By Lisa Anderson
So you spent your $250 teacher stipend on pencils, paper, ink cartridges and other basic, boring yet necessary items that you need to run your classroom. You have a great idea for some materials to enhance your current unit but no money left to buy them yourself. Head on over to DonorsChoose.org.
Last week I submitted a project to get some indoor gardening supplies for my classroom. By Saturday the project was live, by Sunday it was fully funded and by Tuesday 90% of the materials I requested had been delivered.
At our grade level meeting this week I shared my quick success and several other teachers in the room said that they had always meant to look into getting materials funded on Donors Choose. So my question is what are you waiting for?
By Mr. Brill
Independent learning, the topic of the school’s last “flex day” or professional development, requires further inquiry. As a quick recap, Mr. McMahon used Fisher and Frey to support his training. The video he choose reinforced the concept of independent learning. I’m sure every teacher from the early childhood teachers to those of us on the third floor want students to be able to choose their own books based on their own interests. That’s all great but let’s think about ways to do so that can fulfill some of Morrill’s goals as stated no the Mission Statement…you know the one that says “we educate the whole child.”
By Kim Beranek
Some people may look at this picture and see a group of boys just playing around with a large yoga ball. An early childhood educator would see much more...
by Mr. Brill
The majority of the sixth and seventh grade teachers have spent the better part of the last year engaged in coursework concentrated on making us better teachers. With the ESL program almost complete, now would be a good time to discuss some of the better practices that we've learned as part of the program. Of course summarizing a comprehensive program in one blog is impossible and is not my intention. Instead let's reflect on some of the important stages these learners go through. Below is a sample of the different stages of language acquisition and appropriate activities for each stage.
By Liz Radzicki
More and more often, teachers are taking to the web! Blogs can be powerful tools for sharing resources and strategies, telling stories, reflecting on practice, and connecting to an extended network of educators. Some are definitely better at it than others, and many teachers have managed to position themselves as experts, moving conversations along and providing a hub for participation. So what are their secrets? Beyond having brilliant ideas to share with the world, how to they compose posts that accomplish their goals?
by: Elizabeth Martinez
We began by reflecting on choice of expression:
What does choice of expression mean to you?
Different grade level teachers said:
-Giving students freedom of choice on how they learn.
-How the students product comes out.
-A way to problem solve for themselves
-That there isn't one right answer all the time.
Challenges for providing choice of expression:
Ms. H's students are writing poems about racism. The students choose their simile and how they wish to present their poem. She does not agree with giving the students the opportunity to not present their poem if wanted. Ms. H gave the students a choice on how they present the voice in their presentation. Liz thinks that this project wasn't so much choice of expression as it was creativity, because Ms. H did not provide the students the opportunity to present how they wish and/or not present.
The important question is where does choice of expression exist? There needs to be a balance. As a teacher, we still have to set some parameters for the students, but allow them more choices to express themselves in their presentation.
Ms. Rivera gave the students options for success in choice in expression, allowing them to produce a product in their own imagination that demonstrated their knowledge.
Ms. Sokol really liked the transition from our last pillar of play to choice of expression. Her students get overwhelmed by too many choices given when they are given their assignments or tasks.
Students will realize that their is more than one ways to solve or present questions or problems.
We chose a pillar to focus on for the next quarter. We think the pillar of collaboration will fit well, with the next quarter and will be a great transition from the previous pillars.
We hope students will learn the difference between collaborating and arguing. We should develop a graph or chart on how we collaborate. This will be a great reference for students.
Goals for collaborative conversations: Having students work together in many different ways and in different manners.
Next week we will plan our units for the third quarter using collaborative conversations.