Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MzTeachuh: Feeling Brilliant?

MzTeachuh: Feeling Brilliant?: Here are several articles by Annie Murphy Paul posted on Mind/Shift. You can also check out her research at The Brilliant Blog ...

Feeling Brilliant?

Here are several articles by Annie Murphy Paul posted on Mind/Shift. You can also check out her research at The Brilliant Blog http://anniemurphypaul.com/blog/.

Why Teaching Helps Students Learn More Deeply


  Student teachers score higher on tests than pupils who are learning only for their own sake.

The Case for Preserving the Pleasure of Deep Reading


Recent research has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words.


How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn?


Listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook—each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. 

How to Stimulate Curiosity


Curiosity is the engine of intellectual achievement—it’s what drives us to keep learning, keep trying, keep pushing forward. 




Annie Murphy Paul is a book author, magazine journalist, consultant and speaker who helps people understand how we learn and how we can do it better. Her latest book, How to Be Brilliant, is forthcoming from Crown.





MzTeachuh: Teachers and Online Networking

MzTeachuh: Teachers and Online Networking: School is a very busy place. A classroom teacher can actually go days not communicating with another professional with more than &...

Teachers and Online Networking

School is a very busy place. A classroom teacher can actually go days not communicating with another professional with more than "Hi, how's it going?" This isolation can no only sap the dynamic flow of teaching ideas, but can take an emotional toll also. What's a teacher to do? Communicate online, not only for professional input, but also emotional support.

How To Build Your Professional Learning Network Online and Offline


"I feel so stuck. Nobody seems to get my ideas or feel my passion for teaching.”
If you are like me, I am sure you have said this at least five times a day. What is a lone nut to do? I was surrounded by others who were great teachers, but didn't want to change. I was stuck. That was, until I found the magic of a PLN, and since then, I haven't had to utter those words anymore. I finally feel accepted, understood, and supported by amazing educators.

Yes, having the privacy of online communication--those you visit with, it is all by choice--makes a difference. You aren't judged by the school culture's standards of age, gender, appearance--you are known by what you write. It's kind of liberating.

Online Social Networking for Educators


We’re showing that it (professional networking) can provide productive professional development opportunities that were previously available only to those lucky enough to attend conferences.” 

Being in-the-loop of the latest educational trends while sitting in your family room--this is the best of the internet. Geography used to be a huge qualification for acceptance and opportunity in the educational field. A teacher, professor, or educational writer needed connections in New York, Boston, San Francisco or Chicago. Now those connections are online. Ah, the equity of this!

Social Networks For Teachers On The Rise As Popular Social Media Raise Concerns 


The survey revealed interesting data on less common social-network use among educators. For instance, 27 percent of respondents use Edmodo, the social learning site that is as much a classroom-management tool as it is a network. That's up from 3 percent in 2007 and equal to membership on Google+, the search giant's much-ballyhooed social endeavor. Ranking second behind Edmodo was edWeb, with usage by 15 percent of respondents.

I have also found Google+ an interesting resource, but Twitter can be very effective when you keep your Twitter community for educational uses. 

And here are some of my own thoughts on this subject:

ePLNs for Teachers –Getting Connected 


Teachers: Now is the time to connect online!


And here's some big news:

Teacher leaders meet in online community

Commit to Lead invites members to post quick ideas—in under 300 words—that advance teacher leadership in their school, district or state to address a pressing problem in education and improve student outcomes. 

 “Commit to Lead directly engages educators in defining what teacher leadership can and should look like in their communities, so that collectively we can help make teacher leadership part of the fabric and culture of every school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “It builds on the great work that already exists in the field, and invites the creation of new ideas. It represents one step in our ongoing commitment to listen to educators and support their vital leadership of their profession.”

 Should be a very interesting conversation.

Here are websites that will help you develop your professional network online:

EdutopiaMindShiftKQED, EdudemiceSchoolNews, and Understood also National Center for Learning Disabilities.

MzTeachuh: IEP Meeting? Do I Have To Go?

MzTeachuh: IEP Meeting? Do I Have To Go?: That confusing enough for you? Am I required to attend IEP meetings if I am not a Special Education teacher?   I've ...

IEP Meeting? Do I Have To Go?

That confusing enough for you?

Am I required to attend IEP meetings if I am not a Special Education teacher?
I've been asked that more than once as the Special Education teacher, and especially as a Resource Specialist, also known as Special Academic Instructor. The answer in our state is that at  least one general education teacher who has the student on his/her caseload needs attend any IEP (Individualized Education Program) whether it be qualifying (evaluating to see if the student will enter Special Education), annual (the once a year assessment), triennial (every third year the educational psychologist also assesses), or an addendum which is called for a unique reason at any time. However, the better school sites have the entire teaching team there. The teachers at my middle school were very dedicated (and wanted to keep their positions) and supported the Special Ed. kids very effectively with attendance.

What should I bring to the IEP as the General Education teacher?

1.  Bring a calm and caring attitude. Parents are always concerned about their kid. Even if you as the classroom instructor have concerns, even serious ones, about the child performance or behavior, a general education teacher must show a caring attitude and a calm demeanor. Even if you must fly out of the meeting at the speed of heat to finish your day's responsibilities--you are so very important to that parent and child that every bit of body language as well as spoken words means the world, and focusing on the positive will get things done better.

2. Bring your expertise and evidence of it.  All teachers have grade books (on-line or otherwise), lesson plans, records of phone calls and communication to the parent, and copies of referrals and time-outs. Just be ready with this information and how to explain the ebb and flow of your classroom. Please have some positive comments to show you know little Johnny and how well he demonstrates a skill, reveals a talent or interest, or did something right in class. If little Janie is lacking, the parent should already have communicated with you because you called, or sent information home. The Special Education teacher should already know, too, if this is a big deal (actually, even a little deal.) The team of teachers plus family can really make it happen for a kid, and communication with coordination is the key.

How Should I Interact At The Meeting?

3. Be ready to explain your testing and grading system, including homework. The child's future hinges on what you do, how you grade, and do you offer help. The parent needs to know how you grade. Is there make up work? A Special Education student usually is not an independent learner, even if they have the intelligence, because of a visual or auditory learning handicap. Do you offer homework help? Test retakes? Tutoring? When and where? The Math Department at my last school was remarkable in the regular, systematic help for all kids. And it got results.

I Don't Feel Prepared For This--What Should I Do?

4. Coordinate with the Special Education teacher. I cannot adequately explain how complex, detailed and mind-boggingly intense all this Special Ed. stuff is. But it is to your advantage as a general education teacher to share information with the RSP or SAI teacher. Most Special Ed. teachers are type B personalities (myself included) and won't bully or force anyone to do anything. But there is such expertise there, one suggestion may change a classroom situation for the better. And frequently there are Behavior Plans to implement for a rascal. The teaching team wants to keep this side of legalities, having i's dotted and t's crossed. Of course, first and foremost, we want to help the kids. A Special Education teacher has district personnel resources and knowledge that can really help.

MzTeachuh: Music for the Soundtrack of Your Classroom (Music ...

MzTeachuh: Music for the Soundtrack of Your Classroom (Music ...: You are working to the easy listening music of Johan Sebastien Bach.   Using Music in the Elementary Classroom (War...