The Educator's PLN

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Imagine Making Learning a Lifelong Adventure


     Hello, welcome to blogging with Kathy.  I am new to this so please give me the opportunity to grow and learn with you.

     I want to write about things that I am passionate about, but that list is very long. So my blogs will vary from time to time with a focus on learning.  By that I mean student learning, adult learning, and  my personal learning, and everyday life lessons.

     Growing up on one of Georgia’s barrier islands, near Savannah, GA and being number  4 of 8 children has given me quite a few stories to tell and some definite life lessons. Most of our learning came from experiences outdoors. I wish all children could experience the wonder of waking up to the sounds of dolphins heading up the river or the smell  of salt marshes and the taste of boiled blue crabs that you caught yourself.  That was true learning.  If we “wondered” about something we did something about it. Instead of being stuck in front of the tv or computer games (I think PacMan was about it back then) we went exploring, crabbing, fishing, shrimping, planted vegetable gardens, had dogs, ducks, and raccoons that needed attention, projects to be started or completed, board games and card games that waited on the shelf for us along with oodles and oodles of books, comic books, and all the writing and drawing materials a child could need. We developed and used our imagination.

                                                                                             This is a picture taken from my niece's boat.

     Now you might say, “well Kathy, things have changed a great deal since the wheel was invited and it’s not as safe these days as it was on your island”.  Yes I understand that, I was not able to raise my children on that island either but I did try to stimulate their imaginations and limited their time sitting indoors when the weather was nice.   Ok, I’ll get to my point about all of this.  All  children should have a safe environment to learn and explore, and school should be one of the best places to do just that. Instead of just covering the  curriculum, why not explore it. Use our imaginations to begin discussions, connect our lessons to real life and make learning a life long adventure.

     OK, ignoring the grammatical errors… how was that for my first blog post?  

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Comment by Joel Gotz on July 13, 2012 at 7:31pm
Hi Kathy,
Like you I grew up being able to learn and explore in the great outdoors, but unlike you I grew up in Wisconsin on dairy farm-quite removed from the south and dolphins, but we had cows, chickens, a Shetland pony, a dog, and a lot of farm cats!
I think about my life experiences on the farm from real-life biology (assisting cows during calving), to operating machinery, the physical demands of being a farm hand, to the naturalist intelligence of planting and harvesting, and it was all hands on. I guess these are the reasons I value a kinesthetic approach in and out of the classroom. And you are absolutely correct-children need a learning environment that encourages curiosity (not discourages) and nurtures creativity, and teachers and mentors who foster life- long learning.

Well done on your first blog post, and thank you.
Comment by Kathy Miller on July 13, 2012 at 5:11pm

Thanks Lisa.  I love the water, so whether it is Maine or Whitemarsh Island, GA, they are great places to grow up. I love your idea about the egg drop.

Comment by Lisa Brooker on July 13, 2012 at 5:03pm

Kathy, your point is well taken.  My children are adults now, but when they were little I so enjoyed finding those times and places for exploring.  My husband worked nights, so my children and I adventured during the summer days in Maine.  I drew a circle on the map, and in turn the children chose a spot within that circle to explore. There is nothing like a tide pool or sandy beach to learn and explore in the summer in Maine.

I also try to create those memorable learning experiences for my kindergartners which are beyond the curriculum.  One event I love is our mad scientists week which culminates in an egg drop off the school roof for which families have designed the devices to protect their eggs. Not only do such activities pull families together to learn, it models for parents how inexpensive and fun learning together can be.

I will be watching your blog.



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