Tumblr Archive for #education

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11/5/2011 - 10/29/2015 Date Range ?
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  • Critically Teaching Columbus: Updated! --

    Over the past few years, I’ve posted some about how I teach Columbus Day (here and here are examples).  It’s become one of my FAVORITE lessons, and each year I tweak it a little.  I wanted to share about the updates I’ve made. :)

    This year, I started with my normal read aloud lesson series, and we will also do the writing and art I wrote about previously:


    My big change this year was on adding complexity and depth to our study of viewpoint and how people write about history.  I introduced some key vocabulary to my students, which I picked up at a critical pedagogy conference I attended this summer:


    Students also received a version for their reading notebooks:


    After our read alouds, we read an excerpt from Howard Zinn’s “A Young Person’s History of the United States” and watched this clip.  We used all these resources and information to analyze different biases, omissions, and stereotypes.  

    Like I had in the past, I initially posed the debate in terms of “Should we celebrate Columbus Day?”, and students are working on opinion essays.  

    This year, I also wanted students to get better at analyzing “traditional” texts, so I scourged our reading resource room for various sets of books on Columbus.  Really, any books would do.  I used these in my Guided Reading groups (even for groups reading at second grade level).  All the books painted a pretty traditional tale of Columbus.  I was so impressed by how closely even my lower kids read and critically analyzed details in the stories.  We had some really excellent conversations, and kids were very passionate.  I think they were proud of themselves for being able to “take on” an adult author.

    I finally gave them an informal, completely independent reading response (different than their planned, opinion essay) and I thought they did a great job.  Many of them are ELLs and below grade level, and they were still able to have lots of thoughtful things to say.  

    Here are a few examples of student work, all from 4th grade students reading somewhere at a 3rd grade level (I include their level because I think teachers often feel like “below grade level” or elementary students can’t have such discussions, which is completely contrary to what I’ve seen.  Sure, the vocabulary might not always be exact, but the ideas are!):


    #education  #columbus day  #fourth grade 


    10/29/2015 1:51:00 AM
  • Dear Concerned Parent... --

    I know, I know. You’ve got two kids in four sports after school, a baby at home who could rival a hurricane, a high schooler who needs driver’s ed hours, and a spouse who seems to always let you be the bad guy when it comes to limiting iPad screen time.

    Your child has homework you don’t feel that you can help with (common core, say whaaat?), an unfinished book report that was due last week, a wretched smell coming from his backpack, and you know she still doesn’t have all her math facts memorized or his spelling words written.

    And now, you get to sit down for an hour with me, your child’s teacher.
    It’s the week of parent-teacher conferences. 

    Please know i truly believe in your child. I see their struggles and celebrate their day-to-day successes. I know that he confuses his long and short vowel sounds, or that her friends from last year have seemingly moved on and it breaks her heart. Please know I value your input, and every time you walk through my classroom door, I pray it’s to make a connection or to bridge the gap between home and school. 

    However, that’s not usually the case. I tend to see you with fire in your eyes over the new supplemental reading curriculum (no, I did not choose To Kill A Mockingbird), the three points I docked for not adding the creative elements to their science project, or why I don’t require kids to pass out invites to everyone for their birthday. You’re furious, or frustrated, or feeling misunderstood…

    But please, please remember that I have a full heart for your student… and the 29 others in my class. And for my husband. And my family. And every other aspect of my life that makes it just as hectic as yours. That I greet your daughter with a smile every day or answer your calls with a chipper tone of voice, but I’m tired. I go to your son’s soccer games because he lights up and it results in a relationship that shows in his school work, but it means I missed my niece’s recital.

    Did you know I went on a road trip this summer with my sister? We’ve talked about driving to Disneyland since were twelve. Did you know I long to have my own little one to come home to at the end of the day, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us yet? Did you know that I’m in three professional development programs and head up two committees? Did you know I go home and love to cook, yet never have time to clean between writing grants, planning hands-on class activities, and staying up on my data input for RTI?

    No, you probably didn’t. And you shouldn’t, because my job is to be your child’s teacher, not a hot mess. But please remember that I’m trying. And I’m human. And I’m learning. Please treat me with the respect you want me to show to you. You know, the same trait we’re trying to model for your kid.

    So, darling concerned parent, please share your burden about the homework and tell me the things you love so dearly about your son or daughter… But let’s do it together and encourage each other along the way. Oh, and next time, bring coffee.

    Your child’s classroom teacher
    ( @freshlymintedmrs )

    #personal  #mine  #my writing  #teacher  #education  #educator  #conferences  #teachblr 


    10/9/2015 3:54:19 AM
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    The Science of Classroom Design

    Students spend an average of 12,000 hours in the classroom throughout their lifetime. Those hours have a significant impact on their learning and behavior — studies say so. 

    We created a data visualization to show you how.

    Brought to you by USC Rossier’s Masters of Arts (MAT) Online Teaching Degree

    #Education  #Classroom Design  #Educational Psychology  #Brain-Friendly Learning Environment  #Classroom Environment  #Color Theory  #Infographic  #Data Visualization  #Data Viz  #USC Rossier 


    10/5/2015 6:55:08 PM
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    Banned Books Week!

    I put together a display for Banned Books Week, which starts today; unfortunately I was told by my administrators that I can’t do a lesson on it, because the English department is teaching a new curriculum this year and they’re worried about fidelity and a BBW lesson “distracting” from the regular unit… So this is the closest I can get. But hopefully it’ll at least inspire some discussion.

    #banned books week  #middle school  #teaching  #literature  #censorship 


    9/27/2015 9:58:43 PM
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    Made possible by TeachThought and USC Rossier’s online Master of Arts in Teaching degree

    #Education  #Social Media  #Teacher Resources  #Twitter  #TeachThought  #edchat  #MotivationMonday  #StuVoice  #USC Rossier  #USCTeacher 


    9/28/2015 4:27:34 PM
  • --

    I know there is now science to back this up, and it’s trendy or something, but my (sometimes extremely troubled, high needs) kids are sooooo much calmer when they get to color. It is therapy for them right in front of my eyes. Coloring is not for babies. My middle schoolers LOVE IT. And they love when you hang up their creations!

    #education  #mystudents  #teacher life  #coloring  #coloring therapy  #middle school 


    9/28/2015 5:53:01 PM
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    Right now, more than 62 million girls around the world are not in school, half of whom are adolescent. That’s why President Obama is headed to the United Nations today to talk about building sustainable development and how we’re helping let girls learn across the globe. 

    Chawanzi wrote to President Obama from Zambia about girls’ education. Read her letter, then share a yearbook-style photo of yourself telling us what you learned in school using #62MillionGirls to help raise awareness for girls’ education worldwide. 

    #POTUS Education Letters  #POTUS International Letters  #62 Million Girls  #62MillionGirls  #Let Girls Learn  #LetGirlsLearn  #United Nations  #UNGA  #Global Goals  #GlobalGoals 


    9/27/2015 6:08:49 PM
  • We need diverse schools... for the white kids --

    Now that I am caffeinating and consuming delicious breakfast, let me rant: or more accurately, talk about something that truly saddens me.

    The researcher quoted in the RawStory article is wrong. Those parents ARE racist. No, they’re not necessarily opposed to their children going to school with children of color. They’re specifically opposed to their children going to school with poor children of color. No, they’re not calling out racial slurs and burning crosses but they are actively opposing fair and equal treatment just the same. Perhaps not directly, but that is the truth.

    I used to babysit for a family in Brooklyn Heights; lovely people, good progressives. But I don’t doubt where they’d stand in this situation. Their voter registration might say blue, but their internalized dialogue is still out of 1954. They are afraid.

    What saddens me is that white students stand to benefit the most from this situation. They’re the ones who need to experience a more racially diverse environment. Forget all the lip service about why this will help children of color; my school develops strong, successful students at an astounding success rate without a single white child in the building. They don’t need white kids in their school. White kids need them.

    These white kids need racial diversity so that they won’t grow up to be like their parents. They will know that sending their child to a racially mixed school near a housing project isn’t something to fear because they lived it. They will have actual friendships and interaction with people who don’t look like them; whose lives are different then theirs…Unlike their parents who came to Brooklyn because they like the “urban” environment but then chose to live in a neighborhood full of people just like them…

    I’m basically done. It just makes me laugh at this point . My student’s parents would jump at the chance to make our school less crowded; to drop our average class size below 32. But wait, I know why these parents are mad- the DOE didn’t just build them a second, virtually homogenous school.

    #end rant  #education  #school segregation  #brooklyn 


    9/27/2015 2:17:56 PM
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    With the implementation of state standards and assessments to measure student and school performance under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), many public schools have wound up with their curricula painfully narrowed. In too many schools, the focus on testing in language arts and math has led to the erasure of art, physical education and music programs, as schools, particularly in poorer districts, scramble to keep their heads above water to avoid being labeled “failing,” which puts them at risk of incurring devastating sanctions.

    The stated goal of NCLB was to bring accountability and additional resources to low-income schools. But a growing list of critics argues that the legislation has instead forced teachers to spend too much of their time teaching to the tests, instead of imparting essential skills to their students — like collaborative and critical thinking — or being able to foster true joy in learning. When standardized tests are one of the only metrics used to assess whether students are learning, schools can often wind up deemed failing, with little regard for what’s actually taking place in the classroom.

    Journalist Kristina Rizga spent 4 years at SF’s Mission High and learned there was more to success than test scores

    #education  #high school  #no child left behind  #american education  #news 


    9/25/2015 9:00:15 PM
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    via The Source Of The Student Debt Crisis Is Not Expensive Tuition - BuzzFeed

    My jaw just hit the floor.

    Also, it’s surprising not to see Trump University among the Top 25 in 2014.


    9/11/2015 6:48:35 AM
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