© 2017 Martin Willis

Time for playgrounds

Please excuse the lack of Ed:Tech content this week. This piece does not inform or share transformational change by any means... but it is something that has been really bugging me recently and causing great frustration with nobody other than myself...

I have to admit, the last few weeks have been pretty full-on. We are in the middle of a report writing block and I have found myself struggling to keep up to date with my podcast listening schedule. However, last night I did get a chance to listen to a recent episode from one of the best. I know that many of you will be familiar with Kelly Croy's Wired Educator podcast. Kelly is Croy is the Director of Innovation and Instruction at Port Clinton City School District in Port Clinton, Ohio. His popular Wired Educator Podcast is a collection of almost 200 episodes, featuring amazing educators & educational authors from around the world... definitely worth a listen.

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The reason I mention this, is that he recently stopped and asked his listeners to consider the importance of playgrounds, for students and for teachers. Critically, he touched on the importance of giving older student opportunities to play in their classrooms, without the fear of assessment. This short message really struck a chord with me and got me thinking about my class of students.

I share a class of 10 and 11 year old children who, after the summer will be moving to our Secondary campus. Every year, at about this time, I have a week or two where I feel I am close to losing them. Their behaviour and focus becomes a little more challenging and some of them sense that the end is near and they are moving on to bigger and better things. Indeed last week, I pulled out the 'too big for your boots' chat. This is exactly where I have found myself recently, frustrated at having to repeat instructions and not quite getting the response I would usually expect from them. But Kelly's questions got me thinking, 'when was the last time we stopped and just enjoyed an activity for the sake of enjoying it?

perhaps lost the ability to enjoy taking time to actually enjoy my class.

Recently, the whole Ed:Tech world has kind of taken over and I have started to feel that I have lost a grip on what I actually set out to do; to become a teacher and work with children in a classroom. Time has been under such pressure, that I have perhaps lost the ability to enjoy taking time to actually enjoy my class.

So, I spent the weekend hunting for a quick solution. Something that would easily fit into our busy timetable, but remind them that I care and am not just here to rant at them! This is what I found and what I am looking forward to integrating into our classroom...

Minute To Win It Challenges

There is a collection of over 40 Minute To Win It Challenge videos on YouTube. Some have an educational twist, but all are fun and accessible. I definitely look forward to having a look at these when I get back into the classroom next week and sharing some footage on Twitter!