Thursday, November 14, 2013

Deleted comment.

Sorry Stephie,

I inadvertentally deleted your comment on my pesky tablet.

Stephie has left a new comment on your post "You Want to Get Rid of Your Desks?": 
I wonder if you have come across the Moveable Classroom concept? In case not:

Woodworking plans for the benches are available online. 

I will check this out.  I find Waldorf intriguing.  I will also look at your own site too.

Thanks for sharing,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Classroom Designers Unite!

Okay, I admit it.  Once in a while, I google my own name.  I am always curious about what comes up and what rises to the top. Apparently, I am highly rated at a school at which I have never taught.  There is an apartment in Seattle which I never bought but I am on record as doing so.

One hit that really surprised me though was when my name came up in a site in Ireland. Going to the site, curiosity gave way to interest as it turned out to be a scholarly site about Classroom Design!  Then I got really excited as I read Caoimhe McMahon's post.  Caoimhe is a grad student who is investigating about how classroom environments impact posture and learning.

I was so happy to hear that someone is studying the effects of classroom design.  If you've been reading this blog, you know how I've been poking at classroom design for the past Couple of years but in an ad hoc way.  I feel really validated that serious study is being done on a subject that I am stumbling around in the dark about but still a subject that I feel has untapped value.

If you are like me, a homegrown classroom designer, check out Caoimhe's and other posts.

Sound Lesson

I did this lesson for my older buddy class next door.  It was an apology for making so much noise the week before.  I was teaching my grade 2 class about how stringed instruments had evolved from lutes and mandolins to really loud electric guitars and basses.  I made too much noise and totally disrupted the class next door.  When I heard they were learning about sound in science anyway, I thought I could teach them a similar lesson, but from a science point of view instead of a historical one.

Later on, I found out that the lesson had impacted one of the students.  It was the first time she really started to get the idea of sound as vibrations and waves. I told the students that sound comes from vibrations. They held their throats while they hummed different sounds. I showed them that sound travels out in waves by shaking and oscillating a long skipping rope but it really became clear when I showed them sound waves of my voice as I spoke, using an Oscilloscope app on my tablet.

This really got the attention of that student, who happens to be deaf. She could see that high pitched sounds had short fast waves and low loud sounds had long, large waves.  And when I played my bass really loud she could feel the vibration go right through her body.

I am glad that the lesson was so successful for her. It is a great feather in my cap that I was able to help a deaf person understand some concepts about sound.  BUT it is bittersweet because it was accidental, it wasn't my own class, and with the changes in curriculum, I don't know if I'll ever do that lesson again.

Still worth it.