Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Blurry Line Between Parenting and Teaching





"I hope my children’s teachers see us as parents who try.  That they know that sometimes we don’t understand a behavior either.  That we have raised them right but that doesn’t guarantee that they will act right.  That even though we did all the things to raise a reader, our child, who is a reader, may not be able to read well, yet.  That even though we have raised our child to be kind, helpful, and loving, others may not see her as such.

May we all remember how hard it is to send a child to school.  How hard it is to let go and hope that the child that walks through those doors is the child you hoped would show up.  Because we tried.  Because we are trying.  And I hope you see that.  I hope we all remember that."


"In taking on some of these questions, I hope to bridge the divide that can sometimes open up between professional and parent, to bring us back to our common goals and desires. It is aiming to be a mix of logic and statistics, and empathy, and maybe a little bit of therapy. We all struggle in this role of parent, we all struggle in this role of teacher."



"I want everything to be easy for my child. I want him to believe the world is good and kind. I want to keep him from pain and from worry and challenge. I want him wrapped in emotional bubble wrap. And yet, the world is hard. Life has pain and worry and cruelty. The best gift I can give my child is the ability to feel capable in the face of challenge, and compassion in the face of pain. The chance to bounce back from struggle and to find love and be loved. You do not learn these things in the absence of difficulty, rather, it is the presence of child sized struggles and challenges that engenders such development.
Don’t fear struggle, celebrate growth."


"We all know to read to our kids for 20 minutes every day, but how should we prepare our kids to learn math?

Games for Young Minds is here to help parents and children learn to love math through the power of play. Using board games, puzzles, and other activities, you can give your children rich mathematical experiences that they will beg to keep exploring again and again."





Book Recommendation Posts


"To celebrate the joys of the great outdoors, we’ve collected many of our favorite Mighty Girl books about all the wonders that outdoor play has to offer. The Mighty Girls in these stories have plenty of imagination, along with bundles of energy, and the end result is lots of outdoor fun. We've also included a selection of books for parents about just how important it is to let your kids get out in the sun, sand, and dirt of outdoor games and ideas on how to build more outdoor time into your family's busy schedule."






Check out these easy BUT not boring books perfect for beginning readers. Each book is leveled so you know which books are the easiest and which are a bit harder.



Diverse school books for children

Deeper Thinking in Literacy and Math Instruction Links


"When we open the door wide enough for students to engage in real meaning making—which involves continually revising your thinking and considering multiple possibilities—the strategies and skills we can belabor often seem to magically appear. Like the fourth graders, students reading for meaning often infer at higher level than students who are charged with practicing a skill. Also, the claims students reading for meaning make tend to be more nuanced and complex than those of students reading to identify a trait. And when it comes to standardized tests, they’ll be ahead of the game. Instead of starting to think once they’ve read the passage and get to the questions, they’ll be thinking from the very first sentence."


"When planning curriculum and setting individual goals for children, it’s important we make natural connections between reading and writing. That way, our teaching can be more focused, children have a greater chance to see the interrelatedness of skills and strategies, and there can be more opportunities for students to practice similar work across their day. In all cases, careful assessment of student strengths and needs is important to determine whether it makes sense to focus on reading and writing goals that relate to each other, or to target different areas in reading and writing."


"Here is a truth about my best teaching I learned last month in summer school:

Make yourself more interested in the sense that your students are making rather than the sense they aren’t making. Celebrate and build on that sense.

Celebrate it because too many students feel stupid and small in math class (especially in summer school) and they shouldn’t. The teacher time out helped us understand the student’s thinking, but try to understand what it’s like for a student to hear the big people in the room take her ideas so seriously that they’d bring the class to a stop to discuss them.

Build on that sense because it’s more effective for learning than starting from scratch. This is why analogies are so useful in conversation. Analogies start from what someone already knows and build from there."




 

 The Definition Of Differentiated Instruction

Identity and Social Justice Links

"Ironically, when my students and I read Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, we discuss how schools were often used as one of the most effective tools of colonizers. Control what people think, I remind them, and you can control what they do—and what they can’t.  What I didn’t recognize was my own complicity in such a system. In the words of anti-apartheid leader Steve Biko, “the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” This is why we must disrupt texts, disrupt our pedagogy."


"In more than twenty years of running diversity-training and cultural-competency workshops for American companies, the academic and educator Robin DiAngelo has noticed that white people are sensationally, histrionically bad at discussing racism. Like waves on sand, their reactions form predictable patterns: they will insist that they “were taught to treat everyone the same,” that they are “color-blind,” that they “don’t care if you are pink, purple, or polka-dotted.” They will point to friends and family members of color, a history of civil-rights activism, or a more “salient” issue, such as class or gender. They will shout and bluster. They will cry. In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged—and particularly when they feel implicated in white supremacy. Why, she wondered, did her feedback prompt such resistance, as if the mention of racism were more offensive than the fact or practice of it?"


"The National Association of Independent Schools advises that when white parents avoid helping younger children understand how to talk about race and racism, it can affect the children’s ability to have effective and productive conversations about race as an adult. It also perpetuates the harmful notion that race is just another topic that “nice” people avoid. We would all like our children to remain innocent as long as possible, but it’s never too soon to start having these difficult discussions."







Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thought Provoking Post by Carol Black


"There is something profoundly deadening to a curious, engaged child about the feeling of being watched and measured, or even, some studies suggest, the anticipation of being measured. Sure, some kids seem to dig it. They preen and pose for it, they compete with their friends for it, they want to be better than everybody else. But everybody can’t be better than everybody else, and this business of being constantly scrutinized and compared to others does something insidious to the life of a child. I've seen kids drop what they're doing in an instant when they realize they're being observed in an appraising way. A wall goes up. The lights go out."

Math Resources

I have been keeping a series of open tabs with various math resources that I want to curate and use with my students. I need to clear out some of those tabs so I am going to link those resources here so that I can share them with you and find them later myself.

Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had - A companion website for the book by Tracy Zager

Listening to Children's Thinking

"This approach to assessment is guided by the principle that children bring an intuitive knowledge of mathematics with them to school and that this knowledge should serve as the basis for developing formal mathematics instruction."

Who Talks? "Numberless" Graphs in Grade 2

"What I most was reminded of was how much depth and understanding can come out of just talking about what we see. This is why we spend so much time noticing and wondering (in math and in all subjects). When we slow down and just observe, we make the most sense for ourselves."

Counting Collections: One Nearly-Perfect Answer to Inclusion

"One assumption about heterogeneous pairs like this is that the general education students will help the special education students and not be challenged themselves. (I hear this thought often as my school discusses increasing the amount of inclusion we will do in the future.) Because of the low-floor, high-ceiling nature of the task and the many choices involved, most of the time this does not seem to be a problem. One student deepens her understanding of counting by twos, another gains fluency with counting, others build their understanding of our system of tens, and another works on multiplication. It is really exciting to watch."

Collection of Blog Posts by Kristin Gray - lots of discussion and many ideas here

Counting Collection Lessons and Videos by Teacher Education by Design

More 3-Act Tasks for Elementary School 

Classroom Lessons from Marilyn Burns

Dr. Nicki's Guided Math Blog 

Collection of Math Games Using a Deck of Cards  

Dice Chats - another math routine

 

The Work of Back to School by Chad Everett


"A paint scheme or flexible seating won’t change a student’s life, but a teacher who is committed to respect and creating an equitable environment will.

Know this: your classroom does not have to look like it's pulled from a Pinterest board to make you an effective teacher. You are enough. You don’t have to teach like a pirate, like a champion, or like your hair is on fire to be enough. You do have to commit to showing up for 180 days and doing the work—the work that is not always visible, the work you may never be recognized for doing, the work that is the foundation of all the other work."