What do your students think is the purpose of school? #BFC530 #edchat

Yesterday’s #BFC530 chat was “If you polled your students about the purpose of school, what would they say?” from Ben Owens.

We all had some ideas but also admitted that we should probably actually ask our students! I told them to give me their honest answer as to why they think kids are supposed to go to school … not what they thought I’d want to hear.

The short version of their answers is this:

But if you’re interested in reading them all, here is all of the responses from my gr. 9 computers class, my grade 9 (academic & applied mixed) Math class, and my grade 10 applied (aka remedial) Math class:


Amber Grohs also asked her kindergarten students & tweeted their responses:

And Kathy Iwanicki polled her 8 year old students and wrote this post about their responses.

What do you think your students would say? Better yet – ask them & tell us what they think in the comments below!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Hosting #BFC530 to talk Sketchnotes


About a year ago I hosted the #BFC530 chat on Twitter for the first time. When you submit a topic idea (mine was to share the video clip that had the most impact on your teaching) you are then asked to host the chat if you can. The chat starts at 5:30 EST & then repeats for each time zone (so three more times again).

This fall I’ve been learning about sketchnoting, and while I’ve mostly been using it as a way to summarize PD workshops or blog posts, I submitted the following topic idea for #BFC530:

Never heard of sketchnotes? Have a look here.

So I woke up at 5:00am (30-45 mins. earlier than usual) to get myself ready for school (dressed, hair brushed & minimal makeup) before tuning in to host the 5:30 Eastern time at home in the dark. The 5:30 timeslot is the one that I usually tune into myself; usually lying in bed after the alarm goes off. So I recognized many of the participants & man, does it go fast. I had such a hard time keeping up with all the great tweets, trying to retweet & reply to as many people as possible. And just like that, it was 5:45 & finished.

It was a Thursday, which is the day I meet colleagues for a weekly breakfast near our school. We usually get to the restaurant around 7:00 – 7:30 but I wanted to get there in time for the 6:30 EST (5:30 Central time) so that I could eat breakfast between that one & the Mountain time one. I jumped in my car & rushed to the restaurant.

The Central time chat was fairly busy too & I had some time to catch up on the tweets I’d missed from the Eastern time zone chat. My colleagues began to arrive for breakfast & I got made fun of a fair bit for being glued to my devices at the breakfast table:

The 7:30 chat (5:30 Mountain time) was pretty quiet with only a few people checking in. Same for the Pacific time zone chat by which time I’d arrived at school & hosted from my classroom before the first bell rang.

I get a lot out of participating in the #BFC530 chat so I’m happy to host when I can come up with a worthwhile topic idea. I’m not sure I’m very good at hosting as I find it hard to reply to everyone that participates, but there are so many regular participants that help with that aspect too, it’s so great!

Others seemed to enjoy the topic & chat:

If you’d like to read through the entire chat, here it is with the beginning of the chat at the bottom & end of day tweets at the top of the page: here!

I summarized my takeaways in a sketchnote (of course!):IMG_1474

And if you’re up at 5:30 in the morning, I hope to see you participating in the #BFC530 chat some morning soon 🙂

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)