Tag: Teaching

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Join me as I make a mask at home out of one of my t-shirts!

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I started getting my education reading fix years ago with E.D. Hirsch, with an article my mom had suggested. It turned out that “You Can Always Look It Up–Or Can You?” served as a gateway essay to reams of mind-altering substance offered by writers steeped in the field. Most education writers claim that their work is […]

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In the Newsmaker Interview, Cara talks with Wilfred McClay, University of Oklahoma Professor and author of Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story, a new high school history textbook that seeks to provide an account of this nation’s rich and complex story that puts it in proper perspective, and that is both honest and inspiring.

Stories of the Week: Are retirement benefits that are crowding out spending on current teachers’ priorities a “hidden driver” of union strikes like the one announced last week in Chicago? In California, there’s a rise in “due process” settlements in legal battles over access to special education services – but who benefits? In Rhode Island, Providence’s Mayor plans to allow a charter school network to open one additional school, but then to ask the state to limit the expansion of all other charters in that beleaguered school district.

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– From a middle school teacher   More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’ve never understood binary code. (Don’t worry, this is not a post about binary code, at least I don’t think it will be.) I’ve asked several people over the years how computers work, from the early key cards to the smartphone I’m typing this on. It’s a fascinating feat of technology I’d like to understand. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Someone to Have on Your Speechwriting Team

 

I’m recuperating tonight from two and a half days of subbing in a fourth-grade classroom. There were some struggles, but it mostly went well. There were lots of vivid moments that are satisfying to remember. For example, the students were assigned to take a position on an issue from an argument feature of Scholastic News, then give reasons to back up their claim. They completed this in teams, and voted on one team member to go up to the front and present their conclusions. (It was cute to see one team that kept raising their hands. I’d go over there, and then realize that they were just voting.) The kids elected to speak did a great job, for the most part standing up straight, looking at the audience, and speaking in complete sentences.

One reserved little girl gave an unexpected argument in defense of keeping the penny that charmed the socks off me. I asked her if she had seen it in the Scholastic issue, since the “for” and “against” items are written by kids. Nope, it was her own, she corrected me in her quiet way. See, Ricochet members, if we get rid of the penny, we are losing out, because finding a penny is good luck. We won’t have these serendipitous discoveries anymore if we coldheartedly pull these one-cent pieces out of circulation. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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There was once a very wise king, who used his wisdom and tenacity to build the country he had reign over into a prosperous, thriving and mostly peaceful realm. When the wise king died, his son took over the throne. In the early days of the son’s reign, the elders (who also advised the father) […]

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There are nuances to teaching at the university level that most professors come to learn for themselves, through experience and, sometimes, by means of baptism by fire. While educating individuals in a college setting is rewarding, there are a few lessons to be learned beforehand. Nothing can be compared to firsthand knowledge, but some advice […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Group Writing for June 11: Six Things to Love About the Common Core (English Language Arts)

 

There are two categories of opposition to the Common Core. One can oppose the Common Core on principle: it’s seen as a top-down imposition of standards that further burdens local districts, increases schools’ entanglements with the federal bureaucracy, and once again expands the government’s powers . Although the states’ process of adopting the Common Core was different from that of No Child Left Behind–the Common Core was not straightforwardly federally legislated–the objection to its adoption is consistent with conservative values.

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have also opposed the Common Core (for English Language Arts) based on its content. However, often the proffered evidence of this damaging content do not hold up as effective indictments of the Common Core. These samples do not reflect the statements of the document usually for one of three reasons, all connected to implementation: 1.) publishing companies rushed to produce materials ostensibly aligning with the Common Core and some of the resulting textbooks and other materials lacked the quality we want to see in our schools; 2.) the resulting testing systems that were rolled out, again by private companies, had some defects that needed addressing by both the company and the schools administering them, forever creating an association in the minds of teachers, kids, and parents of Common Core with “awful days in the computer lab;” 3.) school districts could interpret the standards through their own lens of non-traditional instructional approaches, continuing to teach in the way they thought best no matter what the standards actually said, at times to the students’ detriment.

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This is part of a series on how to have a decent day as a substitute teacher. I’ll post links to the series in the comment section later.  When you arrive to teach a class as an outsider, what pull do you have with students? This diverse group of kids will be yours from approximately 8:30 […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dogs at the Doctor’s Office and Other Stories

 

While waiting for my turn to see the doctor, I was surprised to see a large yellow dog stroll up behind the receptionist’s desk. Then he noticed me and stood with his front paws on the counter to get a better look. I was charmed. When he came out into the waiting room, I greeted him and let him sniff my belongings. It was comical, too, to find that on my way to the restroom, he was padding down the hall behind me.

I pumped the assistant who was taking my blood pressure. Whose dog was this? It had been newly adopted by the doctor, she explained. Since he lived on a rural property, he didn’t want to leave the animal all day to have it wander off. So was this a temporary arrangement? I wondered. The assistant replied that yes, it was, probably. She betrayed no emotions on the subject, for or against. The receptionist had also appeared to have zero opinions regarding her assistant greeter.

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I got this idea reading @marcin ‘s comment on a group writing post. She says this: Several eons ago, I ran an art exhibit for students at our local middle school. I invited about twelve local artists to come to our middle school and work for the day so the kids could meet them and […]

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We’re in Step Five of having a calm, productive day as a substitute teacher, and we haven’t even talked about teaching math or literature or writing yet. So far, you’ve adopted a teacher mindset, staked out your territory, prepared for the day, and taken a proactive approach as the students entered the room. Yet in this series, […]

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You were just appointed to take over a professional’s class for an entire day. It’s you who will be keeping a couple dozen children calm, learning, and safe for seven hours. You also wouldn’t mind if your charges actually enjoyed some of the time with you. And, it’d be a bonus if the teacher felt that […]

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This coming Sunday, I will begin instructing a 12 week Sunday school course on gospel teacher improvement for our congregation. Our Church is organized around a lay ministry, with all congregants being given a service calling. Many of those callings include teaching responsibilities, so I expect there to be quite a few to be in attendance. […]

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As I begin to bask in the glow (and the boredom) that is summer vacation, I find myself once again at a crossroads. I have little to no desire to go back the classroom this fall. By all accounts, I am fairly good at my job both in terms of student reviews, administrator observations, and […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Art and Adolescence

 

2341483224_c49e875d42_bPortait of a Youth by Sandro Botticelli

I’ve been given a chance to teach art to middle school students at a private school in the fall. I actually really enjoy working with this age group. I read a book recently that compared the adolescent brain to a waterfall–so much, coming so fast, that it’s better to constructively divert the flow than try to arrest it.

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When I posted my “luck” story last week, on the privilege of subbing in Kindergarten for an excellent teacher, I referred to my first day in Kinder at that school six years ago–when the classroom atmosphere wasn’t so ideal. I said that later, I’d share what I had written at the end of that intense work […]

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We are lucky–blessed–when we can get paid to do the work we love. I am privileged to have two education-related jobs, to devote myself to tasks that give long-term satisfaction, and then to receive affirmation from colleagues and kids–like gravy on something already good. Working with Kindergartners in the school system has been an unexpected […]

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