Friday, November 30, 2018

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 11/30/18

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

12 Tips for Teaching Kids About Money “Use these 12 tips and printable money lessons to give your kids a head start on a solid financial future.” (L:E;SA:M,C)

TinyTap Tap n’ Type – “Create text based activities and let your students fill in the blanks.” (L:T;SA:A)

Big Huge Labs – “We have a lot of fun stuff to play with like our Motivational Poster makerMagazine Cover makerPop Art poster, and much more! Play as much as you like—everything is free.” (L:T;SA:A)

Nixon’s Presidential Daily Diary – “The Presidential Daily Diary is the official record of President Nixon’s meetings and telephone calls. Documents in this digital copy of the PDD include daily appointments calendars, lists of attendees at official functions, and passenger manifests for presidential transport.” (L:H;SA:SS)

Draft – “Write better with Draft. Easy version control and collaboration for writers. (L:G;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Preparing Students

“We cannot afford to prepare students for the world we grew up in. We must prepare them for the world they'll live in.”

Too many times I have heard older people talk about how education was in the good old days. I’m sure at the time, no one thought the system was good enough because everyone feels at the time that it never is. It is easy to look back and think that it was but was it really?

Back in the “good old days,” society was different. So were expectations and needs. If you go back to days when computers didn’t exist, there was no need for computer education. But does that mean that period of time was better than now? No.

Years ago, students didn’t have calculators and if they had one, they weren’t allowed to use them. Now students have them and use them. Why not use tools that are available to them?

Years ago, teachers used filmstrip projectors and not TVs and videos. Now they are a useful tool in the classroom and very effective if used correctly. Should we not take advantage of these tools that are available to us?

I’m sure people felt that way when cars were invented. People probably thought horse transportation was the best. That doesn’t mean the same thought applies to today’s world. Should I not use my car today because someone thought horse travel was better years ago?

Now that driverless cars are coming out, a lot of people are saying that it may not be a good thing and how they are afraid of them. Progress can be scary but that doesn’t make it a bad thing.

We need to prepare students to be successful in today’s world, not the world we remember growing up in.

How do you prepare your students for today’s world? Please share.

 Photo by Doug Kelley on Unsplash

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

No Longer Urgent

In One by one, the urgent goes away from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“Those emergencies from a year ago (and a month ago), they’re gone.”

I remember when I was young, everything that seemed to go wrong was a disaster for me. It was the end of the world and I didn’t think I would survive.

Now that I’m older and have more experience, I can look back and see that it wasn’t the end of the world and I did survive.

I either solved the problem by taking some sort of action or I didn’t do anything, and the problem resolved itself.

Sometimes the only solution was time and I didn’t have any control over that.

It is hard to give this advice to my students because they don’t want to hear about how this will be better years from now. If they are hurting, they want relief now and not in the future.

The best thing I can do is to ask students is how can I help them. Sometimes they just want someone to listen to the problem and that is all they need. They might ask for help and I can then offer some suggestions. If I don’t know how to help them, I can help them find a resource who may be able to help them.

The important thing is that solve their own problems and that I don’t solve it for them. If I solve it for them, I’m sending a message that I don’t believe they are capable of solving it themselves.

I also need to accept that they might not solve their problem in a way that I think it is best, but it is still their decision. They will have to live with the consequences of their actions and not me.

Once they solve this problem, there will be other problems. But most importantly, this one is no longer urgent.

It is by solving their own problems that we help students be successful in facing obstacles and finding solutions.

How do you help your students solve their problems? Please share.

Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash