#1109 “I hate math.”

I hate math,” said a grade 6 student last week in a class I was supply teaching.

He was obviously not enjoying (or doing) his assigned math work.

So I sat with him and asked “What DO you like?”
He: “Football.”
Me: “… Well, you know, football’s got a lot of math.”
He: Pause…
Me: “… (In a commentators voice) And the Redblacks are 2nd and 7 from the 8 yard line… That’s math. What do those numbers mean?… Measurement!”

Different Intelligences (Gardner)

Football Math

“What about when the QB throws the ball? How hard does he need to throw the ball to hit the moving running back right on target?”  I drew a diagram to help make the point.
“That’s math…”

“… And how can you predict who will win the football game? That deals with statistics and probabilities… math again.”

The student looked at me, quietly. I helped with his specific math challenge and let him on his way. I looked back a while later. My football math talk had worked…

#1108 Media Literacy – Would You Trust this Teacher?

This term I am working with a Grade 5/6 class in central Ottawa.

We’re working on media literacy this term. We’re exploring many facets of media including perspective, media formats, as well as critically thinking about information presented.

Media Literacy Lesson

Teaching about trust in media – would you trust this teacher?!

Web Safety
I introduced a segment about information on the web including safely evaluating websites. I opened the lesson by ‘arriving’ incognito, above. Surreptitiously at first, I tried selling ‘solid gold’ watches, used ‘authentic’ sports cars and ‘rare, valuable’ coins to the students.

Trust
By the end of my ‘sales pitches,’ students were contentiously and verbally jousting with my fictitious character!! They didn’t trust me. That made me smile – it laid the perfect groundwork to  engage students about trusting sources of media, especially when connecting to the murky waters of the internet.

Media Literary Lesson
I quickly changed gears and introduced the students to a super, web-based lesson from Media Smarts on web safety and awareness. Media Smarts is an Ottawa-based, not for profit “charitable organization for digital and media literacy. Our vision is that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens.

I am close to finishing my Bachelor of Education program. In May I’ll be bringing my cast of characters to local schools as a guest teacher and supply teacher.

#1105 Unit & Lesson Plan Assignment

I’ve been in Teacher’s College and in our Science Class we are to develop three lesson plans to cover a science topic. I used three lessons I performed in a Grade One class in the fall on “Structures and Mechanisms – Materials, Objects and Everyday Structures.”

I wanted some traditional fun (fun = learning!) but also wanted to make sure all members of the class got involved. I started with a classic hook – “The Three Little Pigs” and a hands-on exploration into the building materials the pigs may have used.

Lesson Plan

Building Materials

But from traditional building blocks I took a turn to include other students who may NOT be interested in bricks and sticks.

I used the Cinderella story to introduce the idea of materials used in fashion and everyday dress. I often add a little role-playing drama. When I showed up to part of the lesson wearing beach attire (shorts and t-shirt) just before -18C recess, the students eagerly told me why I had chosen the wrong materials (clothing) to go outside on the cold day. We had some successful learning!

See the 5-E Science Model
See the Unit Plan
See the Lesson Plans

#1104 Alternative Approaches to Education

I’m in my last semester of the Bachelor of Education program at Ottawa U. It feels like the home stretch!

I’m in the intense On-SIte program that condenses six months of lecture material into two and a half months to allow for an expanded six months of practicum placement.

For me, the hands-on learning directly in the classroom offers me the best educational learning experience. I am a hands-on learner and never excelled at traditional sit-in-the-classroom schooling. Most traditional schools cater to verbal-linguistic learners (read: book-learner).

Risk Management

Play Based Learning & Managing Risk – Much can be learned in alternative classrooms. Above was  my own weekend classroom of fun with my friends.

I am curious about the alternative and holistic approaches to education and how related practices can be incorporated into traditional classes. My elective this year explores the world of holistic and alternative education practices.

In my current placement I am lucky enough to witness a teacher who brings many elements of holistic practices into his classroom. In my last placement I was fortunate to witness a teacher who incorporated much play-based learning (although she disliked the term “play-based learning” because of the erroneous connotation that “play” and “learn” are very different things.)

Play based learning - incorporating drama to teach math. Captain Barnacle uses his treasure chest to teach about counting coins.

Play based learning – incorporating drama to teach math. Captain Barnacle uses his treasure chest to teach about counting coins.

I’m learning lots and love some of the readings – Ron Miller and Alfie Kohn resonate with me!

Stay tuned.

#1102 New Directions – Education

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those celebrating.
We’ll be laying low over the winter break. Catching up, settling in and skiing!

It’s been a big year at HarryNowell.com that started on New Year’s Eve, 2013.
Merry Christmas!

Last New Year’s Eve I was inspired by a friend to apply to Teacher’s College. I had applied twice before in the 1990s. This time they let me in.

I’m halfway through Ottawa U’s Primary/Junior Bachelor of Education. Their On-SIte Program condenses six months of lectures into two and a half months and allows for a six month practical placement working directly in a classroom.

I’ve just spent three months working in a Kindergarten / Grade One classroom in a central Ottawa school. Our class has students from Burma, China, Russia, Hungary, Bosnia, Iran, Pakistan, Australia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mexico, far-northern Canada. It’s a diverse, challenging and amazing class.

Teaching in the primary grades attracts me because I get to teach more than math and language – I get to help little ones develop as people using drama, arts and engaged play based learning. I love it – where else can you get so much impact dressing up as Captain Barnacle, the pirate, to teach about number sense & counting coins with treasure? The students gobbled up the lesson.

I’ve always loved teaching – it’s been a big part of my business for the past 20 years. Teacher’s College is a good next step for me. My marks from the lecture hall have been… excellent. My classroom evaluations have been… excellent. I feel very fortunate to have met such good people this fall!

I start in a new Grade Six classroom with a similar demographic in January. I’m excited.

And I’m excited about my new direction. Seeing the possibilities available in traditional teaching has me smiling.

Harry teaching

Harry teaching

But what about photography?
The business will continue as Harry Nowell Photography and I will continue aspects of the business that I enjoy. I’ll continue to offer a few workshops, some stock assignments, some editorial and interesting artwork related to Watershed, SunStreaks and the big camera.

Thanks for your support over the years.
I can’t wait for 2015!

#1082 DIY Portraits

Last week Good Works hired us for a session of DIY portraits – it’s a good team builder that produces some fun work photos, all at an affordable price!

As usual, once people were settled and their camera was plugged into (and tested) our pre-set studio lights, the studio was filled with giggles, laughter and much fun.

How it works:
• The studio is booked and the group plugs their camera into our studio lights. We give a tutorial and offer support as needed throughout the session but photos are taken by the group.

In just over an hour Good Works produced some great shots they will be using for promotions and clients – all reasonably priced.

Interested in a similar session?
Let us know…

DIY Portraits at the photo studio

DIY Portraits at the photo studio

#1080 New Watershed Exhibition June 21, 22

Join us at the New Arts Festival, June 21, 22 as I exhibit my latest Watershed (and other) works.

What we’re exhibiting:
1. Straight-from-the-Camera Watershed Originals
Last year I built a hand-made large format (8×10) camera and refined a process that allowed me to produce single, original B&W prints that come straight from the camera.

Large format camera

Hand-made, focusable, 8×10 box camera

Effectively, one piece of B&W paper is loaded into the camera and processing allows a positive result – one-of-a-kind originals:

Large format photography

Original, one-of-a-kinds – straight from the camera – 8×10 film camera

2. Sunstreaks
I’ve also tweaked a photo process from 1842. The cyanotype was designed to react to light when objects are placed on the cyanotype sheet (no camera involved) and exposed to sunlight.

I found a way to use the paper in a very large camera. Done properly, this process captures a landscape with the streak of the sun as it crosses the sky.

The result is a one-of-a-kind, original landscape with the sun streaking across the sky:

cyanotype

Old Chelsea Church – Sunstreak

3. Big Watershed prints
We’ll be showing a couple of BIG, colour, mounted prints shot predominantly on medium and large format film equipment. These prints are well suited for public spaces and entrances / board rooms of corporate spaces.

Medium format photography

Big prints from big film cameras from the Watershed project.

4. A few prints from the archives
We’ll have some available prints from the archives – priced attractively.

There will be artwork available for all budgets.

Join us!
June 21, 22, 2014

Booth #79
The New Art Festival
Central Park
Glebe, Ottawa

#1075 Web Distractions

This edition of Web Distractions is brought to you by many of our readers and supporters! Thanks for keeping the links coming…

55 Best Photographers, Ever
We stumbled upon this list and I was curious who got the number one spot…

Pre-Pantone Colours
Norman P offered this link about a book of colours described hundreds of years before Pantone.

Film Photography

Photos of Tears
Gina R suggested this link with photos about the uniqueness of tears.

Historic Negatives Found at Thrift Shop
Wojciech J. posted this link about a story of negatives that surfaced in a Thrift Shop.

Motorbikes and their Loads
Peter H brought our attention to this light hearted look at heavy loads.

Oops, wrong photos in a big news story
‘Anonymous’ suggested this NY Times story about the wrong photos being used for a mega news story

Post-Baby Beauty
Murielle C posted this link challenging perceptions of beauty.

• Photographer Round-up 
Check who’s doing what in the photo world – expand your horizons.

A big thanks for the links – keep them coming!

Bye for now…

#1073 We’re Expanding

We’re expanding!

As many of you know, I’m a stock/assignment photographer and educator.
I operate out of Ottawa Studio Works in Ottawa’s Little Italy on Preston St.

photo studio

Ottawa Studio Works – shared space

Last year Bonnie Findley brought FindleyFoto to the studio.
Who’s Bonnie?
She’s an established Ottawa photographer – stay tuned for a proper introduction!

Expanding!
We’re looking for a complimentary small business (ideally a graphic designer, event planner, etc.) to round out the space at the studio – we have a 7×10 office space with access to shared meeting space and studio for rent for the right small business.

The Space:
70 square foot private space – includes utilities and internet with shared access to other parts of the studio – is available for rent for $250/month + taxes.

The Bonus
We’re both looking for the right small business person to support our businesses – web updates, wedding packages, managing clients and ideas. The right person for the studio and our businesses (our creative hub) can rent an affordable space and get two new clients at the same time!

Interested?
Send Bonnie and Harry an email with your relevant info and questions.

Ottawa art studio

Blair Gable at presenting his photojournalism work at OSW

#1063 University Stock Assignment

stock photo

Stock assignment

One of my most fun assignments last month was shooting promotional material for a university recruitment program – effectively a stock assignment.

I spent a couple of days developing imagery with students, professors in two areas of the university.

My instructions were to capture some fun, vibrant activity and students and professors in action.

I am limited in what I can show but included are a couple of shots.

Very fun – and good people to work with…

Thanks for the fun!!

stock assignment

Stock photo – teaching laboratory – social work