Adaption and Play #6

The Power of Play in Learning” by Aran Lavasseur is another interesting article that I have chosen to read. I find it somewhat similar to the last article I reviewed because it deals also with the concept of adaption, that is inherent in play as well. This is evident when Lavasseur says “Playfulness amplifies our capacity to innovate and to adapt to changing circumstances.” It seems this is either a strange coincidence or our current leaders in educational reform have come to a realization. I agree with this paper full-heartedly, and I believe play is not only an integral part to learning but the foundation.

I like the way the article begins by describing a video game called “civilization”. When we play any game we tend to use “ trial, error, pattern recognition, logic and chance to continually reformulate our trajectory.” These are all skills that initiate independent thought and the best part about using this construct in your curriculum is that you begin to stop with old instructional rote type teaching and begin the new modern figure of a coach. Letting the students dwell in this realm has a multitude of benefits.

The article goes on to make another great point on how people who don’t have sufficient outlets of play in their lives are more rigid and are less able to adapt with changing circumstances.

With all of these benefits involved with adaptation and play, I want to start creating my lessons with these great concepts in mind.

Here is the link to a page where Lavasseur’s article is and many more great ones like it.

essential readings

Unschooling #5

The article I chose to read was entitled 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn” by Leo Babauta. This article was very thought provoking and dealt with the idea of unschooling children to better prepare them for the future. This sounds wrong on so many levels, but there is logic to his madness and I must say that I do agree with him.

The idea of unschooling simply means providing a different paradigm in which students should learn in this time and era. He gave the example of how things were done in the 80’s, which are similar to how things still are. His premise was that during the 80’s children were “trained with a skill set that was based on what jobs were most in demand”.  Demand is the key word in this sentence, because it does not take the future into account, only what is needed for the present. In an era where fax machines were the cutting edge, and the internet was still a dream it is easy to see how many were left behind with obsolete training and ability.

This is where his idea of unschooling becomes quite logical, and I feel best explained by his own words; “teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.” We do not know what the future has to hold, but giving our children the ability to adapt to any given situation will have obvious benefits. His nine essential skills emphasize adaptation and vary from asking questions to finding passion.

I believe I am a result of the demand concept and was quick to learn that adaption is key to survival, thank God for Korea.

Here is the article in full length:

“My Favorite Lesson” Share a lesson that you have done that you feel good about. 1. Describe the lesson and explain why it is a favorite of yours. 2. What is the learning objective (“Students will be able to…”)? 3. How do the students react to this lesson? 4. Include the name and grade level of this lesson.

It is really hard to put a label on one lesson that was my favorite, there have been so many great classes that I have had the pleasure to teach where everything just went really well. Classes where the kids were interested in everything that was going on, they were happy to do the assigned work because it was interesting and fun, and the class atmosphere was just a fun place to be. I am lucky to be teaching in an international program, and to have the students that I have.


One lesson that I have fond memories of and remember vividly was my last open class. It was a math class entitled “Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Mixed Numbers”. The lesson consisted of a quick game to get the blood pumping, ppt. review of previous vocabulary terms (each student gets a chance to guess, in order), ppt. review of how mixed numbers work (finish with an example on the board and a quick worksheet), then a domino game/race where students compete using dominos as mixed fractions, ppt. on new material about how and when to rename mixed numbers, finish worksheet questions on renaming, final team angry bird video game, explain tomorrow objectives, thank the parents, finished.

This lesson was a favorite of mine because it went very smoothly and my homeroom teacher said it was one of the best open classes he had ever seen.


The main learning objective was “students will be able to understand how and when to rename mixed numbers.


The students were excited and nervous about this class because the wanted to play the game with the newly purchased dominos I had but having parents in the room always makes things more intense and unnerving. The students handled the pressure very well.


These students were grade six, international level students.

PPT slides for the open class.

Evaluate your online reputation/digital footprint. What steps can you take to sculpt your reputation into one that is more of your liking?

Upon evaluating my digital footprint I have come to the realization that my footprint is almost nonexistent. This is not a bad thing by any means as I can begin sculpting my reputation from the ground up. There are many people who have to spend countless hours flooding every type of social media out there in order to get their negative hits to at least the 4th page. What I mean by the previous comment is supposedly 97% of all employers will scan only the first three pages of a potential employee’s digital reputation.

After doing some research on this topic I have found a concept that has shown its face time and time again. It is simple and goes as follows: assess, correct, makeover, monitor. Luckily for me my footprint assessment left the correct and makeover part almost unnecessary.  Instead of makeover I will just be making. The first part I have undertaken in the correction category is facebook. I recently have untagged quite a few photos that are inappropriate for potential employers, also I have increased the security of my profile as well. This is really my only footprint, I will continue to increase my reputation by using twitter, my blog, and begin the process of building a portfolio that best represents me and my interests. This is something that I now realize has vital importance and was somewhat, if not completely, ignorant to before this class. Making your digital footprint is a vital step in becoming a professional and should be monitored and sculpted with the utmost care.

How can I become a more effective presenter?

To become a more effective presenter I will need to follow a few key points that I have come across while doing some research on this topic. They go as follows: research, structure, program, and physical ability.

Research is by far the most important point in becoming a more effective presenter. I must learn the topic I’m going to present. This will enable me to become comfortable while on stage, I will have confidence before I even begin my presentation. Once I have researched my presentation adequately I’m now able to begin the process of creating.

The simple structure I like to follow while doing any type of research project either for a presentation or even an essay goes as follows. Introduce what I’m going to be presenting, present it, then tell them what I have presented. Sometimes when doing presentations these simple steps can be forgotten.

Now that I have proper structure and knowledge it is time to put it into presentation form. When using powerpoint or prezi, I will make sure that I put emphasis on using pictures. I would say less is more in this case, I will create proper slides that I can glance at and be able to unload a plethora of knowledge that will always be related to that slide. I must know my program to its fullest capacities.

Lastly, my physical ability is another key component to becoming a more effective presenter. I must speak loudly and confidently, and scan the room making eye contact with as many as I can. I need to move around, not use the podium, and be excited. I must be as interesting as possible, make jokes, and be silly if needed (for younger students).

Researching my topic adequately, using a proper structure/framework, knowing my program (minimal slides, full effects), and using my physical attributes to their fullest will help me become a more effective presenter.