The last couple of weeks have been hectic but so amazing and full of learning opportunities. I have totally been enjoying the new group of students that I have been working with this semester. There have been many moments both planned and not planned and positive and not so positive that have occurred. Even though I have taught for many years there is still much to learn from each situation and there is always a chance to get better, meet the needs of my students where they need it, work with colleagues to improve each other, and also look after personal and family life. I have also many opportunities to grow professionally during the last few weeks with SIOP training, institute and teacher convention, looking a privacy protocol, teacher issues, take on a pre intern, and all the goodness that was Microsoft Education Exchange.
I plan to write separate blogs on these events/experiences but I just thought I'd collect some of my thoughts and see where they take me. There is always something to reflect, share, challenge, and grow from. I feel very fortunate to recognize this and hope to this to another level and share with and hopefully have something to offer that would at least make one person stop and think and even make them better too.
I have been using Minecraft in my Math classroom for the last few years now and I continue grow in my understanding and engagement in it. My math classes have been using it a lot lately .... my math 09 has been using Minecraft to understand symmetry through a pixel art project and surface area by building structures - my work place 20 has been using Minecraft to create roller coasters to learn about slope. I have enjoyed students be creative and being able to be engaged and creative in forming their own understandings of these concepts. I saw some students who aren't always 'thrilled' to be in Minecraft really get into the assignment and some who like getting just the notes and questions get out of their 'comfort' zone. There was some great collaboration going on and saw students plan and share responsibilities. I also saw some students get distracted ... some play was encouraged but some took it a little too far. There were those who unfortunately didn't practice positive digital citizenship that we talked about and actively went into people's projects without permission and with destructive intentions. Still over all it was great for me as a teacher to pop into their 'worlds' and see them create, collaborate, communicate and use critical thinking as they showed understanding of concepts taught (which are 21st Century Learnng skills but I would argue just preset day learning skills). I would say that this be R rated on the SAMR model as it has Redefined how students look at and work through math concepts (also great to be able to show these concepts in 3d instead of 2d). I got my Minecraft Certified Educator badge this week and have been working on my Marketplace presentation for the Microsoft E2 conference in Toronto happening in 10 days (very excited). My lessons can be found here https://education.minecraft.net/user/dean-vendramin
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 20 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.