Friday, January 18, 2019

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 1/18/19

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

Wall of Birds – an interactive wall of bird drawings (L:G;SA:S)

SlickWrite – “Slick Write is a powerful, free application that makes it easy to check your writing for grammar errors, potential stylistic mistakes, and other features of interest. Whether you're a blogger, novelist, SEO professional, or student writing an essay for school, Slick Write can help take your writing to the next level. Curious? See why Slick Write is the best. Try the interactive demo, or check your own document. No software download or installation is required.” (L:H;SA:LA)

Math Pickle – “Puzzles, games and mini-competitions organized by grade” (L:G;SA:M)

How the Popsicle was Invented – “Each year, approximately 2 billion popsicles are sold worldwide. But where did the idea for this tasty treat come from? In the eleventh installment of our ‘Moments of Vision’ series, Jessica Oreck shares the distracted origins of the popsicle.” (L:G;SA:S)

Smithsonian 3D – “Welcome educators to SIx3D! We are excited about the possibilities of using 3D objects—and the data sets that make them possible—for K-12 learning and believe that they offer an excellent opportunity to excite and engage students in a valuable, interdisciplinary education experience. The SIx3D viewer offers students the ability to explore some of the Smithsonian’s most treasured objects with a level of control that has never been possible until now. We hope this revolutionary level of access to the Smithsonian collections will spark your students’ curiosity and that the exploration of these objects will enable them to build lifelong observation and critical thinking skills. With few exceptions, SIx3D also offers access to these data sets. Hailed by many as the third industrial revolution, 3D technology is molding a new K-12 STEM model. Students can use the same tools as professionals to become creators themselves. Whether students are printing invaluable museum objects or inventions of their own design, we hope the chance to bring objects to life will give students the opportunity to create imaginative and innovative work.” (L:G;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Are You Sure?

In Installing the stupid filter from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin  shares,

 “’Are you sure?’ is something humans ask all the time. If you go to an ethical plastic surgeon and announce, through drunken tears, that you want a new nose, new lips, new hips and a skin peel, all at once, she’ll not only ask if you’re sure, but she’ll send you home to think about it first.”

My husband makes deliberate decisions. This means that he takes a long time (in my opinion) to make a decision. He has to talk about what he wants to buy. Then he spends a lot of time doing research. If possible, before he buys something, he wants to see reviews and then the actual item he is thinking of buying. He will talk with friends and family who might already have it. And then finally, he will announce to me if he plans on buying it or not.

I tend to be an impulse shopper. When I want to want to buy something, I might compare prices online and in a couple of stores. I might check a few reviews. Then if I really want it, I’m ready to buy it. Of course, that is when he asks, “Are you sure?” If I don’t care about the results, I usually say yes and then buy it. If I am afraid that it won’t do what I want it to do or if it won’t work when I actually get it, I’m a little hesitant.

When I’m hesitant, I know that I need to take more time in making this decision. His question is really my barometer for judging what kind of decision I need to make. If a quick decision with no important result happens or a quick decision where I don’t care about the results is needed, I will answer yes. If the results are important to me, I know it is time to do more research and careful thought.

I’m easily attracted to some of the ads on Facebook or TV about some new gadget that some company is selling. I always think that it looks neat and fun to get. Then when I do some research and reviews, I find out that it really doesn’t work as well as they advertise. I’ve been burnt on a few of these things, so I’ve learned my lesson.

This is a skill that my students need to learn also. They need to learn a cue or a question that will have them stop and think about the results. This decision-making skill is not something people are born with.

In order to be successful in the classroom and in life, students need to learn how to make thoughtful decisions.

How do you teach students to make thoughtful decisions? Please share.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Being Impulsive

In Managing the leap reflex from Seth Godin's Blog , Seth Godin states,

“The smart self-management technique is to leap with intention. Don’t wait for a deadline. You pay a price for that. Don’t invite peer pressure. You pay a price for that. Don’t let the traffic wear you down–you might pay a huge price for that.”

One of the hardest things to teach my students is that they need to curb their impulses. Many react and don’t think about how their actions will have an impact on their future or other people’s future. They need to stop and think about the consequences.

I try to have them state the problem and list the consequences. Once they know that they can live with the consequences, they can make the decision. As they get used to this process, they won’t need to write down the problem and consequences. They will be able to work this out in their minds. Sometimes this process will take longer for some things than others.

Another good exercise is the “what if” game. I like to ask students about situations when they might have to make a quick decision and don’t have time to go through the decision-making process. It is like having a fire drill and we can call this decision drill.

If they can prepare for situations like this, they can think ahead about the consequences of their actions. Hopefully, when the time comes, they will be able to make the appropriate decision because they would have planned for this possibility.

This is the way that I teach my students to stay ahead of the impulse reaction. They need to learn to make decisions with intention. This is a way to teach them how to be an adult instead of a child. Children can get away with reactions, but adults take action with intention.

How do you teach students to curb their impulse behavior? Please share.

Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Being Professional

In What's More Professional? From  @DavidGeurin Blog, David Geurin asks,

“Is it more professional to teach in a traditional manner, the way you remember your teachers teaching you? 

Or, is it more professional to teach in innovative ways that might be more relevant to today's world with today's students?”

I remember when I was a student, I had the hardest time learning when the teacher just stood up at the front of the room and lectured. In order to really remember what was said, I used to write out everything the teacher said. At the time, I didn’t worry about understanding anything that was said. Then I would go home and read everything I had written. Today, I realize that I was a visual learner and listening to what was said did not help me. I needed to see the word in order to have an understanding.

It is this reason that I believe teachers need to teach in ways that the student needs to learn, not as the teacher learned the best.

In order to do this, teachers need to take time to investigate the ways that students learn best. If you have a group of students that are auditory learners, then make sure you tell students the information that you want them to learn. If some are visual learners, have graphics, notes, or other visuals to help explain what you are teaching. If some of your students are tactile-kinesthetic learners, have them make something or do experiments to impact their learning.

Teachers need to be flexible with their teaching styles. They need to remember that they are not the students and the students need to be the focus of our teaching.

I always like people’s responses when they are asked, “What do you teach?” and the teachers respond, “I teach students.”  We don’t teach subjects, but we do teach people.

If teachers would remember this, I think it would help them gear their teaching in order to meet the needs of their students.

Teachers and students would be more successful in the classroom.

What would your answer be to David’s question? Please share.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash