On Display: Ceaselessly Learning

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child
The Philosophy of Frances and
David Hawkins Exhibit.

Do you ever feel like your days fly by and that you nearly scratch the surface of your "to do" list?

The past couple of weeks have been filled with non-stop professional learning!  Though all experiences have been enriching ones, I have missed blogging and am excited to share some of them with all of you. 

Here is a glimpse into what I have been learning/presenting about:

Tuesday Evenings
York AQ Course

Students have been sharing their invitations for learning (provocations) 
and I have been posting them on Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag 
#yorkukaq.  You can follow our weekly learning through social media 
(we have a wiki!), or on our new blog page: "Invitations for Learning."

Julie and I have completed all of our assessments and have generated a new 
"Daily Mini Lesson" wall to differentiate our instruction for students.  
I shared with the K AQ how they might consider beginning their own wall 
within their classrooms. 

October 17th, 2013
CTI Session 1

The "Connected through Inquiry: A curious community of learners" (CTI is an 
inquiry network that I created) united face-to-face and online for 
the very first time!  There was definitely a buzz both at the 
ceramics studio "You're Fired" and via Twitter.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Face-to-Face 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Bond Lake P.S.
Online through Twitter chat 9:00 p.m. 
(Can begin tweeting earlier if it is more convenient that evening, 
but I can't join in until 9:00 p.m.).

Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @CTInquiry 

Here are some of the ceramics that participants created.  
More to come about our network!

October 19th, 2013
OISE Early Years Symposium

I attended a workshop presented by the FDK staff of Conestoga Public School 
in Brampton.  They shared their journey of creating discvory bags to 
engage families and strengthen their home-school connection.  These bags 
inspired me to think of our home-school extensions and how we might 
involve parents in our learning.  I look forward to sharing 
what we come up with!

October 23rd-24th, 2013

I was excited to present for the first time at 
a technology conference!

Thank you to the participants of my session
"The little blog that could: Blogging as 21st century 

pedagogical documentation and professional learning." 

I was also very proud and thankful to have my parents attend
the conference and hear me speak in Niagara Falls.

October 25th-26th, 2013
Cultivate the Scientists in Every Child: The Philosophy of David and Frances Hawkins Exhibit and Conference

I visited the always inspiring Acorn School (photograph above)
and Richland Academy.  Left with a wealth of ideas!

I created a workshop for participants to "mess about" with balance.
I brought in a variety of materials for them to experiment with.
Some were heavy, while others were light.

I met Heather McKay (@HeatherMMcKay) an inspiring Kindergarten educator
from Calgary.  I wanted to document the moment with a photograph,
as I follow her tweets regularly!

Educators "messing about" with my balance inquiry provocation.  I was so pleased
to see how engaged they were, as well as how they documented their own learning!

The "messing about" with balance inquiry workshop I facilitated was in the
beautiful Grade 2 classroom at Richland Academy.

In between all of this professional learning...

... I am learning alongside our students about the moon and the stars in our
newest investigation "Why is it raining stars? An inquiry into the night sky,
to support our understanding of the world around us."

... I am learning alongside my newest piano student Summer
about music through her eyes.

... I am learning to plan a conference alongside a team of educators at
York University(our first planning meeting was at the Fraser Mustard
Early Learning Academy). Stay tuned for registration details soon!

... I am learning to make more time for my personal life and beginning
to plan my winter Great Gatsby themed wedding. 

... but most of all, I am learning that I need to try and slow down
to smell the roses!  This photograph is of a rose that I noticed growing
in my backyard when I took my dogs out.  I love how I am discovering
and appreciating the magic in our natural world, the way that our students
do each day.  How lucky we are to be living and breathing!

Next week I will be presenting at The Joy of Childhood Conference in Richmond Hill about my Master of Education research on Inquiry-Based Learning.  I look forward to seeing you there! :)


  1. Hi Joanne,

    I just finished my assessments and want to know if you can shed some light on how you divide your students up into groupings and what you focus on in each group and how long you work with each group.


  2. Hi there. I am an FDK teacher in Halton and regularly look to your blog for ideas, inspiration, and guidance. I am wondering about your mini-lesson board. It's hard to tell from the picture.....what are the categories/topics of the mini-lessons? When do you teach the mini-lessons.....is it a scheduled time in the day or do you meet with the students when the opportunity arises? Thanks!

  3. Joanne,

    You lead a life full of wonder. What a magnificent role model for our students and for colleagues looking for inspiration! It was a treat to facilitate a workshop at the Hawkins Exhibit opening and see so many educators who share the same passion for discovery-based learning. Like you, I was most delighted to have my mom attend (at Richland Academy for the Hawkins opening and "messing about" sessions) and see what it is that so lights a fire in me every day. It was pretty great to see her play and have others comment "Well, we see where you get it".
    Your room was a buzz and while I felt I couldn't leave my partner (Julie Metcalfe, one of my PD buddies and who you so generously featured with me on this blog regarding our experiences with the #ReggioPLC summer course) each time I peeked in at your balance provocation, I saw something new and fascinating. I wished I'd seen the process because the products of the messing about were so wonderful!
    Congratulations on all your incredible projects and collaborations. You give so much. Thank you for all you share.