as they happen. If they are great ideas, they will return to me when I need them. This summer I plan to: Read nothing but fiction and poetry. Write nothing but fictional stories and poems.  Wa

#pypchat Europe

As summer approaches, this will probably wander from the minds of most (myself included, my canoe calls me) so I will try to summarize. This is the plan to date from the input of many, and it is completely open so please make suggestions. I am positive it will change as we work out the bugs and try and find something that works for most. #pypchat europe will be fortnightly on Thursday evenings, at 9pm (Central European Time) It will start on September 5th or 12th It will be on the same week as #pypchat asia/oceania  It will use the same wiki, the same topics, and the same questions Moderators will be from the European region (thanks to all those who have volunteered, and if you want to volunteer, please contact me ) It will be awesome (if we make it so) Please spread the word. Enjoy summer. #pypchat wiki #pypchat google+ page

In defense of writing fiction

Why does writing fiction slowly start to disappear in schools? It starts out like wildfire in the early years, and then it starts to fade around middle school. The creative act of writing, the contours and swerves of storytelling, are replaced with a linear, rigid model of logic. State your hypothesis, introduce your main points, back up with.... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ......................... The rational scientific style of writing wins out in the end. Why? Perhaps because that is what we assess, and that is what test-markers are looking for. Perhaps because our curriculum is structured to push students into academia, as that is seen as the holy grail of education (it is not). Perhaps because we see fiction as something that only professional authors do, and you're not going to be a professional author, so lets teach you something more useful. Here are some statements that have no scientific backing, but I know to be true in my heart: - writing fiction makes your n

Networks and control

John is sitting at his table and working on a fractions problem. He is trying to determine how to cut a submarine sandwich fairly so everybody gets an equal piece. He gets stumped on how to cut a ⅓ piece into fourths. Does he multiply ⅓ by ¼, or does he divide? Puzzled, John asks his neighbor. The neighbor isn’t sure either. One person at the table thinks it might be multiplication, but they are not sure. The question is posed to a different table. This table is also unsure, so the question travels in two directions; left to yet another table, and right to the final table. Quickly, only a couple of seconds have elapsed since John made his question audible, the entire class, all four tables, are thinking about the problem. There are several theories, but nobody knows the answer. I happen to be listening at the time, and I am able to orient the classes attention and ask questions that will challenge their theories and lead us closer to the desired answer . This type of situa