Saturday, November 10, 2007

Puzzling Patterns

Teachers have used prior knowledge to connect learners with things they already know with things learners need to learn. The world around us is made up of patterns which we recognise and use to hook into new concepts. James Paul Gee says:

Our experiences in the world build patterns in our mind, and then the mind shapes our experience of the world (and the actions we take in it), which in turn, reshapes our mind.

It is these patterns upon which I am to build in my classrooms. I do this via prior knowledge, setting up experiences which are familiar to learners and leading into ones that are not familiar.
One successful excursion into patterns has been into cartoon creation in 6th grade. These boys love cartoons (the familiar) and making their own. They did so on ToonDoo
and then learned how to embed the html code into their blogs (the unfamiliar). They practised creating content (Bloom's taxonomy), 21st century skills, and (gasp!) it was fun!
In 4th grade we estimated pumpkin seeds and then counted them (a Technospud Project). Next week, we will blog about the experiences we had with the Pumpkin as well as the praying mantis babies (they were everywhere!). Again the familiar experience into the unfamiliar.
I don't include these examples for laud, but to demonstrate how easy Web2.0 tools make pattern extending. Growing patterns in our minds is the basis of education.
Love to here more great examples from readers!
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ms. whatsit said...

My French students have been creating net-generated cartoons also. They love it. I've made several sites available to them through my wiki, and I'm on the lookout for more

SMeech said...

Hey Durff... how do you get around the inappropriate comics in toondoo? We are shut out because of it...

Great stuff as usual...

. said...

We are creating not viewing. Class is small enough to manage this and the first thing we teach is alt + F4 which closes the screen right away. We cannot be in charge of others, but we are responsible for our own reaction and measure our activies & resonses with WWJD. And I have never seen anything inappropriate on that site. This is the woman that won't use Youtube.

Angela Maiers said...

I just discovered ToonDoo. It is great to see how students and teachers are using this tool. It is has great potential to engage all! I love your blog-keep up the great work!