Win an iPod! Yes, you could win an iPod. We are running a contest to give away an iPod. Simply post a comment in reply to one of our posts. Or, post a comment on iTunes as a review. We’ll through all of the posts into the preverbial hat an select a winner. We’ll contact that winner and send them the wonderous blue iPod that is sitting in our massive vault (or somewhere in Shawn’s house). Each person will be entered once only. Post away!
Monthly Archives: November 2007
Why Try? I’m Going to Fail anyway! The Effects of Teacher Expectations on Student Achievement.
By Debbie Silver
This was a fascinating presentation. Debbie Silver is a very dynamic presenter who grabs the audience. She is one of those rare speakers from whom you get a natural “high”.
She focused on the little things that teachers can do that make a big difference for kids. She was one of the presenters that pointed out how much of an influence that teachers have on children. Many of the things that she pointed out are subconscious things – little things that we just don’t teach as educators. However, lots of these things have subtle effects which can lead to a “tipping point” to change student achievement.
Here’s just a little bit about her presentation:
Why kids don’t try:
- Easier: It’s hard work, no control or choice over their lives.
- Fear: Easier not to take a risk, a cover for the fear of failure.
- 99% of students would rather be seen as a discipline problem rather than having a learning problem.
- Many things we look for are not skills, but compliance.
We must change the mindset of the kids.
- Too often we are looking for not for knowledge but for convergence.
- Every student deserves a reasonable level of success.
She discussed Albert Bandura, who popularized the term of Self-efficacy. This is the ability of
people to perceive what one is capable of doing. Teachers may “fire up” students temporarily, but that enthusiasm will be short lived if the test is completely beyond their ability. Rather, teachers can help by consistently stretching students a little bit at a time. People with high perceived self-efficacy will try more things, accomplish more and persist at a task longer.
Which ties in with Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is defined as the student’s range of ability with or without assistance from the teacher (or more capable peer). One end of the range would be the student doing without any assistance at all. The other range is with very supportive assistance.
Thus, the teacher should:
- know were student’s abilities are.
- act as a scaffold, providing the minimum support necessary.
- challenge the student to reach just beyond current ability level.
- Understand that if instruction falls outside of the zone, either above or below, no growth will occur.
- Be aware of the different roles students and teachers assume throughout the collaborative process.
- teacher modeling behavior for the student
- student imitating the teacher’s behavior
- teacher fading out instruction
- student practicing reciprocal teaching (scaffolding others) until the skill is master by all students in the classroom.
Think-Time vs Wait-Time
Recommended Book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck, C.S. (2006)
- Task difficulty
- Innate Ability or Talent
- Task Difficulty
- Innate Ability or Talent
Join us as we get specific about the NMSA 2007 Conference. It’s amazing how much excellent material we picked up there. In this episode, we discuss a couple of the presentations that we attended. Rick DuFour’s presentation was fantastic. I really do hope that NMSA will be able to broadcast it at some point.
I then discuss Walt Grebring’s Presentation “Effective Leadership Equals Successful Schools”
His presentation is based off of Todd Whittaker’s work – What Great Principals Do Differently.
I started with a poem that Mr. Grebring distributed on Leadership.
Principals Role in a Role in Positive School Climate by Walt Grebring:
- Have a vision for a school
- Role model for teaching a class and walk throughs
- Be a great listener – do NOT try to solve everyone’s problem
- Be a facilitator and empower your staff
- Enjoy watching others grow
- Remove the fear of failure
- “Better to ask forgiveness than ask permission”
- Willing to consistent examine the climate and take steps to improve.
Seven Cardinal Skills:
- Demonstrate compassionate understanding of the characteristics and needs of developing adolescents.
- Ability to develop and communicate a vital school philosophy based upon the needs of the students.
- Use shared decision making, involving stakeholders to direct the school toward the vision
- Develop interdisciplinary team organization
- Continuous school improvement
- Leader is an instructional leader.
- Hire/Assemble an effective staff
This was just a quick overview. However, it is a great thought provoker.
Shawn also discusses one of the sessions that he went to on RTI (Response to Intervention).
Response to Intervention Through Middle School Electives www.eps.n-cook.k12.il.us
1. Learning Navigation Map
2. Guided Notes
3. Podcasting student lessons (ProfCast).
4. Diagramming spelling words etymologically.
5. Work Log
I had to take the early bus to the airport this morning, so I have a little time to spend making a post. There are lots of folks here waiting for flights to many destinations.
Troy and I got together with our colleagues for dinner and reflection after the conference was over. I think that exchange is one of the most important sessions I attend at an NMSA conference. The enthusiasm is infectious and gets us excited to head back to our own classrooms. Always in life there are opportunity costs. At NMSA you can’t see every session you want to go to and the dinner at the end of the conference extends my conference experience by hearing about the best parts of the sessions I couldn’t attend.
If you went, what sessions did you attend? Here’s my list. You’ll notice that it differs from my plan on the podcast. Where I could, at this point, I’ve put a link to the presenter’s website so you can get the benefit of their resources also.
- Why Try? I’m Going to Fail Anyway! The effects of Teacher Expectations on Student Achievement.
- Cooperative Learning that Works in a Differentiated Classroom.
- Ready, Set, Write: Supportive Steps that Engage Students in Composition, Ross Burkhardt
- Planning 6th Grade Survivor Camp, Marcia Sewell, Centre Middle School
- Please Sit Still, Pay Attention, and Get Your Homework Done!, by Dr. John F. Taylor
- Project LEAD (Leadership Education and Development), COE Texas Tech University
- Confronting Hard Facts, Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense in Education, Keynote by Rick DuFour
- Middle Grades Teacher Program Assessments
- Response to Intervention Through Middle School Electives
- Incentive Press, Make-and-Take at their booth. (Thanks for the coupon!)
My group is planning to sit down and go through the Rick DuFour presentation again back at the school and share the things we gathered at the “brain buffet”.
What kind of things are you planning to do for reflection post NMSA 07?
Day two down here in Houston, TX. Lots of wonderful sessions and great information. Rick DuFour had a very informative keynote on Professional Learning Communities called “Confronting Hard Facts, Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense in Education.” A couple of sessions on teacher prep and writing filled out the day. Look for a podcast coming probably tomorrow.
Excitement is building. We’re looking forward to meeting lots of fascinating people. It’s almost time for lift off.
What is it that we are looking forward to?
- Anything that address the issue of student’s doing homework.
- Methodologies for address the wide ability of student’s on a school wide basis.
- Successful strategies for helping kids develop reading skills.
What are you focusing on?
Our excitement over the upcoming NMSA Conference can’t be contained. In this episode, we discuss conference attendence strategies and our picks for breakout sessions. Be forewarned, this is our longest podcast yet. We also announce our first ever give away – you could win an iPod. Listen to discover how.
We also discuss where to get Rick DuFour’s notes prior to going to the show (here) and some dining tips:
http://www.restaurant.com/ Has dining certificates that can reduce the price of eating out in Houston.
(Specific regions in Houston: http://www.restaurant.com/search-map-region.asp?PageSize=10&Page=1&VicinitySearchLevel=REGION&StateID=19&SearchID=&DistrictID=0&RegionID=32&rgid=32&nv=1&rn=TX) Use special code: SWEET