I am looking at you, education tag!
I am currently working at a book warehouse of sorts (it is partially a bookstore as well) and, tragically, every day I am there the classic series books I grew up with are getting thrown away because they are not the books children are looking to own/purchase any more.
However, I suspect that some of these series could find a good home with nostalgic adults or a classroom.
What I would like to do is sell them by the box. So, if you are interested is a box of any of the following series (the books will be somewhat random) please let me know:
- Animorphs- a series about a group of kids up against a brainwashing slug aliens. The children in question have been given the power to change into any animal they touch- but there are limits to this. It’s a very imaginative and fun series for any budding scifi fans.
- Baby-Sitters Club- It is what the title says. In addition to being a classic “girls” series, it also teaches a lot of practical business savvy and encourages readers to work in groups.
- Sweet Valley Twins/High/ect.- Focuses on the lives of the Wakefield twins, the ever practical and conforming Elisabeth and the always rebellious and fun seeking Jessica. A great source of VERBS.
I will update this list if more series books are being added to it. I will also take a picture of one of the boxes on Monday so you can get a feel for the size!
Pricing by the box is uncertain, but feel free to make me an offer! It is horribly depressing to see these books go, even if it is to be recycled into new books.
I was saying to Colleen (the kind soul trying to adopt out these books) that I almost wanted to snag some Babysitters Club books and try to rewrite them with a more updated setting.
Then I thought, “How cool a project would THAT be, to give these to kids and ask THEM to do that?” Pick out the things that remain constant — themes, conflicts, relationships, etc. — and things that might have gotten stale — technology, dialogue/slang, references, etc. — and deconstrust and reconstruct it?
Any takers? Could be a very cool project for the future.
I’ve been working for the past three months in a marketing agency office job that has nothing to do with education — though I managed to try pushing an education-related initiative there that might go somewhere.
But if it doesn’t, since their ultimate intent is to sell something, I won’t be particularly wounded. I was going for the “build a loyal with good deeds and mentoring before you try to market,” which would have given the intended ‘base’ a good footing in their own careers without requiring them to pay any money. Subversive tactics, but powers, good, evil, something something.
And then something panned out: I was offered an entry position back in the area I’d been living when I was last working with kids doing clinical work for youth and families, something between mental health counseling and social work. It’s education, but a different kind of education. As such, the self-originated posts here are going to be both more general commentary on education issues as they come across my dash (or tv, or brain), and more focused educational posts in the realm of psych/therapeutic stuff that might be relevant to people in the classroom (or afterschool program, or youth center, etc etc). The latter is going to take some time to build up, but also some suggestions and requests, as it’s a big wide field out there and there’s a lot to be of use.
I won’t be able to get personal about the people I’m serving. It’s a different ballgame. Going through the case studies in a practice of the assessment tool I’ll be using is sobering, illuminating, and driving — and it’s clear very immediately that I will not be able to talk about my kids or their families on a public forum, at all, even anecdotally and anonymously.
You guys have been wonderful. I will still be here. Please don’t hesitate to send me asks, whether it’s education-related or youth-related or LGBTQ-related or nothing-related-really-but-just-curiosity. I can be textbook, buddy, advice column, and commentator. I love this community and what it’s done for me, and I am stubbornly sticking around.
Sometimes, I wish I could ban my students from saying the word “gay” unless we’re specifically talking about homosexual people. Today one kid said that the ceiling was gay. Ceiling can’t be gay. Ceiling can’t even be straight. Ceiling is ceiling. Ceiling’s sexual preference is light bulb.
You can, or at least myself and other teachers have done so. But considering it’s derogatory slang, I don’t see why a school would have a problem with that classroom policy.
Adding captivating visuals to a textbook lesson to attract children’s interest may sometimes make it harder for them to learn, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that 6- to 8-year-old children best learned how to read simple bar graphs when the graphs were plain and a single color.
Children who were taught using graphs with images (like shoes or flowers) on the bars didn’t learn the lesson as well and sometimes tried counting the images rather than relying on the height of the bars.
“Graphs with pictures may be more visually appealing and engaging to children than those without pictures. However, engagement in the task does not guarantee that children are focusing their attention on the information and procedures they need to learn. Instead, they may be focusing on superficial features,” said Jennifer Kaminski, co-author of the study and research scientist in psychology at The Ohio State University.
Kaminski conducted the study with Vladimir Sloutsky, professor of psychology at Ohio State.
The problem of distracting visuals is not just an academic issue. In the study, the authors cite real-life examples of colorful, engaging – and possibly confusing - bar graphs in educational materials aimed at children, as well as in the popular media.
And when the authors asked 16 kindergarten and elementary school teachers whether they would use the visually appealing graphs featured in this study, all of them said they would. Intuitively, most of these teachers felt that the graphs with the pictures would be more effective for instruction than the graphs without, according to the researchers.
The findings apply beyond learning graphs and mathematics, the authors said.
“When designing instructional material, we need to consider children’s developing ability to focus their attention and make sure that the material helps them focus on the right things,” Kaminski said.
“Any unnecessary visual information may distract children from the very procedures we want them to learn.”
The study appears online in the Journal of Educational Psychology and will appear in a future print edition.
The main study involved 122 students in kindergarten, first and second grade. All were tested individually.
The experiment began with a training phase where a researcher showed each child a graph on a computer screen and taught him or her how to read it. The children were then tested on three graphs to see if they could accurately interpret them.
The graphs in the training phase involved how many shoes were in a lost and found for each of five weeks. Half the students were presented with graphs in which the bars were a solid color. The other students were shown graphs in which the bars contained pictures of shoes. The number of shoes in the bars was equal to the corresponding y-value on the graph. In other words, if there were five shoes in the lost and found, there were five shoes pictured in the bar.
After the training phase, the children were tested on new graphs in which the bars were either solid-colored or contained pictures of objects such as flowers. However, the number of objects pictured did not equal the correct y-value for the bar. In other words, the bar value could equal 14 flowers, but only seven flowers were pictured.
“This allowed us to clearly identify which students learned the correct way to read a bar graph from those who simply counted the number of objects in each bar,” Sloutsky said.
Sure enough, children who trained with the pictures on the graph were more likely than others to get the answers wrong by simply counting the objects in each bar.
All of the first- and second-graders and 75 percent of the kindergarten children who learned on the solid-bar graphs appropriately read the new graphs.
However, those who learned with the more visually appealing shoe graphs did not do nearly as well. In this case, 90 percent of kindergarteners and 72 percent of first-graders responded by counting the number of flowers pictured. Second-graders did better, but still about 30 percent responded by counting.
All the children were then tested again with graphs that featured patterned bars, with either stripes or polka dots within each bar.
Again, those who learned from the more visually appealing graphs did worse at interpreting these patterned graphs.
“To our surprise, some children tried to count all the tiny polka dots or stripes in the bars. They clearly didn’t learn the correct way to read the graphs,” Kaminski said.
The researchers conducted several other related experiments to confirm the results and make sure there weren’t other explanations for the findings. In one experiment, some children were trained on graphs with pictures of objects. But in this case, the number of objects pictured was not even close to the correct value of the bar, so the students could not use counting as a strategy.
Still, these children did not do as well on subsequent tests as did those who learned on the graphs with single-colored bars.
“When teaching children new math concepts, keeping material simple is very important,” Sloutsky said.
“Any extraneous information we provide, even with the best of intentions, to make the lesson more interesting may actually hurt learning because it may be misinterpreted,” he said.
The researchers said these results don’t mean that textbook authors or others can never use interesting visuals or other techniques to capture the interest of students.
“But they need to study how such material will affect students’ attention. You can’t assume that it is beneficial just because it is colorful; in can affect learning by distracting attention from what is relevant,” Sloutsky said.
I’m not in the classroom anymore, for now, and it seems like that’s something educators might benefit from. From what I’ve seen, the amount and tone of psych that ends up in teacher education programs is…well, there’s a lot of stuff out there that could be very valuable that doesn’t seem to make it in.
If that’s the case, I’ll need to make a vague posting schedule and a list of topics, on top of putting things together to respond to what’s going on around the tumblrsphere.
This was a question that’d been put out there before, so let me try it a different sort of way. Instead of specific psych topics, is there anything that you wonder about the reasoning behind? Are there things you do in the classroom that make you wonder why they do or don’t work? Are there things you’ve glanced in journals that you want to see more of or ideas mentioned in your education courses that you wish they’d gone into more in-depth?
What do you want to see?
A lot of trans women have had their lives pawed over by the media when they transition, their privacy invaded at a time which is massively stressful anyway. I remember the first time I went out dressed in female clothes. The fear that I had was almost unbearable, I was convinced that every person I saw would know, and would hurl abuse at me or attack me. It was terrifying, and it continued to be terrifying for years afterwards, even though there were very few occasions where I was read as male.
I can only imagine what it’s like for that fear to become a reality, to be hounded in the press for just being yourself at a time when you’re having to deal with incredible mental and emotional pressures. The 5% of people who seem to still have such a problem with trans people that they’d give them abuse being given this information, where you live, where you work and having their prejudices backed up by a national newspaper. It’s just unbearable to think of.
I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened before now. Lucy’s body was found at her home on Tuesday afternoon. Some are saying it’s suicide, there’s no suspicious circumstances.
I’d hoped that 13 years on and 13 miles away life would be better for someone who had the same realisation to come to that I did. Unfortunately it wasn’t, and it won’t be until people are educated enough to not think of being trans as something so unbelievably weird that it deserves national press coverage.
The tone of the Littlejohn piece was “won’t someone think of the children?” My brother’s children were primary school age when I came out, they saw every step of what I went through, and you know what? They’re kids. EVERYTHING’S NEW AND WEIRD TO THEM. They dealt with it. They dealt with it better than they dealt with finding out there’s no Santa Claus” —
Comedian Bethany Black on the death or trans teacher Lucy Meadows who was bullied by The Daily Mail.
Read her whole response here.
This is, if people use that word, a sin. This is something that never should have happened to this woman or to anyone else who makes changes in their life to be who they really are. I am saddened and disgusted, mortified and terrified, disappointed in the human race.
But I am hoping, hoping and passing the word and calling on people to get angry, hoping that this will never be able to happen again if we take notice, and call people out, and make it our resolution as a whole to never let this happen again.
I could talk about non-profit orgs and the way they function all day, but I forget that it’s something that’s useful to know in #education sometimes. It’s been awhile since I went sludging through grant databases and reposting opportunities. The behind-the-scenes nitty-gritty doesn’t exactly come up a lot.
So please don’t hesitate to ask when it comes to that sort of thing, and if I can’t answer off the top of my head I’ll find the answer from the resources I’m familiar with (and, if necessary, dig out some new ones).
If anyone sees any typos or blaring mistakes (i.e. a sentence lodged in the middle of another sentence) today, by all means poke me via message/fanmail. I’m working with a hyper-sensitive touch pad and am trying to type through painkillers.