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Try Outside

Did you know that May 23rd is Outdoor Classroom Day? This is a global initiative to show that learning outside is an essential part of a students learning experiences. Taking the learning outside is shown to improve behaviour and increase excitement. But you don’t have to wait until May 23rd to take your classes outside! Start small, go for a short walk tomorrow with your students. Plan a lesson, but deliver it outdoors. Ask you students what they notice about the outdoor environment around their school or homes and then craft some projects around those wonderings. The sky is, literally, the limit.

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Get Social

We do our best learning together, yet often teaching is an individual event. You are probably here because you’re already on twitter. If you found us another way, consider creating your own educational twitter account. Give us a follow at @HDSB_TheShift. Explore some hashtags like #HDSBInnovates or #OntEd.

Already on twitter? No problem! Encourage that teacher friend of yours to get online too. You know who we are talking about. No, not that friend. The other one. Yes, that one.

Everyone signed up? Here is the challenge - send us a tweet. Tag your friend. Tell us about why you love teaching. Make sure to use the #TryShifting hashtag.

Classroom Redesign

The learning environment can have a huge impact on student attitudes. Is your classroom designed with the 21st Century Learner in mind, or does it look like the classrooms of the past?

Your challenge is the rethink your classroom. You don’t need a ton of money or a bunch of new furniture. Look at the posters on your walls, where you sit, where your students work and try something different. Ditch those old exemplars of student work that you put up five years ago. Put that filing cabinet from the fifties out in the hallway, you never look in there anyway.

Rearrange your classroom space, get rid of your teacher desk, move your classroom into the hallways and tweet us some before and after pictures. Make sure to use the #TryShifting hashtag.

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Access Student Voice

Great things can happen when we pause in our work and authentically ask students what they are thinking and feeling. Yet, we don’t always engage students in conversations around classroom and lesson design, school culture or traditions.

What would it look like if we involved the most important stakeholder in education, the student, in more conversations about what school could be?

Take time to ask your students what they are thinking. Find out, if they could design their perfect school experience, what would that look like? Then, post about your efforts, impressions and any actions taken on twitter. Don’t forget the #TryShifting hashtag.