Saturday, September 6, 2008

Know your 'hood! Part 3

Do you know the people in your school's neighborhood?
Our Super Super wants us to get to know our community and stay connected. I must say that I agree.

5. We are expected to demonstrate a personal connection to the student's community. This is important to define the student's role as a contributer to that community and encourage the students to do the same.

How this looks?
  • Take part in community celebrations
  • Get to know parents and community members
  • Attend sports or religious events
  • Call student's home and discuss the good that is happening at your school

6. We are expected to infuse the knowledge of the history and culture of the students throughout the curriculum.
7. We are expected to respect the home language( Spanish, African American language, etc.) of our students as they master Mainstream American English.

For more information about The Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS) click here

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Super Super's Expectations. Part 2

3. We are expected to acknowledge and respect and tap student's cultural repetoires of knowledge, opinions and life experiences.

How this looks?
  • connecting lesson to physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural experiences
  • Students know purpose for learning
  • Honoring student responses
  • Teacher reinforces that students know a lot

4. We are expected to demonstrate a vitalistic approach to learning.

How instruction looks?
  • Quick paced
  • Spirited
  • Lively, active
  • Participation is the norm
  • oral, aural, visual, tactile and movement
  • repetition, coral response, call and response

For more information on PowerTeaching click here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Superintendent Expectations - A 4 Part Series

I have to say I am more impressed by our new Superintendent, everyday. So much so, I will hence forth call her the Super Superintendent. She is taking on a great battle and seems to be doing an outstanding job.

What does the Super Superintendent want to see this year? How will teachers and principals be held accountable? Well it was all laid out for us Monday at the Convention Center P.D.

If you were busy creating lesson plans in your head or catching up on the latest gossip, don't worry. I took notes for you.

1. We will be responsible for creating caring relationships, by taking an interest in the well being of students, maintaining high standards and the belief that all students can excel.

How does this look?
  • Praise for effort
  • Affirming greatness
  • Inquiring how students feel
  • Treating students with respect and dignity
This doesn't sound unreasonable. Hopefully, most of us do this, already. If not, make the effort, these strategies payoff by increasing student motivation and effort and eliminating many discipline issues.

The Super Superintendent referred to a video about the Monroe Doctrine.
Who is Monroe?
Lorraine Monroe " wanted to be a physician in order to help and to heal. Instead, Dr. Lorraine Monroe chose education as her profession and found that she could touch far more lives through the power of teaching." to cotinue reading this article, click here.

2. We will be responsible for forming extended families.
How does this look?

  • emphasize the common good
  • Students helping students
  • school and classroom rituals

Ron Clark is used as an example of creating these extended families.

A Complete Joke by Tamara Lauriano
The first day my new teacher walked into our school in Spanish Harlem, I burst out laughing. Ron Clark was this young white guy from North Carolina who talked with a funny Southern accent. He said he used to be a singing waiter. I thought, Who is this guy? He's a complete joke.
To find out more about Ron Clark, click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So How are the Children

Did you hear it? Were you paying attention?
The tag line of the new year is," How are the Children"

This phrase is the traditional greeting of the Mansai, a fabled tribe in Africa. The Mansai was one of the most intelligent tribes in Africa. By asking each other " and how are the children?", they were really asking, "is all well?". They believed that a community could not be doing well, unless their children were safe, and nurtured. This is true for our district, as well. If are children are not getting the education they need, none of what we are doing is "well".

Learn more about the "So how are the children" campaign by clicking the link here

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back on the Grind

I must admit, I was totally in vacation mode all the way to 6:00 yesterday morning. It was so hard to get up and get the kids ready. However, it was all worth it when I made it to the convention center. It was so nice to see all of my colleagues and share our summer stunts. The professional development was a great idea. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned some new things to share with you on this site.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Get students motivated for Fluency Practice! How? Karaoke of course.

Are you looking for a fun idea to get your students hyped about reading. Try karaoke. Give the students the lyrics of a song that is in their fluent reading zone, some time to practice and then allow them to perform. They will feel great when they master the words to a hit song.

Choose a song that is not a current hit ( students may already know all of the words)

Play the song first, so the kids can get an idea of the tune.

Do not allow the kids to practice with the music at first. Let them gain a level of fluency with the piece and add the music later.

Give them time to practice and perform.

Do not force them to perform if they are not willing. They can read the lyrics to you later.

Have fun!

Oh yeah, leave a comment letting me know how it went. Good Luck.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homework? To give or not to give

Homework is stupid (original song)

With school starting back we all need to face the never ending question of homework. We give it and its doesn't come back. We put in in agendas, folders, online and in newsletters and yet the homework dilema continues.Do we give too much? too little? Is it the students' or the parent's responsibility?

The Edutopia Poll
by Sara Bernard

It's all over the news: Kids are spending a lot of time on homework. And, according to some, it's far too much. With the current emphasis on high-stakes testing, educators are trying to do more with less, which can result in an overabundance of schoolwork outside of school. Some critics say there is no evidence to suggest that homework, in and of itself, is helpful to student achievement; on the contrary, too much of it can overwhelm students and cause them to disengage. Others, however, maintain that homework is necessary and helpful, designed so students can practice the concepts taught in class, build good study habits, and reflect on their own learning. How much homework is too much? We're interested in your opinion.
Do today's students have too much homework?