Thursday, May 5, 2016

12 Social Media Tips

The other day the news was busy reporting about how a favorite for the NFL first draft pick lost out because a video surfaced showing him smoking pot through a gas mask and bong.

Now I have to admit that I know nothing about the NFL or the draft other than the movie Draft Day with Kevin Costner which was a great movie (of course, I like Kevin Costner in pretty much anything).

I do know that this was such a wasted opportunity by someone who had some talent.

I believe that all teachers need to start warning students as young as elementary school about their online presence. They may thing that their actions won’t affect their future but it will!

Here are some things that I think all students need to know:

1.     Your negative actions on social media may be dug out of space and come back to bite you in the butt! You may think you deleted things but don’t count on it. Maybe someone saved it for later use or saved it to show someone and it is there somewhere in space just waiting to ruin you.
2.     Great practice to follow if that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.
3.     Don’t judge others and share your opinions on social media. You may change your opinion later on, but first impressions stick in people’s minds.
4.     Don’t share anything you do that might be illegal, or seen as illegal! (Don’t come back later and just say you were joking around. That doesn’t really impress people either!)
5.     Future employers look at your social media to determine what kind of character you have. Show them you have integrity through your actions!
6.     Future employers may look at your social media presence as far back as when you first started. Don’t think that things happened in the past don’t matter. They do.
7.     Don’t show off on social media. It isn’t cute there or in real life either.
8.     Be nice to people. That goes a long way on social media and in real life.
9.     Don’t blame others for whatever is going on in your life. Be responsible for yourself.
10.  Avoid profanity on social media. It isn’t professional and most people in your personal life honestly don’t care for it either but won’t tell you.
11.  Have a positive presence online. People will respect you for it.
12.  Don’t post anything anywhere that your mother would be embarrassed about if she saw it.

Do you have any other tips? Please share.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Second Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Second Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute at Presbyterian College. I didn't realize that I hadn't posted my notes so I'm doing it now and I apologize for the delay. 

Featured Speaker: Dr. Tim Shanahan from University of Illinois at Chicago scroll down to “Powerpoints”
Response to Instruction: Literacy Education in Special Education

How do we ensure that all children – including those with special needs – succeed in learning to read? This presentation will explore how multi-tiered support systems can help to ensure that students receive all the instructional support that they need and research-based ways of building students’ reading skills.

Here is the link to the Powerpoint presentation: RTI: When Things Don’t Work as Expected

New studies show that RTI isn’t working.
Based on research, assessing students twice a year, put in small group interventions but kids did worse or no better.
Instead of being a teaching model, RTI became a bureaucratic way to get kids into sped

Dr. Shanahan suggests a 9 tier RTI model (tongue in cheek):
RTI – 9 tier model (RTI on steroids)
Basic idea is that we don’t give up on kids.
·      T1: Classroom Instruction with 2-3 hours per day of actual instruction; pulling him out for RTI during instruction is crazy! Should receive explicit teaching in phonological awareness, phonics, oral reading fluency, vocabulary (oral language), reading comprehension, writing
·      Best way to teach fluency was having students read text aloud multiple times.
·      Reading comprehension: summarize what you have read
·      Writing: 93% of studies show that read a text and then write about it increases learning the most
·      Definition of quality teaching (see slide)
·      T2: Added-scaffold interventions (see slide); planned intentional adjustments made within the classroom
·      T3: In-class, teacher intervention; extra instruction by the teacher
·      T4: Parent involvement intervention; parent involvement was most powerful when it was the most like teaching
·      T5: Pull-out (soft) intervention – additional help by another teacher; small group extra instruction
·      T6: Pull-out (intense) intervention - 1 on 1 or no groups larger than 3
·      T7: Afterschool programs
·      T8: Summer-school programs – make better strides than in the school year
·      T9: Special Education – fewer than 1 in 10 children is likely to need such placements

Two pilots – talk to each other, teachers need to be talking more, offering suggestions, be willing to accept ideas from other teachers

Many times only the tested skills get taught.

Teaching some skills while ignoring other essential ones is not a way to build stronger reading achievement

weekly progress monitoring is “pretend” vigilance; actually could be harmful towards achievement

CCSS shifts attention to skills in the context of reading complex text
New standards: text difficulty is central to learning

Here is the link to the Powerpoint presentation: Teaching with Challenging Text

No performance differences due to question types: literal and inferential
Main idea/author’s approach, supporting details, relationships, meaning of words, generalizations and conclusions

Text differences affect reading performance

Higher levels assigned to the grades (see slide)

Betts (1946): informal reading inventories
used to estimate students’ reading levels
Independent (fluency 99-100%;comprehension 90-100%)
Instructional (fluency 95-98%;comprehension 75-89%)
Frustration (fluency 0-92%;comprehension 0-50%)

This study was never done!

Evidence shows:
Many studies show that – with scaffolding – students can read “frustration level” texts as if they had been placed in books at their “instructional levels.

Instructional level is something a teacher creates.

Examples of scaffolding (see slides)
Some examples given:
1.     Tell vocabulary – if a word is explicitly defined in the passage, don’t teach it but those that aren’t, go ahead and teach them those words
Tier 1 words – basic words that is heard in spoken language
Tier 2 words - you don’t hear too much in spoken language but shows up in text
Tier 3 words – words not frequently used
2.     Help with Sentence Structure - Guide students to interpret complex sentences; in dense prose, help find the subject and verb; complex punctuation, such as split quotes
3.     Use fluency training as a scaffold

In the afternoon we had “Hands-On” Writing Stations: Using a Co-Teaching Model to Support All Young Writers where Professors and Students from Bob Jones University actually modeled the co-teaching models. This was extremely relevant and meaningful because everyone could see how the models work in real life. I like this as a way to show information rather than just telling the audience and expecting them to relate it to life on their own.

My thoughts:

This was an interesting speaker but I’m not sure I agreed with everything he says. He did give some interesting suggestions though. A lot of things he said made common sense and it was sad that teachers were not already doing some of these things.