Pose, Wobble, Flow.

#ED677

After reading this week’s readings, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that just this week during PD our principal told us that we can’t use the word “yoga” anymore because we’ve had complaints that it is spiritual (religious) in nature.

This being said, I also truly connected with this article. As a second year teacher, on most days I feel like all I do is wobble!  Just this week I wobbled SO many times…

  1.  How do I respond to a student being disrespectful?
  2. How do I handle disagreements between students?
  3. How do I teach skills that my students need when I can’t always fit them in with our curriculum and/or program?
  4. Am I differentiating enough?
  5. How can I better my practice?

From what I hear and see, most teachers really struggle (wobble) when it comes to district mandates… I think it would be fair to say that every teacher has had this struggle at least once in their career!

I believe as I progress in my career, I am learning how to pose – what do I believe in and why? However, I am also learning how to wobble. It feels, to me at least, as if the more experiences we gather, the less I wobble when it comes to dealing with certain topics. However, I rarely feel like I have flow… I think part of that is because I am just still so new. However, as a preservice teacher, my mentor once told me that the second I believed I knew everything about teaching and had nothing left to learn was the second that I should leave the profession. This thought surfaced for me as I read about perpetual flow because, as the article says, it doesn’t exist! This is what my mentor was trying to say to me – perpetual flow means that the teacher has become comfortable and in unchanging, which is not who we should be as professionals! This is a place we can visit, and it feels good, but it shouldn’t remain for long!

I look forward to enjoying the rest of my career as it plays out – as I become more posed and maybe wobble a little less? I look forward to experiencing flow, but not living in it.

All my love,

Jacqui

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Search Seven Sunday #3

#ED677 #S7S

  1. After thinking about tweeting this week, I was thinking about the different ways that I use TwitterRachel posted this article about ways to use twitter as a classroom based teacher. Right now, I mostly use Twitter as a PLN and to stay up to date with the district, though I would like to expand my usage. For those interested in helping to create their PLN, here are some great accounts that I follow: AJ Juliani, Matt Miller, EDUtopia, and George Couros to name a few!
  2. In addition to Twitter being a great resource as a PLN, Facebook also has TONS of different groups that are solely for education. I find these groups so helpful! Here a few that I am in: Out of this World Literacy, HyperDocs, Flexible Seating, and a group specifically for Fifth Grade Teachers.
  3. Reading this week’s article, and specifically the section about what wobbling looks like and how we react, really made met think about this quote one of my undergraduate professors shared with me: 411005-haim-ginott-quotes.jpg

This thought process can sometimes make it so stressful as we wobble…

4. I use flexible seating in my own classroom, so reading about wobbling this week made me think of this product that I recently saw as a flexible seating option in the classroom. Sometimes when we wobble, it is helpful!

5. Also in conjunction with this week’s reading I thought I would share a tool that I use with my students in order to give brain breaks, but also practice mindfulness. Our students can be stressed and go through their own trials and wobbles so we need to give them some skills they can use to cope with this. Often, I will use GoNoodle for this purpose. My students love this site and that it allows them to transmogrify our champ as we progress.

6. I was thinking a lot this week about struggles, and student work. It got  me thinking about how tech can help us to differentiate… This is really helpful with equity, not just equality. I recently learned about hyper docs and I think it could be an excellent way to accomplish just that.

7. When I was researching about classroom community, I found this image which I thought really pulled together a lot about what I have been posting and thinking about since this course started… dal_ecosystem.jpg

Equity in Play

The more I think about play, the more I think that it helps to put all students on an even playing field…

I mentioned it during our class meeting, but in my classroom we play using tech all the time and it really helps with equity. Students are all playing the same games, meanwhile they have no idea that the games are differentiated based on each student’s individual data! What’s more, they have FUN while learning!

I think the best kind of play in my classroom is when my students are engaged and learning, but don’t always see it as learning…it makes it seem like a break, which we all need sometimes.

I play all the time – I love playing different games on my phone like sudoku and other brain based games which require logic and thinking. It keeps me on my toes, but is also so much fun. I want the same thing for my students –  I often give them brain teasers (rebus puzzles, crosswords, riddles, sudoku, etc.) so that they grow to enjoy thinking outside of the box and applying problem solving skills as well.

I think play is so important for students of all ages and hope to continue to think on this topic as we progress through this course. What are your thoughts?

All my love,

Jacqui

Search Six Saturday…Take 2

#ED677 #S6S

Lesson learned…make sure you click publish, not just save!

  1. I spent a lot of time this week thinking about play and it got me thinking…we talked a lot about play while I in undergrad! I mean we spent like a week on blocks. So I started doing a little bit of research and found this article which has some great support for why our students need play.
  2. The more I thought about play, the more I thought about my own experiences! I remember my Kindergarten classroom (which by the way, was only half day!) being FULL of things to play with. We had centers and toys and yes, we spent time “learning,” but we also spent time playing! I’m curious about how we can work this back in…tour-5-day-drama
  3. Rachel also was inspired by this week’s focus on play and found this article. I was very interested in the ideas about taking away recess – in my district, we are not allowed to take away recess and I wouldn’t want to! Our students barely get twenty minutes outside a day…
  4. Mary mentioned Katie’s game idea this week which sounded like so much fun! But, it got me thinking. I’m guilty. Every time I think game, my immediate response is, “Wow, that would be a great community builder for the beginning of next school year.” But why?! Community building shouldn’t end in the second week of school. More importantly, we could all use it! Lessen the stress and pressure, while learning to get along and problem solve.
  5. Here is a link to some ideas about community building that we can continue to use all year long.
  6. During this week’s meeting, I discussed some of the tools I use in my classroom that are versions of play with a purpose. I wanted to share some links in case anyone was interested: Reflex, First in Math, Prodigy Math 

Search Seven Sunday #2

#S7S #ED677

  1. This week, Mary posted a really interesting comic about equity and this quote about what it means to be fair. After chuckling, I immediately thought of a quote by Albert Einstein that I share with my students in the beginning of the school year after teaching a lesson about what it means to be fair. This really hits home for them and we use the phrase all year long “It’s my band-aid.”  Albert-Einstein-quotes-Genius1
  2. Equity in Discipline… Last week, Kylie posted this article which I was already familiar with. However, this week, I came across this poem which really hit home for me and got me thinking… Do some of our most concerning students not like school because of the additional pressure we put on them from a behavioral standpoint? Does equity apply in discipline or does only equality apply? Is it fair to punish students for acting out because they lashed out due to hunger while students who are well fed don’t have cause for the same reaction? Should we be adjusting our expectations? Should we be adjusting our practices and how?
  3. Dumper or Cultivator? While on Twitter this week I stumbled upon this article. I immediately recognized that it made great points, but as I continued to reflect and think about the application, I realized it connected well to the topic of equity because of what becoming a curator as an educator means! Yes, some of our students have tech…they are GREAT at tech! Yes, some of our students love to research and read. Yes, some of our students can identify resources that are valuable versus those that are not as effective or worthwhile. Then I realized what about the rest? Those who aren’t so tech savvy and can only handle one or two links to click. Those who don’t have constant access to tech. Those who trust that any article they encounter (at school or not) is an effective article and is worthwhile. We need to level the playing field for those students and become curators! Obviously this only the beginning, but it is a step-in the right direction.
  4. Last week, Amy posted this article about “Smart Tech Use” on her blog. I really relate to this article because SO many teachers use tech just to use tech. Last week I posed about the SAMR model in relation to another link that was posted because of the same reaction I had to this article! Throwing students on tech is not helpful for  learning, especially for this who are already comfortable with tech! For those who aren’t, sure experiencing tech is a teachable moment. Yet, ALL students are supposed to learn! Good use of tech personalizes learning for students and differentiates so that all students are learning. Moreover, tech is a great way to allow students who are behind the privacy to fill their gaps without having to be embarrassed, without constant teacher intervention, and at their own pace! 1.ascd_differentiation
  5. My district currently utilizes Microsoft products and we have had multiple trainings on these topics and ideas, but this image really brings together some of the best ideas. DUf0yN-U0AAWkQV
  6. Last week, Amy also posted this article which had some very practical advice. I found some connections to this depiction of equity which gives the educational field a lot to think about… Conceptual_Framework_circle2.jpg
  7. This depiction popped up when I was searching online about “Equity in Education.” It very much reminded me of #The4thBox while leaving us with a lot to consider… unnamed

My Fourth Box

#The4thBox Project this week for #ED677 was really thought provoking. While this was the first time I had seen this exact representation of equality vs. equity, this concept isn’t new.

the4thpanel-branded-wide-4_orig.jpgWhile I was trying to come up with a fourth box, I really took into consideration what my role is within the classroom setting…

Within the classroom setting, EQUITY is my goal. But there aren’t necessarily any guidelines on how to accomplish this. I need to do what is best for my students. I need to do what is best for my class. Rarely does this look like the picture of EQUALITY above. Sometimes, this looks like the depiction of EQUITY above. Sometimes, this looks like the depiction of  LIBERATION above. However, sometimes this looks like ELEVATION. Sometimes, I need to take it upon myself to hold my students up. To help them rise to the occasion. To provide them with the opportunity to have experiences. To help them understand teamwork. To teach them they all deserve to be elevated and to reach their highest potential. Sometimes students don’t want another tool, another box. Sometimes students don’t want you to break down the wall for them. Sometimes, students want to RISE. They want to ENGAGE. They want the OPPORTUNITY to learn from and with each other. They want to experience ELEVATION.

IMG_0186

I saw some other amazing ideas for #The4thBox this week. For me, and for my students, I needed to show that sometimes we need each other, and that’s okay!

What do you think?

All my love,

Jacqui

Marginal Syllabus

I have to admit, it took me quite some time to put together my thoughts about marginal syllabus… I just couldn’t put my finger on how I was feeling about the experience.

For an assignment’s purpose (and for the first time), I used Marginal Syllabus to annotate the text of John Dewey’s speech, “The School and Social Progress.” Annotating text isn’t new to me; however, this process was new to me and annotating in general is new to my students. Until now, annotating has been such a private and personal task…

Participating in a marginal syllabus style discussion was connected learning in its purest form. I felt connected to other strangers on the internet as I learned about John Dewey’s views on school and the education system in the early 20th century. However, I also felt overwhelmed and anxious throughout the process. Nothing about this was private despite it being my personal experience with this text.

As someone who is rather tech-savvy, I was a bit surprised with how challenging it was to navigate Marginal Syllabus. I will admit, I did not watch the provided video that gave instructions on how to use the program – I tend to learn better from trial and error through experimentation. After figuring out that it had to be installed and then which buttons to push, I did end up getting the hang of it. However, on an equity standpoint, for those learners who are not very tech-savvy, this was probably a very challenging experience.

Upon reflection, I believe that that this was a positive attempt to bridge the equity gap between tech-savvy and non-tech savvy students. However, I much preferred the comparable activity that we completed with our syllabus on Google Docs in the beginning of the semester. I found the Google Doc assignment, during which we annotated our syllabus, to be a much less threatening and less overwhelming experience overall. I’m sure that part of this subconsciously stemmed from the fact that I already understand Google Docs, but I think it also had to do with the stakes of the assignment. I knew my audience within the Google Doc. While annotating on Marginal Syllabus I felt like I was engaged in a very high stakes assignment – anyone could see and judge my first response and thoughts to this article. More importantly, I didn’t find the Doc to be as distracting as I did Marginal Syllabus. There was so much happening for me on the Marginal Syllabus page, even with the other annotations off.

I think with more practice or experience this could be a more seamless process for me – I am willing to try again. But for now, and for application with my students, I think comfort helps to put students on a more level playing ground and produces a better product.

Until next time, Marginal Syllabus!

All my love,

Jacqui