Larry Ferlazzo links to an article from the Christian Science Monitor on “slow reading” . The gist of the article is that students are learning to read in a different way than before. They are skimming instead of reading for understanding. This is part of a larger movement which says that people who read on a screen tend to skim more than read longer works. This reading style than changes the way that our brains are wired.
This made me think of some of the changes that we have made at our school. Our sixth grade students are all conferencing with their teachers. This conferencing has made it much more difficult for kids to “fake read”- which apparently lots of them have been doing for a long time. By having to talk to a teacher about the book, they are being held accountable. For many of them, they are truly reading whole books for the first time. These students have been getting away with pretending to read, or reading just parts of books for a long time (apparently several of them have learned that if you read the very beginning and the very end of the book- you can convince the teacher that you’ve “read” the book). Another popular strategy is to “read” books that have a movie out. The conferencing is going well for the most part. There are still some kinks to work out, but it seems to be paying good dividends.
How do you know that your students are really reading?
I remember back a few years ago (OK, quite a few years ago), when “they” were saying that Michigan would need a large number of teachers. I was happy as I was just graduating. However, the number of teachers needed never really materialized. I thought of this with the recent articles on how the retirement incentive didn’t work out as the legislators had predicted (that was a real surprise-um, not really). Now comes an article from Rhode Island about how they graduate more teachers than they need. Every year, they graduate about 1,000 teachers. In a good year, they hire 200-250. The teachers who are graduating are specializing in elementary education. Fewer than 50 specialized in math. They are cutting back due to economic pressures and a declining population. Interesting. In light of President Obama’s chatting today, I wonder how many times we are going to hear about the lack of teachers.
Some interesting numbers from the article (http://www.projo.com/news/content/teacher_glut_09-26-10_KEJUER0_v247.1fc0ad5.html):
BY THE NUMBERSR.I.’s teachers
Approximate number of adults certified to be teachers in Rhode Island
Total number of certified teachers currently teaching in the state, both public and private schools
Number teaching in R.I. public schools
Approximate number of graduates from the state’s eight traditional teacher training programs each year
Number of graduates who specialized in elementary education in 2008-2009
Number of graduates who specialized in math in 2008-2009
Number of graduates who specialized in secondary special education, mild to moderate in 2008-2009
Number of graduates who specialized in biology in 2008-2009
Number of graduates who specialized in chemistry in 2008-2009
Number of graduates who specialized in physics in 2008-2009
Source: R.I. Dept. of EducationTeacher training in R.I. — A snapshot
Just a heads up so that you can be properly prepared. Talk Like a Pirate Day occurs on September 19th.
Some links that you might find useful:
Pirate Personality Inventory – What kind of pirate ye be?
Need a Pirate Name? Use the Pirate Name Generator.
Looking for a Pirate Dictionary?
If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 peoplei n his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.
By Donald D. Quinn
In Michigan, school does not begin until after Labor Day by state law. Thus, our students return to school tomorrow morning. The idea behind the law is that Michigan would lose like a bajillion dollars in tourism money if we started before Labor Day. People who teach in other states can’t believe that restate after Labor Day. When does your state open school?
Conference Notes: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Model Schools Conference (MSC), and the Michigan Joint Education Conference (MiJEC)
For those interested (and some do ask!) here’s a link to my notes from some of the sessions I attended this summer. Topics include: 10 Essential Tech Leadership Components, Virtual Schools, Interactive Digital Curricula, Remix: Blending Creative Content to Demonstrate Mastery of Classroom Content, Shakespeare Set Free – Digital Technology and the Teaching of the Bard, Information Literacy, Classroom 2.0 “Birds of a Feather Session, Distance Learning, Crap Detection, Using Google Apps in Education, Using Social Networking in World History, and Developing a World Class Assessment Piece.
Cover page with following table of contents can be found here: http://web.me.com/mcgirr/Summer_PD_Notes__ISTE__MiJEC____MSC_/index.html
There seems to be a bit of push back regarding the Common Core Standards. Many seem to be disappointed at President Obama’s continuation and extension of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind. Make no mistake, we are headed toward a national test. Interesting when other nations are realizing the strength of the American system.Read Yong Zhao’s “Catching Up…Or Leading the Way” for a different perspective on national testing. Anyway, a letter by Cindy Lutenbacher, Professor at Morehouse is currently making the rounds. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here:
She makes a variety of good points. Among those points:
- Look at who benefits.
- Look at who developed the test (follow the money).
- What do the people who are developing these tests know about educating children?
- Which research is being followed and why?
- Which research is being ignored and why?
All in all, it is a thoughtful article that should be debated.
If you’ve got some free time this weekend, head over to Classroom 2.0 and check out EduBloggerCon which precedes ISTE 2010. Someone will be streaming it over Ustream and you should be able to get in with a Twitter Account to participate. Here’s the email that came out:
EduBloggerCon, the all-day Saturday unconference for social media in education, this Saturday, June 26th, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. You do not need to be registered for ISTE conference to come. The session brainstorm page is also up now, as well as the basic agenda.
OpenSourceCon: same day, same idea, just the first time ever for Open Source Software. We know we have a cadre of strong support for this event, and OpenSourceCon is replacing the annual K12 Open Minds conference, but we’re not sure how many will actually be able to attend (some of our Open Source friends just don’t have travel budgets right now). If the group turns out to be smaller, we’ll combine with EduBloggerCon (which several people have hoped we would do anyway).
Our recently announced Global Education Conference will have a “booth” (table?) at the Global Collaboration Session Sunday night from 7:00 – 8:30pm in the Convention Center Lobby A, table #P19.
Bloggers’ Cafe: the physical location is now listed on the ISTE website as “in the main concourse overlooking the Korbel Ballroom.” Stop by for the best conversation of the show, and–since we do have a computer with webcam and microphone that will be keeping a streaming connection open with those watching from afar–be sure to say hello the remote viewers!
About half of the ISTE Unplugged session slots are now filled, and by the end of EduBloggerCon the rest should be taken. If you’re going to be at ISTE and you’ve never presented, or if for some reason your presentation(s) this year wasn’t (weren’t) accepted, come present at ISTE Unplugged! The final location has not been indicated, but it should be very close to the Blogger’s Cafe. The wiki also has and can hold information about other streaming or nighttime activities, so feel free to use it for that purpose.
Speaking of which, two Tuesday activities are on the ISTE Unplugged wiki: the Wikispaces and Edmodo parties. If you plan well, you can attend both! Adam Frey and the gang at Wikispaces have been terrific supporters of Classroom 2.0, and while I don’t have a lot of details on the Edmodo party (and I’m sure it will be great), don’t miss partying it up with Wikispaces–and note that you are asked to sign up in advance so that they can plan!
The Classroom 2.0 Birds-of-a-Feather meeting is Tuesday from 4:45-6:15pm. No new news, but a great place to gather.
The Classroom 2.0 LIVE! ladies will broadcast their show live from the Blogger’s Cafe / ISTE Unplugged area on Wednesday from 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Come participate if you are there, or tune in remotely at http://live.classroom20.com.
Ways to participate remotely if you can’t attend ISTE in person. OK, so you can’t be in Denver this coming week, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about you or that you can’t participate. Here’s your quick list of what to you can do!
Look for us to list the annual “Speed Demo” or “Smackdown” session at Saturday’s EduBloggerCon on the wiki at http://www.edubloggercon.com/EduBloggerCon+2010. While it would be impossible to broadcast the discussion sessions, we will stream and record (via Elluminate) this fast-paced, fun, Web 2.0-filled set of demos that typically fills an hour. Always a blast!
Tune into the Blogger’s Cafe Webstation and say hi to different folks. We’ll be encouraging those that you know, and those that you don’t yet, to come to the station and give you a shout-out–and maybe even answer some questions. Have your webcam ready if you’ve got one, and if you don’t, come anyway! The Elluminate room will sometime after 8:30am (Mountain Time) on Monday and stay live through Wednesday afternoon. The link will be at ISTE Unplugged, or you can log in directly here.
Tune into ISTE Unplugged! ISTE Unplugged both gives presenters a chance to present material that they otherwise would not be able to, and give remote viewers constant content to watch from afar. Check it out!
Listen to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show on Wednesday afternoon from 1:30-2:30pm. Tune in directly from ISTE Unplugged or from http://live.classroom20.com.