#thinkingclassroom Transformed Teaching for Me

Ryan Kindree

Ryan Kindree, Elementary Teacher at TVDSB 

My name is Ryan Kindree and I am a Grade 4/5 teacher at Tweedsmuir Public School, Thames Valley District School Board, London, Ontario, Canada.  I've been a teacher for about 14 years now, working mainly in grades 4-8. I originally have a background in Manufacturing Engineering, but after working in the profession for a number of years I realized that was not my calling, and I felt a "gravitational" pull towards teaching.  A good friend of mine was a teacher and I had a chance to sit in on one his classes. And in the short time I visited his classroom, I quickly saw his passion and the love for teaching -- I understood right then what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.



#thinkingclassroom transformed Teaching for Me

This year a teacher colleague and friend, Paul McIntrye, also from Tweedsmuir, was given a set of #VNPS charts, more specifically Wipebook Flipcharts,  after attending a professional development session on Peter Liljedahl's #thinkingclassroom.  After a short time using this product, he told me of the tremendous value that these Vertical Non-Permanent Writing Surfaces provided, and I decided to give them a try in my class. And in all in all honestly, #thinkingclassroom and #VNPS was a game changing decision in my teaching approach and especially revolutionized the way I teach Math.



As a recent exercise, for example, my students have been collaboratively creating patterns and quickly identifying changing attributes along with other aspects of repeating patterns.  The thing is: the students can quickly change any attribute such as: shape, colour, size, position and direction in a pattern, and then have a centralized discussion about some of the great ideas and common misconceptions.  



Working collaboratively within the #thinkingclassroom model using Wipebook flipcharts not only allows me, as the teacher, to see and address areas of needs for certain students, but also allows the students to see how others have completed their patterns and generate new and exciting ideas -- awesome tool...



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Collaboration and Communication Amongst Students

My students have fully embraced the use of Wipebooks and how they allow them to collaboratively complete their work and also see how others are performing a similar task. We are looking forward to using our Wipebooks to look at and develop detailed growing and shrinking patterns. These Vertical Writing Surfaces are truly a game changer when it comes to providing a collaborative and inquiry based learning approach for my students.



Cost Effective VNPS

Wipebook Flipcharts are an extremely cost effective problem solving tool that allowed me to set up a multitude of #VNPS stations around my classroom.  The latter, when combined with a flexible seating approach gives my students the confidence and understanding they need to be successful math students. Wipebook Flipcharts allow my students to work together to solve a problem and bounce ideas off of each other.  And it also allows for me as the teacher to provide immediate and individualized feedback to help them develop their understanding. I plan on highly promoting the use of these tools and Peter Liljedahl's #thinkingclassroom within my school as this school year moves forward.


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