Microfarming in Maine means shoveling. There is just no way the tractor is going across the front yard to make a path for the oil delivery man, or a stretch down the hill to the pasture for the animals. It’s a fact of life here that the shovel will never go out of style.
Shoveling provides a great opportunity for thinking..and with 12+ inches to move this morning, I did a lot of both (shoveling and thinking). I was tossing around uses for a tool I found this morning from the CreativeTallis site. It’s called aMap and it’s a tool for mapping out arguements or debates. The link I’ve provided takes you to the Education page which gives some specific uses for the tool in the classroom. It fits the KISS model easily- no passwords to remember, no software to download, and the instruction required to use it is the same instruction you would give for a paper and pencil activity because it is content driven.
My “shovel-time” gave me the opportunity to think about how ELSE this tool could be used. My colleague Coleene Moody might find it useful. She is having groups of her Forensic Science students create a collaborative “murder-mystery” story based on a project they did that collected historic information about forensics. They will then present these to the class and see if the other groups can solve them using the knowledge they’ve acquired. aMap might make this into a giant game of Clue- students could post their solutions and back them up with details. Or, they could challenge each other’s thinking with aMap.