Are phone fan outs history?

Today is a snow day in our school board. I received a phone call 40 minutes after the news was posted on twitter. I am at the top of the fan out system. Colleagues were texting me to find out if I forgot to call them. When events like this occur, communication is essential. However, perhaps the phone fan out is a little old fashioned. With email, texting, and social media surrounding us, perhaps it is time to modernize paths of communication. I vote to set the phone fan out aside.

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Exploring inquiry

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I am part of a group of teachers at my school who is looking into the inquiry approach to classroom learning. This summer, we all read Ron Berger’s book An Ethic of Excellence. the book was a great confidence builder for taking on and inspiring the inquiry process in a classroom that builds upon learning. I am still reflecting on how to bring more of the book into my learning.

Our group meets regularly and we decided to walk through 2 classrooms a month making comments about the learning space. We all had a classroom walk through observation form to complete.

Being free spirited, I decided to offer my classroom up first. I think I know what is right and wrong in my classroom. It is a work in progress. What I liked is the feedback I received. Both positive and constructive, I enjoyed and agreed with all of it. What I found difficult was being in the room while it happened, I decided I needed to go for a walk, until the process was completed.

So what did I learn? I learned that I have a neat, organized, welcoming space. Cool. I learned that I had some anchor charts left up from last year that I forgot to take down.

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One comment that intrigued me was one about covering up all of the teaching resources that I have on shelves near by desk. They resources are in a corner, near my desk, in a sort of a “defined as mine” space. I didn’t really think it was that big of deal but it got me thinking about the contents of the shelf.
How many of those books had I used in the past year? Or longer?
How much of that information could I find faster online?
How much of it is outdated?
I have decided that I need to spend some time thinning my resources. If I have not opened it in 3 years, maybe I should just get rid of it.

Stay tuned as I share, learn and discover.

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Elevators

So, I went to the market Saturday. It is in downtown Kitchener, and I love going there. It never ceases to amaze me, the things I find. Occasionally, my children come with me, but sometimes they sleep in.

Last week, I had a confrontation in the elevator that frustrated me greatly. My cart was full, so I took the elevator down to the parking lot. An elderly lady was in there with me, with her cart as well. The door opened, and this man shoved his way in, making annoying comments about the fact that we were trying to get out. I told him if we did not get out, he would not get in. He disagreed and said we were the ones who were wrong.

I find elevators frustrating. Maybe because I do not take elevators often. I really think that you have to exit first. I do not understand rude people. There will be no room in the elevator unless you let the people exit.

Kind of shallow, but just my thoughts.

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