Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Optimising Our Potential in Education

Optimising Our Potential - Education - Browse - Big Ideas - ABC TV
This panel discussion highlights many instrumental factors in inducing well-being in kids at school and at home each day. Watch and listen as Judy Willis, MD and teacher, Arthur Costa, Professor Emeritus in the CSU system, Philip Heath and Dr. Toni Noble discuss with Richard Aedy, of ABC radio Australia how we can maximize brain functioning through utilizing cooperative learning, novelty, and humor in the classroom.
Let me know in the comments section what you think!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Connecting Across the Globe with Song - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I wish I could start by sharing the video of  beaming faces and beautiful voices of the students who sang to us and were our audience via Skype on Thursday.  The energy and pride of these 5th graders, who took the stage, singing to us in English, and ending with a beautiful song in Spanish, was quite powerful. Unfortunately, because of privacy rules, words will have to describe the exciting 20 minute call between my 4th grade class and Greta's 5th grade students in Argentina on their last day of school before summer vacation. I am positive that the students depict the scene way better than I could, so here is a post from  Alex, who went home and blogged even though school was over.
It was priceless to be the first class that these students had ever Skyped with in the U.S. I hope that my students found the experience to be equally memorable. 
Thank you Greta and your fantastic students for sharing such a special time with us!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Surrounding Ourselves With Others Who Bring Out Our Best - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

As I scan the list of "Best Teacher Blog" nominees on Edublogs, I am honored and humbled to be among teachers I admire, learn so much from, and share with on Twitter.  For once in my life, the competitive spirit in me does not seem to be caught up in whether or not I win. In fact, I feel like my blog has been somewhat neglected since school started, due to my other responsibilities, including blogging for my class. I am simply proud to stand among all of these wonderful educators who share stories of challenges, strategies, and successes so selflessly and openly.
My thoughts today center on the importance of  surrounding ourselves with inspiring people. My meaningful connections with my real life educator friends, as well as those through Twitter and reading blogs all facilitate my growth and performance as a teacher. By performance, I don't mean an outcome like student test scores on standardized tests. I am speaking of the daily, "stepping onto the stage" in the classroom, in the countless interactions with students, parents, and colleagues. As a teacher, my words, actions and plans are held under the highest scrutiny at times, because of the power I have to influence my students. I consider this power a huge responsibility, made easier by the wonderful teachers I am honored to include in my Personal Learning Network.
I also must add that my loved ones completely understand and support my passion for education. They empathize when a student or parent interaction leaves me unsatisfied or upset. They also encourage me to step up to the plate and take on more challenges. I could not be the teacher I am without them.
How do you surround yourself with others who bring out the best in you? What am I missing in this discussion? I look forward to sharing more with you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bullying and Crazy Aggressive Driving: Synonymous?

 I have started recording some of my thoughts on my morning drive. This morning's tangent was about the issue of bullying as related to adult behaviors like tailgating. Let me know what you think!