Husband: Janice, when I see you in that hat, I laugh.
Wife: Good, I’ll put it on when the bill comes.
Person 1: “You are the slowest person I’ve ever seen. Do you do anything quickly!”
Person 2: “I get tired real fast”.
Person 1: “Have any big men been born in this town?”
Person 2: “Nope. Just babies.”
On Our Mind:
This episode is brought to you in conjunction with AMLE. We need your feedback. What would you like us to focus on in conjunction with AMLE? Please send us suggestions and feedback. Pick any of the contact methods to the right on the web page.
This middle school science minute is about rocketry safety. In the February 2012 issue of Science Scope (NSTA publication) Ken Roy wrote an article entitled: “Question of the Month – Rocket Safety.” In the article you will learn about the safety expectations when using model rockets and how you can learn more about the National Association of Rocketry’s Model Rocket Safety Code at:
by William Johnson, at 12:43 pm
President Obama has said our students are failing; President Bush said they were failing. How many times do our students have to hear they’re no good before they start believing it? (Both presidents and pretty much every other prominent education reformer ignore the fact that when you control for poverty, our students are keeping pace with their international counterparts.)
Which brings me to my next point: On top of all the nasty rhetoric about our students, our educational leadership has actually created a system designed to make our students fearful. I’m writing, specifically, about the fear induced by years of repetitive, stressful, high-stakes testing. In a system designed almost entirely around these tests, how could all but the few who excel on these tests feel good about themselves? The fearfulness we teachers encounter on a daily basis is a predictable consequence of this system, not some surprising side effect.
The fear is not only predictable, but is in fact desirable for a small number of people. Specifically, fear is very useful for the people who will employ our students, if those students are lucky enough to make it through high school. A frightened, malleable workforce, desperate for approval, is far more agreeable to some of these employers than a confident workforce that demands its worth be recognized.
As long as a submissive workforce is a priority, we’ll all keep suffering in the classroom http://gothamschools.org/2012/03/19/fear-and-self-loathing-in-the-classroom/#more-79685
What do you get when you cross a porcupine with a sheep?
An animal that knits it’s own sweaters.
What do you get when you cross a chicken with an elephant?
I don’t know, but Colonel Sanders would have trouble dipping it in batter.
If a dog loses his tail, where does he go?
To the retail store.
On Our Mind:
Even Disney Makes Mistakes:
Disney is a prolific company with its name on a great many successes, and it likes to hide its missteps and failures. The process of doing so sometimes helps those mistakes become things of legend. Song of the South, with its politically incorrect and racist portrayals of certain characters, is likely the most famous example. Another example might be The Sweatbox, a very rarely-seen documentary about the failed making of an animated film called Kingdom of the Sun, which eventually morphed into The Emperor’s New Groove. (Pictured above.)
The Sweatbox filmmakers John-Paul Davidson and Trudie Styler were given unprecedented access to Disney’s process and the resulting film painted the executives in such a negative light, they more or less made sure the film would never been seen in public.
Until now. For a little while at least. After the jump, you can watch the rarely seen 2002 documentary The Sweatbox. http://www.slashfilm.com/watch-rare-disney-documentary-called-the-sweatbox/
This middle school science minute is about the misconceptions that middle school students have about light. In the February 2012 issue of Science Scope (NSTA publication) Amber Haslag and James P. Concannon wrote an article entitled: “Reflecting on students’ misconceptions about light: Using research to guide assessment and instruction” They begin by sharing data on a study done through Michigan State University, which identifies the misconceptions that students have about light. They then developed a two-day 5E lesson that helps students to clarify their misunderstandings. After the lesson, they evaluate the students on their understanding of light.
Fowlerville and Flatrock have also implemented this.
MDE and Measured Progress
Formative Assessment Toolbox ( A really thick binder – 4″, I do believe)
Ways to Incorporate
Grading Scale – How do we grade? Why? Chose a 13 point scale.
ZAP – Zero’s Aren’t Permitted
Students are ZAPPED for lunch and after school. 3 Zaps in a week=after school.
Principal is heavily involved. Counselors are used to follow up with the student. The counselor does the scheduling of the student with the parent for after school ZAP.
This is also combined with the after school programs for support for students who are struggling.
This is more immediate than Saturday school. The issue with Saturday school was the delay.
They use Advisory for communication. They rely on the relationship development through Advisory to support the ZAP.
Collaborative Team work
Touch the numbers in order. 30 seconds to touch them in order. Then pair up. One person touches, the other helps.
Shows that you are more effective in a group. They usually get farther.
Group works together. Combine different groups.
When done, give out the answers, then process.
Teacher takes notes on what happens: groups talk things out. The teacher role is to observe and then help the students process.
Trying these out, the students respond genuinely.
Zopler is a social network where writers, authors and students can easily collaborate on writing stories together as a group. http://zopler.com/
This middle school science minute is about the topic of what drives public opinion. In the March 2012 issue of Science Scope, within the Scope’s Scoops section, there is a news article entitled “What drives public opinion on climate change?” The article cites a study by Robert Bruelle and colleagues from Drexel University who set out to identify the informational, cultural and political processes that influence public concern about climate change. Their conclusion was that the driving factor that most influences public opinion on climate change is the mobilizing efforts of advocacy groups and elites. It seems that that information-based science advocacy has had only a minor effect on public concern.
Why the Ed Department should be reconceived — or abolished
Over time, the Department of Education has become increasingly bureaucratic and invasive, and has formulated its policies on questionable information that appears to emanate from hunches, anecdotes, whims, and fads, buttressed by corroborating evidence from ideologically friendly think tanks and media blowhards.
Arne Duncan is only the latest, although probably the most test-obsessed, person to occupy the seat of U.S. secretary of education. A lot of people trace the testing movement that he currently enforces with a vengeance back to Rod Paige, George W. Bush’s first secretary of education and architect of the Houston Miracle. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-the-ed-department-should-be-reconceived–or-abolished/2012/03/09/gIQAHfdB5R_blog.html
The war on teachers: Why the public is watching it happen
All over the nation, teachers are under attack. Politicians of both parties, in every state, have blamed teachers and their unions for the nation’s low standing on international tests and our nation’s inability to create the educated labor force our economy needs.
In New York State, where teacher evaluations were just released to the press, the state Legislature just passed — and the governor signed — a bill that exempted police and firefighters from having their evaluations released to the public. What better symbolizes the way teachers have become “fair game” for public demonization?
There is another more insidious consequence of the attack on teaching. Every time you undermine the job security, working conditions, and wages of one group of workers, it makes it easier for employers to undermine them for all workers. This is why, during the Depression, many unemployed people organized in support of workers on strike, even though anybody with a job in that era was relatively privileged. They believed in the concept of solidarity — the idea that working people could only progress if they did so together, and if one group of workers improved their conditions, it would ultimately improve conditions for all. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/the-war-on-teachers-why-the-public-is-watching-it-happen/2012/03/11/gIQAD3XH6R_blog.html
Survey: Teachers work 53 hours per week on average
A South Carolina Teacher’s Been Suspended for Reading ‘Ender’s Game’ to His Class
A middle school teacher who read to his students from Ender’s Game is on “administrative leave” because a parent complained to the school that Orson Scott Card’s classic novel is “pornographic.”
Children’s advocacy group Commonsensemedia.org has recommended Ender’s Game for children aged 12 and up — and the child whose mother complained to the school and to the police was aged 14.
But at the same time, the school has a policy requiring teachers to “preview” any supplemental material they present in class, so school officials can check for offensive ideas or themes, and the unnamed teacher did not do that in this case. http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/03/16/446431/a-south-carolina-teachers-been-suspended-for-reading-enders-game-to-his-class/?mobile=nc
What is AudioViator?
AudioViator is a collaborative project among internet users. With AudioViator you can create and download audioguides in several languages and share your knowledge with people while they visit monuments, cities, nature reserves and anything else you can imagine! We know it’s just not the same to visit a city or a museum if you have to read large texts and carry heavy guides. It’s much better when you can listen to the history and explanations of the best spots and their details. This is why AudioViator wants to spread culture with your collaboration.
Creating your own:
It’s very easy! You only need to sign up to have all the necessary files for editing the audioguides. You can register in three easy steps. And rest assured, AudioViator will never use your email for advertising purposes! Then, start to edit your audioguide by filling in its main characteristics, giving a general description, and attaching a map or other image where you can plot the different points for the audioguide tour.
Next, you need to complete the informational text for each point. Later, you can choose the background music and the kind of the voice, a male or female one. Then, we dub all the texts and the audioguide will be available on the web. You will receive an e-mail when its ready for download.
How Can you Use the Audio Tours?
You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the conditions set on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ You may not use this work for commercial purposes. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by AudioViator. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.. With these audioguides, you can
listen to them on your mp3 when you travel
share them with your friends
help people to get to know your city
insert them in a blog
teach with them in schools and universities
. . .
11 Peculiar Meetings Between Famous People
You’d expect famous people to know other famous people. But maybe not these famous people.
Children may perform better in school if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
The students who were told that learning is difficult performed significantly better on the working memory test, especially on more difficult problems, than the second group or a third control group who took the working memory test without doing the anagrams or talking with researchers. http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/03/13/for-better-learning-failure-is-an-option/35920.html
How is reading complex text like lifting weights? Just as it’s impossible to build muscle without weight or resistance, it’s impossible to build robust reading skills without reading challenging text. The common core state standards in language arts treat text difficulty as akin to weight or resistance in an exercise program.
Teacher: Why didn’t you brush your teeth this morning?
Student: How do you know?
Teacher: I can see what you had for breakfast.
Student: Really, then what did you have?
Student: No I didn’t! That was yesterday.
This middle school science minute is about the collaboration that can take place between math and science teachers. In the February 2012 issue of Science Scope (NSTA publication) Karen Charles, J.D. Canales, Angela Smith and Natalie Zimmerman wrote an article entitled: “Exploring the Solar System:? Let the Math Teachers Help!” They explain how attending a week long academy offered by NASA in their school district encouraged math and science teachers to consider how using models and simulations could expand their repertoire of classroom strategies and engage students more fully in their own context-rich learning.
White’s wonderful book about a mute swan given voice by a trumpet stolen for him by his father, “The Trumpet of the Swan,” contains the following passage that in a few paragraphs beautifully evokes the elementary-school classroom of yesteryear – and, we should all hope, of tomorrow. (The episode is at the close of the chapter entitled “School Days.”)
In light of current controversies around testing and teacher evaluation, let’s do a little thought experiment. How would Miss Snug have handled this lesson if it were occurring just before a round of standardized testing? Would she not have had to interrupt the children’s speculations and instructed them that actual circumstances in word problems must be completely disregarded, because the point is to arrive at the answer the test designers have in mind? http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/03/07/a-lesson-in-teaching-to-the-test-from-e-b-white
School Communities Wrecked by “Value-Added”: Two Must-Reads
Top-notch reporter Bill Turque at the Washington Post dropped this barnburner article today about Sarah Wysocki, a DCPS teacher who received praise from everyone she worked with… and then got fired over test scores. The whole article is a must-read, but the thing that leaped most off the page to me was how likely it seems that Wysocki, a fifth grade teacher, was the victim of a sinister consequence of high-stakes testing: cheating.
Would you want your child’s teachers working within this system— one ready to dole out public humiliation over the most arbitrary, minute stat movements?
Who is being educated— and what are they really learning from this? http://transformed.teachingquality.org/blogs/get-fracas/03-2012/school-communities-wrecked-value-added-two-must-reads
MixedInk’s collaborative writing platform allows groups of any size to weave their best ideas and language into a single text. Cutting-edge government agencies, news organizations, advocacy groups, and businesses use MixedInk to gather meaningful input and give their communities a voice. http://www.mixedink.com/
K20Alt – Authentic Teaching and Learning
K20alt allows educators from around the country the opportunity to collaborate, dialogue, engage in lesson study and creation, and acquire content-specific PD all at the touch of a button through Virtual Communities of Practice. These groups are meant to engage and empower educators by providing a means by which they can share expertise, create content, and improve pedagogy. The free services that are provided within these Virtual Communities of Practice are outlined below. http://k20alt.ou.edu/
10 Open Education Resources You May Not Know About (But Should)
Create a wireless document server with CloudFTP and your own personal flash drive. Bypass the district network altogether! Avoid those nasty “I forgot my password!” comments in class. Get a Cloud (FTP)! http://www.hypershop.com/CloudFTP-p/cftp-black.htm
Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, a milestone commemorated by The Atlantic in a special issue (now available online). Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines to those on the home front in a new and visceral way. As brother fought brother and the nation’s future grew uncertain, the public appetite for information was fed by these images from the trenches, rivers, farms, and cities that became fields of battle. Today’s collection is part 1 of 3, covering the places of the Civil War: the battleships, prisons, hospitals, urban centers, and rural pastures where history was made. Tomorrow’s installment features some of the people involved in the conflict, and on Friday I’ll be sharing some of the amazing three-dimensional stereographs of the war. Keep in mind, as you view these photographs, that they were taken 150 years ago — providing a glimpse of a United States that was only 85 years old at the time. http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/the-civil-war-part-1-the-places/100241
This middle school science minute is about life jackets, engineering, volume and density. In the February 2012 issue of Science Scope (NSTA publication) Richard Moyer and Susan Everett wrote an article entitled: “Increase your v to lower your D.” They developed a 5E lesson that can easily be used by teachers. The lesson integrates all of the STEM disciplines, while focusing on the core ideas of criteria and constraints in engineering and the practice of engineering design. It also is focused on the concepts of density and volume.
BTW, Dick Moyer, in this article, teaches over at UM-Dearborn. Pretty well known in the area.
Don’t forget #midleved on Friday, 8:00 EST on Twitter!
ISTE Virtual Presence
ISTE opens a site on EduIsland9 to replace the four islands it once maintained in Second Life.
The Middle School Plunge
In 2010, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) school district shuttered four of its eight middle schools, opting to serve students in elementary schools spanning kindergarten through grade 8. In so doing, it followed in the footsteps of urban school districts such as Baltimore, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and New York City, all of which have in the past decade expanded their reliance on the once ubiquitous K–8 model.
…policymakers nationwide continue to wrestle with a basic question: At what grade level should students move to a new school? http://educationnext.org/the-middle-school-plunge/
Simply type the speech for each slide, instead of recording it, and HelloSlide automagically generates the audio.
It gives more exposure to your presentations, making them searchable, editable, and available in 20 different languages. http://www.helloslide.com/
Learning enriches living. Discover how major universities and K-12 school districts are boosting teacher effectiveness, student success and parental engagement with the Canvas learning management system.
Sure, there are plenty of apps you can use in education. There are even apps created specifically for use in education. Apple has a whole category dedicated to education in the App store. But how do you really know which ones are worth downloading, or possibly even paying for?
TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) to the rescue! TCEA regularly tests available apps andrecommends apps that teachers should be using.
TCEA maintains a list of recommended apps in a shared document via Google Docs. The list is organized by subject area and free apps are color coded in white. http://adecardy.visibli.com/share/C46fkd
FreeEDUCATIONAL TOOLS FOR COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
Free access to materials for students, educators, and researchers in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
Includes Memory Tests that students can take.
Implicit Memory Test
Monsters & Globes Problem
This includes videos, demos and more.
This site could be used for Current Events, Social Studies, Science and more. http://gocognitive.net/
Stop Selling Dreams
What is school for?
The economy has changed, probably forever.
School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it’s not a goal we need to achieve any longer.
In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.
Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.
The results were posted in the Agora for all to see the quality and performance of their teacher. Socrates failed. He simply spent too much time asking them to think. A walk- through evaluation by his supervisor (undisclosed), determined that “ sometimes Socrates’s students meander through endless dialogues examining challenging questions that do not have one right answer.” Hopefully, he will be replaced or perhaps go through an intensive summer professional development program in Sparta. http://edge.ascd.org/_SOCRATES-FAILS-TEACHER-EVALUATION/blog/5822005/127586.html