I hope you enjoy reading these strategies and tips for successful teaching. If you enjoy these, please encourage others to drop in and read them too because I feel that it is important for us to support each other and share ideas that work. Feel free to contact me at:
Here are some interesting sites that
I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up
to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education
system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking
questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!
Note: Each resource is labeled with a
level and subject area to make it easier to use.
Levels:E: Elementary; M: Middle;H: High; G: General, all levels; SN:
Special Needs; T: Teachers
Subject Areas: LA:
Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S:
Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA:
Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE:
Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All
Notes – “All the notes you type are
automatically synchronized with the video. Later, just click on a line for the
video to jump to the relevant part” (L:G; SA:A)
Duolingo– Learn a
language at your own pace (L:G; SA:FL)
you have lots of bad pages now or lots of blank pages?”
of the hardest things I find about writing is actually getting started. Sometimes I find the blank page very
overwhelming. I know when I was first married and my husband was taking college
classes, he had a hard time writing for his class also. I remember telling him
to just get started. Write something down. Anything.
used to tell my students that writing something with lots of errors is worth
more points than not writing anything at all. If I see something written, I can
tell there was some kind of effort put into the writing. If nothing is on the
paper, I can’t give credit for thoughts.
when I don’t know what to write, I look for inspiration from other blogs. Just
like I quoted Sioux’s blog at the top of this page. Sometimes by just putting
the quote down, I can feel thoughts going through my head. I try to jot down
the thoughts and not worry about the order because I’m afraid I will forget
some of my thoughts.
I have my thoughts down, I can go back and sort through the details. Sometimes
I can take things out or add more detail. Sometimes I can rearrange so the flow
is smoother. But if there is a blank page, I have nothing to work with.
I copy quotes and paste them on blank pages. Then I save them in a file so when
I need a writing prompt, it will be there. Sometimes I look at them and wonder
what in the world was I thinking about when I copied it and other times I still
know why it was important to me.I’m all
the time looking for words of wisdom or inspiration for future writing.
I feel like my life is a lot the same. I want to try new things and feel so
overwhelmed that I’m afraid to try. I have a “blank page” with the new skill.
Then I try to remind myself that trying and making mistakes is much better than
doing nothing at all. In fact, I’m not even sure that I will have a “bad” page
if I don’t even try. I might be successful and not have a “bad” page at all.
it is really hard to get past the blank page. It doesn’t matter how old I am or
what I’ve done in the past, blank pages are hard to work on! I like to think
that I have more “bad” pages than “blank” pages because I don’t want to go
through life with regrets. I don’t want to regret that I really wanted to do
something and didn’t try it because I was afraid of failure.
“S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley's plan for recruiting
and retaining teachers in districts with the state's highest teacher-turnover
rates includes the following:
—Students would get up to four years of
tuition at a public college paid by committing to teach in a district where
annual turnover exceeds 12 percent. Currently, 21 districts meet that
definition. The person must teach two years for every year of tuition paid.
—Teachers already out of college could get
their student loans paid off by moving to one of those districts. They would
get one year's worth of tuition paid off for every year they teach.”
When I first heard this, I felt
disturbed and unsettled by this. On the surface it sounds good but then I began
to think about the assumptions that this plan makes.
By luring teachers to places where
the turnover rate is high does not mean that those districts will get quality
teachers. It just means that they get warm bodies. Is she implying that only
quality teachers have student loans?
If these teachers happen to be
enthusiastic and quality teachers, why do those districts with high turnover
rates deserve them? I pay taxes and the students in my district deserve these
teachers too. Why shouldn’t all teachers
in our state deserve the same opportunity?
Are we punishing the schools that
are doing well and having positive results but luring their teachers away by
dangling a financial carrot? Why should they be punished by losing quality
teachers? What will happen to this school? Do they have to hire less qualified
I don’t like the idea that there
may be great teachers who are happy where they are but because they refuse to
be relocated, may have to leave the great profession of teaching because the
state insists that they go to a poorer run school or lose financial help that
is given to others.
By attracting teachers to these
districts, we aren’t getting to the root of the problem. We are only putting a band-aid
over the wound but the problem is still there. Why isn’t someone using the money
to figure out why the turnover rate is so high? Are we not getting rid of the problem at one
school and creating a new one at another?
All of this money incentives may
have a negative connotation and make the public think quality education is all
about the money and that is all that teachers think about.
If decision makers would look at
surveys taken by teachers, they would see major concerns include red tape,
excessive paperwork, redundancy in reports, ineffective administrators,
inconsistent discipline, lack of flexibility, and over reliance on test scores.
These are a few of the problems that could lead to high turnovers in schools.
I don’t think this is the answer to
improving the quality of education in our state. But maybe I’m missing something and you can
help me understand this better.
In When outcome becomes more
important than process fromBlue Skunk Blogby Doug Johnson shares a quote,
when we teach our children that outcomes are more important than process they
lose the ability to enjoy learning for its own sake. Everything becomes about
the end-game. The problem is that the end game - whether it turns out as they
anticipated or not - is often not intrinsically rewarding."
makes me think a lot about knitting. Some knitters are either process knitters
or project knitters. This means that some knitters enjoy the process of
knitting more than they enjoy having a finished product. They enjoy the
intricacies of using different techniques as they knit toward having a finished
item. It seems as if they enjoy the journey more than the destination. Other
knitters enjoy the finished product more than the work they have to do in order
to get this. Sometimes knitters can be one or the other at different times of
their life. Nothing is carved in stone.
a project knitter and can often be overwhelmed by the process. I recently knit
a stuffed giraffe and when I started with the directions, I saw that there were
14 pages! Yes, I was intimidated. I finally kept a picture of the finished
giraffe on my desk so whenever I felt overwhelmed (which was often!), I could
refer to the finished item.
think the same thing applies to learners. I feel that some learners enjoy the
process of learning something more than getting to the final project that is
being assessed. Other learners enjoy finishing a project that will be assessed
but hate the process of getting there.
teacher, I feel it is important for me to find out which students are process
or project learners as soon as I can. By doing this I can tailor the way the
lessons are geared to each. This will mainly be done in the introduction
because that is what is going to catch their interest and keep them engaged in
the process learners, I can detail the process needed to get to the finished
project. By giving them a list of tasks needing to be completed (it may be
sequential or varied), these students will be able to get excited about using
different skills or tools for each step. They will have immediate gratification
for completing each step.
the project learners, I can start with the finished project and explain what
needs to be done in order for assessment. Once they know what will be
accomplished, it will be easier for them to focus on the individual task and
not be overwhelmed by this. Sometimes with a list of tasks, the final project
can sometimes get lost and students lose their focus on what is expected on
them. Being able to complete each task and mark it off the list helps them get
closer to their goal.
distinguishing which learners are more process or project oriented, I can help
them be more successful in the classroom.
you a process or project oriented learner? Can you give an example? Please