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Category Archives: community

Be Inspired!

Here is a beautiful and inspiring video about educating the whole child! Watch and be inspired.

http://bcove.me/gwzostcl

 

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Face it! Are there students you may not like easily?

Let’s face it!  Yes, we do profess to care for all students and we do try, but there are students that challenge that belief on some days?  Acknowledge your feelings and then do something about it.  It will help you, the student, and the class.

I am referring to the student with an “invisible challenge”.  I don’t think I would have ever acknowledged that there are some students whose behaviors make them a challenge and hard to like.  After reading this article in an email from Teaching Tolerance, I have a new perspective and had to share it with teachers, counselors in schools, etc. 

The article describes the situation quite clearly from the teacher and students perspective.  However, it goes one step further.  This article describes a process that teachers, learning consultants, administrators, parents and others can use to help themselves, the individual student, and the entire class.  It is a helpful resource and process to follow with the right preparation and support.  Give yourself a break and read it.  It won’t take long and I think you will be glad you did.

 

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Let your students learn with a global focus

Let your students learn with a global focus by bringing the world into the classroom.  Any age student will benefit from visiting with and learning from experts around the world or students in a classroom far away or around the corner.  It doesn’t take a field trip to bring adventure and learning from a place away.

As a help to all teachers, SKYPE has provided a resource that you can use.  SKYPE in the classroom provides ideas and a place to learn from others.  Visit the website and see for yourself.  There is a great informational video describing the use of Skype and students visiting with an elephant care taker.  Quite enjoyable and a fun-filled 3 minutes.

Our students need to know about the world and function in a world that is much bigger than their neighborhood or city or country.  Many say the world is becoming “flat” because of our ability to interact with all parts of it through technology and travel.  Our challenge is to spur on their interest and creativity so their learning continues to help them be 21st century citizens and beyond.

Your students will be able to name questions they want to explore with their global partners if you give them a chance.  A few examples on the link include:  do other countries have the tooth fairy, how do potatoes grow, what season is it in your part of the world, etc.

 

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Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?

Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?  Do you think you and they could each create a novel in one month?

Many educators believe that the answer to both questions is YES!  In this Edutopia Blog Laura Bradley, an educator and blogger, explains how her middle school students accomplished this with oodles of excitement among the young writers – they were asking to write.  Those who are teaching Grade 8 students know what a feat this was.

Look at her blog and click on some of the links she used to help the process.  It is all part of a national project that you can learn more about by going to the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo site.  This is for any age writer so elementary and middle school teachers take heart.  You can download free materials to help in the process.

Share your progress, your success, your challenges as you attempt this project in November!  If you are going to participate, you need to check it out now and plan your classroom activities leading up to the Big Write!

 

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Check this out!

Check out this interesting take on education.  It is great food for thought and just what you might need during a little down time.  It is a great video on which to reflect and create your own understandings.  It simply makes you think a little deeper into why we do what we do each day of the school year.

ASCD has an entire express issue that highlights the new paradigms of education.

Enjoy!!  Perhaps you even have some time to share your thoughts.

 

 

Quadblogging anyone?

Have you considered Quadblogging?  It is a well developed system from an educator in England.  You and your class can request to be part of the quadblogging network and you will be added to a group of three other blogging classrooms.  It allows students to blog and receive comments from other students in schools around the world.  Students will work even harder to develop their class blog when they actually get hits from other students. 

Of course, the first step is to have a class blog.  Do you have a class blog for your class or course?  If you do, you are helping to develop the twenty-first century skills students in your class will need.  In order to help students learn these skills you need to be a 21st century learner as well.  Here are a few ways that teachers using a twitter educational feed have used a class blog.  Perhaps this summer you can hone your ideas and be ready to blog and Quadblog with your class.  Do your prep now and check out some great educational bloggers while you are at it.

Summer is a great time to form your own learning network – on-line, face-to-face, in class, or ????  Don’t let it slip by without doing something refreshing and learning a thing or two.  Explore the web and see what is available to you.  Develop your own blog and share your learning.  A great resource for a free or economical blog is WordPress.  It is a great way to get started.

You may even find a little time to comment and share your ideas here.

 

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From the mouth of a Twelve Year Old

St. Nick sent a great gift today!  A little snow to enjoy and a great post on whatedsaid my favorite educational blog for teachers.  The point was – what are the benefits for students when they do a blog for class? 

The students themselves compiled their own reasons and you can read them – there are ten reasons given.  I will give you one reason by a twelve-year-old student from Australia noted on the list: 

 ” It helped me as a thinker because when you look at other people’s posts on sometimes the same thing, they could be very different and it could change your thinking too. Because you realize the other side of what you are thinking. My comments now are very different to the start of the year because now I am thinking as a learner, but before I was more thinking about being a worker at school. This helps a lot because you want to get something out of what you do – that is what a learner does, a worker does it to get it done.” (Josh)

Wouldn’t you like to have your students say this about some activity within their class  I have heard numerous teachers and principals note that they just wish students found joy in learning and not just look for the grade!  Well do your own experiment and see what you and your students experience. 

It is my belief that we may keep learning from happening if we don’t reach for real learning experiences beyond our own classroom walls.  Of course that might be very difficult for a teacher to do if that teacher does not keep learning beyond their own classroom.  Open your doors and windows (not literally) and make connections for yourself and your students.  This may be where real learning happens and not just work!

If you have done a classroom blog with your students – what did they think about it?  What did you notice?  Did you keep it totally walled in for your class only?  Why?  Would you do it differently?

Have you had a conversation with your students regarding what they learned and what they liked in learning experiences?  Perhaps your comments to this post will help us all learn the importance of student blogs and other experiences.

Let us hear from you and create our own list of benefits or challenges.