Monday, January 16, 2017

Personalized Learning and Common Core: Mortal Enemies?

Personalized Learning and Common Core: Mortal Enemies?

Title: Personalized Learning and Common Core: Mortal Enemies?


Key Points: The article discusses the difficult relationship between common core standards and independent learning. Due to the traditional sense of creating a curriculum that is based on holding students to the same standards, the personalized learning movement is being met with speed bumps, despite it's popularity. Though passionate proponents can argue either side, this article examines the possibility of finding common ground between the two academic systems.
Relevance: Learning more about how you as an individual stand on the concept of different learning styles can better help us decide how we want to go about teaching the next generation.

Monday, January 2, 2017

NYT Misleads About School Choice Yet Again

Title: NYT Misleads About School Choice Yet Again

Source:  Education News (


Key Points:  The author suggests the New York Times has a pattern of misleading readers.  In this case, the NYT implies "most economists think a market in education wouldn’t work."  Data indicates otherwise.  The Initiative on Global Markets survey ( concludes "36% of surveyed economists agreed that school choice programs would be beneficial–but only 19% disagreed and 37% expressed uncertainty."

Intended Audience: politicians, administrators, teachers, student teachers, parents, students.

Relevance: President-elect Trump seems likely to promote school choice policy.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Title: 12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation
Source: Edutopia
Author: Dr. Richard Curwin
Date: March 26, 2015

Key Points: Teacher Responsibilities. "Use our influence to provide a safe haven for all students." Private communication about academics. Avoid sarcasm. Students' body language. Students' names shouldn't be written where everyone can see. Give students the right to pass if they do not want to answer/participate in the open discussion. 

Relevance: We might be some of the only people that a student can trust and feel comfortable with. I thought watching body language was an important factor, my students communicate through body language more than verbally communicating. One other factor I have seen in my room is the fact to call on students equally. If a student doesn't get the answer right, then ask them to ask a friend for help. I've seen this, and I've noticed an increase in particular students involvement with discussions. 
Title: Creating an Identity-Safe Classroom
Source: Edutopia
Author: Becky Cohn-Vargas and Dorothy M. Steele
Date: October 21, 2015

Key Points: Domains of Identity Safety: Student-Centered Teaching, Cultivating Diversity as a Resource, Classroom Relationships, Caring Classroom Environment. Students cultivate trust, autonomy, belonging, and competence within a identity safe classroom. 

Relevance: Within the domain of Cultivating diversity as a resources, the authors suggest that every day should include diverse music, art, games, stories, and activities. We chose to do something like this during the holidays. We traveled the world to see how different countries celebrated the holidays. But what I like most is the point of making it an every day choice. So, I would like to work at creating lessons that would incorporate diversities, but not with a specific holiday spin. 
Title: Creating Classrooms for Social Justice
Source: Edutopia
Author: Tabitha Dell'Angelo
Date: September 29, 2014

Key Points: Social Justice. Concepts to creating classrooms for social justice.  Social Justice isn't an add on, but an orientation appropriate for all classroom settings. Connect to students' lives, but building upon their prior knowledge. Link real word problems and multiple perspectives. Help students determine their own paint of view as compared to what others might think. Create a community within the classroom, that we are call a "family" unity. Include authentic assessments. 

Relevance: I liked the "creating a classroom community" approach. The article points to the importance of treating your classmate as your "classmate sibling." Make it a priority to diversify your materials-for example, your books should encompass multiple religion, ability, language, etc. The authentic assessment example was really interesting. The author suggests that if you create an assignment where you are writing to a "fictional character," but a realistic occupation, etc. (like a zookeeper), the students should just write to a real person. The letter was more meaningful for the students. 
Title: Advisory: 22 Ways to Build Relationships for Educational Success
Source: Edutopia
Author: Nashville Big Picture High School
Date: August 16, 2016

Key Points: Even though secondary school environment is filmed, after watching the video and reading the following article, the 22 way to build a relationship with your student can be applicable to primary students. Know your students and check in with your students. Allow yourself to be open and vulnerable. It's ok to not know. 

Relevance: Teacher Responsibilities and classroom structure. Some concepts that stood out to me are ones we may have heard before, but I feel like these concepts are still new and need to be reviewed repeatedly for absorption. The more students see your vulnerability, the more likely they will trust you and share with you. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Close friendships between children can influence responses to fear

Title: Close friendships between children can influence responses to fear

Source: University of East Anglia
Author: University of East Anglia
Date: December 24, 2016
URL Link:

Audience: Educators and Parents

Key Points: To reduce anxiety in children, the University of East Anglia claims that through peer intervention and instilling peer communication, a child can more easily and readily overcome fears and anxieties that could lead to a disorder in their adult years.

Relevance: I think it should be second nature to foster peer interaction in our students, so why not use that as a tool to help students with internal conflicts as well as external. Keeping in mind that though peer interaction could be the source of the anxiety, if cultivated correctly, a peer interaction can be healing and beneficial towards a students ability to learn.