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Alexis Soffler 

STEM Carts- Simple Idea, Complicated Learning

“What did you do at recess?” I asked my 5th grade son. “Played poker…” He said. While I’m not actually opposed to that, the thought that came to my mind as an educator was “We can do better.” This sent me on a quest for “playful learning” that I could bring to the school. There is a growing understanding that play is an essential part of the childhood experience, but only recently as educators have we awakened to how important it is to learning. Research tells us that play is vital for…

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Alexis Soffler 

Sitting in the Discomfort

Wanting and finding resolution or conclusions is part of human nature. We don’t like to “not know where we are going”. We don’t like when we don’t know what the outcome will be, and we don’t like to feel incomplete. But this is part of learning, in particular in open-ended, non-scripted learning This is Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). This is the learning space between where you can’t do the task at all and where you can do the task unaided. It is the space and time when you require…

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Uncategorized 

Frustration and The Blog

I started my day with unfinished business from yesterday.  A highly important email had never made its way into my work email.  This email contained the link and login to my blogging site.  My work and my voice were being stymied. About an hour into the the class, my ability to begin my contribution to the blog and to my own progress in the class were still not available to me. Since the class was more than half way over, I had the sinking feeling that I would be left…

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Uncategorized 

The Colors of Fall

Welcoming Students is a time honored affair. In the Fall, as the summer wears off and  green of the leaves expires into the umber, reds, golds and rusts of their true colors, the  thoughts of a community return to school. The children lay out their new clothes and  shoes. They pack their traditional book bags with pencils, erasers, notebooks, and  lunches. But,unlike the times of the past, the kids pack their iPads, iPhones, kindles,  computer external drives, batteries, etc. Afterall, they are the generation leading the  way in technology. They…

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Alexis Soffler 

Growth Mindset is About Making Mistakes and Learning From Them

  A friend said she wanted to crawl under her chair for me. We had proposed a STEM event connected to Israeli innovation and we proposed it for Yom Hazikaron (Israeli memorial day). As an elementary school, we tend not to dwell on days that reflect on death, survival, and fear (those conversations come later). In the United States, Memorial Day doesn’t have a somber tone, so… Why not a STEM challenge? Well, this was not a good decision. There is a very different perspective and feel about this day…

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Hadas Heyman 

Reflect on Blogging

Blogging can be perceived in many ways in ones eyes. We can all use personal blogs in various ways to reach different audience and goals. I use my classroom blog to reach the parents of my students, hoping they will have a glimpse of what we do in class every week. I am not always sure that my goal was reached, however writing my blog was part of my weekly routines in the past few years. I must say that spending time with Andrea Hernandez today, learning about blogging and…

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Andrea Hernandez 

Day ONE of Transforming

We are wrapping up the first day of the 2-day “bootcamp.” Here are the slides (for both days): Charles E. Smith edJEWcon Bootcamp from edjewcon Slide: Literacy has always been defined by technology (we watched the intro where she talks about this idea) Are you holding back? (Obvious to You, Amazing to Others) We didn’t have time to watch this one, but maybe another time 🙂 Face Your Fear My Thoughts and Impressions: I get so excited about this work. This is my first time doing this blogging work, in-depth, with…

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Kim Sherk 

Literacy Moves at the Speed of Technology

By some strange coincidence today, the idea that literacy is (and has always been) driven by the speed of technology emerged multiple times and in multiple conversations with colleagues. Historically, only the very richest and most important members of society could read. Today we take it for granted that the majority of adults can read and consume material at an extremely high rate of speed, comprehension, and synthesis. Students in today’s classrooms not only need to be able to read books and instructions on the practice sheets given to them by…

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