Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Name - A New Start

I have a new name. Well not me but this blog.

Peonies, Pedagogy and Other Points had fine alliteration and it did mean something to me when I chose it however having the word Peonies in the title just hasn't fit how this blog has evolved.

This is just one of my peonies!

When I started here in February 2011 (as partial requirement for a grad course) I thought it could, would hold more than 'just' my thoughts about my pedgagogy as I began to blog with my students.

I am a gardener too. I had intended to infuse the blog with personal anecdotes about gardening along the North Atlantic but it just didn't materialize. (I'll have to find a different space for that!)

This blog has had a steady, if not as frequent as I wished, focus on blogging. (Still as grad student and I would love to be blogging more often instead of researching but it is worth the sacrifice!)

I wanted to document and share different aspects of the journey I have taken as a elementary teacher who was determined to incorporate technology into the curriculum. I wanted to articulate and reflect on my own thinking as I moved to establish blogs with my grade fives.

I also wanted to provide opportunities for my students to experience, and become experienced in 21st century skills for authentic purposes, not as an add-on to what we were already doing.  I  aimed to have them composing creatively and reading critically as they built up their strategies for dealing effectively with on-line texts in various ways.  Hopefully  along the way they would begin to further develop their interest in lifelong learning with the 'cool tools'.

While I feel I can say I was more or less on the right track I have come to wish I could start all over again with that first class two years ago and do some things differently!

To be honest I have learned so much in the last year or so I almost started this blog over as well but the beauty of blogging lies in the reflective and recursive paths you can take re-reading your own works!  Right?I

As for the new name... I feel I am

~still on the edge of learning about the power of blogging for myself and with my students

~still on the edge of seeking and sustaining the connective writing, and collaborative conversations such bloggers as Will Richardson, Linda Yollis and Kathleen Morris have achieved!

~still on the edge of flattening my classroom walls (Thanks Vicki Davis & Julie Lindsay!)

~still on the edge of incorporating web tools into the classroom blogging though I have got some tucked into my tool belt.

~still on the edge of involving my parents in the transformation blogging affords.

~still on the edge of sharing my learning with my colleagues in a wider way though I have presented and mentored and modelled where and whenever I can! ( Some have Twitter now and that's been my PLN in ways I couldn't have imagined.)

As well I am on the edge of my last few years of teaching but still feel motivated to be a learner with my students, for my students. It's exciting to try new things and you can't be afraid to take risks...

Sometimes jumping in  is the best approach and that is certainly what I have tried to model! (You do have to have some lifelines though when working with tech,  or a back-up plan for sure!)

And living on the coast...

the Atlantic edge of Canada

where sometimes it can seem you are so far away from all the cutting edge happenings ...

well I know that isn't the case.

(And that's the one of beauties of blogging - it doesn't matter what edge of what coast at all!)

You just have to begin and seek what you are curious about, look for further advice or information and ideas.

Post! Tweet! Bookmark! Share! Ask! Learn! Teach! Whatever edge you're on or at!

So From the Edge it is!


  1. Dear Patricia,

    Thanks for including me in the kick-off of your "new" blog! :-) I appreciate that you've mentioned me alongside such great educators.

    I love your thinking and relate to much of it. When I started blogging, I really didn't know much, but I jump in. It has been a wonderful journey of discovery for me, and I learn something new every day!

    I have found the blogging community to be incredibly supportive. It has opened up my world and connected me in unexpected ways.

    Hope you are enjoying the balance of your summer vacation. We head back on August 20. What about you?

    Your friend,
    Linda Yollis

  2. Thanks for your response! It is through reading blogs such as yours that I have been able to refine my thinking and so gradually my practice when it comes to using blogs in my classroom.
    The support available to those of us 'new' to blogging (and other ways to infuse technology into our classrooms) has indeed been through that community. So much networking now too with Twitter which will lead you to this person or that blog to follow.:-)
    I am actually a graduate student this summer and my focus has been on the shift to 'new literacies'. Blogging is at the heart of my current paper and I hope to tease out bits and pieces for posts when I get to write 'leisurely'!
    Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the most eastern province of Canada, school resumes September 4 so I have time to consider all that I have been reading and writing about before I get going with this year's Grade 5 class.
    I would love to find a partner class to blog with, much like you had with Kathleen Morris, so that is on my agenda!
    What did you find to be the biggest challenge when you first began to go 'global'?

  3. Patricia,

    Thanks for the reply!

    The biggest challenge is time. The projects we've been involved with have been outstanding. However, they have required dedicated class time which as you know is at a premium! I look for projects that dovetail into as many standards as I can. That is always a beginning point for me as I plan for global projects. Integration is key for me.

    I recommend joining Edublog's Student Blogging Challenge as a way of meeting and finding quality partners. Sue Wyatt does a fantastic job of highlighting classes that are motivated and interested in connecting.

    Hope that helps!


  4. Patrica said...
    I know what you mean about time being a challenge and I certainly agree about looking for ways to meet or even enhance curricular outcomes with project selection. Starting small and working in (not adding on) a technology based component was my approach. I wonder if teachers realize, though, just how well so much of what we are 'required' to do can be accomplished with integration of technology.

    I have signed on for Pernille Ripp's GlobalReadAloud 2012 project. I am looking forward to sharing this with my class in September. I have looked through Sue's blog too;I am going to be talking to my colleagues and aim for an Edublogger challenge later in the year.

    The transition in our school to integrating tech is gradual but happening! Several grades have begun blogs within their classrooms. The grade five classes (we have two classes in each grade from k to 8) buddy-blogged with the grade ones. Great fun and learning! I have been trying to show how powerful it is for student bloggers to have comments from 'strangers'!

    My goal this year is to build from commenting responses to building conversations. Not just for my students' blogs but for my own as well. Thanks for being part of that!

    Patrica :)

    August 3, 2012 11:30 AM