Sunday, January 27, 2013

Creatively Satisfying

Common Core Drives Interest in Open Education Resources
Education Week: October 15, 2012

“Spurred by the adoption of common-core standards by nearly every state the movement for open education resources is seeing a surge in interest as districts re-evaluate and realign their curricula.  Open Education Resources, which are free to use, remix and adapt, also engage teachers more fully in curricula, allowing them to more easily differentiate instructional materials for students,”

This engagement by teachers in creating, remixing and adapting curricula for their classrooms, and even individual students, reminds me of the Montessori Method.

All Montessori teachers are required to create and adapt all of their own learning materials.  This allows them to customize the learning materials for each student’s need and Personal Method of Learning.

Not only is this customization wonderful for the students, but I found making the materials creatively satisfying.  You have a principle(s) you want to convey and how you do that is completely up to you.  I had such fun making my classroom materials.

Teachers in public schools should revel in this opportunity to be creative.

I rescue failing students by remedying the Barriers to Learning

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Powerfully Crippling Learning Barrier

Powerfully Crippling Learning Barrier

N.M. School Builds Bridge to Standards for ELL’s
Education Week, November 13, 2012

“The new English/language arts standards demand that students sharpen their skills at reading, understanding and analyzing a variety of complex texts.  For teachers of English-language learners like xxxx, using strategies and supports (such as clarifying unfamiliar words and expressions), have long been crucial tools in effectively teaching ELL’s,”

This is a PERFECT example of one of the Barriers to Learning – Non-Defined Words or Symbols.

Having properly and thoroughly defined words and symbols is essential for anyone learning something new, and I’m shocked and appalled that teachers are only now coming to realize that this is crucial!

This is such a powerfully crippling Learning Barrier that in the presence of a non-understood (absent definition) or an incompletely understood word, blankness and non-comprehension can be so damning that an individual is unable to act or perform.  He or she is at a complete loss, numb and immobile.

If you doubt the power of this Learning Barrier recall the last time you could not act or perform.  Locate what was the not understood word or symbol, define all that word or symbol involved — and then see how you do!

I rescue failing students by remedying the Barriers to Learning.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Education Consumerism

Having a Consumer Mindset

Schools need to have a “customer service attitude” towards their “clients”, which are the parents and children.  Parents need to become informed “consumers” of the educational services being provided to their children, and not accept anything less than the best.

Access to information about their child’s school is crucial for parents if the system is to work to the benefit of the “consumer” (parents).  Remember when we first began changing to “consumer-driven” health insurance?  Information about the cost of care and the quality of doctors and hospitals was critical for employees to make informed decisions and being good consumers of healthcare.

Just as people have learned to become consumers of healthcare, parents need to become consumers of education.  Parents need to view education, even public education, as a service/product they are purchasing.  After all, public education is purchased through your tax dollars.

If the consumers (parents) don’t demand a quality product we will not have positive changes in our education system.  Change needs to come from consumers (parents) demanding something better.

Parents need to “kick the tires” to ensure they’re getting the quality of education their children deserve for the dollars they’re spending.

I rescue failing students by remedying the Barriers to Learning.