Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Slice of Life - Windmills

This is my first Slice of Life post!  I've been hearing a lot about this Tuesday writing challenge and have read quite a few slices, so I thought it was time to join all the slicers out there!  I hope I capture the essence of what it is supposed to be - let me know if I'm on the right track!  If you'd like to participate, too, head on over to Two Writing Teachers!
 

     About ten days ago, I participated in NerdcampBC, an amazing gathering of book nerds who flocked to Battle Creek, Michigan to be part of an Edcamp - like experience.  And what an experience it was!  Head on over to Katherine Sokolowski's blog to read everyone's recap.  On the way home, I took a picture of windmills because they were just so stunningly beautiful, and they're not something I see every day. 

 
I mentioned in my nErDcamp blog post that I started to think about those windmills as metaphors for the friendships and learning that happened there.  I also just finished up an online tech literacy course with Choice Literacy, led by Franki Sibberson that continued some of my thinking about websites and apps to use in my classroom that started at nErDcamp.  Last night, I participated in part of a Twitter #virtualbookclub discussing Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff, and I thought about the windmills again.  How do windmill turbines work and how do they relate to these learning communities?  I started to explore online.  I found this YouTube video:
 

 Wonderopolis (a website we talked about in the Choice Literacy course) has a tour of a windmill turbine and a Wonder of the Day dedicated to wind farms. Click on a "Still Wondering" link and National Geographic has an interesting article on windmills called "Wild Winds." I learned a lot!  Windmills are fascinating.
 


The learning/teaching communities found on Twitter, Goodreads, Nerdy Book Club, various blogs, and our schools work like these modern wonders.  These communities are like the air, taking the form of wind.  Wind particles move.  This motion means kinetic energy and can be captured. The wind pushes on the rotor blades, transferring some of its own energy of motion to the blade. Turbine blades are like learners, capturing new ideas from other teachers.  When those learners capture the kinetic energy, they pass that learning on to others, much like the turbine blades spin a shaft that leads from the hub of the rotor to a generator.  The generator turns that rotational energy into electricity.  We turn our learning and thinking into ENERGY in the classroom and beyond.  Did you know that wind power all starts with the sun?  The sun is knowledge!  I love the idea that all this energy is renewable and extensive.  It just needs to keep moving and be captured.  We discussed student experts in the Choice Literacy Class and how they can teach others.  This teaching and learning can become seamless, all part of an impressive machine.  Our students can be part of this energy.  We are not the sun in our classrooms - everything doesn't have to come from us.  We are just fluid air.  Keep it heated up (keep learning), and we become the wind.  Can you see all of us and our students on that wind farm?  It's beautiful!

16 comments:

  1. Welcome to slicing. I only just started last month and it's a wonderful community! I like the metaphor you used here. My class will be studying energy as a class unit and I've been doing a lot of thinking about it this summer. I love how energy can be transformed, transferred and just hang around with potential...lie our students until they start being part of the energy in the classroom. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Max! I love your last sentence!

      Delete
  2. Holly, welcome to SOL. This is a great first post! I love your analogy to learners capturing knowledge and turning that into energy for the classroom and beyond. So much thinking, learning, and sharing in these online communities. I'm still a newbie with Twitter. I need to figure out how to use it and how to find out about groups like #virtualbookclub. I have Liesel and Po in my TBR stack, now I'll need to request Rump. Nerdcamp BC sounded like an incredible experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ramona! I think the next #virtualbookclub is going to be discussing Doll Bones. If you follow Niki Barnes, (@daydreamreader), she helps lead it. :-) I liked Liesel and Po!

      Delete
  3. Welcome, Holly, Thanks for the most informative slice on windmills. They are so totally amazing and your analogy is great. Looking forward to more slices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they amazing?! Thank you for stopping by and welcoming me!

      Delete
  4. Welcome to Tuesday slicing with Two Writing Teachers, Holly! You'll love this community of windmills :). We all keep each other moving, for sure! Hope to see you back next week...in the meantime, keep percolating on all the other fabulous slices you can share with us!

    b @ livewriteteach.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The Slice of Life community is definitely one of windmills!

      Delete
  5. ooh, what a beautiful metaphor for the classroom! I love the idea of the students pushing the learning along... just wonderful! And I know I already tweeted you a welcome, but welcome again! So glad you're joining us!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holly, this is a beautiful post! Twitter and Instagram are my two immediate things I really need to learn/ understand how to use in order to incorporate them in my classroom to reach students! I get excited thinking and wondering how they can make my teaching atmosphere richer for my students... looks like I've got some brainstorming ahead of me! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome to the SOL community. I have enjoyed all the connections I have made here. It makes writing into so much more. The metaphor of the windmill is unique and fascinating. I can imagine a writing prompt, "How is the windmill like ..." And using the Wonderopolis research. Thanks for jumping in and passing on some of your turbine energy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welcome to slicing, Holly! I love all the info I learned in your post about those humongous windmills. You're right - the learning I do online and in real life help me improve my teaching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chris! They ARE humongous aren't they?!

      Delete