Every Kid Needs a Champion

Every Kid Needs a Champion

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level. Watch Every Kid Needs a Champion. Rita F. Pierson, a professional educator since 1972, taught elementary school, junior high and special education. She was a counselor, a testing coordinator and an assistant principal. In each of these roles, she brought a special energy to the role — a desire to get to know her students, show them how much they matter and support them in their growth, even if it was modest. For the past decade, Pierson conducted professional development workshops and seminars for thousands of educators. Focusing on the students who are too often under-served, she lectured on topics like “Helping Under-Resourced Learners,”“Meeting the Educational Needs of African American Boys” and “Engage and Graduate your Secondary Students: Preventing Dropouts.” Pierson passed away in June 2013. “Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” “Teachers become great actors and great actresses. … We come to work when we don’t feel like it, and we’re listening to policy that doesn’t make sense — and we teach anyway.” “While you won’t like [all your students], the key is they can never, ever know it.” What do positive student-teacher relationships look like in the classroom? Teachers show their pleasure and enjoyment of students. Teachers interact in a responsive and respectful manner. Teachers offer students help (e.g., answering questions in timely manner, offering support that matches the children’s needs) in achieving academic and social objectives. Teachers help students reflect on their thinking and learning skills. Teachers know and demonstrate knowledge about individual students’ backgrounds, interests, emotional strengths and academic levels. Teachers seldom show irritability or aggravation toward students. Divers diseases can affect the muscles that can slow the flow of blood, cause erectile dysfunction. Currently more than half of men aged over 50 reported some degree of erectile dysfunctions. A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile dysfunction. Now many articles were published about http://finasteride.me/. Our article tell more about the evaluation of erectile dysfunction and “finasteride“. Questions, like “finasteride drug“, are linked variant types of soundness problems. Keep reading for a list of drugs that can cause side effects and what you can do to put an end to feasible side effects. Sometimes medical conditions or other medicaments may interact with Viagra. Before buying this generic, tell your...

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Geometry Students Angle into Architecture Through Project Learning

Geometry Students Angle into Architecture Through Project Learning

When learning is based on projects, math becomes relevant as well as rigorous. By: Sara Armstrong Seemingly countless details attend the construction of any building, especially one that, like a school, is designed to accommodate many people with diverse purposes and needs. A small sample of such questions includes the following: How many windows should it have? What should be done about parking? How are the buildings shaped? Can geodesic domes be considered? How will students get from floor to floor? Designing a School for the FutureEvery spring at Mountlake Terrace High School, near Seattle, students in Eeva Reeder’s geometry classes work feverishly to complete an architectural challenge: Design a 2,000-student high school to meet learning needs in 2050, fitting it on a given site. In a period of six weeks, students must develop a site plan, a scale model, floor plans, a perspective drawing, a cost estimate, and a written proposal. They must then make an oral presentation to local school architects who judge the projects and “award” the contract — all making use of geometric and mathematical concepts. (Read this Edutopia.org outline of the project, which includes several Edutopia videos that profile student-architect teams.) Students also maintain a design file, which contains their working drawings, notes, and group contracts, such as the Team Operating Agreement (adapted from a similar form at the Boeing Company), in which team members come to consensus on items such as expectations of themselves and each other, how decisions will be made, how misunderstandings will be prevented, and how conflicts will be resolved. Last year’s site plan consisted of a beautiful wooded area, a stream, a small hill, and a marshy area. It was designed by junior Chris Armstrong, who had participated in the project as a freshman. Armstrong also served as the computer-assisted-design (CAD) guru for Reeder’s students. Architect Mark Miller advises a student on his classroom model. Credit: Edutopia Curved Classrooms and Holographic LecturersTeams of two to four students constructed models, researched solar panels and other special features, and talked with visiting architects as they worked to make their dreams become realities. The team of Peter Gudmunson, Devin Lowe, and Amanda Reeves developed a design emphasizing curved spaces instead of the usual rectangular classrooms, more open space and light, underground parking, and energy-efficient features, such as self-darkening windows. Guest lecturers would be brought in via three-dimensional holograms. Although their design would be expensive to implement, it garnered second place. Reeder is passionate about the importance of hands-on, real-life applications of abstract mathematical concepts, as well as the value of experience in working as a team to produce a product. “The ability to work collaboratively is a learned skill,” she says. “Students need repeated opportunities to practice it within a complex, high-stakes context — similar to what they’ll encounter in the community and workplace as adults. “It may be fairly easy for...

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Math and the Common Core

Math and the Common Core

Common Core critics argue that some of the standards are not developmentally appropriate for young students. Earlier this year I read this post by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige about how the standards smack in the face of what we know about how young children learn. Here’s is a new post with concerns about the developmental appropriateness of some Core math standards. This was written by Carol Burris and John Murphy. Burris is the award-winning principal of South Side High School in New York who most recently wrote about a ridiculous Common Core first-grade math test for students, which you can read here. Burris has been chronicling on this blog the many problems with the test-driven reform initiative in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example), which was one of the first states to implement Common Core and give students Core-aligned standardized tests. She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here. Murphy is an assistant principal at South Side High School. He was recognized by the Harvard Club and Phi Delta Kappa for his teaching and outstanding leadership. John is South Side’s International Baccalaureate coordinator. By Carol Burris and John Murphy Why are New York parents reporting that their elementary school students are having such a difficult time doing Common Core mathematics? Burris’ last blog post presented an example of a first-grade test, created by Pearson, the author of New York’s 3-8 tests. Some readers commented that perhaps the problem was not the Common Core standards, but rather their implementation at the school level. In the case of New York, rushed implementation is certainly a factor. There are far too many reported problems, however, for us not to consider both. Are these only the result of rushed implementation, or, are the standards themselves problematic? What follows may provide insight into that very question. A few days ago, our superintendent shared a Common Core assessment question from a PARCC website, which directed viewers to the Mathematics Common Core Toolbox. This site “offers examples of the types of innovative assessment tasks that reflect the direction of the PARCC summative assessments.” He was interested in a question designed for fourth graders, who are typically 9 or 10 years of age. You can find the question that he shared here: under elementary tasks, fourth grade, “Number of Stadium...

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State of the Dojo (well, my Dojo)

State of the Dojo (well, my Dojo)

Well, we are in week 8 of the school year! Where has the time gone? I am so amazed at what the kids have done and how much they have accomplished so far. Each student earned their yellow belts within the first 2 weeks of the year! I was shocked. That had never happened before. Students who excelled quickly really stepped up and became mentors with minimal guidance and students who were challenged truly advocated for themselves and got the help they needed wether it was from me or another peer mentor in the class. It was beautiful! Currently, most students have earned their orange belt (simplifying roots, scientific notation, and simplifying exponents) and are working on blue belt (combining like terms and solving equations). Students are dealing with a lot of open ended problems and word problems in orange and blue belt. Here is one example that many students are frustrated with, see if you can solve it: Bob is as old as John will be when Bob is twice as old as John was when Bob’s age was half the sum of their present ages. John is as old as Bob was when John was half the age he will be ten years from now. How old are John and Bob? Along side those type of problems, we are woking through some great open ended problems to really get their minds thinking, working in groups, sharing ideas, and most importantly explaining their thinking. Since the Common Core is on the way, explaining your thinking will play a major role in many math classes now. I have several great resources I use to “borrow” some great open ended problems: Illustrative Mathematics http://illustrativemathematics.org/ *middle and high school *Meant to “illustrate” each standard *Some standards have a couple problems and some still have none *problems provide a good starting point for understanding what the standard is looking for and can provide a good foundation for unit or assessment planning Smarter balanced assessments http://sampleitems.smarterbalanced.org/itempreview/sbac/index.htm *middle and high school * released items from the future tests * They are all web-based (as the assessments will be) * scroll over “view more mathematics items” to see more sample items *does not have “items” for each standard and it is not sorted by unit Progressions Documents http://ime.math.arizona.edu/progressions/ *Middle and High School, some topics *Though they are only complete for some of the topics, these documents are extremely useful in understanding what the standards are seeking at each grade level. For example it would show the progressions for the understanding in Algebra throughout the grades. Mathalicious http://www.mathalicious.com/ *For middle and high school, *lots of standards aligned lessons that usually begin with a video and include follow up discussion questions and problems. *Their focus is real-world connection for all of the math on their site. *They require a payment to get started ($20… or less if...

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The Important Mentor Relationship

The Important Mentor Relationship

google server . . Sagsonofere...

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The Dojo Is Now Open…

The Dojo Is Now Open…

Well, the first week of school is behind us and we are up and running. The kids are excited to start advancing and earning their belts. The entire first week of school we did absolutely no math in class. We spent the entire week building the culture within the dojo. For me, that’s the most important thing…the culture. We did many different activities and challenges relating to one of the several learning styles. I gave them the Gardner Multiple Intelligence test and discussed what each intelligence means. This was to really show that some people learn very differently, some people are strong in some areas and have challenges in others. I then grouped them in groups of 7-8 with a mixture of each intelligence. This was their team for the week. All of the challenges we they faced involved a strength is a specific intelligence from singing, knot tying and untying, ligic problems and drawing. It was great to see the kids who have a hard time shining in a typical class setting really take the reigns in some of the challenges and vice versa with the kids who typically shine. After each challenge we debriefed the outcome and discussed how the team preformed as a team. Everything has a purpose! By the end of the week, each team learned to rely on the strengths of each other and completely gelled by the weeks end. Tuesday they were ready to start Judo Math. More to come as the weeks roll on! Divers diseases can affect the muscles that can slow the flow of blood, cause erectile dysfunction. Currently more than half of men aged over 50 reported some degree of erectile dysfunctions. A general sexual complaint among men is the erectile disfunction. Now many articles were published about http://finasteride.me/. Our article tell more about the evaluation of erectile malfunction and “finasteride“. Questions, like “finasteride drug“, are linked variant types of soundness problems. Keep reading for a list of drugs that can cause side effects and what you can do to put an end to feasible side effects. Sometimes medicinal conditions or other medicaments may interact with Viagra. Before buying this generic, tell your physician if you are allergic to...

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