Archive for May, 2009

As part of an answer to a struggling class, I put together a plan that incorporates learning styles into our chapter (clothing). I feel like this could be a tool for them to use… and one that might help them find success. I put together the weekly plan, including worksheets. This plan is pretty open… meaning that it should fit with many/any different unit.

If you take a look at it and have some fantastic ideas for improvement, please let me know! If you take a look at it and can use it/modify it for your use, go for it!

Unit- Learning through Learning Styles

Much of this came out of the idea to give students support, empowerment, and a commitment to learning: all developmental assets that kids need to succeed. More inspiring information about this at The Search Institute.

Up next week? Learning through Multiple Intelligences

Making Moodle Work

Posted: May 9, 2009 in Moodle
Tags: , ,

This is a step-by-step document I created for a brief inservice.

It is definitely for absolute beginners… and is built off our Moodle layout/setup. (Your Moodle might be a smidge different… who knows?)

Take anything and change it so it works for you (if it works for you): Making Moodle Work

Our district has set up a program so that teachers can get into each other’s classrooms and learn from each other: both ways. I find that I learn so much about myself when someone comes into my room. It often validates the thoughts I’ve already had. When I have the opportunity to get into someone else’s room, I learn so many ideas and wonderful techniques to add to my “bag of tricks”.

Today I had a brief meeting with another teacher about the 3rd hour class she visited. She said that something just felt different with this class. The fun, bubbly connections weren’t being made. The laughs weren’t being had. The fun wasn’t there.  The worst part? I remember thinking that day was a good day. I’ve been ruminating about these kids/this class a lot lately… so having the discussion just brought the issue to a head.

So many of the kids in this class are hurting. They struggle academically, socially, with figures of authority, or at home. I love loving these kids, but this class is full of so much need that I have felt like I just can’t help all of them. I’m used to about 20-40% with such high needs. This class easily has 70-90% with real needs in one of many spectra. I’m feeling a bit “in over my head” when I think about the lives and futures of these kids.

I need to come up with a plan so I can feel that I’m giving them more of what they need and deserve. I just wish I had more time with them now that we’ve gotten to this place.

Ideas:

  • weekly conferences with each kid: brief, 1-2 minute conferences about the week, my class and their other classes, and their outlook
  • make a list: make a list and make “relationship plans” for each one
  • hmmm… ideas? anyone? Bueller?

I had a great conversation today after school with two of my dearest friends. We came to the question, Which Battles do You Choose to Fight?

Thoughts in Progress….

There are so many different little battles in every classroom every day: some that we see, and even others we’re hardly aware of. If we try to carry or fight them all, it becomes too heavy. We are humans (like the Scrubs theme, “I’m no Superman”), so we choose.

So which battles do we choose to fight? Do we fight the kids who daze out the window, or the kids who do other homework in class, or the kids who consistently bring out their iPod/cell phone, or the kids who would rather talk to friends, or the kids who have a disrespectful tone, or the kids who really just don’t care, or the kids who purposefully fly under the radar so they can slide by with the bare minimum, or the kids who are hurting so badly that they couldn’t focus on German if they wanted to, or the kids whose sense of entitlement is irresponsible and disrespectful, or the kids who need you to fight for them and love them because no one else in their life will, or the kids who… the list goes on and on. The interesting thing is that we all choose different things… and,  most of the time,  these battles go unanswered even when it looks like a teacher has “great classroom management”.

So the question becomes,
Do the battles one chooses to fight make one teacher “better” than another?