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Coding Collaboration: Connecting Curriculum through the Library Learning Commons
How can the Learning Commons (and the teacher librarians who oversee them) be leveraged to develop and support integrated inquiry based learning experiences using the technological resources that are available in their makerspaces (robotics and coding) that connect back to the classroom and the greater school community?
By meaningfully growing the culture of learning commons through our school and board communities we will model the idea that everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher working collaboratively toward excellence. We know that students need to be critically literate in order to synthesize information, make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and thrive in an ever-changing global community. By growing the Learning Commons model into the classroom, we will support a school environment where reading thrives, learning literacies and technology competencies evolve, and critical thinking, creativity, innovation and playing to learn are nourished. It is important that students be connected to the curriculum; that they see themselves in what is taught, how it is taught, and how it applies to the world at large.
Working with coding and robotics requires that students: reason, communicate ideas, make connections, and apply knowledge and skills; assess their understanding of concepts, ability to solve problems, ability to apply concepts and procedures, and ability to communicate ideas; collaboratively share ideas and strategies, and talk about mathematics; use critical thinking skills (estimating, evaluating, classifying, assuming, recognizing relationships, hypothesizing, offering opinions with reasons, and making judgements). All components of problem solving that form the basis of effective mathematics programs and should be the mainstay of mathematical instruction. There are also many direct links to math curriculum expectations from K8. ex. explain how a coordinate system represents location, and plot points in the first quadrant of a Cartesian coordinate plane (Grade 5)
Our Learning Connections Project directly aligns with the “Why?” that frames our Student Inclusion, Well-Being, Engagement section of the BIPSA. This project promotes intellectual engagement, provides opportunities for authentic learning, and allows for opportunities to create partnerships between the school and the community. This will be attempted through the use of an inquiry-based approach, and a rich culminating task. The teaching and learning environment is inclusive, promotes the intellectual engagement of all students and reflects individual student strengths, needs, learning preferences and cultural perspectives. (SEF 3.1) Opportunities for authentic learning experiences and experiential learning exist in all classrooms, schools and community programs. (SEF 5.2)
The school and community build partnerships to enhance learning opportunities and well-being for students. (SEF 6.3)
Our Learning Connections Project directly aligns with the “What?” that frames our Student Inclusion, Well-Being, Engagement section of the BIPSA. If we implement effective initiatives, “then we will increase student engagement, student achievement, student credit accumulation, and the percentage of students.” Again, the inquiry-based approach we are taking and the rich task will engage students, and provide teachers with the necessary opportunities to make the connections between pedagogy, technology, and the curriculum.
The “How?” that follows from the above goal is to provide engagement opportunities to encourage and empower student voice and career exploration opportunities. The LCP will engage students in authentic, real-life applications of coding, robotics, and technology, which will point them towards career opportunities in the above fields. It will also provide opportunities for teachers to see the connections between coding and robotics to the current curriculum.
Teach higher order critical literacy/thinking skills through real life learning experiences and initiatives. Purposely incorporate technology into daily instruction to improve student achievement.