We’re happy to host (a day late) this week’s Carnival of Education, a weekly round up of the most interesting selections from ed bloggers from far and wide. A particularly robust selection this week, so let’s get started:
“Being a first grade teacher is kind of like playing defensive tackle. Everybody says you’re important, but there’s no glamour in it,” Nancy Flanagan, observes ruefully in You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice at Teacher in a Strange Land. ”Worse, as you’re being underappreciated, folks are silently looking at what you do and thinking ‘that’s not so hard.’”
“Perhaps you have seen the hamburger model of writing?” asks Mathew Needleman in Teaching Writing Tip #2: Where’s the Beef? at Open Court Resources.com Blog. ”Try to imagine Dostoyevsky using a hamburger drawing to write Crime and Punishment.”
“Of all the difficulties a teacher has to face, cheating enrages and exhausts me the most,” writes Siobhan Curious who says I’m watching you.
Darren presents Teenage Prostitutes at Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher. It’s a few anecdotes about his first year of teaching, several years ago–including the students who were picked up for prostitution.
Andrea presents Down a hall, noisily posted at Andrea’s Buzzing About:. “Hallways can be tiring, even when the journey is only 50 feet,” she writes. ”Sometimes I can distract myself from the fatigue by marvelling at the sheer outrageousness of the arguments from oppositional students.”
“How do you define engagement in your classroom?” A provocative question and post courtesy of Educatorblog who asks Is handraising a race to the bottom?
“As educators it is important we understand how ALL children come to learn about color, race and culture in a way that is developmentally appropriate,” writes Kakie. Her post How do children see & learn about race, color and culture? is at Bur Bur & Friends: Community Park.
Denise presents Math Warm-Up: Today is February 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 posted at Let’s play math!, saying, “One of my favorite warm-up exercises for Math Club is “Today is ______.” Each student invents one or more mathematical expressions for today’s date and writes his or her favorite on the board for all to admire.”
The first and most important thing to learning effectively is to have an appropriate learning environment, observes Meaghan Montrose who submits Effective Learning Strategies and Study Skills- Part 1 | posted at Colleen Palat. “The setting in which you are studying can make or break your success.”
“If it is normal for difficult children to be spoilt, sent on trips, and allowed to dominate classrooms,”asks oldandrew in Students and Detentions, “why would any child connect their own lapses in behaviour to a deserved punishment?” Scenes From The Battleground is a British blog about teaching in tough schools.
“Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”? Larry Ferlazzo asks rhetorically. Larry has, he’s lived to tell, and brought back survival strategies.
How students score in reading and writing on an English-language-proficiency test is a good indicator of how they will score on their state’s tests for reading, writing, and mathematics that are given to all students, reports EdWeek’s Mary Ann Zehr in What’s an English-Proficiency Score Good For? posted at Learning the Language.
Mister Teacher presents The Million Dollar Test. It’s an original story of a group of kids who are offered the chance to make a million dollars–but only if they get a perfect score on the state test, at Learn Me Good.
A computer program is an option to assess student writing for Washington state assessments, but Travis A. Wittwer is dubious. “Can a computer program provide an accurate assessment of student writing?” he asks in WCAP, Part 2 at Stories from School: Practice meets Policy. “Will subtle writing choices like figurative language, sentence structure, and word choice be registered with a program?”
How to provide a welcoming and safe environment for atheist students without alienating the Christians who are equally deserving of a positive learning environment, is the issue tackled by vjack, who offers Reaching Out to Atheist College Students at Atheist Revolution.
Bill Ferriter wrestles with an issue critical for the 21st Century in Ensuring Mediocrity While Preventing Disaster. . . at The Tempered Radical. “What level of digital communication—if any—should be allowed between teachers and students after school hours.”
In addition to the necessary instructional changes, if you were building or designing a new secondary school to support powerful 21st century learning, what would you be sure to include on the technology, facilities, and infrastructure fronts? wonders Scott McLeod, who presents Help wanted – Building a new secondary school at Dangerously Irrelevant.
Interactive white boards, combined with online tools can be an amazing way for kids to have fun and not even realize they’re learning, writes Jerry Swiatek, who presents Make graphing fun with an interactive white board posted at Instructify.
“Distance learning programs have become an approach for many working American citizens to better themselves without losing their jobs,” notes Sigrid Landau, who presents Overwhelming Advantages Of Distance Learning Programs at A1 How To. ”It has also become an alternative for folks who have little or no time to go back to school to get another degree.”
“Teenagers are finding that there are some pretty large unintended consequences of sending naked pictures to each other with their phones,” reports Strausser in sexting…unitended consequences. posted at a voice from the middle… ”They have no idea that this ‘sexting’ could lead them to being charged as sex offenders. Stats are showing 1 in 5 teens are doing it.”
Issues and Policy
At Stories from School: Practice meets Policy, Kelly comes down In Defense of the Master’s Degree. “I contend that the best, most efficient place to get the knowledge and dispositions to go with strong teaching skills is in a master’s program,” she contends.
“Many respected bright minds of our distant past as well as currently have been homeschooled without credentialed support,” writes Cindy in The Myth of Credentialism ”Thus, teaching without credentials came first; certification followed.” Posted at The Life Without School Community Blog.
Elementaryhistoryteacher presents The Chicken or the Egg posted at History Is Elementary. “In education we have our own chicken or the egg dilemma. Which came first,” she asks. “The student or the teacher?
“Our inability to combat promiscuous teleology with a more thorough use of logic and reasoning is disconcerting,” observes Vihar Sheth in Promiscuous Teleology. Say What? posted at Vihar Sheth. I assume he’s right about that.
Rants and Raves
They’re considered classics for a reason. “If they weren’t good, they wouldn’t have survived the erosion of history,” observes Learned Genius‘ Why You Should Read the Classics: A Bibliophile’s Diatribe. ”Of course there will be some that you don’t like, but they all have something of value hidden within their pages.”
“Is there really not enough edu-speak out there that we need to co-op the crap they’re spewing in the business world as well?” fumes Assistant Principal Q6 in One for My Profession’s “Action Item List” posted at Assistive Principles. “Bring me some REAL ed books!!”
Bellringers (Carol Richtsmeier) presents My Birthday, Crying Over Spilled Coffee & Rocky Mountain Angst posted at Bellringers. She turned 52. It wasn’t pretty.
“Times are tough for families right now,” notes Hall Monitor with Cheese sandwiches for students whose parents are poor posted at DetentionSlip.org. “Do we have the right to complain about a free meal?”
“It really bothers me,” complains Mamacita. “It bothers me way out of proportion; it bothers me TERRIBLY, that so many elementary teachers refuse to teach cursive handwriting now.” Mamacita Says: Cursing Over Cursive, Or, Rather, The Lack of It is posted at Scheiss Weekly.
Why do we have to disrupt two or three school days by late arrival or early dismissal when a whole day can be set aside for conferences and not disrupt multiple days for students and their parents? Matt Johnston presents Parent Teacher Conference Days posted at Going to the Mat.
“Too fast, too superficial, with whole swaths glossed over before true mastery has been achieved,” that’s her district’s math curriculum in a nutshell says SwitchedOnMom in Montgomery’s Math Miscalculation? posted at The “More” Child.