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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 12 views

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    "What Makes a Great Teacher? Image credit: Veronika Lukasova Also in our Special Report: National: "How America Can Rise Again" Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily. But securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke. Video: "One Nation, On Edge" James Fallows talks to Atlantic editor James Bennet about a uniquely American tradition-cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths. Interactive Graphic: "The State of the Union Is ..." ... thrifty, overextended, admired, twitchy, filthy, and clean: the nation in numbers. By Rachael Brown Chart: "The Happiness Index" Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier. By Justin Miller On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in Teacher. One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor's Teacher classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked. The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so. Video: Four Teachers in Four different classrooms demonstrate methods that work (Courtesy of Teach for America's video archive, available in February at teachingasleadership.org) At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools-not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it's worth noting, not a very hard one). After a year in Mr. Taylo
David Wetzel

Why Teach Science and Math? | Teaching Science and Math - 4 views

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    As former elementary science and math education professor, I was always encouraging preservice maths to teach science and math from a hands-on, minds-on perspective. My goal was single minded in the sense that for students to learn science and math their curiosity must peaked. This was always a challenge because most of these preservice maths learned science and math by rote memorization of facts. Their prior knowledge and experience had few opportunities to actually investigate science phenomena and truly understand the usefulness of math.
David Warlick

Idaho Teachers Fight a Reliance on Computers - NYTimes.com - 8 views

  • The idea was to establish Idaho’s schools as a high-tech vanguard.
    • David Warlick
       
      I'm not sure what this means, "High-tech Vangard," though I guess I understand why a state would want to make up a term like this and use it to label what they are trying to do.  
  • To help pay for these programs, the state may have to shift tens of millions of dollars away from salaries for teachers and administrators.
    • David Warlick
       
      To me, the salient question is, "Are teachers and administrators less important than technology?"  If they're not, then you find some other way to pay for the tech.
  • And the plan envisions a fundamental change in the role of teachers, making them less a lecturer at the front of the room and more of a guide helping students through lessons delivered on computers.
    • David Warlick
       
      OK, several comments here. 1. I have no problem with "less a lecturer."  However, I do not advocate the elimination of lecture.  It is one of many methods for teacher and learning. 2. The implication of the last part of the sentence is that the computer is becoming the/a teacher, delivering instruction.  I do not agree with this characterization of technology.  It is a tool for helping students learn, not for teaching them (with some exceptions).  It extends the learners access to knowledge and skills...
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  • And some say they are opposed to shifting money to online classes and other teaching methods whose benefits remain unproved.
    • David Warlick
       
      My question here is, "Why are the requiring online classes?"  If it is part of the "high-tech vangard" thing, then I don't really understand.  If it is because they believe that it is more effective for learning, well, that's a complex issue that depends on so many things that have NOTHING to do with the state's legislature.  If it is because students will be taking online courses in their future, and then need to learn to take online courses while in high school, then I can support that.  I do not believe that it is appropriate to compare online courses to face-to-face courses.  Fact is, sometime online is the only way you can access the knowledge/skills that you need.  We need to be comfortable with that.  But it has little to do with technology.  It's learning!
  • improve student learning.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is a phrase that irks me.  I think that we should be using contemporary information and communication technologies for teaching and learning, because our prevailing information environment is networked, digital, and info-abundant.  We should be using tech to make learning more relevant to our time...
  • “I fought for my country,” she said. “Now I’m fighting for my kids.” Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, and Tom Luna, the schools superintendent, who have championed the plan, said teachers had been misled by their union into believing the changes were a step toward replacing them with computers. Mr. Luna said the teachers’ anger was intensified by other legislation, also passed last spring, that eliminated protections for teachers with seniority and replaced it with a pay-for-performance system. Some teachers have also expressed concern that teaching positions could be eliminated and their raises reduced to help offset the cost of the technology. Mr. Luna acknowledged that many teachers in the state were conservative Republicans like him — making Idaho’s politics less black and white than in states like Wisconsin and New Jersey, where union-backed teachers have been at odds with politicians.
  • The teacher does become the guide and the coach and the educator in the room helping students to move at their own pace.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is so far off the mark that I do not know where to begin.  OK, here's what I would say.  "Our children live in a time of rapid change.  Therefore, they must become resourceful and relentless learners.  Being a teacher in such classrooms requires an expanding array of skills and activities, among them, being resourceful and relentless learners in front of their students -- adapting to today's prevailing information environment and the information and communication technologies that work it."  Probably need to find a simpler way to express this.
  • The plan requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits
    • David Warlick
       
      Again, why?
  • Mr. Luna said this would allow students to take subjects that were not otherwise available at their schools and familiarize them with learning online, something he said was increasingly common in college
    • David Warlick
       
      I agree with this.  It's a good reason to require Online courses, to learn to take them, and to be expected to take some course that is so esoteric that it's not offered locally.
  • becomes the textbook for every class, the research device, the advanced math calculator, the word processor and the portal to a world of information.
    • David Warlick
       
      I am not in disagreement with this statement.  I'd be no less disagreeable with omission to textbook.
  • Teachers are resisting, saying that they prefer to employ technology as it suits their own teaching methods and styles. Some feel they are judged on how much they make use of technology, regardless of whether it improves learning. Some Teachers in the Los Angeles public schools, for example, complain that the form that supervisors use to evaluate Teachers has a check box on whether they use technology, suggesting that they must use it for its own sake.
    • David Warlick
       
      We get so hung up on "technology."  It's the information that's changed.  There should be a check box that says, in what ways is the lesson including networked, digital, and abundant information?
  • That is a concern shared by Ms. Rosenbaum, who teaches at Post Falls High School in this town in northern Idaho, near Coeur d’Alene. Rather than relying on technology, she seeks to engage students with questions — the Socratic method — as she did recently as she was taking her sophomore English class through “The Book Thief,” a novel about a family in Germany that hides a Jewish girl during World War II.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is a wonderful method for teaching and timeless.  However, if the students are also backchanneling the conversation, then more of them are participating, sharing, agreeing and disagreeing, and the conversation has to potential to extend beyond the sounding of the bell.  I'm not saying, this is a way of integrating technology, I'm saying that networked collaboration is a relevant way for students to be learning and will continue to learn after school is over.
  • Her room mostly lacks high-tech amenities. Homework assignments are handwritten on whiteboards. Students write journal entries in spiral notebooks. On the walls are two American flags and posters paying tribute to the Marines, and on the ceiling a panel painted by a student thanks Ms. Rosenbaum for her service
    • David Warlick
       
      When I read this, I see a relic of classrooms of the past, that is ignoring today's prevailing information landscape.
  • Ms. Rosenbaum did use a computer and projector to show a YouTube video of the devastation caused by bombing in World War II. She said that while technology had a role to play, her method of teaching was timeless. “I’m teaching them to think deeply, to think. A computer can’t do that.”
    • David Warlick
       
      Yes, she's helping them to think deeply, but how much more deeply would the be thinking if she asked her students to work in teams and find videos on YouTube that portray some aspect of the book, critique and defend their selections.
  • She is taking some classes online as she works toward her master’s degree, and said they left her uninspired and less informed than in-person classes.
    • David Warlick
       
      Again, it is not useful to compare online course to f2f.  They're different, and people need to learn to work within them.
  • The group will also organize training for teachers. Ms. Cook said she did worry about how teachers would be trained when some already work long hours and take second jobs to make ends meet
    • David Warlick
       
      I look forward to learning how they will accomplish this.
  • For his part, Governor Otter said that putting technology into students’ hands was the only way to prepare them for the work force. Giving them easy access to a wealth of facts and resources online allows them to develop critical thinking skills, he said, which is what employers want the most.
    • David Warlick
       
      It disturbs me that policies may be coming out of an environment where the conversation probably has to be factored down to such simplistic statements.  Education is complex, it's personal, and it is critical -- and it's not just about what employers want!
  • “There may be a lot of misinformation,” he said, “but that information, whether right or wrong, will generate critical thinking for them as they find the truth.”
    • David Warlick
       
      Bingo!
  • If she only has an abacus in her classroom, she’s missing the boat.
    • David Warlick
       
      And doing a disservice to Idaho's children!
  • Last year at Post Falls High School, 600 students — about half of the school — staged a lunchtime walkout to protest the new rules. Some carried signs that read: “We need teachers, not computers.” Having a new laptop “is not my favorite idea,” said Sam Hunts, a sophomore in Ms. Rosenbaum’s English class who has a blond mohawk. “I’d rather learn from a teacher.”
    • David Warlick
       
      What can't we get past "Us vs Them."  Because it gets people elected.
Vicki Davis

Children's math education resources for maths | DreamBox Learning online math education game - 0 views

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    From Dreambox in my inbox: "In honor of Math Awareness Month this April, I am e-mailing you this morning to share the news that DreamBox Learning is launching DreamBox Math Classroom, a school version of the curriculum and standards based children’s Math adventure game, DreamBox Learning K-2 Math. To celebrate the release, DreamBox Learning offers free access to the game for any kindergarten, first or second grade classroom in the U.S. and Canada through the end of the current school year or June 30, 2009. Maths at accredited schools can simply visit www.dreambox.com/Maths to sign up for classroom usage. "
Vicki Davis

Math Video Help, Math Worksheets, Math Word Problems - 4 views

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    A great place for math videos. This looks very interesting.
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    Tons of math videos and clips here. Some great resources for math maths. From kindergarten to upper level math!
Vicki Davis

Knowles Science Teaching Foundation - 0 views

shared by Vicki Davis on 02 Oct 08 - Cached
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    Math and Science fellowships for beginning Math and science Maths.
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    Math and Science Maths -- beginning Maths should consider applying for these fellowships. These are in the United States. Here is what the ocmpany says about the fellowships (applications due Jan 15): "The prestigious KSTF Teaching Fellowship is valued at nearly $150,000 over the course of five-years and supports aspiring Maths of promise as they embark on careers teaching high school science and Mathematics. Designed to meet the financial and professional needs of beginning Maths, the Fellowship exposes educators to a variety of teaching resources, new curriculum materials, and research and experts in the field. Most importantly, the program fosters professional development within a community of high school science and Mathematics Maths and prepares Fellows to become leaders in their field."
Phil Macoun

Curriculum-Based Materials - JUMP Math - 6 views

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    The JUMP Math workbooks are meant to be used in conjunction with our extensive Math Resources to enable students to practise and explore subtle variations on the lessons and to enable Maths to rapidly assess progress. For each lesson, there is a clear and highly effective lesson plan, which enables Maths to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of teaching to the whole class while tailoring to individual needs. Each lesson is carefully designed to generate deep, subtle, transferable mastery of key concepts. Lesson plans include ideas for contextualizing the Math, questions and tasks that allow students to discover Mathematical concepts, games, activities, and innovative extension questions that keep "fast" students engaged and learning while Maths help others to master the key objectives.
Vicki Davis

Xerox stepping into grading school papers - 1 views

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    Grading handwritten answers by students as a feature of a copier? Producing data analytics as a result. IF this works, it will not only sell more copiers, but also make handwritten work more of a commodity. Maybe if a computer can quickly grade the easy stuff, teachers can spend more time assessing project based learning and other work that computers cannot do. This won't help me much - except when I teach binary numbers and memory conversion which do require me to check work (I never do multiple choice.) I could see how teacher teachers would be thrilled. "Xerox later this year plans to roll out Ignite, a software and web-based service that turns the numerous copiers/scanners/printers it has in schools across the United States into paper-grading machines. Unlike such staples of the educational system as Scantron, which uses special forms where students choose an answer and fill in the corresponding bubble, Ignite will grade work where the answers are written in by the students, such as the numeric answer to a teacher problem. Ignite takes right and wrong answers and turns them into web-accessible data for teachers with reports that say whether a student or groups of students are consistently having more trouble with certain kinds of teacher problems. Those reports can be used by teachers to tailor what they're teaching - such as by identifying what group of students needs more help with a certain topic - or given to students so they know where they should focus their studying. It also opens the door to specific tests or homework assignments for specific students becoming more the norm, each tailored to academic strengths and weaknesses."
David Wetzel

10 Math Apps for the iPod Touch - 18 views

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    Math applications (apps) for iPod Touch offer students and Maths are excellent ways to focus students in Math classes. Although many Math Apps are loaded with ads and other distracting information, I have found several that are add free.
Ted Sakshaug

Online Resources for Math - Algebra, Trigonometric, Geometry, Calculus, Boolean Algebra, Probability, Decimal, Fraction, Permutations and Combinations - 0 views

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    High School Middle School Elementary Kindergarten maths Welcome to mathebook.net an online Free Learning website full of fun. This website is fully interactive and will allow kids to practice and learn math with ease. Our website is designed to help students of different grades, starts from Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School and High School math. The goal of this website is to provide new education tools to maths, parents and off course students who can benefit from it.
David Wetzel

Top 10 Online Tools for Teaching Science and Math - 18 views

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    Why use Web 2.0 tools in science and math classes? The primary reason is they facilitate access to input and interaction with content through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These tools offer enormous advantages for science and math maths, in terms of helping their students learn using Web 2.0 tools. For example: * Most of these tools can be edited from any computer connected to the Internet. maths can add, edit and delete information even during class time. * Students learn how to use these tools for academic purposes and, at the same time, can transfer their use to their personal lives and future professional careers. * RSS feeds allow students to access all the desired research information on one page. * Students learn to be autonomous in their learning process.
David Wetzel

Solving Weaknesses in Math Education using Project Based Learning - 16 views

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    A framework is provided for making connections between everyday math problem and solving real world math problems. Connections are made regarding project based learning for maths new to the process, along with recommendations for maths who are veterans of project based learning.
David Wetzel

Why Use Web 20 Tools when Teaching Science or Math? - 22 views

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    The following is a common question heard around teacher workrooms, teacher lunchrooms, faculty meetings, and science or teacher conferences. "Why use web 2.0 tools when teaching science or teacher?" The answer is both simple and complex at the same time.
Vicki Davis

Math Shorts - Planet Nutshell - 0 views

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    Some cool short videos for math maths. These seem to be mostly for upper elementary/ middle/ high school but some great videos. Share with math maths and find some that work for you. Very nice!
Vicki Davis

Teachers see change coming in Common Core State Standards  | ajc.com - 1 views

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    Article about Georgia Dept of Ed rollout of common core standards and their self admitted botched rollout of state standards several years back. The worst issue from my discussions with Georgia Public school teachers was the attempt at teacher I, II, III, an attempt to combine Algebra, Geometry, Trig and Statistics. Not only did the teachers complain but so did parents. I know of several teacher teachers who quit over this. This is what happens in experiments like this. Standards sound great but who writes them? What happens when they are cumbersome? Look at technology standards which many (including me) think are way too heavily influenced by industry.
Vicki Davis

Computer Based Math | K12 Online Conference - 6 views

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    Computer based math by David Wees from the K12 online conference. If you're missing the K12 online conference, you're missing something big. Here, David looks at the consequences of what would happen if Conrad Wolfram's vision of letting computers do math computations in order to free humans up to do other aspects of mathematical problem solving. Something math maths will want to consider on this controversial topic.
Dennis OConnor

Illinois Educator Free Online Professional Development (Moodle Based) - 8 views

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    Are you a middle or high school math or science math? If so, check out these new and innovative online professional development courses from the University of Illinois and the Illinois math and Science Academy. Courses are available free of charge for Fall 2009.
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    Are you a middle or high school math or science math? If so, check out these new and innovative online professional development courses from the University of Illinois and the Illinois math and Science Academy. Courses are available free of charge for Fall 2009.
David Wetzel

To Blog or Not To Blog in Science or Math Class - 9 views

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    The primary purpose of blog is to facilitate interaction between a teacher and his or her students. This is possible because a blog is a dynamic tool which can be easily updated or transformed as necessary to meet the needs of a science or teacher class. The integration of blog technology in a class requires an investment of time. Because of this commitment, additional evidence is needed to support the integration this technology in a science or teacher class curriculum.
Dan Sherman

MATH PRACTICE AND LEARNING PROGRAM - FREE FOR MATHS - 27 views

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    TenMarks is the best math practice and learning program for grades 3-High School and as of today, it's FREE for maths to use - in class or for their students to use at home. The TenMarks approach gives students a variety of problems on each topic, and ability to use hints if they need a little nudge, and immediate video lessons for them to refresh and learn the topic - on the spot. The end result - students refresh what they know and learn what they don't. maths choose their own curriculum (mapped to state standards), assign work to students, have it automatically graded immediately, review individual and class performance, and most importantly, take immediate action. TenMarks is super effective and real easy to use - it was designed with the help of math maths across the country. What's more - it's FREE for the entire class!
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