Saturday, April 28, 2012
In my research of OER's I stumbled upon a few very cool things.... how about DISCOVERY EDUCATION, a site that let's you choose the grade level, subject area, and type of teaching tool your looking for. How about READ, WRITE, THINK which provided a multitude of activities for all grade levels that included exercises in critical thinking, etc. Very cool. And how about 32, 501 free teaching resources from OER COMMONS? This place was like a huge DSW shoe store - if a teacher can't find something useful there, there's something wrong with them.
So.... don't be discouraged when you are fresh outta ideas like this guy:
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Calling all Teachers… why recreate the wheel? ReadWriteThink is a great teacher tool to aid in all aspects of lesson planning. Just choose a grade level and an objective and you’re on your way. Choose from dozens of lessons that provide everything from NCTE standards, printouts and website resources to interactive student activities – all for FREE!
I stumbled upon a lesson entitled “A Case for Reading – Examining Challenged and Banned Books”. This lesson introduces students to censorship and how challenges of books occur. Students will read one of the works on the American Library’s Association list of the 100 most challenged books. Students will decide for themselves how they feel about the piece and write a persuasive essay to support their beliefs.
The research has already been done for you! A few of the printable resources available include: A Sample Parental Approval Letter, a Persuasion Map, Book Challenge Investigation Bookmarks, and a Persuasive Writing Rubric; as well as a link to several websites, including the American Library Association’s Banned and Challenged Book List. Check it out!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
So, now we hear that students are getting paid to attend school? Really??! Yes, it’s true. A charter school in Cincinnati, that has experienced off-the-chart truancy rates, is now using cold, hard cash to entice their students to attend. Click here for the full-story… or check out this video:
While I understand the school’s position and respect the compassion that is driving this initiative – what kind of standard is this creating?? What happens if students around the country decide that they're not coming unless the school starts paying them? Does this mean that taxes around the county will increase as demanded by a bunch of under-achieving, unmotivated high school students?
Cincinnati is not the only school with high poverty and dropout rates. I’m sure that students in the depths of NYC would like to be paid to attend school as well. It used to be that education was a privilege and something to be appreciated - not to mention the local tax -payers who were paying for your education. This new idea turns the tradition and value of education upside down. This whole concept really needs to be addressed on a higher level to determine if this is really the appropriate direction to take our education system.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
We are no longer on our own. In Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli’s book, Personal Learning Networks, David Wiley, a professor at Brigham Young University, expands upon the thought that there has been a shift from “isolated to connected”(16). There’s been a significant shift over the past decade from a world where information was only attainable via our immediate surroundings. We picked up a telephone, a phone book, or an encyclopedia. Other information was available but not without first crossing the barrier of “time”. Sending a letter and awaiting a response took time. Physically going to the library and conducting research took time. Our world has changed drastically to one of constant connectedness and instant information gratification.
At first glance this concept of connectedness appears to be freeing. It opens the doors of education to include a global presence in which to share an infinite amount of knowledge. Richardson and Mancabelli make the point that since we’re connected to the internet and have two million teachers, the “sum of human knowledge will be at our fingertips”(18). While this concept may sound great, it implores me to think about the immense responsibility that this type of “freedom” brings. How do we keep from experiencing information overload with so much access to anything and everything? How do we filter through the mountains of useless information to find the gold nuggets worth our time and effort? How do we preserve the importance of face-to-face communication in a world where we no longer need to depend on those we physically encounter?
I feel that these are all questions that need to be addressed in order for this “shift” to truly be a positive change. The authors in the abovementioned book agree that these questions are not easily answered and “require a deep understanding of the complex changes that are happening right now, and they also require a willingness to re-examine every aspect of our profession in that light” (32). I believe that part of the answer lies first in determining our own individual passions and using this connectedness to ignite and fan the flame of knowledge about a particular subject – this narrows the path and allows for clearer focus. But perhaps the most important aspect of adjusting to this shift of “isolated to connectedness” lies within how we choose to feel about it. I truly believe that our subconscious attitudes play a large role in our ultimate acceptance of change. We must be willing to explore the new opportunities of being so connected and expect positive results, rather than fearing negative implications. When we open our minds to change we step into an arena of infinite possibilities.
Will Richardson & Rob Mancabelli, Personal Learning Networks (Bloomington: Solution Tree Press, 2011)
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
My teaching aspirations are rather simple: I want kids to know that I care about them, and I want to share with them knowledge that will help them be successful in whatever path they choose.
I hope to share my education journey with you while creating a portfolio of important achievements along the way. For all of you who already support and love me so well - "Thank You!" Let's DO THIS!