Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chunk of Resources and Ideas

Great video about our duty to cultivate curiosity and creative. 2012 and beyond are years when the best educators are taking control of their own continuous professional development. Here is a great list of free professional development opportunities.

Do we have a moral duty to the greater system of education? This is a question that I have been pondering lately. I believe that the answer is yes, and I have been looking for ways to connect each of you with others doing similar work, so that our capacity grows. Here are a list of great classrooms and their learning blogs. Challenge yourself to connect with someone new in 2012 for the purpose of learning.

Looking for meaningful ways to use advisory time? How about TED talks? There are hundreds of TED talks that can grow wonder and excitement about learning in kids. Start with these.

Are you thinking about reading a book that will energize and reshape your views as a teacher? May I suggest Brain Rules by John Medina. He common sense thinking helps us realize how we are doing school wrong in so many ways. Start here with a preview of Brain Rules.

The headline for this article was a turn off, 6 Quick Ways that Teacher Can Get Hip, but the meat of the article pointed to what high level technology integration looks like on a professional level. Do you have any of the six going for you?

Defining Success...I have been mentioning to some lately that we as an educational system often get caught in the trap of chasing the success definition that others have created for us, and only through each school defining their own definition of excellence can truly success become reality. Thinking of success led me to a great resource from Coach John Wooden. This resource is a great way to open a conversation about success with kids.

As we continue to wrap around to the importance of our home visit program, and how we can best pull it off in a way of excellence. I was drawn to this set of resources about the value of home visits. Please take a look.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dr. Billy Kyles

MRH Middle School is so excited that we have an opportunity to hear Dr. Billy Kyles speak on February 2. He was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel with Dr. King when he died in Memphis. He will talk about citizenship and stewardship for our community. It will certainly be an incredible experience for our middle school students. If you are interested in hearing him, let me know. Below is the video entitled The Witness. It is Dr. Kyles story about the days leading up to the assassination of Dr. King.

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Five for Friday-Links and Ideas

Like It or Love it

Why teaching has to be a passion and mission, and how liking it isn't enough.

Virtual Expeditions

I've been interested in the possibility of combining expeditions with 1:1 since I arrived here. This is one example of how kids could visit without visiting.

Math Pickle

There are tons of math sites out there, but this one caught my attention. Seems like this type of site could hook kids into doing math after math class.

Kiva has been my microlending site of choice for a long-term, but I think it can be a source of learning giving and empathy for our students. How can we use this site as a tool for global connections now and in the future?

House of Plastic Bottles

Until they are gone, I guess we could use them for this.

My Resolutions for 2012

Easier to borrow resolutions than make them up on my own. I really like these, and they seem to fit me pretty well with plenty of room to grow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tim Howard- Lucky and Lovely

My love for soccer isn't a secret, and this was a fun one. Tim Howard, the number one USMNT goal keeper, scored from his own 18 yard box for his club Everton. It was sort of a fluke, but it will be on every highlight reel at the end of the year.

Trying to Call this an Opportunity

I need some help getting excited about the Common Core State Standards. I'm trying to call this an opportunity for growing and moving the conversation with education forward, but I'm struggling with how this feels like an imposed effort to make education a very huge monoculture. These are really well done videos, and there are thirty more, but I wish the energy surrounding this was a bit more positive.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Charter Schools...The Bad are Swallowing the Good

I've been wading around in Charter School world this week. I talked with a person with a grand idea to build a charter school the right way for the right reason. It seemed like a grand an noble solution to the entrenched disfunction of our urban schools. I offered support, resources, and my time and energy to get things started right. Some people would say that I was abandoning the public school concept, but if schools are going to happen, they should at least be good places to learn. I then read the Roland Fryer article posted on the Freakonomics blog about the traits of successful charters. I was starting to see that there is a path of success for charter schools, which is hard to believe from all of the negative and failure in Saint Louis surrounding charters. Now, I watched this. This video talks about how big business is eating up public funding through the charter school movement. It is the worst possible scenario. The hope of an idea just a few days ago was crushed because the system is being stolen, and the bad is swallowing the hope of the good.