Sunday, November 24, 2013
For the Love of Teaching by Diane Dahl. The first post that I read was Thinking Across Content - Good Mathematicians Poster. In this post Ms. Dahl discusses how after teaching something, you have to model how to use it. Students need to find connections to other content areas because the brain looks for patterns. Ms. Dahl has also created a poster for her classroom that helps student visualize how they can become better mathematicians by using their senses and other body parts like their heart or knees. In my comments, I let Ms. Dahl know that I agreed with a student's need to find connections to other content and that the posters she created were a wonderful visual aid for her students. How to Plan and Schedule for Guided Reading Groups. In this post, Ms. Dahl explained step-by-step how she plans and schedules for her reading groups. She starts at the beginning of the year and places students in sections beginning with those that need the most help to those that don't need as much. Then she uses her school calendar to schedule on what days she will meet with a specific group and makes sure the group that needs the most help gets more time each week. In my comments, I let Ms. Dahl know how much I enjoyed reading her blog and her posts. I also let her know how much I appreciated her posting about this topic because as a future teacher, it's nice to have examples of something that works for other teachers. I also let her know that I would be adding this technique to my resources.
I was first introduced to Alfie Kohn when I was assigned for the love of learning by Joe Bower for one of my C4T's. Alfie's philosophies regarding standardized testing and the current school system caught my attention and I have been following him ever since. He has some thought provoking videos on YouTube and has a website with additional information and videos. I would make this assignment a collaborative blog post and have all team members watch the videos and answer the question What can be learned from Alfie Kohn by watching these videos? Feel-Bad Education Ranking, Competition and Democracy Math
At the beginning of the semester, I chose to use Symbaloo for my PLN. Symbaloo was very easy to use and navigate through. I often visit multiple sites a day and with Symbaloo, I have them all in once place. This saves a lot time and every time I find a new beneficial webpage, I add it to my Symbaloo page. I also chose to group my webpages together and color code according to topic. My shopping sites are green, entertainment sites are red, news sites are orange, educational sites are yellow and my social network sites are pink. By doing this, it helps me to find the site that I need quickly.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Shane Koyczan: To This Day...for the bullied and the beautiful By: Jennifer Hamrick The main thing that should be learned from this video is how damaging bullying can be for a child and what an impact adults have on shaping a child’s future. This video is the best one that I have watched all semester long and think that all teachers, present and future, should watch this video. Children are constantly being asked what they want to be when they grow up and then being told what not to be. Their dreams are being called silly or impossible. Children are being expected to define themselves at young ages and if they don’t, others define them. They are labeled slut, geek or fatty and told to accept the identity that others give them. We tell children to stand up for themselves but that is hard to do if they don’t know who they are. People often mistake standing up for themselves as embracing violence. Koyczan begins to address these issues in poem form and makes some very profound statements that I believe all people should watch and listen too. I am not going to quote this entire video, even though it deserves it, but I am going to end with my favorite quote from this talk. “And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror.” Alison Gopnik: What do Babies Think? By: Dominique Jones
Thursday, November 14, 2013
My November C4K's are very different than all the other ones that I have had all semester. For my first C4K, Levi had to write a poem. His poem was titled "Where I'm From Poem" and it was such a descriptive poem from a child. Levi wrote about seeing, hearing and tasting. It was such a good poem that I have decided to include it in my post. My comments to Levi were letting him know how much I liked his poem and that with every line he wrote and his descriptions, I could imagine them. I let him know that he had done a great job and I would like to keep up with his blog. One of the most impressive things about this post was that the first two comments on the posts were from Levi's parents. I liked that the parents were involved and supportive.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Project Based Learning Plan By: Jennifer Hamrick and Dominique Jones our classroom website.
What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson? The Importance of Creativity By: Jennifer Hamrick and Dominique Jones Sir Ken Robinson talks about the importance of creativity in this video and how creativity is just as important as literacy. One of the things that we can learn from this video is that kids will take chances. They are not afraid of being wrong but they are taught that being wrong is something to be ashamed of. By the time kids become adults, they are too frightened to be wrong and don’t want to put themselves or their ideas out there. Kids are being educated out of their creativity. Everywhere you go in the world, there is a hierarchy of subjects with Math and Languages at the top, then Humanities and then the Arts at the bottom. There is also a hierarchy within the Arts where music is at the top but dance is at the bottom. As young children we have been taught that the most useful subjects for work are the ones at the top and kids are steered away from the subjects they like because they are told they won’t ever get a job doing those things. It’s crucial that we rethink the fundamental principles that we educate our students on. We are suppose to prepare our students for the future but don’t know the future so we should really prepare them in every subject we can. Changing Education Paradigms By: Jennifer Hamrick There are multiple things that can be learned from Sir Ken Robinson in the above mentioned video. Sir Ken Robinson begins by talking about how every country is reforming public education right now and there are two reasons why. One reason is economical. How do you educate students to take their place in the economy of the 21st century? We can’t anticipate what the economy will be in a week so, preparing children for 10 years from now is almost impossible. The second reason is cultural. We need to find a way to teach our kids how to have an identity while being part of globalisation. Millions of kids are being alienated by trying to prepare for the future by doing what has always been done in the past. Children were once told that if they worked hard, did well, and got a college degree, they would have a job. While a person is still better off having a degree, nowadays, it doesn’t mean you will get a job. Standards of education need to be raised and the current system was designed and conceived for a different age. It was designed for a system that didn’t believe “street kids” could get educated. In the system, we were told that there are two kinds of people, Academic and Non-academic. Many non-academic people are made to believe that they are not brilliant because they don’t meet certain standards. According to Sir Ken Robinson, the current economic and intellectual model of public education is causing chaos. ADHD has risen with standardized testing guidelines and the further East you go, the more fictitious epidemic of ADHD rises. As a learner, you can have an aesthetic experience where your senses are operating at peak level and you feel alive. Or you can have an anaesthetic experience and your senses are shut off and you feel deadened to what is happening. Children are being anaesthetized to get them through the education process when they need to be woken up to what they have inside themselves. The current model of education is about conformity and standardization. The reform needs to go in the opposite direction. Students need to see that there are lots of possible answers and lots of ways to interpret questions. Stop teaching students that there is only one answer and how to work collaboratively. The real world calls for collaboration and most great learning happens in groups.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Encouraging Courage The first blog post that I read was Encouraging Courage written by Alfie Kohn and posted on Joe Bower's Blog for the love of learning. In this post, Kohn challenges teachers to challenge traditional policies and accepted assumptions. Teachers need to question if this is really in the best interest of the students or not. Just because a policy works and classrooms are quiet and orderly are they really helping students to become deep and passionate thinkers? It's often hard to find the courage to stand up and challenge other administrators for fear of being labeled a troublemaker and being black listed. It takes courage to stand up to absurdity but remember, your students are watching you and you are their role model. In my comments to Mr. Bower, I let him know that this post was one of the most eye-opening posts that I have read so far in this course. I felt the last paragraph to be the most profound when I was reminded that kids are watching me. We are their examples and should represent the best that their future selves can be. What do kids really learn from failure? written by Alfie Kohn and posted on Joe Bower's blog. This post was about how beneficial is failure for kids. Kohn made a lot of great points throughout the entire blog about failure in kids and how children perceive the failure. There are arguments that failure is unavoidable and that children should be able to deal with it and that children today are too coddled and have an easier life. Failure is unavoidable and how we teach our kids to handle that is what is really important. Every generation talks about how much easier kids have it today and of course in some aspects they do. With all the inventions and technology of the world today, a lot of things are easier not only on kids but adults too. Kohn challenged us to see life through a kid's eyes and how much failure they really incur everyday. They often come up short and don't get what they want and then face critical judgements from adults. Kohn discussed that studies show when kids fail, they make up an image of themselves as incompetent and helpless. This type of image leads to more failure. Students then want easier tasks and lose interest in what they are doing. The blog mentions that people are more likely to persevere when asked to make decisions about things that affect them rather than be told what to do. Two last things that Kohn said are eye opening and deserve serious thought. "Maybe the problem is that the educational environment emphasizes how well students are doing rather than what they're doing" and "It's the student's perception, not the teacher's intention, that determines the result." In my comments to Mr. Bower, I let him know how much I appreciated how often he updates his blog and the fact that he puts such thought provoking material on his blog. I let him know that I had to read the article twice, once as a teacher and second as a parent.
Interview with Kathy Cassidy Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 1 Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 2 Interview with Kathy Cassidy Part 3
Friday, November 1, 2013