Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Connect 2015 Day One

Today was an amazing day! First of all I have to thank ETFO for the opportunity to be able to attend today's conference. I think more teachers should have the opportunity to attend conferences such as this. If you haven't done so, I strongly encourage it!

I arrive slightly nervous and excited. I had a hard time even picking out my outfit I was so excited. Upon arrival I received my lanyard and "ALL ACCESS PASS"  badge.

I am impressed that the ribbons available had a sense of humour! 

After a little bit of my life juice (coffee with just milk), I headed on over to the theatre to hear the keynote speaker: Eric Sheninger @E_Sheninger

He really had the audience thinking about what is possible!

His passion for student learning, pushing teachers to pursue passions of their own and encouraging telling your own story was evident. I had quite a few ah-ha moments. 

1. His school, students and staff are doing amazing things and they were a school with challenges of their own at one time. He shared the struggle during Q&A of how not every teacher was on board in the beginning. 

I wanted to clap loudly at this point. Not everyone will be on board or share your vision. It was also nice to see that it is possible in a school that had struggles. Each school has their own obstacles to overcome and conquer daily-but it was refreshing to hear that all of these amazing things are happening in his school and could happen in my school too!

2. Tell you story

 I had never really heard of it like that before. I already blog but I felt like I had an awakening! Tell my story or someone else will and I may not like how they tell it. YES! Absolutely!

I have been on the fence about purchasing his book but after this opening message I definitely think I have found my summer read. Anyone interested in a book club?

Following the keynote speaker were sessions that I had signed up for. I attended:

1) The Maker Movement: It's about making up your own mind.
2)Inquiring Minds want to know
3)Making the best of Learning spaces-Physical, Virtual and everything in between
4)Leveraging Technology to Engage and Inspire Students in Math Class
5)Math meets Technology

Here are some of my big ah-ha moments

Education should provide more opportunities to be hands on.
I know that I have always thought it but there have been times that I have been sucked into the worksheet dance with the photocopier. I admit. (head is low with shame). I know in my head no student walks away saying, "That was an amazing worksheet! I learned so much today!".
Opportunities to touch, feel, create, build, code, engage and most of all fail.  They need to be provided the opportunities to learn about their own learning and not getting it right the first time provides that naturally.

The third teacher: the environment! 
Since my return to work after maternity leave I have been more aware of the environment. Today it wasn't just about the layout or the cozy chairs available but more then that. Does my environment value thinking? Promote thinking? Engage thinking? It really has given me something to think about. I will be looking at my classroom with a different lens on Friday.

Math can be motivating and engaging.
 I was a student who was good at math...but didn't really understand it.  I was a student who would have felt it was unfair when the teacher had put a question that didn't look like the exemplar on the test.

Kyle Pearce @mathletePearce
There is a shift in mathematical pedagogy. 
I believe it. 
It is no more about teaching math topics in isolation but building connections. ( No silos of understanding from Kyle Pearce) It is no longer about assigning work, take up homework, lesson, examples, homework and repeat. It is no longer about the program/textbook/rap you found on line that you are using but how you will engage and motivate students to think deeper, build connections and engage more with math. 
I know this already...but something about hearing it put that way today. Seeing it all layer out like that in front of you. It was inspiring! Math can be engaging for students and we all need to try to push our own lessons to be more enticing. 

Today was such a motivating day.
I can't wait for tomorrow for day two!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your learning here and on Twitter! I really struggled with not being at the conference yesterday -- I felt it was a bad time of the year for me to be away, but watching the tweets and seeing the list of speakers, I REALLY wanted to be there. Your post helps me take away some learning from the speakers and the sessions even without being there. This makes me wonder about all of those people not online. What are they missing? Are they accessing this information in another way?


  2. Thanks for sharing your learning. I would definitely love to do a summer book club on the book you mention above. Although I don't know the author, anything supported by Yong Zhao gets an A+ in my book!


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