Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

134 notes

positivelypersistentteach:

gjmueller:

Coaching parents on toddler talk to address low-income word gap

By age four, toddlers in low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than those in high-income families, according to researchers. As a result, these children tend to have smaller vocabularies and fall behind in reading. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports on one program in Providence, Rhode Island, that gets low-income parents talking more to their toddlers.

This is so great and important! (I love vocab studies and initiatives).

HEY GUESS WHAT.

Dependent on what I hear at the beginning of next week, THIS SORT OF ACTIVITY MAY BE PART OF MY POTENTIALLY NEW JOB.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

Filed under holding on to this because I'm so sad to potentially be leaving my old one but stability is important

2,640 notes

wake-n-ache:

[Image: Four infographics, each with a brain in the center, surrounded by different colored circles. The brains each name a kind of learning disability: Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia. The circles are describing the different kinds of symptoms for each disorder.]

This is incredibly hard to read for an infographic on learning disabilities :P So here’s the transcription, sorry if I missed something! (btw this seems to be written for ppl working with children, hence the classroom mentions, but it’s spot on if you’re looking for info for yourself) (also I added some things in brackets)

DYSPRAXIA

Classroom Issues:

  • problems note taking/copying from board
  • affected by background noise
  • poor listening skills
  • difficulty getting ideas on paper

Organisation:

  • memory difficulties
    - [such as with] sequences
    - [and] rules
  • needs visual reminders
  • finds planning tricky

Gross Motor:

  • physical issues
    - [with] balance
    - [climbing] stairs
    - getting dressed
  • co-ordination issues
    - hopping
    - sports
    - running

Fine Motor:

  • handwriting issues
    - [having proper] pencil grip
    - [letter/word] spacing
    - formation [of letters/numbers]
  • manipulation difficulties
    - [doing up] buttons
    - [using] classroom equipment
    - [tying] shoelaces

Concentration:

  • limited focus:activities need to be broken down
  • easily distracted and fidgety
  • poor memory skills


DYSLEXIA

Writing:

  • can’t find the right word
  • organisational problems
  • difficulty getting ideas on paper

Spatial/Temporal:

  • difficulties with telling time
  • left/right confusion
  • gets lost easily
Memory Difficulties:
  • dates
  • sequences
    - alphabet
    - times tables
    - phone numbers
Motor Control:
  • co-ordination difficulties
  • handwriting difficulties
  • difficulty copying
Reading:
  • moving or overlapping text [words, letters, sentences shifting as you look at the text or changing places each time you look]
  • needing to re-read [to comprehend the text]
  • losing place in text
Spelling:
  • similar sounds cause confusion
  • difficulty ‘hearing’ sounds
  • can’t remember what words look like
Listening:
  • find background noise distracting
  • problems note taking

DYSGRAPHIA

Classroom Management:
  • activities and instructions need to be broken down
  • may need support with syntax structure and grammar
  • requires extra time when writing
  • benefits from assistive technology/other methods of recording
    - voice recorder
    - speech to text
    - [using images/graphics or charts]
Organisation:
  • benefits from visual support
    - key word vocabulary [I think this means like, flash card style learning]
    - checklists
  • requires time to plan visually
    - story map
    - mind map
  • needs time for proofreading
Fine Motor:
  • handwriting difficulties
    - [letter] formation
    - spacing [between letters, words, or paragraphs]
    - sizing [of writing]
  • manipulation difficulties
    - using equipment [aka handling anything that requires fine motor skills]
    - pencil grip [improperly or pain from using]
Concentration:
  • difficulty thinking of words to write
  • tires quickly when writing [this can be mentally, or physically from hand/arm cramping]
  • trouble keeping track of thoughts

DYSCALCULIA

Measures:
  • problems handling money - working out change, etc
  • struggles to understand [some or many] mathematical concepts - speed, time, etc. 
Spatial/Temporal:
  • map reading difficulties
  • difficulties with telling time
  • left/right confusion
  • [difficulty distances properly]
  • [difficulty measuring things or guessing measurements]
Memory:
  • cannot accurately recall number[s or] facts
  • constantly re-learning and recapping skills
  • organisation issues [forgetting where things belong etc]
Counting:
  • difficulty navigating back and forth along a number, line, or sequence
  • can lose place easily
  • finds counting in [groups of numbers such as] twos or threes problematic
Calculations:
  • lack of confidence in answers [weird phrasing? anyway this means often getting the wrong answer (to mathematical problems) despite having the correct math or the right answer despite having incorrect math or being unsure of how it was achieved]
  • problems transferring information: e.g 3 + 2 = 5 therefore 3 +2 = 5  [difficulties with transposing numbers]
Numbers:
  • struggles to understand chronology
  • issues with place value [with adding things up to 10s or 100s etc, moving decimal points, etc]
  • [moving or overlapping numbers, as in numbers shifting as you look at them or changing places each time you look]

(Source: weareteachers, via englishteacheronline)

1,148 notes

ilovekatkerr:

Toddlers are NOT naughty or disobedient or manipulative. They are normal little people who are learning.



When children, especially very young children, act out, it’s their way of getting their needs met.  Sometimes that need is attention — positive or negative.  Sometimes they’re trying to meet other needs, like being able to express themselves in safe or appropriate ways, and are failing.Just keep this in mind when young children act up.  What are they reacting to?  What do they need in that moment?  Is it a need or a want, and could it, and should it, be satisfied right away?  Because sometimes, children also have to learn how to tolerate waiting.

ilovekatkerr:

Toddlers are NOT naughty or disobedient or manipulative. They are normal little people who are learning.

When children, especially very young children, act out, it’s their way of getting their needs met. Sometimes that need is attention — positive or negative. Sometimes they’re trying to meet other needs, like being able to express themselves in safe or appropriate ways, and are failing.

Just keep this in mind when young children act up. What are they reacting to? What do they need in that moment? Is it a need or a want, and could it, and should it, be satisfied right away? Because sometimes, children also have to learn how to tolerate waiting.

(via socialworkmemes)

124 notes

When Teachers Romanticize Their Students' Poverty

girlwithalessonplan:

weareteachers:

We don’t often post a piece *because* we dislike it, but here goes. 

Misleading title. The piece is really about how one TFA teacher “discovered” poverty and continues to romanticize it.  Favorite line: “My modest goal was to simultaneously teach 11th grade English, pocket some life experience, and write a novel.” 

I didn’t know the weareteachers tumblr could be sassy.

Poverty can only be romanticized by those who don’t have to spend any more time with it than is necessitated by the kind of thing they go into specifically for the “life experience.” A few AmeriCorps alum and I refer to this — which is part of many AmeriCorps programs as well and, as much as I love my AmeriCorps, is also not something I think works on the level expected — as Poverty Tourism.

People go into an experience in which they are required to “experience” what it’s like to be in poverty. In some cases, this will, or should at least, be eye-opening, and is meant to impart a new level of urgency, appreciation, or concern for those living at or below the poverty line.

But here’s the thing — that is not how poverty works. Poverty is not a brief period of time during which one can say to one’s self, this will end soon. Even when people are thrown into poverty by unexpected situations, there is not a guaranteed end point, no counting down. Often times Poverty Tourists can go to relatives for help if they end up in dire situations, because often times these individuals are not from a low-income background and may know people with money to spare. But that is not generally the case with people who have been living in poverty for most or all of their lives.

You cannot fully comprehend the feeling of “poverty” when you know it will be over in ten months, a year, two. This should be part of the things you are taught when put into these programs — that this is an immersion experience that does not actually show you another person’s reality but makes you think on their context — but, in mine and others’ experiences, it is not.

And beyond those people — those who do attempt to understand and feel the weight of the experience, even if they cannot fully — there is the larger problem of those who still wholeheartedly view the experience not as sombering, but as an adventure, without that tempering reminder that it is something that chips away at so many people. There are still many people out there who do NOT have the perspective to remove themselves as the hero of the story, who either do not see people living with poverty as full people rather than sad background characters waiting for aid or who romanticize the people themselves, which is also problematic because it also romanticizes the problem. And the whole thing just twists my stomach.

So I can’t tell if I’m glad that this individual gained that perspective, or still concerned about some of the viewpoints — and I KNOW that it makes me concerned, as I usually am, and frustrated, about the whole issue.

546,830 notes

we-could-have-danced-all-night:

queerenby:

filisexual:

royalpancake:

a short poem:

do teachers
understand
that you take
other classes

another short poem:

yes but see
they are all
required
by the district
or state
to assign a
certain amount
of gradable
material per
semester so
they can get
paid and earn
raises and bonuses
and keep
their jobs and
funding

a revised short poem:

does the district
or state
understand
that you take
other classes

another short poem:

no

(Source: frenchtoastkarma, via nouveauqueer)

Filed under Thought this one was too interesting not to share education

0 notes

mozzie-slayer asked: Hello! (-: I'm interested in taking environmental studies? Could you tell me what your experience has been like and some advice?

Hm, I’ve never taken environmental studies — but I’m sure someone in my followers must have?  Anyone have any feedback for our friend here?

Filed under environmental studies mozzie-slayer ask

27,553 notes

abwatt:

doubleadrivel:

did-you-kno:

Source 

I’ll take two.

I went to a conference on learning and the brain once, to help teachers understand how the latest brain science could help us become better teachers.  The two pieces of the brain I learned the most about during those two days were the Hippocampus and the Amygdala — and it turned out that those two pieces of information have been the keys to my best teaching days in the last six years.  Any time I forget these pieces of information, I have a bad class or a bad day or a bad week. Any day I remember these pieces of information, I have a great class — and chances are, my student will, too.
Want to know them? Here they are:
1) The amygdala takes all the sensory data you receive, and analyzes it based on two themes, every 6-8 minutes. The two questions it asks of the data are “Am I safe? Am I having fun?”  If the answer to the first question is no, it immediately turns off the brain’s connections to the front hemisphere of the brain — where all the learning happens; the person relies exclusively on the back-brain, where well-learned responsible operate from. So if a kid doesn’t feel safe in school, the kid won’t learn anything.  If the answer to the first question is yes, the amygdala asks the second question, and if the answer is no, I’m not having fun, the brain begins rooting around looking for some way to create novelty and entertainment, even if that entertainment puts others at risk.  So if a kid is having fun, she’ll learn the material presented, but if she isn’t, she’ll create disruptions, including disruptions that cause other people not to feel safe — and thus shut down their learning. So you can work with “class clown” kids who keep things on topic, but you have to get kids out of the room who behave in ways that make other kids feel unsafe.
That’s number 1.
2) The Hippocampus controls three things: position in space/time (it keeps track of where you are and what ‘time-ish’ it is there), short-term memory, and long-term memory. In other words, the key to knowing some piece of information is remembering where you were when you learned it.  It turns out that the ancient storytellers, seers, and lawyers were right, too, and you can use Palaces of Memory to keep track of things you must remember, and navigate through your memories by tracking in what sort of place you stored them. The really cool thing about this is that your palace of memory can be a real or a fictional place — the hippocampus doesn’t care if it’s being fed false sensory data or true sensory data — if you close your eyes and ‘remember’ standing in your hometown public library, and you go over to the shelf where your mental copy of Beowulf is stored, you have a much better chance of recalling word-for-word quotations than if you just close your eyes. You still have to do the hard work of memorizing the quotation, but remembering the place you memorized it may help bring the memory back even if you forget.
And that’s what I learned at the Learning and the Brain conference.


Colleagues and I have been trying to help local educators and administration understand that when a child doesn’t feel safe in school, they are not available for learning.  Combine a lack of feeling of safety with a need to create novelty, and you have some of the challenges faced by teachers who work with some of our kids; most of these teachers are incredibly patient and open to learning, but for administrators who have to deal with the safety concerns brought on by children whose behaviors are so big that they put other students at risk, this information seems fine in the abstract but difficult to address in the context of immediate large conflicts.

abwatt:

doubleadrivel:

did-you-kno:

Source 

I’ll take two.

I went to a conference on learning and the brain once, to help teachers understand how the latest brain science could help us become better teachers.  The two pieces of the brain I learned the most about during those two days were the Hippocampus and the Amygdala — and it turned out that those two pieces of information have been the keys to my best teaching days in the last six years.  Any time I forget these pieces of information, I have a bad class or a bad day or a bad week. Any day I remember these pieces of information, I have a great class — and chances are, my student will, too.

Want to know them? Here they are:

1) The amygdala takes all the sensory data you receive, and analyzes it based on two themes, every 6-8 minutes. The two questions it asks of the data are “Am I safe? Am I having fun?”  If the answer to the first question is no, it immediately turns off the brain’s connections to the front hemisphere of the brain — where all the learning happens; the person relies exclusively on the back-brain, where well-learned responsible operate from. So if a kid doesn’t feel safe in school, the kid won’t learn anything.  If the answer to the first question is yes, the amygdala asks the second question, and if the answer is no, I’m not having funthe brain begins rooting around looking for some way to create novelty and entertainment, even if that entertainment puts others at risk.  So if a kid is having fun, she’ll learn the material presented, but if she isn’t, she’ll create disruptions, including disruptions that cause other people not to feel safe — and thus shut down their learning. So you can work with “class clown” kids who keep things on topic, but you have to get kids out of the room who behave in ways that make other kids feel unsafe.

That’s number 1.

2) The Hippocampus controls three things: position in space/time (it keeps track of where you are and what ‘time-ish’ it is there), short-term memory, and long-term memory. In other words, the key to knowing some piece of information is remembering where you were when you learned it.  It turns out that the ancient storytellers, seers, and lawyers were right, too, and you can use Palaces of Memory to keep track of things you must remember, and navigate through your memories by tracking in what sort of place you stored them. The really cool thing about this is that your palace of memory can be a real or a fictional place — the hippocampus doesn’t care if it’s being fed false sensory data or true sensory data — if you close your eyes and ‘remember’ standing in your hometown public library, and you go over to the shelf where your mental copy of Beowulf is stored, you have a much better chance of recalling word-for-word quotations than if you just close your eyes. You still have to do the hard work of memorizing the quotation, but remembering the place you memorized it may help bring the memory back even if you forget.

And that’s what I learned at the Learning and the Brain conference.

Colleagues and I have been trying to help local educators and administration understand that when a child doesn’t feel safe in school, they are not available for learning. Combine a lack of feeling of safety with a need to create novelty, and you have some of the challenges faced by teachers who work with some of our kids; most of these teachers are incredibly patient and open to learning, but for administrators who have to deal with the safety concerns brought on by children whose behaviors are so big that they put other students at risk, this information seems fine in the abstract but difficult to address in the context of immediate large conflicts.

(via alamaris)

15,497 notes

msnbc:

Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.


Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.

msnbc:

Rachel Maddow reports on an expected executive order from President Obama that would bar discrimination based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of Americans working for federal contractors.

Posting here as a matter of education because many people still believe that there are no real reasons for pushing for LGBTQ rights; that marriage is our only issue; that people have opinions and those are all we have to contend with.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

Filed under lgbtq education