Before the explanation part of this post, I need to say this so it will be in posts that are shortened by a reblog: More than anything I ask that you reblog this post so that kind millionaires more people will see it and more support can be given. All the Amazon wishlists and blogs are linked below the read more link!
As the new school year approaches, we are obviously in denial teachers are mentally figuring out what materials we need for the school year, what will be provided by the school or families, and what we will buy with our own money as we shop sales (if it is in our budget). Several members of our #education community on tumblr dealt with unexpected family deaths, weather disasters, or more happy (but expensive) life achievements like getting married or having a baby. Our pockets have been hit hard, and I think you’d be surprised how much of our own money we spend on classrooms each year.
Many of us teach in areas where our students’ families cannot help with school supplies. In fact, as I began working on this project, every teacher I contacted to include that came from a more affluent community declined being included so that classrooms in greater need could be helped. I am in awe of the teachers in this community. After the jump is a list of teachers and their classroom wish lists for the upcoming year. If you are able to, please consider supporting a teacher via their wishlist. If you’d rather make a donation to their supply fund or send a gift card, I’m sure you could contact them and they wouldn’t turn you down.
So after the jump are the blogs and corresponding wishlists from Tumblr’s teachers — most of the educators on this list I have personally interacted with and know them to be dedicated to their students.
“I hate lectures. Within the first five minutes, I am checked out,” said Humphrey, a student who prefers using class time for in-depth discussions. “Digital stuff is always better than someone talking at me.”
From cellular mitosis to using semicolons, most subjects have remedial material that is important to know and difficult for professors to translate into a creative lecture or an active discussion. If these dull-but-necessary lessons migrate out of the classroom, professors can use the extra time for more creative, complicated and nuanced topics.
American students continue to fall behind international peers in math, but it’s not for lack of trying different teaching methods.
Many of the math teachers I know have often been the ones that resist change the most. When my school went 1-to-1 with MacBooks, most of the math department made it a policy that students weren’t even allowed to bring the laptop in the room. There are so many innovative ways to make math more interactive and student-centered, but often times they don’t attend those trainings at my school. Maybe it is just something that is happening at my school but I think the learning community could really work on making math teaching better. I think of Crystal Kirch who created an amazing flipped classroom in the math world and seems to work wonders. http://flippingwithkirch.blogspot.com/
Sometimes you ask for help so much I wonder if you have any original ideas at all.
I do…most of the time I save them for Twitter but I also enjoy responding to other peoples’ questions. I see Tumblr as a great place to get ideas from a lot of other talented folks. Not everyone has time to post original stuff all the time…especially when I’ve never had the chance to teach something two years in a row. I’m constantly teaching new subjects/topics and seeking out some great ideas from you all!
“The dynamics of the classroom dramatically changed. Instead of having to keep students quiet, we were spending time interacting with them individually and in small groups. Amazingly, most of our classroom management issues just vaporized. Our goal wasn’t to keep students quiet, but rather to have them engaged in the learning process. The class became noisier — and it was good.”—
I see this all the time on reblogs containing interesting (usually historical) info and images.
It angers me.
A) Schools have 13 years (minus about 4 months each) to give you enough of a foundation in reading, writing, math, sciences, state/US/world history, social studies, economics/finance, art, music, health/phys. ed., technology, and in some cases life skills/home ec/cooking to be a functional adult (who is able to further their own education).
B) The wealth of information in history and societies and books and sciences is HUGE. However much info you just pictured, times by like 46643823657. HUGE. To use one of my favorite quotes, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” (Albert Einstein)
C) Assuming you were at a maturity/brain development level to think “Hey, I find this interesting and would like to know more” while you were actually in K-12 school, “finding out more” is then in your court. “They teach us” gives away all responsibility for your own education. Everything will not be spoon fed to you. You have internet and/or library access. Go find out more yourself (and report back to the class if you want/your teacher gives time for that).
One of the focuses in the Master’s level of education is taking a sliver of a topic and digging to find enough information to write upwards of 30 (well organized and correctly written) pages. There simply isn’t time/resources/brain maturity to do that throughout K-12.
So if you see or hear something interesting on Tumblr/in class/mentioned in a conversation…AWESOME. Learn how to learn more about it on your own (from reliable sources). Then show off your new knowledge. ;-)
How can we make school a joyful experience without sacrificing rigor? What’s the best way to measure true learning? What’s the purpose of school? The founders and teachers at the PlayMaker School, an all-game based school in Los Angeles, are asking those big, hairy questions that all teachers grapple with. At the PlayMaker School, they’re trying to find their own answers through their constantly morphing, complex experiment. Here are their thoughts about these issues, in their own words.
I’ve always thought the term “re-entry” to our regular lives after an ISTE conference was a bit dramatic, but it really does feel that way this year. 16,000 educators in one building is…intense. Now that I’m back from Atlanta and scrolling through my notes, I’m going to try to condense everything down to 10 main take-aways. These are not necessarily the most …
Missed the conference but definitely checking out all the reflections and take-aways!
Affordable clickers for classrooms. Plickers transforms how teachers assess their students and collect data
My colleague brought these to my attention at the end of the school year. She printed some Plicker cards onto card stock for use throughout our whole building as they’d be rentable from the library. Essentially, students answer questions by holding up a card in some way. Your phone or iPad takes a photo of the room and records how everyone did at answering the question and who may not have gotten it. Great idea for formative assessment. Clickers with very little technoloy!
On behalf of the EduPD team and all of the presenters, I can say that I am SO excited and impressed by what the #education community has put together—especially in such a short amount of time. This is something really special we have going on here and it is SO great to be a part of it.
And now without further ado, we would like to welcome you to the first ever EduPD experience.
For those of you still working on your presentations, don’t worry if it’s not perfect yet, just continue uploading as you can. For our learners, you can expect to see more and more resources being added to both drive and youtube as the week progresses.
We would also like to feature some of our presenters who have uploaded some cool things to their drive folders. We will be continuing to feature presenters over the course of this week, so don’t feel left out if we didn’t mention you in this post!
There are definitely a bunch more great presentations put together already, and people are still rolling out their materials as we speak. Stay tuned for more featured presenters as this week continues.
How Can You Implement Gamification Effectively Within Your eLearning Program? Check the How Gamification is Used in ELearning article to find more.
It has worked really well in my classroom. Participation is phenomenal! Students left comments at the end of the year that they felt extremely motivated by the gamification and that they wanted it carried on into their next year. They also gave lots of advice for making it even better.
What are peoples’ thoughts on having a classroom pet? I believe that there are therapeutic benefits to having a classroom pet. There is also the adorable factor. Personally, I would love to get a hedgehog, but I think I’d be too concerned about the kids getting cut by the quills/ needles.
What are your thoughts? Are you for it? Against it? Do you have one? If so what is it? Awesome stories? Nightmare stories?
I’m so allergic to animals with fur that I’d be afraid some of my students would be allergic to something as well. I would consider having a fish tank or a turtle possibly but there is also the fear that an animal will be killed. When I was in middle school, a student sprayed some breath spray stuff into the tank and killed everything. The whole class got in trouble and it was a lot of fish that died.
A friend of mine introduced this program to me at a recent conference. It could completely change the way my game is run. Instead of using a spreadsheet, this program allows me to give XP through an easy to use website. Students are able to have avatars and choose what types of special abilities they can purchase along the way. Each classification of avatar has different abilities that allow them to do different things for the guild. It essentially adds in a lot of stuff that students wanted to see from this year.
The asymmetries of the classroom are intense. With each teacher responsible for a hundred students or more, the typical kid occupies a teacher’s thoughts for—at best—a minute or two per day. But each student only has a handful of teachers. Every instructor looms large in her world, wielding power over her days, via class periods; her nights, via homework; and her future, via grades. She spends much of her time thinking about the teacher’s demands, the teacher’s expectations, the teacher’s preferences and inconsistencies.
So when a teacher briefly focuses attention on a particular student, it comes with the heat and intensity of a spotlight. A moment the teacher barely remembers might stick with the student for years.
How I Became an Unfair Teacher
It’s easy to forget how tiny, arbitrary, everyday decisions can shape a kid’s school experience.
I sort of hate the good, nice, responsible kids because once in a while they do something bad, like make a 4x6 cheat sheet notecard instead of a 3x5 notecard, and I never really know if it was actually an accident or an evil plot.
Perfect opportunity to help them follow the rules by cutting their card into the proper size…
Today, I was on my third interview panel in the last week, so I thought I’d give some advice. It’s weird being on a panel, though it’s not stressful like interviewing is, I realize. It’s weird to think that you can learn so much about a person in 30 minutes.
Here’s what I’ve noticed this week:
- Smile. Convey your enthusiasm and personality. It goes a long way. Even if you don’t think you’re naturally enthusiastic, if you talk about what you love (teaching) and allow yourself to be authentically you, it will show.
- Eye contact and hand gestures are important, especially when your hand gestures are awkward and distracting.
- Bring a binder of materials, and use them to answer questions when appropriate. This isn’t a must (we hired someone who just came in with her keys and phone this week because she’s fantastic), but I do recommend it. It’ll give you a place to put your hands and you will be prepared.
- Answer questions specifically. Give examples. Show samples. If you don’t remember part of the question, ask them to repeat it. Providing specifics shows confidence and experience, whereas vague answers make you hard to remember.
- Don’t assume anything about the school or the panel. We may not get your sense of humor just yet. I am not as young as you seem to think I am.
- It’s true what they say about phone interviews - we can hear you smiling! Let that personality shine even if you’re on the phone.
- We do read your cover letters. We read your rec letters. We notice when there’s fluff and spelling errors, and we notice when rec letters are short and vague. So, ask for the letters well in advance so that the person can do a good job and represent you well.
- References can make or break you. A good interview with mediocre references isn’t going to cut it. Choose your references wisely.
- Ask good questions! When I interviewed for my first job I had no questions because I had no idea what I wanted in a school. Now that I’m at a school I love, I can’t imagine going somewhere else without knowing answers to some key questions. Here are some question ideas for you new teachers: - What type of support do new teachers get at your school? - What type of professional development is planned for this year? - Do teachers have time built into the week for collaboration? If so, what is the department you’re applying to working on? - What is the class size max? - What type of technology is available in most classrooms? - What is the daily schedule like?
Here are more questions that I personally would ask if I were interviewing for a job tomorrow: - Do the district and teachers union get along? How do negotiations usually go? - How are campus-wide decisions usually made? - What is the role of the department chair? - Describe your last accreditation process. What are the goals the school is currently working on? - How is the school supporting its struggling populations? - Are AP classes open enrollment? - Is there a strict curriculum map/pacing guide or are teachers free to teach how and what they want? Are there common assessments or district benchmarks? If so, how many?
Write down the questions you want to ask and bring them with you. You will forget them otherwise.
Lastly, don’t get discouraged. If you don’t get the job, it might be a good thing. I’ve seen many teachers deflated by schools that just weren’t the right for for them. I am seeing it happen at my school. I’ve also seen teachers hang on during difficult years because the school is a great fit and they feel supported. This is happening at my school as well. I was turned down for three or four jobs before I got my first one, and it was miserable. But I’m happy where I am now. I’m not a “everything happens for a reason” believer, but I do believe in making the best of what happens.