Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Measure 98

Measure 98-High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Act of 2016.

Author: Oregon Department of education 

Source: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=5598

Key Points: This 2016 ballot initiative that provides direct funding to school districts to increase high school graduation rates.  This will be done through the following.
  • Student equity and engagement:  Address equity across Oregon’s educational system so that all students may experience educational engagement, reduction in opportunity gaps, and students are confident and prepared for  their next steps to careers and college
  • Planning, collaboration, evidence based practices, funding:  Support the development of collaborative district and school plans that address the improvement of teaching, learning and student outcomes, including but not limited to utilization of incentives, instructional innovation and evidence and research based best practices for career planning

Keep On Mixing


Keep On Mixing
Author: Teaching Tolerance Staff
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Published: November 3, 2016
Key Points:
  • Briefly discusses the National Mix it Up Lunch Day that previously happened on October 25. On this day, students are encouraged to sit with other students they do not usually sit with during lunch and learn something new about them or their history, ethnicity, race, or culture. The idea is to address pervasive social divisions and help others learn more about what varieties and types of people exist in our own communities.
  • The goal of the article was for schools and teachers to continue mixing it up in the classroom all year. Students should constantly be mixing it up and learning about

5 Ways to Make Your Classroom Student-Centered

5 Ways to Make Your Classroom Student-Centered

edweek.org

By Marcia Powell

Source: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2013/12/24/ctq_strengths.html

Key Points:  Teaching and Learning concepts that demonstrate learning from our students while we teach which incorporates their ideas in our classroom discussions.
Open-ended questions to induce critical thinking.
Pay attention to why the student is not fully engaged and find their strengths.
Honor the student and their interests in life.
Be vulnerable and admit you do not have all the answers.
Build a classroom students want to attend and develop connections with your students.

Relevance:  We have to meet the student at their level of understanding and this will enable the teacher to build a connection of trust and respect.  Once this is the foundation of the learning process, the student will have the desire to attend and engage with the material.  It is our job to communicate that our classroom is student-centered by our words and our actions.

Audience:  Educators.

How can teachers foster self-esteem in children?

How can teachers foster self-esteem in children?

greatschools.org

http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/teachers-foster-self-esteem-in-children/#tope

Robert Brooks PhD/ March 16, 2016

Key Points:
How educators can impact the lives of their students so they become productive and positive members of society.  This begins with accommodating to their skill set and requirements for learning.
Actively seek out why a student is not learning in school.
We have to teach and model the behaviors we want our students to demonstrate.
We must adapt our lesson plans in order to teach every child as each student has a learning style that we need to consider when creating our plans.

Relevance:  The key to having good classroom management is mutual respect.  If we foster great self-esteem in our students each day, they will feel respected and supported.  They will seek our approval and our opinion because they will feel heard in the classroom.  Perhaps today you are the only person to tell that child how great they are and how happy you are to see that they are at school.  Never underestimate how powerful your praise can be to a child.

Audience:  Educators

Monday, November 28, 2016

10 Apps that promote empathy and compassion



www.frodo.com / Anna G. /22.03.2016
Retrieved November 27, 2016.
Key Points:
The current generation of children is less compassionate and caring these days. There are multiple new apps and games that can help children to learn about compassion. These apps range in grade, social and reading levels. There is a game or app for every level of student, ranging on topics from diversity, to empathy, to poverty, international concerns and many more.

Relevance:
Besides highlighting the importance of empathy and understanding diversity, these apps meet children where they are comfortable, on devices,in the form of a game. I think that this an innovative way to get children to engage in the important conversation of understanding the “other.” My friends children and my nieces are allowed to play games on phones and tablets on the occasions that they earn the privilege. Perhaps it would be a good idea to mix some of these activities into their diet of games and apps.

Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers

Sunday, November 27, 2016

  • Title: What's a great piece of advice for teachers?
  • Source/Author/Date: Justin Franco, Nov. 4, 2016



  • Key Points: This article is a great reminder to think of our students as people and not test scores or grades. When we think we can't possibly take one more minute of the "craziness", stop and remember they are just kids and we are the adults.
    Relevance: This article has relevance because it addresses students from all backgrounds and mentions the challenges are middle school students are faced with.
URL: www.quora.com/what's-a-great-piece-of-advice for-teachers/answer/Justin- Franco
What's a great piece of advice for teachers?

Justin Franco



Justin FrancoTeacher of things, learner of stuff, Nov. 4, 2016


This is my “Focus Brick” in my classroom:
It’s in the top-center of my back wall so it faces me while I’m teaching. It’s just a regular old brick with the letters “TJK” written in washable marker. There’s not much to it, but it's an incredibly effective tool for me because it's a constant reminder of something I frequently forget:
They're Just Kids.
I teach middle school (ages 11–14 in the U.S.), and those students can be just…miserable at times. They're going through difficult physical and emotional changes. They're struggling with creating a personal identity. Many of them are just beginning to realize the significance of their problems at home: strained relationships, financial hardship, abuse and neglect.
This hellish cocktail of hormones and identity confusion causes them to be absolutely insufferable at times. They can be rude, combative, insensitive, disrespectful, ignorant, lazy, and just about every other negative adjective you’d associate with the angst-ridden depths of modern puberty.
Without a constant reminder of the rough developmental stage they’re experiencing, it can be easy for me to take their words and actions personally.
They don’t mean it personally, and even the ones who want to personally attack you don’t really understand what they’re doing. Many of them have very little subconscious control over their thoughts, and any child development expert will tell you these kids don’t yet have the brain development or emotional awareness to genuinely evaluate the consequences of their actions before they act. So remind yourself:
They're Just Kids.
They’re not test scores.
They’re not machines.
They’re not adults.
We can’t treat them like test scores. We can’t expect them to perform like machines. And—as much as we want to at times—we can’t expect them to act like adults.
So in those moments—usually at the end of the day—when I’ve been beaten down by the ceaseless onslaught of bureaucratic idiocy that is the American education system; and half the class hasn’t even looked at the assigned reading from the night before; and three kids are sleeping—two because they were up too late playing Destiny and one because he was taking care of his infant brother while his single-parent mom was working her second job; and one girl keeps chanting “this class is sooooo stupid” while the girl behind her braids her hair; and two boys are chasing a girl around the room while waving a dead bug in a tissue at her; and two others are playing games on their phones; all while I’m trying to discuss the finer points of standard ELACC8L5.a…
…in those moments, I need to hold back from raging at these unwitting victims of pubescent insanity, so instead I take a deep breath, stare at my Focus Brick, and remind myself:
They're Just Kids.



Justin Franco

  • Title: What's a great piece of advice for teachers?
  • Source/Author/Date:

  • Justin FrancoTeacher of things, learner of stuff, Nov. 4, 201 Key Points: This article is a great reminder to think of our students as people and not test scores or grades. When we think we can't possibly take one more minute of the "craziness", stop and remember they are just kids and we are the adults.
    Relevance: This article has relevance because it addresses students from all backgrounds and mentions the challenges are middle school students are faced with.


What's a great piece of advice for teachers?

Justin Franco



Justin FrancoTeacher of things, learner of stuff



This is my “Focus Brick” in my classroom:

It’s in the top-center of my back wall so it faces me while I’m teaching. It’s just a regular old brick with the letters “TJK” written in washable marker. There’s not much to it, but it's an incredibly effective tool for me because it's a constant reminder of something I frequently forget:
They're Just Kids.
I teach middle school (ages 11–14 in the U.S.), and those students can be just…miserable at times. They're going through difficult physical and emotional changes. They're struggling with creating a personal identity. Many of them are just beginning to realize the significance of their problems at home: strained relationships, financial hardship, abuse and neglect.

Where Donald Trump Stands on School Choice, Student Debt and Common Core

Where Donald Trump Stands on School Choice, Student Debt and Common Core

New York Times

www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/where-trump-stands-on-school-choice-student-debt-and-common-core.html?-r=0

Key Points:  Trump has varying viewpoints throughout the campaign and therefore it is difficult to know the direction he will take education.  Transgender facilities are not currently on the agenda as Trump said in a April TV interview that transgender people should go to any restroom they want and student debt is a hot topic that has been noted in speeches as an issue to be addressed.  Campus sexual assault and endowments are two areas Trump discussed during the campaign and these topics remain vague as well.

Relevance:  It is still unclear the changes Trump and his crew will make to current policies.

Audience:  Population of the USA
5 Things to Know about Trump's Education Secretary Pick:  Betsy DeVos

USA Today

Source: www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/23/5-things-know-trumps-education-secretary-pick-betsy-devos/94360110

Key points: Champion of school choice, she drives teachers' unions crazy, married to the son of one of the founders of Amway, co-founded a Michigan charter school that specializes in aviation, and has a husband that ran for governor of Michigan and lost.

Relevance:  Article attempts to paint a portrait of someone to fear breaking apart public education.

Audience:  American population

Corporal punishment still allowed in 15 states??




It is absolutely insane that there are still 15 states in our contry that allow corporal punishment.  Not only that, but there are seven additional states that don't "prohibit it".  Our education system in the United States is certainly not top notch in comparison to other countries, and it's reasons like this why. The article addresses a letter that was sent by the Obama administration, specifically by Secretary of Education, John King Jr., requesting (and giving reasons why) that school officers and governors should eliminate the practice in ALL states.  Not only is it obsurd that the practice is something that even still takes place, but African American children (male and female) are victims of physical discipline more frequently than white students - so are students with disabilities.  This adds yet another layer of sadness to this issue.  My hope is that this letter will prompt change in our education system and society as a whole.  So many students need their classroom and school to be a safe, consistent place for them that they may not have outside of school walls.  The thought of students coming to school in fear of their teachers, peers, and other adults is sickening to me.

Friday, November 25, 2016

FACUNDO the Great!!!

Facundo the Great!

Ramon Sanchez is interviewed by StoryCorps, 2016
https://storycorps.org/animation/facundo-the-great/


Key Points: This short video is a Mexican-American man recalling his childhood and how he and his Hispanic friends at school had their names changed virtually over the school year due to teachers feeling uncomfortable with how to pronounce it. Ramon discussed how he was eventually "Raymond" and his other friend Maria was soon to be called by everyone "Mary". Then Facundo came along and the teachers held a meeting of what they could call him instead of Facundo...they discussed shortening his name to "Fac" but then realized how inappropriate that might be due to it sounding like a curse word. Watch and see for yourself...it's actually very humorous and sad at the same time. 

Intended audience: Anyone who is working at a school or perhaps meets someone with a name they are unsure how to pronounce. 

Relevance: This subject of birth names has come up within our cohort in the past. It is something that many people in this country, many of them our students, have to deal with. The fact that a person does not know how to pronounce their name so they alter it in order to feel more comfortable themselves. This is something that is disrespectful and NOT harmless like many people like to say or think. This cartoon is a vital reminder that we as future educators need to remember that our students may have had this happen to them in the past and how it perhaps makes them feel when it does happen. It is a good reminder to always be respectful to others, even if it makes you a little uncomfortable. 


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Inclusion Increases Test Scores in CA Charter Schools

Title: 7 elements of successful special education programs
Source/Author/Date: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/11/22/successful-special-education/. Laura Devaney, Director of News. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
Key Points:
  • 10 California charter schools studied the impact of their special education philosophy, “Meeting the Needs of Every Student Through Inclusion”.
  • They focus on inclusion, using data, creating a community where students feel accepted, and forming family and community partnerships.
  • This results in higher performance than other schools in ELA and math.
  • Staff-driven professional development to meet the needs of each school individually.
  • 88 percent of charter students with disabilities are being served in general education classes for more than 80 percent of their school day, compared to 53 percent of students with disabilities statewide.”
Relevance: With the pendulum swinging toward inclusion, it behooves us to pay attention to what other schools are doing already that works. As we journey toward a more inclusive model in the Salem-Keizer district, there will be no need to reinvent the wheel.
Audience: Educators, Parents, Administrators, Policymakers

Disadvantaged areas in England to receive more funding

Title: Poorer pupils lag by almost two years
Source/Author/Date: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-38052689. Nov 22, 2016. Sean Coughlan, Education Correspondent
Key Points:
  • Areas in England identified as “the most challenged when it comes to social mobility” or “persistently disadvantaged”, are 20.1 months behind their less disadvantaged counterparts.
  • “Persistently disadvantaged” = eligible for free meals at least four out of last five years.
  • The achievement gap has widened in the last five years.
  • England determined there will be an extra 60million pounds spent in these areas to foster social mobility.  
Relevance:
Chronic poverty leads to lower achievement in school. The longer we wait to do something about it, the greater the divide becomes. Schools in England are only a reflection of the larger population. The time to take action, to fund the highest need areas, is now.
Audience: Policymakers

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

When They Tried To Steal Our Classrooms

by Amy Lindahl. Rethinking Schools

Key Points:
This article is from Portland, so is very local to us. The article talks about the redesign and plans for new schools in the Portland School District. But what happened when the plans were unveiled, was the teachers found out about "100% utilization", where every classroom would be used every period, so less classrooms would be needed. Teachers would lose their classrooms for prep time, and could be in several different classrooms throughout the day. As one teacher put it, "100% utilization equals 100% chaos".  Students would have a hard time finding where their teacher was, teachers wouldn't have quiet areas to help students one on one, and they would have to have a cart of materials that would have to be stocked and ready to go for any lesson that the teacher would need. Making teaching even more difficult. 

Relevance: 
As populations around the area grow, and more kids are coming to our schools, it is important to remember that maximum efficiency of a building shouldn't outweigh the education of our students. They are the ones we should be building the buildings for, not the efficiency gurus.

Audience: Community, teachers, students, administrators, parents.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Minnesota High School Students Learn to Program Robots

Minnesota High School Students Learn to Program Robots




Source: U.S. News


URL:http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2016-11-21/minnesota-high-school-students-learn-to-program-robots


Key Points: This article briefly talks about one teacher and his efforts to encourage students to become involved in robotics and programming. Stephen Larson, the teacher, says "I think technology is helping kids understand programming quicker and faster. And more kids are becoming involved as it becomes easier to do."

Intended Audience: Educators


Relevance: Encouraging any outlet for students is important. I think that in recent months, there has been a lot of focus on how we can bring our students together and how we can teach them understanding and acceptance. We race to lesson plans and discussions for the answers but we can sometimes lose sight of what brings kids together. Kids love to do stuff and learn fun things, and doing those things with others can bring them together. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Brief History of Disability Rights Movement

A Brief History of the Disability Rights Movement 

Source: ADL or Anti-Defamation League


URL: http://archive.adl.org/education/curriculum_connections/fall_2005/fall_2005_lesson5_history.html


Key Points: This article is a brief outline of all the historical movements towards civil rights for people with disabilities within our country. It discusses how before the push for rights in the mid 1900s, people with disabilities were seen as weak, feeble-minded individuals that were forced into asylums and made to feel as though they would never be independent or a contributing member of society. It was the technology movement in the 1930s that brought about the shift in abilities for this population and since then they have been fighting for their rights to be seen as equal members of society who do not want their disability to define them. The article goes through history on the impactful changes that have been made legally to help these civil right for people with disabilities to be attained.


Intended Audience: People with disabilities, families, parents of people with disabilities, and anyone who is working with or for people with disabilities.


Relevance: We as future special educators need to be aware of the history of the population we serve. It is important for us to understand the long journey people with disabilities have gone through to get where they are today in society, and perhaps how far we still need to go. This understanding will aid in our ability to create not only a successful learning environment for them, but also a better community for them to live in.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Teaching Drunk? Not a wise choice...


    Image result for teacher
    November 18, Larry Spruill, Action News Jax
  • Jacksonville teacher accused of showing up to work drunk under investigation
  • Key Points: A teacher was reportedly teaching drunk on multiple occurrences in Florida. Poor performance reviews and frequent lack of preparation have led to an investigation on the teacher.

Buyer Beware: Lessons Learned from edTPA Implementation in New York State

Title:  Buyer Beware: Lessons Learned from edTPA Implementation in New York State
Source:  National Education Association
URL: http://www.nea.org/home/63423.htm
Key Points:  The edTPA...
...Called a Teacher Performance Assessment—But that Doesn’t Mean it is One
...Privileges Certain Student Teaching Placements
...Scoring is Inconsistent
...Shifts the Focus of the Student Teaching experience to Test Preparation
...Privileges Candidates and Institutes of Certain Financial Status
...Privileges Candidates from Certain Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds
...Technology Requirements Privilege Certain Candidates and Institutions
Intended Audience: Professors, MAT Students
Relevance:  We must pass the edTPA

Oregon schools reporting rise in racial attacks after Donald Trump election

Oregon schools reporting rise in racial attacks after Donald Trump election OregonLive.com | Bethany Barnes | November 16, 2016


Key Points:

Around the nation, some schools appear to have reached a "boiling point," according to The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that fights hate crimes. In less than a week after the elections, the group had 201 reports of "election-related harassment and intimidation." The most common location was K-12 schools.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Strategies for Teaching Diverse Students

Strategies for Teaching Diverse Students
Classroom 2.0/Ed Vectus/October 24, 2016
Classroom 2.0 Teaching Diverse Students

         This article was short, sweet, and to the point but has some good information in it. The article explains that teaching to diverse students requires cultural sensitivity, extra patience, open mindedness, and acceptance. Teachers need to appreciate cultural diversity and accept student
http://juliesondradecker.blogspot.com/2014/11/diversity.html
differences/similarities and perks to their classroom. Teachers of diverse students should focus on how students learn and recognize that each student brings a different background to the learning environment.

       This article was extremely relevant to those of us teaching here in Oregon, and in Washington county. It is also just good knowledge for any teacher to know! As role models, teachers need to set the example of how to accept and embrace cultural diversity and how to emphasize its importance. I think it also reminds us to be empathetic to students who are shy and chose not to share. Certainly some good points to remember!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Students Rally because of President Elect Trump

                      Hundreds of students march through Portland streets in anti-Trump rally

Key points: Students across portland protest because of the new president elect Donald Trump. Students are using their free speech to voice their opinions and police and parents followed close by to make sure that students were safe while doing so which allowed the group to grow to around 400 people. Students were chanting many different things like "Not my president," "Peaceful protest," "Black Lives Matter". 
 
Relevance: This relevant to all of the political protests happening all over the world because of the divid and controversy surround our new president elect Donald Trump and the feelings of our younger generations speaking out.

Audience: teachers, parents, students, people of the community 

School Administrators: Are You Ready?

Title: School Administrators: Are You Ready?
Source: Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Law Center

By: Maureen Costello

November 14, 2016


Key Points: This article delves into what administrators and teachers can do to help the school environment post-election. Its main ideas are: set the tone, take care of the wounded, double down on anti-bullying strategies, encourage courage, and be ready for crisis. All these will help create a safe and welcoming environment for all students. As the article states, no matter who won the election, there were going to be students upset with the results.

Intended Audience: Administrators and teachers.

Relevance: This is very important for the overall learning environment of our schools. When it comes down to it, we are educators. We need to make our schools a safe place to learn and grow. I think we can all use these tools to get back to teaching our students.


Trump's Election: The Simple Story No One Is Telling

By: James A. Lindsey
November, 13, 2016
Allthink.com
Allthink is a social media platform that promotes free speech and diverse opinions.

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Key Points: The authors main thesis is that progressive liberalism is moving too fast for conservative sensibilities. The article goes on to explain (with examples) how this has happened and how it contributed to this years presidential election results. If we want to unite and move forward as a country, the author stresses the importance of truly understanding each other.                  

Audience: Educators, Voters, Everyone

Relevance: This article articulates the importance of understanding the other. In this case the other is the conservative population of our country. I urge everyone to read this as it may help you better understand your neighbor.