Podcast #30 Student Learning Factors, Advisory & Mailbag

News & Information: 

Innovative Practices Across the Curriculum
Lakeville, Minnesota
June 24, 2008
Featured Speakers:
Rick Wormeli
Bill McBride

Institute for Middle Level Leadership
Colorado Springs,
July 13-16, 2008
South Carolina
July 20-23, 2008

Best Practices for Student Success
Baltimore, Maryland
July 28, 2008
Fargo, North Dakota
August 6, 2008

2008 Board of Trustees election
View bios and letters of recommendations for the candidates in your region. All ballots must be postmarked or faxed by May 9, 2008.  (Troy as a ‘write-in’ candidate …) 

The National Forum: To Accelerate Middle Grades Reform (Schools to Watch )  
Annual Conference in Washington D.C. June 19-21

NMSA’s Annual Conference, Denver, CO October 30 – November 1, 2009:  Watch this space for upcoming information. 

Something coming up in your area?  Send us information at middleschooleducators@gmail.com or www.middleschoolmatters.com

Student Level Factors:
The biggest question for educators is whether factors outside our control are determinate or can we, as educators, make a difference in the lives of children regardless of those issues?

  1. Home Environment
    1. Income – Correlation with SES (SES is actually a complex statistic which can be broken down further) – Ruby Payne
    2. Education
      1. R.E.A.D.Y. to Learn
    3. Occupation
    4. Home atmosphere only
      1. Parents having frequent discussions about school with their children
      2. Parents encouraging their children to do homework
      3. Parents providing resources to help their children
  2. Learned Intelligence/ Background Knowledge
    (Intelligence as 2 types: Knowledge & Cognitive Process)
    1. Mentoring
      1. maintain a steady & consistent presence in a student’s life
      2. Realize the relationship may be “one sided”
      3. involve the student in decisions
      4. Recognize the need for fun
      5. Learn about the student’s life
    2. Vocabulary Instruction
      1. Wide reading
      2. Direct Instruction
  3. Motivation
    1. Duh!
    2. Why do we do things?
    3. Acceptance of failure:  Mr. Devore’s Do-Over
    4. Things we can do:
      1. Provide feedback
      2. Provide tasks that are inherently engaging
      3. Long term projects of their own design
      4. Directly teach the dynamics of motivation

How about some good sites?
FranklinCovey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Randy Pausch “Last Lecture” – available from iTunesU

Mail Bag: 
Letter from OpenEducation.net on internet safety and the stakeholders in technology in education. 

Openeducation.net examines the report commissioned by Gordon Brown on internet safety and education.  The report finds that educators, industry, and families need to come together to handle the plethora of transescents.  Parental controls and opportunities to control are encouraged in the article.  Parental controls do exist for some operating systems including restricted logins, setting restricted hours of usage, developing a “space” for students to work, and logging the contacts and activity of the student on the computer.  Mac OS X has these features.  I’d propose that parents aren’t aware these things are on their computers as internet immigrants.