The ongoing discussion of engaging Introverts in education continues with Elena Aguilar's telling post at Edutopia. Poverty is also a hot topic as the US works to increase college applications from low income students and the PBS tells the story of the heartbreak and heartache caused by poverty in the Philadelphia school systems. School supply drives are important so that all kids can have what they need to learn. Meanwhile, things are tough all over as a UK educator ponders the pressure of testing and the negative impact on teaching and learning and Pernille Ripp shares why she will give the tests (even though she doesn't like them.) Miguel Guhlin writes an epic post on surviving transition that is for any educator struggling through transitions and tough times – we're all there at some point in our careers.
I noticed lots of sharing of teacher / former interior designer Erin Klein's work with classroom design so I share the post that is going around and a 10 minute interview I did with her where she shares why cluttering up the walls is the WRONG thing for elementary teachers to do.
In “Excellence in Teaching” today, there are many things you can watch and read to make you a better teacher. Watch videos from BBC Wales about how Finnish teachers are really educating kids and view some funny gifs trending on Tumblr about great teachers. Teacher Pana Asavavatana from Tapai Emerican School shares how she's using Aurasma and Chatterpix with her kindergarteners and we have the name and an interview with the teacher who made her own picture a lesson for the world: Julie Culp from Nashville. Justin Tarte has 7 proven strategies that will engage students and Joli Barker shares her 3 steps to a Fearless Classroom. Dawn Casey-Rowe talks about how she overcomes in a tough classroom situation to innovate and create. Project Based Learning Expert, Suzie Boss, finishes up a trip to American School of Bombay in India and shares her reflections over at Edutopia. Meanwhile, a cool new site has emerged, Eduslam, with short, quick easy to implement ideas like the Kathy Cassidy video about how she uses efolios with her young students. Meanwhile, design thinking is being celebrated in schools with a database listing the K12- higher ed schools offering design thinking as part of their curriculum.
Then, as we sharpen your brain, take a look at Mind Tools to improve your career skills and at Info is Beautiful to look at interesting visualizations of big data. I love Lifehacker's “25 Websites to make you cleverer” and have been tinkering with some of these this weekend.
I've got a whole spate of resources for Hour of Code including coding games for the little ones and ideas for all ages as you prepare for the Hour of Code next week. (more on this later).
Then, we close up today's news with Mia MacMeekin, an educator emerging as one of the best infographic makers I know. (You'll want to add her to your RSS reader.) Two new research studies on mobile learning will be discussed and shared by everyone. Finally, a great infographic relating the SAMR Model to the Common Core.
I'm back to school today and haven't had time to add the Twitter handles to this post but I'll try to come back to it later today. Meanwhile, I wanted you to get all the goodies from this weekend. Lots of educational topics were trending on Twitter over the weekend. It looks like many of us used the weekend to share, retweet, and discuss. Let me know in the comments if you like this format for Daily News – it is still evolving.
Have a great week and remember to keep up the intensity — some of the best teaching happens when others relax (I see it that students have more energy for me!)
Teachers rock! Education is important. Learn something new every day.
Introverted Teachers and Students in Education
- The Power of Introverts: An Essential Understanding for Teachers | Edutopia
This book continues to be discussed heavily in education. I love Elena Aguilar's poignant discussion of the book on her blog at Edutopia. Wow.
“About a year ago, I read Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. I wanted to tell everyone about this book right away, but I also wanted to let what I'd learned sink in. I wanted to sit alone with my new self-awareness, process my experience, and absorb the revelations I'd had — all in true introverted fashion. See, as I'd read Cain's book, my predominant thoughts were, “She's describing me! I'm an introvert! And there's nothing wrong with that!” The margins of my copy are littered with stars, exclamation points, and scribbles that, as I look back, reflect my profound relief and gained understandings.”
This would be a great book for education book clubs to consider. Just make sure you take time to let everyone share and reflect and include even the introverts in the conversation – though they may say less, they may actually have more to say than we truly understand.
Poverty, Pressure, and Education: Helping Every Child Succeed in Education
- Encouraging more low-income and first-generation students to earn a degree
While not everyone community is as forward thinking as Kalamazoo, Michigan (which gives every child in that community a free college education at a public university of their choice in Michigan), helping children from low income families apply for college is imperative. I love this article because it gives practical advice and discusses the issues as well as some creative approaches. I think that the least communities could do is fund college application fees for low income students… helping kids go to college is a start, but a very important one.
From this AP Article from NBC Latino…
“Yet, nationally, about half of high school graduates from families making below $18,300 enrolled in college in 2012 compared to about 80 percent of those whose families earned above $90,500, according to the College Board.
In Washington, where Duarte lives, only 30 percent of high school graduates go to college – a lower percentage than the number who drop out of high school, despite the city having the highest level of college attainment in the nation, according to the College Board.
Nearly all the students at Roosevelt qualify for free or reduced lunches.
To help create a college-going culture, a bulletin board near the school’s front doors features the names of seniors and the colleges they were accepted to. College acceptances are announced over the intercom.”
- Unrelenting Poverty Leads To ‘Desperation' In Philly Schools : NPR
This NPR article on the school situation in Philadelphia is heart wrenching. Poverty impacts everyone, especially children. For those who have never seen it, it is hard to understand. I remember in Mumbai, seeing kids with a tiny notebook and pencil down to the nub that had been used the whole school year – kids were erasing unimportant things (if they still had an eraser) to add more to their notebooks. Yes, there are many places that desperately need school supplies and help and Philadelphia is one of the many cities who are really struggling. Take time to read/listen and understand and set up this holiday season to help.
“”Clothing, books, all of the school supplies, backpacks,” Kantor says. “And you see some kids that are really suffering. Some kids don't ever have a dime. They have one pencil, they have a spiral book, and they don't have any of the supplies.”
Other teachers say they've had to bring in cleaning supplies — even toilet paper.
But lots of nonmaterial things gnaw at Kantor: She says some parents, many of them single moms, seem overwhelmed and disengaged. Kantor says she knows they're stressed out and tries to reach out by phone, but is too often left discouraged.”
- Secret Teacher: low morale and high pressure leaves no time for inspiration | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional
These heartbreaking words from a teacher in the UK. As the world tries to improve education by the numbers, the world has forgotten kids aren't numbers. They are precious, individual and unique and deserve education systems that celebrate and encourage that. OK, teachers, it is time to man the media – you are the media now! Are you fed up yet? It might not be you right now, but if you don't speak, it will be, wherever you teach, such stories impact us all and the profession we care for so much.
“As a teacher, I vowed that I would work hard to nurture my students, to make each and every student feel valued and for them to know that they have a voice, and a place in the world.
However the last two years have made me feel like that insecure 14-year-old again: I have lost my confidence because of the overly-rigid current education system. We are constantly being told we are not good enough and that we are not doing enough: enough intervention, enough rigorous marking, enough sustained and rapid progress.
What excited me the most about becoming a teacher was discovering the hidden talents and sparks of genius in my students. However, it breaks my heart to say this, but I feel that I no longer have time, nor am I encouraged to make these discoveries.
We are so caught up with data and so many progress checks that we don't give our students the time to shine. I wonder what would happen if the greats of the world like Einstein, Gaudi, Picasso and Martin Luther King were to attend school in 2013, would they be able to cultivate their talents and thrive?”
- Why I Will Not Refuse to Give the Tests | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension
Pernille Ripp's poignant post shares why more teachers don't refuse to give the tests. Unless it is done en masse, it can't really be done. That said, parents can refuse to have their children take the test without repercussions and in fact, a national opt out movement is brewing.
“If I were to refuse administering these state mandated tests, I would get in trouble. That is an absolute guarantee. And while I have never been one to shy away from too much controversy, the kind of trouble this time would be much bigger than a write up. I could even lose my job for failing to do my duties. To some that may not seem like a big deal, after all, I should be standing up for my students and their rights, my own opinions, I should protect those children that I teach from the tests. But my job is vital to my own children. My job is our health insurance. My job gives us just enough money so that we can pay our bills. I wish my husband had a huge paying job, he doesn’t, and so we are a very dependent two income family. So losing my job refusing tests just isn’t something I can rationally do and in a sense, I am not sure I should be the one refusing the tests anyway.”
- Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org: Keys Changing Hands – 7 Tips for Surviving Leadership in Transition #edchat
If you're dealing with leadership transitions in your district, Miguel Guhlin has penned a pretty epic post. In it, he is blunt about the ups and downs of working with great leaders, and “hatchet men.” IN the post, he also includes steps to making staff development actually work and his frustration to be asked to read books that no one else read or implemented. This is a great post and one that leaders should read (so they can be visionary) and staff and teachers should read (so they can find wisdom for making it through tough transitions.) Every transition is tough – I've been through several myself during my 12 years and even when the leader is a very good one, it is hard to do and endure because so many people take their “eye off the ball” and the ball is learning in the classroom. Drama in the front office should be kept at a minimum so classroom learning can be kept at a maximum.
Classroom Design: Is clutter keeping kids from learning?
- Dressing Your Classroom for Student Success
Erin Klein shares her principles for setting up an effective classroom design with tips especially relevant to elementary teachers. Filling the wall full of charts and clutter from floor to ceiling isn't only a problem with the fire marshal but may actually be making it harder for students to learn. Listen to this awesome conversation to learn more.
- To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks! | MindShift
Erin Klein is my go-to person for classroom design. Her love for interior design and teaching as well as her passion to pursue the researched based best practices make her a favorite. I interviewed her on Every Classroom Matters not too long a go about her methods, but here's a great post that goes into it more deeply as well.
Excellence in Teaching: Learn from the Best
- BBC News – Diary of a Ysgol Friars maths teacher in Finland
So, if you want to peek inside Finland, there are 3 videos on this BBC Wales site that will give you what you want. This Diary of a math teacher in Finland gives you a peek. There's also two other great videos “Let teachers teach, say Finns” and “Finland Classroom Success Secrets.” You can embed these that I can find, so you'll need to share the links and watch them on the site. These short videos are just under 4 minutes and would be great to share in a staff meeting.
- 23 Defining Traits Of Your Favorite Teacher
Awesome gifs and animations that are truly an inspiration and gift to teachers everywhere. I love this post from Buzzfeed about the great teachers. Some ring true and others are just kind of funny, but underneath it all is is how the teacher makes the student FEEL that counts. And you can't count that on a test. Enjoy and share.
- Aurasma and ChatterPix: A fun way to bring photos to life with augmented reality! – Ms. Pana Says
Pana Asavavatana, @PanaAsavavatana kindergarten teacher at Taipei American School has created an awesome way to combine Aurasma and Chatterpix to use Augmented Reality in her classroom. I love this creativity but also how many teachers around the world are sharing best practices. Yes, you can use this. Great job Pana!
- CTV News Channel: Teacher’s post goes viral | CTV News
We have name! Nashville teacher Julie Culp used herself as a photography / privacy lesson for her students. Applause, Julie. Great job.
- Cool Ways to Make Meaning with Tag Clouds #teaching | Cool Cat Teacher Blog
This post of mine has started being reshared again. It helps you see how you can use wordclouds with just about anything (including surveys.) A Quick tutorial.
- Life of an Educator by Justin Tarte: 7 proven strategies that WILL help you engage your students…
Excellent post from Justin Tarte that deserves lots of shares. The only issue I have with the post is the use of the word “rigor” which I think is misused and misapplied all over education without questioning if that is actually the word we should use. I've heard people say “they're having fun — that isn't rigorous.” WHAT? Great post worth sharing.
- Creating a Fearless Classroom In Three Steps
Joli Barker, author of the Fearless Classroom Blog, talks about how to become a fearless classroom in 3 steps. She's an inspirational practicing classroom teacher and I've blogged about her before. Just amazing what she does with technology, writing, and improving her classroom.
- One on One With a Teacher on the Leading Edge
A show I recorded with Dawn Casey-Rowe, an overcomer who is using technology (and kickboxing too). She gives advice on transforming classrooms to demands all teachers face. She shares her thoughts about leading, learning, and embracing education technology.
- In India, a School that Empowers Students and Teachers | Edutopia
I'm a huge fan of the American School of Bombay and visionary Shabbi Luthra – this article on Edutopia from PBL expert Suzie Boss captures so much about this amazing school that uses laptops at a very young age in ways that empower students to learn, create, and share. Shabbi is passionate about bringing the best to her school but also shares expects that what is brought and discussed there will be used. Such a great school – it is well worth attending ASB Un-Plugged when they host it just to see what they are doing. It is hard to find a better school anywhere in the world.
- What’s an EduSlam? | EduSlam
Nice newcomer to the sharing and video scene. Eduslam is recording short, quick videos that can be implemented in your classroom tomorrow. Very cool.
- Digital Portfolios in the Primary Classroom with @kathycassidy | EduSlam
Yes Kathy Cassidy rocks – she recently did a session on Eduslam – Great work. If you want to know what she's doing with her first grade students and digital portolios, you can take a listen to this quick 7 minute video.
- Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth – Getting Smart by Guest Author – design thinking, IDEO, Innovation | Getting Smart
Fascinating article on design thinking and an attempt to catalog all of the schools using design thinking. I do predict that STEM, design thinking, and creativity are going to become increasingly valued by parents and many who are disenfranchised with a testing environment that is rapidly driving everyone involved to the edge – particularly the students.
“Mapping a global movement. A global movement is unfolding, and in response to the overwhelming interest around design thinking in schools, IDEO and the d.school have created a new directory — Design Thinking in Schools — to highlight the network of institutions that are at the forefront of this movement.
The directory, launched in mid-October, already features a wide range of programs and resources. There’s a mix of learning environments, from charter and district public schools to museums and summer camps. The programs are diverse, including after school “lab” environments and schools that use design thinking as the basis for subject-matter courses. ”
eLearning Tools, Sites, and Techniques
- Mind Tools – Management Training, Leadership Training and Career Training
I play Lumosity to help make me smarter, but if you're starting out in a job or just want to learn more, Mind Tools focuses on career skills. Very niche site and toolkit layout. The world belongs to those who are lifelong learners. It has never been easier but learning is never truly easy – it requires time and commitment – but the resources are here.
- Information Is Beautiful
Big data visualized. What a cool site that connects art and math. If you explore or write or are just a scholar, this site will give you lots to think about.
- 25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer
Awesome websites that will have me tinkering all day. Very cool.
Hour of Code Resources: Teach Computer Science to Every Child
Education Infographics and Experts
Mobile Learning Research: 2 New Studies
SAMR Model and the Common Core Infographic
- Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core
Susan Oxnevad has some more powerful infographics. In this case, she's linked together many of her posts about developing a digital toolkit and relating SAMR to Common Core. There are some great resources here for technology integrators as well as observing Susan's style for graphically sharing her information.
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
- Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
- Simple advice for coping with stress at work.
- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)