Geotricity 3.0 (A Continuation of TLC-16-149)

Area(s) of Focus: technology, math, well being, curriculum
Level(s): Grade 7, Grade 8

Geotricity 3.0 provides transdisciplinary learning through STEM and geography connecting students with their community in real-life application of problem-based learning. Students and teachers increased collaboration and learning through GAFE.

  • A continuation/expansion of TLC-16-149 (Technology)
  • STEM Learning: Students will redesign and recreate a school area to enhance the learning community
  • Students will use the Design and Engineering Process of understanding a problem, brainstorming solutions, choosing one solution, designing the solution, creating the solution using technology (computer programs/constructing a prototype), and analyzing and reflecting on designs and use of revision process
  • School-wide initial event having students participate in a community walk, observing how mathematics was used in the design, investigating a school area that could be redesigned, a series of media, math and technology learning opportunities in classrooms, and culminating whole group of Grade 8 students to redesign area using science, math and technology
  • Grade 8 students including students within Special Education programs
  • Technology – use of GAFE for teacher, student and community collaborations
    • Use of Google Draw and/or Sketch Up to design a space
  • Based on feeder school EQAO data, students face challenges in the area of mathematics
  • Based on school data, students and the community feel disconnected from one another, this project would support community cohesiveness
  • Students will learn about their community and how they can use their voice/ideas to advocate for positive change
  • Integration of a variety of curriculum areas and learning skills: language, mathematics, social studies, science, self-regulation, initiative, organization and responsibility

Team Members

  • Jeanette Timbury

    Toronto District School Board

  • Kathleen Moll

    Toronto District School Board

  • Trisha Kuma

    Toronto District School Board

  • Cathrina Schoenfeld

    Toronto District School Board

  • Gavin Chan

    Toronto District School Board

Professional Learning Goals

  • Increased use of GAFE for teacher collaboration and student learning
  • Used technology to connect with one another and other communities
  • Supported learning of mathematical content and skills, while integrating technology
  • Used GAFE to develop and share three-part lessons to be strategically implemented and integrated in classroom instructions to support mathematical learning
  • Learned about and used a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies including Assessment FOR, AS and OF Learning, using Google Classroom to allow for teacher-student descriptive feedback and peer descriptive feedback
  • Utilized a variety of assessment strategies including pedagogical documentation to capture learning and support professional learning
  • Deepened educator understanding of curriculum expectations and ways to connect curriculum areas
  • Developed rich tasks that connect to a variety of curriculum areas and all areas of the achievement chart
  • Deepened understanding of how to differentiate learning tasks to meet the learning needs of all students

Activities and Resources

  • Team members
  • Toronto DSB Google Apps for Education Help
  • GAFE – Google Docs, Google Classroom, Google Draw/Sketch Up, Google Slides
  • STEM resources for constructing
  • Ontario Math Curriculum, TIPS4RM, EduGAINS
  • Shared ideas during face-to-face professional learning, collaborative inquiry sessions to support the professional learning cycle of plan, act, observe and reflect
  • Learned more about GAFE and how it can support teacher collaboration and student learning
  • Investigated and utilized TDSB and ministry resources to support mathematics and technology learning
  • Learned more about and used pedagogical documentation using technology to capture learning and used that as part of our professional learning
  • Planned and developed a series of cross-curricular and integrated learning opportunities to support the inquiry and development of Geotricity 3.0
  • Developed assessment tools for integrated learning tasks
  • Developed open and rich tasks that can be differentiated to meet all learning needs

Unexpected Challenges

  • Occasional teachers did not pick up all jobs; re-schedule caused the need for prep payback
  • Needed to teach more about scale and story boards/pitch prior to the event
  • Needed to re-visit mapping skills in geography
  • More urban planning videos before the event; Ted Talks on urban planning
  • More pre-teaching needed


Enhancing Student Learning and Development

  • Students had the opportunity to engage in 21st century learning skills including collaborating with classmates and could connect with community stakeholders/Eco Schools
  • Students became more familiar with features and uses of GAFE
  • Students learned how mathematical thinking is applied in the design and engineering process when creating a community space/urban planning
  • Students made real-world connections to the application of mathematics
  • Students learned about Jane’s Walk and how to connect to their community by discussing how to create their own walk


  • Shared within the school with the Grade 7 teachers at a staff meeting
  • Grade 7 students and all staff invited to a “Share Fair” to see the community designs and prototypes that the Grade 8s completed and to vote on the top three ideas
  • Grade 7 teachers were invited into Google Docs to follow along with the process and contribute
  • Geotricity 2.0 and 3.0 were shared with other area schools when possible; shared in a math learning hub
  • Events and learning shared via Twitter, the trustee, and supervising prinicipal of instructional leaders


Project Evaluation

  • Teachers and students are collaborated using GAFE
  • Teachers and students explored how to get their project developed with stakeholder (Eco Schools)
  • Improved Assessment FOR and OF learning in mathematics due to application of math learning and use of technology; lots of discussion about how to fine tune this and allow for individualized assessment as well; teachers made observations and filled in charts for Learning Skills
  • Increased student engagement towards mathematics and STEM tasks
  • Technology was used to support assessment
  • Teacher and peer descriptive feedback as well as pedagogical documentation
  • Team changed how to group students; grouped by jobs and skills to allow diversity. The groups were more productive but should have been chosen before the community walk as the groups were a bit big and less focussed. More information should have been shared about the culminating task before the walk to allow for more of a “buy-in.”
  • Allowed students extra time from last year’s project and allowed them to take it home
  • More engagement for struggling students; hand-over-hand was used for building
  • Lesson development focused on cross-curricular and integrated learning
  • A variety of assessment tools were created and utilized that connected to different curriculum areas and all areas of the achievement chart
  • Learning was differentiated to consistently meet the needs of all students