Thursday, April 6, 2017

Home learning

As I am gathering resources to use in our home learning path, I thought I would share these with you.  My philosophy for this work is based in the medicine wheel, finding balance while being conscious to decolonize and questions resources.  I will write some more on that issue later.  For the first few weeks, these are some of the resources we have been using.

10 Plants That Shook the WorldTen Plants that Shook the World - this book considers historical events and science issues through the lens of key plants.  For our inquiry we began by brainstorming what we thought the 10 plants would be.  I like what the book tried to do, but I don't think it succeeded.  The story got caught up in some weird stylistic choices and ended up being really Eurocentric even when it seemed to think it was not.  However, the book did highlight the issues of slavery and how it was tied to key commodities.  I really like the idea of telling the story from the plants point of view.  We brought in our own decolonial viewpoint as we read each section.  We complemented this text with some other plant teachings shared in circle.  We are finishing this subject, with the children doing a similar research into one of the plants that we had originally thought would be in the book but which were not covered.

One Native LifeWe also worked through some stories by Richard Wagamese.  Runa did not respond much to this writing but Qrow did and we had some good converstions about life on the streets and the experiences of indigenous peoples who were adopted.  These stories are an excellent length to read aloud.  

Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses
I have also been accessing resources from Teachers pay Teachers.  I have found a number of good integrated learning resrouces that pull together math, science, reasoning and writing.  I am going to adapt some of these to create some more indigenous focused resources.

We are working through "Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses" and these are awesome stories.  The children didn't want us to stop reading, the language and subjects are engaging and kinda gruesome in the way kids love. These are great teaching stories with much to say on a number of levels.  I would highly reccomen these as a resource.  I plan to use these to encourage the development of related stories as well as inspiration for art projects.

We also started "Maththatmatters: A Teacher Resource Linking Math and Social Justice"  which was published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and encourages kids to think about an issue and play with some of the related math.  This books has worked well for Qrow who does not like math worksheets and gives the graphing and algebra some context.  Runa does not seem to follow these lessons much at all so I found her some math worksheets with animals instead.

I have been exploring the concept of "two eyed seeing" and so far we have done an introduction to this material which weaves together indigenous and scientific viewpoints.  There are a number of materials on this web site and I will bring those into the curriculum in the next few weeks.

The real issue I am facing is realizing how slow everyone still is.  Until people get healthier and more interested in learning, I need to be patient.  

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