Thanks to ETFO, Joanne and I were able to travel to Toronto to attend a conference on Infusing Aboriginal Perspectives into Science and Mathematics. Over the course of two days, we had the opportunity to learn from other educators, try science and math activities, and review resources to help bring Indigenous culture into our classrooms.
Beading is a great way to teach patterning and algebra to elementary students. It was an engaging, yet sometimes frustrating, activity with opportunities for rich learning. Planning out the design in advance proved challenging for many of the teachers at the conference. I personally went through three planning sheets before I finally decided on my pattern!
We also explored some flight concepts, through the design of a blunt-tipped arrow. I'm sure anyone who has taught grade 6 in Ontario has done some hands on building of paper planes...this activity was a way to explore Indigenous culture and cover the Science and Tech curriculum at the same time! I think one way to make this experience more authentic would be to include an exploration of traditional materials and tools for arrow building (with safety in mind, of course). What type of wood/branches would work best? What tools would Indigenous people have used to shape their arrows? What types of feathers would they have used, depending on where they lived? The learning potential is unlimited!
Overall, it was a fun experience...Thanks, ETFO!