This blog is for PIGATE, a grass-roots pre-service and in-service teacher development group in Kumamoto, Japan. Our meetings are every 2nd Saturday, usually from 1:00-4:30. For more information, please check the Calendar of Events and Meeting Locations pages, or contact: pab (at) pu-kumamoto.ac.jp.
Summer homework, to the best of my recollection, wasn't a big thing way back when I was growing up in Missoula, MT, half a century or so ago. As a matter of fact, the concepts of homework (school work) and vacation—"freedom or release" from school (Dictionary.com, vacation, definition 3), still seem diametrically opposed. Air-conditioning wasn't a big thing in many places, either.
Reading, however, was a big thing, at least in my family. Visits to the public library downtown were, generally speaking, a weekly affair. During the summer they may have been even more frequent.
Though the archive photo below predates my childhood reading career by a few years, and the children's coats (and the date stamped on on the back of the photo) suggest a colder season, the Children's room was in the basement of a Carnegie grant-funded library building. That basement remained pleasantly cool throughout the summer!
Children and books at the Missoula Public Library (1956)
As I recall, there were story hours once a week, and children could get library cards as soon as they could sign their names—in cursive not printed script. However, the one book per child checkout limit proved irksome.
Once I'd gotten hooked on reading, one of my parents had to check out extra books to get us through the week. It wasn't too long before they had to persuade the librarian to let me check out books from the upper-elementary school stacks.
This post showcases a presentation that Taishi Kaneko (KU, Fac. of Educ., M2) used for a demonstration and discussion of instruction checking questions (ICQs) at the PIGATE gathering earlier this month (2017.05.13). Taishi began to develop his interest in ICQs while studying overseas last year.
If you have comments or questions regarding ICQs and their use or potential, please feel free to spell them out in comments on this post. Suggestions of and pointers to related resources also are welcome.
This post showcases a presentation that Misaki Kamioka, a 4th-year student in the English department at KGU, delivered to the PIGATE gathering in the KGU Learning Commons earlier this month (2017.05.13).
It is a pleasure to be able to share Misaki's slides for viewing by PIGATE members who were unable to attend her presentation in person. It also will be a pleasure to have her, her classmates, and her peers take part in future PIGATE gatherings.
Skidamarink is one of the songs for young learners that Mr. Takaki introduced during the PIGATE gathering on ... [May] 13. Here are a couple videos of the song from the Super Simple Songs and Wee Sing YouTube channels.
During an Online Teacher Summit (https://onlineteachersummit.com, April 2nd through 9th, Central Time in the U.S.) that I attended to the extent possible given the time difference and a busy beginning of semester here in Kumamoto, I took a couple of small steps to broaden my online base; I added Instagram and Pinterest to my repertoire:
Though I've begun networking with Instagram, it isn't immediately clear what extra-social (i.e., educational) purposes it may serve. Yet with Pinterest I have created a few boards with help from suggestions that Pinterest sends, via email and notifications, of related pins to consider for new boards such as:
While most of the networking and sharing for the Online Teacher Summit took place via Facebook, various online meeting spaces, and video playback sites, my LinkedIn and Twitter networks have been growing simultaneously.
This post showcases a couple of videos that Jemma Gallagher played or mentioned in her presentation on mindfulness in education to the PIGATE gathering on March 11, 2017. Afterwards, she also shared links to a couple of related resources.
Jemma also pointed out John Nelson's book Experimental Buddhism (2013), in which he wrote about that temple and its head priest (http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9072-9780824838980.aspx). Perhaps once she settles into her new job and postgraduate studies, she will agree to write a brief review of his book for a PIGATE newsletter.
The presentation that I've embedded in this post uses time-lapse screenshots to replicate several stages of mind map development. The mind map of a favorite place is a work in progress[.]
I created the mind map with FreeMind—free, open source software from SourceForge; and have continued to develop it with FreePlane—also available for free from SourceForge. The background photo in the penultimate slide, I took from my veranda on March 14, 2017.
If you have concerns or questions about mind-mapping tools; or suggestions of novel, possible, and practical uses for learning or teaching [with them]; please don't hesitate to spell them out in comments on this post.