A Week of Awesomeness at EHS 2.5.16
I spent two days out of the building this week, but I still tried to get to a handful of classrooms. Just a reminder - please let me know if you're doing something fun, innovative, cool, awesome, etc. in your class - I may not be able to make it, but I do love hearing about it. I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to that kind of stuff!
On Tuesday, there was a group of teachers who made a trip to El Dorado to visit the high school and check out their 1:1 program - if you have a chance to talk to one of them, I encourage you to do so! It was pretty impressive, and I look forward to taking what we learned and using it to make whatever decisions are made in our district run as smoothly as possible!
On Wednesday, I was able to go to a conference at Greenbush on differentiated instruction - and let me tell you - I learned SO much that I am so anxious to be able to provide to you guys.
So although I had to spend two days away from school this week, I feel as though it was time well spent that hopefully can bring about some positive impacts here in the future!
I hope you had a fantastic week! As always, I enjoyed seeing you in action this week, and I hope you have a fantastic, well-deserved weekend! I hope you enjoy reading about what some of your colleagues did this week in their classes.
Students As Learners
A-Team Placed 4th Place
A- Team Individuals
Victoria Male -- 10th place
B - Team 1st Place (Plaque in Office)
Danielle Mitchell -- 1st place
Tracy Neis -- 3rd place
Meredith Regehr-- 7th place
Milk Quality Contest
A-Team Placed 6th
Tucker Gabriel -- 16th place
B-Team Placed 7th
Great work Sara and FFA students!!
Mrs. Pickett - Update
Articles Worth Reading
Why Some Colleges Are Ditching the Science Lecture For Hands-On Learning
Anyway - on to my main commentary. I think the article brings up a couple of great points that apply to all teaching fields, not just science. First, it's nice to see that some college professors are starting to take the art of pedagogy and applying it to their classrooms! I know in the past we've always seen our best teachers in K-12, and then a lack for the art of teaching kicks in when you get to college. I digress, back to my point: I know there is a time and place for lecture in the classroom. There sometimes has to be a point where you are giving students knowledge they need to get to the hands-on part of class. But, I think if we can chunk those times into sections broken up with interactive, fun, hands-on activities, we are doing our kids a favor.
My second point here - and I know it's a bit of a stretch, because the "students" in the article are 20 years old, maybe even older - but we can learn so much about how our students want to learn... from our students. What an interesting idea to have students as co-teachers in the classroom to make learning fun and relevant. What if we spent some of our time simply gaining ideas from students on activities they enjoy and that really help them? And then they helped us create some of our lesson plans? Obviously, you, as the teacher, have the knowledge to discern a good idea from a bad one, but just think of the creativity you could tap into! When I was at the conference on Wednesday, the presenter showed a group of MIDDLE SCHOOL students brainstorming ways a teacher could help support a student with special learning needs. The ideas they came up with were truly amazing, and I think it's a resource that several of us, including myself, have never really considered looking into before.
Videos Worth Watching
Cassette Tape Comeback?
1. The first thing that really struck me in this video, is when their technician mentioned that his job is particularly difficult because he deals with "orphan" parts all day long, and he is currently training someone to do what he does. To me, this emphasizes an important aspect of the maker movement, and a purpose that our own makerspace can serve. What an awesome skill to have to be able to put a bunch of random pieces of technology (old or new) together to make a functioning, efficient machine. That doesn't just happen overnight. That takes a lot of skill and knowledge of how machines work, how technology works, building, and engineering. That guy has one of the most impressive jobs I've seen in a while.
2. I think we see a similar trend in education when it comes to things that become "outdated." It's a cycle, really. I know there are new trends in education, new research that emerges about how students learn, how we should run our classrooms, etc., and I think it's extremely important to have a growth mindset and realize when those ideas are good ones for us to implement. The world, it's a changin', and we need to stay ahead of the curve. In the same breath, we need to be prepared for things to cycle back around from time to time. For example, with NCLB, writing took a back seat to test preparation, and I think now we are going to be seeing writing come to the forefront once again. So, moral of the story, some things, like cassette tapes, apparently, are oldies but goodies.
Enjoy some time this weekend with family and friends, and let's go get 'em again next week. Thank you for all your hard work!