[Week 4 Reflection] Quotes and Questions


From this week’s readings or videos, choose one quote that you found especially intriguing and share a question about it.

What did the quote make you wonder about?

Share your quote, and your questions!

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Week 4 - Reflection

“Creativity and collaboration, that´s made possible when there´s an environment of trust, respect and caring” and the teacher should be a “guide on the side”, not a "sage on the stage"
I think letting our students know we care about what they feel and think will always help and will make them feel free to learn and even to make mistakes with no regrets.
We teachers should never forget It´s all about the student! And our job is to help them and understand them. not giving them the answers.


Love Mitch’s video remark regarding going beyond DYI and more about Making Together!


The quote that stood out to me was: “When people think about thinking, they often think of Rodin’s famous
sculpture The Thinker, which shows a lone individual, sitting by himself, in deep contemplation.
Of course, some thinking happens that way, but most doesn’t. Most of the time, thinking is
integrated with doing: We think in the context of interacting with things, playing with things,
creating things. And most thinking is done in connection with other people: We share ideas, get
reactions from other people, build upon one another’s ideas.”

I was just discussing with another professor how much I love assigning group projects and the special type of learning that comes from them and how that is counterbalanced by how much I hate doing group projects as a student. It is an often uncomfortable and frustrating kind of learning, but opens the opportunity for learning so far outside of what one individual can do alone.


The idea that creativity and collaboration is not going to work without an environment that is of trust, respect, and caring. How many times do teachers have those students that act out or disrupt the class? Is that student not feeling trust and respect? As a teacher if the student does not show us respect isn’t it hard to show them respect? This can make the classroom environment difficult for the teacher and the students.


The quote that stood out from the Lifelong Kindergarten reading was “Good teachers and good mentors move fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator.” Attending several workshops in the past few weeks It seems as if the trend right now is to let students try to do everything themselves. Although this allows for developing problem solving skills, students also need some guidance in technical or creative support.


I am a career changer and have only been teaching in the classroom for 4 years. I was a tutor for many years before that. My style is ideally to help children discover their passions and to affirm them in the exploration and experimentation that emerges. Although I love the school community, I find that I am usually scrambling to prepare for my classes because the ideas I have for presentation and application are always developing.
I am not a good “Here is the text. Teach it.” kind of person. And setting up for a hands-on lesson is hard work for me as I teach 6 grades for two subjects for two classes each per week (among other responsibilities).

I really like this thought from Dr. Resnick. It takes the pressure off of me as an instructor and enables learning to be a whole-group activity. My students can help me out and, in doing so, will enhance their own learning.
"As I see it, good teaching involves playing a variety of
different roles, all in the service of helping others learn. Good teachers and good mentors move
fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator" (Resnick, 2017, p. 7 of Chapter 4 excerpt)__


I was introduced to Scratch through Code Studio a couple of years ago and have learned its fundamentals basically by following tutorials and watching other Scratcher projects. I want to stay a step or two ahead of my students because this kind of learning is new to most of them and they get easily frustrated. To make this kind of learning fun, they need to see that I am having fun with it. They need me to be calm as well as honest when I am stuck and say, “I’m not sure how to do that. Let’s look into it some more.”

Scratch is a precious jewel of a discovery for me. Not only is it free (that is huge in and of itself), but it is set up as a Clubhouse of sorts. Teachers and students are learning together. Sharing abounds. If I don’t know the answer, someone in Scratch will come to the rescue for me. If students get stuck and don’t feel creative, 10 minutes of watching the creativity of posted projects will give them new ideas.

"In an online
community like Scratch, everyone can become a teacher, serving as a catalyst, consultant,
connector, and collaborator for others in the community" (Resnick, 2017, ibid., p. 8).

My question is for teachers of elementary-aged students (aged 5-12). “How do you encourage the most enthusiastic Scratchers in your class to get up from their exciting project to help consult others without aggravating them?”



When Mitch was talking about his Clubhouse experiences he inspired me once again. Firstly how to set up the space for wonderfully differentiated collaboration experiences and secondly how to be a better facilitator to enable and extend the participants?
It made me reflect on a tern once described to us when we were learning a new Math programme . We were told to hold back from “teacher lust” . I believe for many this is fear based. It takes strength to hold back and stay back to ensure a quality inquiry process. Further it requires a mind set that quietly reads and studies ALL OF THE TIME in the back ground to have the knowledge base for the background and for planning purposes.


Catalyst. Consultant. Connector. Collaborator.

This alliteration crystallizes what I what I have been striving for in my own teaching - particularly in teaching a coding fundamentals course on Scratch where the final project is for my students to propose an After School Scratch Club at their local school or library.

(I teach university students, and am nudging my department to consider Scratch Clubs as a Service Learning opportunity for students. If anyone has suggestions, resources, or has experience with SL and Scratch, please share in a reply post.)

I can now see that what I need to impart to my students - in addition to a sandbox space to play with Scratch, pointing out where to find getting-un-stuck resources, and modeling insta-Scratch-community strategies - is for them to become Catalysts and also Consultants and also Connectors and also Collaborators.


This reminds me of a term I learned at a previous PD session…“brain sweat.” It’s good to let students stew in their thoughts for a while without help. Hard to implement, though!


“Recognizing the growing importance of collaboration skills in the workplace, more schools
are starting to add collaborative activities in the classroom—but in many cases, the students are
told what to work on and who to work with.”

This is almost no better than not working in collaboration at all! How can we help teachers to see the value of loosening up some of the control in their classroom so that students can rely more on themselves and their classmates for their learning?


“Good teachers and good mentors move
fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator”

I love how this is phrased from the “fluid” movement of the teachers/mentors to all of the wonderful word choices to describe the variety of roles they play in the learning process.


I ask a team of experts to help me out in a project. They become an expert by demonstrating an understanding of a concept. That team grows as more children develop confidence in an area. I have never had an ‘expert’ refuse to help a peer.


There were many quotes that stood out for me this week, but to pick one would be "We think in the context of interacting with things, playing with things, creating things. And most thinking is done in connection with other people: We share ideas, get reactions from other people, build upon one another’s ideas." ("Lifelong Kindergarten, Dr. Resnick, 2017)

This quote makes me wonder about about how technology can continue to make improvements fostering this kind connection in a positive environment.


I loved the video. There seems to me to be excellent the promotion of the collaborative work in general, but specially in the use of the technologies and the virtual networks because nowadays they isolate them ….
Also I have been working with a model in that it uses projects and collaborative work, therefore I share with the guiding principles, as well as the decisions to support the social side of the learning that is mentioned in the video, it seems to me that they are the most important for to generate, to promote and to support the "disposition to learn " to which Seymour Papert does allusion with Mathetics’s concept, as well as his central argument: : “One of my central mathetic tenets is that the construction that takes place “in the head” often happens especially felicitously when it is supported by construction of a more public sort “in the world”-a sand castle or a cake, a Lego house or a corporation, a computer program, a poem, or a theory of the universe. Part of what I mean by “in the world” is that the product can be shown, discussed, examined, probed, and admired. It is out there” (Childrens-Machine, chapter 7, pp143)
In my experience, this type of work with collaborative projects, it needs, not to take only in consideration the proxemic aspects, but also those "organizational elements of the environment, included the actors ", as well as on "forms or guidelines to take care of their interaction, for example, to anticipate or prevent possible confusions or relational conflicts, therefore we must take into consideration also the cultural guidelines or simply to encourage the participants; and I wonder if the the MITmedia lab team has constructed something in relation with this, specially in the area of the virtual communication and between cultures with different languages.


“Within the Scratch community, young people are constantly inventing and exploring new ways to collaborate. Compared with collaborations in traditional school classrooms, Scratch collaborations tend to be more fluid and organic, with people coming together based on shared interests or complementary expertise, much as in a samba school. But unlike a samba school, Scratch brings together people from all over the world, opening possibilities for collaborations that are larger and more diverse.” Lifelong Kindergarten Chapter 4: Peers
I have been familiar with the Scratch community since it was very small. In fact, I recall inviting Eric Rosenbaum to join me virtually to demonstrate to a group of students in Claret School in Quezon City, Philippines how to use Scratch and it was the first time that Scratch had been shared abroad in this way! They had never heard of this type of program before. This was well before the Scratch online website was developed and there was no Scratch community. Wow, has Scratch grown in such a short time! Now that same school teaches Scratch, WeDo, and Robotics and (in fact they are competing in an international Robotic competition in Costa Rica this weekend. ) ‘Unlike a samba school, Scratch brings together people from all over the world, opening up possibilities for collaborations that are larger and more diverse.’ A perfect example of this is the wonderful projects that have been facilitated by Professor Yoshiro Miyata of Chukyo University. See In each of these projects many children contributed a single sprite or a single song and together the project is a celebration of learning. My favorite project is the World Music project where we invited friends from around the world to sing a folksong. As the bird flies over the country, you can hear the children singing the song. Hundreds of voices are involved in this project! And it is designed to grow as we have additional voices to add. Another of my favorite projects is the World Peace Song project where 15 schools sang a song that was written for World Museum by the Women of the World, All of the students sang the chorus in English, "We are brothers and sisters, we are one family.’ Then each of the schools took one of the melodies of the song and wrote lyrics for the melody in their native language. See In the final project the songbird flies around the world listening to the songs sung from all areas of the globe. This project will be repeated with even more countries in 2017 - 2018 and is open to participation from anyone in the world! Certainly this is more diverse that we could even imagine back when Scratch began. My question is, how will the new Scratch version that is being developed enhance this type of collaboration even further? !


In Chapter 4 of Lifelong Kindergarten, Mitch discusses the four roles of teachers and mentors and writes that: “Often, the best way for a teacher to provide a spark is to ask questions.” I think asking the right questions, and knowing what type of questions to ask and when to ask is important, but it also might not be a skill everyone has. I think it also involves building relationship with the students/children, making them trust you and feel comfortable enough to share, which might take time. Perhaps it comes with experience. In an online course, how do you achieve this given a limited amount of time?

p.s. I loved the stories Mitch and Eric shared about how kids are making use of Scratch and how resourceful they can be!



Regarding inspiring kids to share:

In our local coding club for kids, Scratch group, I asked a child to help explain something because they know it better than I do. At first shy, then within seconds all become confident explaining the topic and demonstrating. I would also ask if a child could assume the role of the teacher and connect their laptop to the whiteboard. And then you see the pride the sense of achievement. It’s a fantastic experience.
I suppose it is easier in the club as we are mentors and I tend to remind them often that we are not teachers so they can relax and be themselves.


This part left me thinking…

Teachers work in their own projects and invite students to join in.

I think that it is very important to think about the 4 P’s not only regarding students but also teachers or mentors.