Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Power of Imitation

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but should we be flattered by it all? Or should we be ashamed of ourselves?

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live the hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

By Dorothy Law Nolte

This video runs parallel with this lesson and I hope you'll take a look.

Free Technology for Teachers: Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator

Free Technology for Teachers: Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator This is a recent blog posing I read and love generators like this (this one is Vocabulary Quiz Maker). I just hope I remember all this little tidbits of info when I start student teaching. :D

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

This video is not new, but still VERY relevant

Ideas Worth Sharing:

We all have a vested interest in education.

We are preparing our students today for a tomorrow that we can only begin to imagine.

Creativity, the process of having original ideas that have value, is as important in education as literacy.

Our current education system strips children of their creativity.

We must encourage risk-taking – in our students and ourselves.

The entire structure of education is shifting, requiring us to rethink our views on intelligence.

Intelligence is diverse.
Intelligence is dynamic.
Intelligence is distinct.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ENGL 4510 Modern English and Language Usage

This is one of my classes this semester. I love ELA (English and Language Arts) but even I get bogged down by this stuff. This class is an online class and below is what my teacher has on the website Course Homepage for this class:

(Click on the cartoon to see it larger)

This coming week's topic is VERBS and VERB PHRASES.

To minimal required element of a well-formed sentence is the VERB (e.g., "Dog." is not a well-formed sentence. "Go!" is a well-formed sentence.) The VERB is the heart of the sentence. The VERB determines how many NPs will be required in a sentence for the verb's meaning to be fully expanded. If you can identify the VERB in each sentence, you can predict whether the sentence will have just a SUBJECT NP or also a DIRECT OBJECT NP and, possibly, an INDIRECT OBJECT NP.

For example, think of the verb love. What are the necessary NPs that appear with that verb given its meaning? The answer is a SUBJECT NP and a DIRECT OBJECT NP: Mary loves Peter.

What if the verb were give? Now, we expect that three NPs might be present (the SUBJECT NP, the DO NP, and the IO NP): Mary gave Peter a book.

What if the verb were seem? This one is a linking verb. We expect a SUBJECT NP and some type of SUBJECT COMPLEMENT (here, the forms vary): He seems happy. He seems a good student. He seems on target to graduate in May.

Try thinking in these terms when tackling the grammatical analysis of a new sentence. You may have never seen the sentence before, but you know (from experience with specific English verbs and their meaning) what types of constituents it will require. We call this the verb's argument structure.

Last example: Think of the verb fill. Knowing that someone has to do the filling and that something has to be filled and that something has to be the stuff used to fill something, we can predict that a sentence created around the verb fill will include a SUBJECT NP (Peter filled), a DO NP (Peter filled the pitcher), and a PP (Peter filled the pitcher with water).

Note: Thinking in terms of the argument structure of a verb, these constituents are the arguments of the verb fill. You don't need to worry about learning the terms arguments and argument structure. I present these terms just in case you try to do some internet searches on this topic.

Once more, please ask me questions if you need further explanations once you have read the chapter and listened to the lecture! I LOVE READING YOUR DISCUSSION POSTS!! YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT GROUP OF ONLINE STUDENTS, A JOY TO TEACH AND LEARN FROM. THANKS!

**You may now take pity on me**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspirational Teacher

I've never met this woman, but I subscribe to her blog. This is the link to a blog that Mrs. Elliott sets up for her students, their parents, and anybody else interested in what she and her class are doing.

Her class is fun and innovative and I would LOVE to one day visit it. I think she has a lot to teach others.

I emailed her once and she suggested that I do a blog much like hers when I start my student teaching. I am curious if anybody has any suggestions to go along with that or another great suggestion for student teaching....something that really wows the kids (and the administration).

I think a blog like this is cool....HOWEVER, I don't know that I'm savvy enough to do it. :( Plus, I'll only be with them for half a semester.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Student Responsibility

This is the exact speech given by President Obama to all the students watching the morning of Sept 8.

If you remember from a previous post, I was on the fence concerning this speech. My children did not get to see the president speak; our county decided not to show it because they did not want to re-arrange their lesson plans to accomodate it. This may come as a shocker to some, but I'm disappointed about that decision.

I will say that this is a decision that's led only because of the wonderful thing called hindsight and everybody knows that vision is a lot better than what we have in the present.

The White House actually publicly displayed the speech and it was available to print by Monday. I did so and watched the coverage via CNN, with the script in hand to see if he veered from it any. He rarely did and when he did, it certainly wasn't significant.

I loved that speech. I know a lot of conservatives weren't thrilled about this, though we all pretty much agreed that it wasn't the speech we had a problem with. But here's the thing: none of the teachers had to promise to do any of those lesson ideas. The speech was worth hearing.

When my kids got home from school that day, I sat them down and told them that the president had spoken to many kids and I wanted them to hear what he had to say. I read the script to them.

I know they are only 6 and almost 5, and some of it went over their heads, but we discussed it some after I read it. I encourage my blog readers to do the same with your own children. He said some things that we should be telling our kids at home.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

21st Century Learner

Watch this video and then I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm kind of torn on the issue myself and am not sure how I feel about it all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

President to Address the Students

September 8, 2009 at Noon EST, President Obama plans to talk to students across America (that is, if the school's decide they want to be a part of this).

Here is the story

I have mixed feelings about this. I don't really have a problem with President Obama addressing children regarding their responsibility to do well in school, to set goals for their lives, and understand the challenges of their generation.

I, like others, do have an issue with the arrogance prevalent in the suggested activities for both grade groups. Things like: teachers should take quotes and excerpts from the President's speech and post them around the room; teachers should read about the President through his books and teach the class who he is; etc.

I do however, think some of the more general ideas and questions expressed in the activities are great for kids to be exploring. Things like: What are your strengths?; What do you think makes you successful as a student and as a person?; What ideas do we associate with the words "responsibility," "persistence," and "goals?". But do we need a speech from the President to start questions like these within the classroom?

I asked my youngest daughter's teacher today if they would be watching the speech and she didn't know anything about it. I did ask that if it comes up and they are to watch it (this is Pre-K) that I would like a note sent home telling me this.

I have a conference later with my 1st grader's teacher. I will ask the same of her. I will be going to the school and will be present during the speech if their school chooses to participate. I want to know what is said to my children, especially in this arena. I will be watching it at home if they choose not to show it as school. Can't help it; curiosity will kill this cat.