Rethinking Learning Spaces

Source: Rethinking Learning Spaces

A trait that I admire above all things is someone who is a creative risk-taker.  When Mark Carbone reached out and asked me to talk live about my experience with redesigning learning spaces, my introvert hesitated for about 15 nanoseconds, before I responded “yes!”!

Mark and Jamie and I come from diverse backgrounds in education and yet in Southwestern Ontario, we’re practically neighbours.  Here is our 1/2 hour discussion on how our classrooms are changing as our education paradigm shifts.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to capture my learning in a moment.  (I think I’ll have to include it as part of my annual learning plan.)

The experience itself has launched many new ideas in my mind so beware!  I’m not finished yet.

The Bear by Claire Cameron

The BearThe Bear by Claire Cameron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The UGDSB has just chosen this book as our board-wide novel for secondary students and author Ms. Cameron will be visiting schools in May 2015. After reading this terrifying novel, I am nervous about the problematic areas in Cameron’s choices. As a parent, I can only describe the first 2/3 of the books as horrific, as main character Anna, 5 years old, attempts to care for her 2 year old brother in the wilderness of Algonquin Park after a trauma happens to Anna’s parents and the two children are left on their own. Nothing could be scarier except…trying to find food, and exposure to the elements, and the confusion of being suddenly alone. Every minute of Anna’s narration is heartbreaking. As a secondary school librarian, I hope the teens who pick up The Bear won’t be turned off by the narrative voice, and won’t be scared to ever go camping again. There are many issues to explore about wilderness, survival, bears and PTSD so I’m hoping the book will open avenues to inquiry. There is nothing explicitly horrific that I fear censorship on, only that the power of the imagination leads the reader to a dangerous place of what could be around the next corner for Anna with every turn of the page. Having said that I devoured it in 48 hours of my busy life, so I’m hoping teens will have the same reaction.

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