Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day 40 Deeper-Learning Outcomes

Source: Martinez, M. (2014, November 13). 6 Rules to break for better, deeper-learning outcomes. Edutopia. Retrieved by http://www.edutopia.org/blog/rules-to-break-deeper-learning-monica-martinez

What is Sacred: There are a bunch of short blog articles that I am using as practice for the annotated bibliographies I want my students in intro to teaching to do so this is the first one. Not hard reading, just a practice into reading about teaching.

This one is a break down of rules to break in order to allow deeper learning to happen. The post explains each thing more and links to the author's book. 

 There is an evolving research base that continues to validate what happens in the classroom when we reimagine teaching and learning to be more active and relevant. So go ahead and break rules, particularly those 20th-century rules that stop us from moving to a place where students not only tune in, but are
empowered to self-direct their learning.
How it Connects:
I'm trying to do several things: get students to read work from practitioners, and refine their understanding of student engagement by letting them read about student engagement without telling them what they are reading about.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Day 39 - Wobblers and Bouncers

Light, N. (2016, November 11). Wobble chairs, bouncy balls let students wiggle while they work. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved from https://newsela.com/articles/wobble-chairs/id/23767/

What is Sacred:
I don't know about sacred, but this article is about flexible seating, specifically using seating options other than the traditional chair or desk with table that some of the high schools still use. Instead, at about $70/chair, teachers are bringing in these wobble chairs. The article is about why they do that and what the results are.
1. It's not for every child, so if you got rid of all of your old chairs or stools, retrieve them back
2. It does help as a differentiation strategy for some students who need to fidget to think

Connections to my Current/Future Work:
I observed this particular chair at one of the Hawaii elementary schools. I was doing a lesson observation of one of my students and at the back of the room, there was one child with this chair. Everyone else had traditional 4 feet on the ground chairs. Even with the chair the student was a pacer and a very fast thinker (the topic I observed was math), so he would get reminders from the mentor teacher to go back to his seat. I think this is actually his seat which is why there was only one.

My colleague observed another of my student teachers and in her room, some students were sitting on couches, some on traditional chairs and some on yoga balls. This was not just on independent work time but during the lesson. My colleague said that the girls on the yoga ball seem engaged but the bounced for the whole period. I think the bouncing was bothering my colleague. We are dinosaurs after all.

I used to have alternative seating in my classroom too, but it was always a time and place for me. I never talk all period, but run my class via mini lessons and then minds on/hands on  so when they need to be paying attention, I need to see their eyes and read their body language. The bouncing is distracting because I have spent years honing my periphery vision and keen middle school hearing so I am easily distracted.

I expect to see more of this in the classroom, but I hope that we don't throw our furniture away. Just offer options.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Day 38: For Love of Words

Bhabha, H. K. (2012). The location of culture. Routledge.

What is Sacred:
I am slowly going through this because it is too much to gorge. But the writing is beautiful and I am attracted to the beauty of prose. Here is a snippet from the beginning of chapter 8 DissemiNation. This chapter starts with his musings on his own migration.

I have lived that moment of the scattering of the people that in other times and other places, in the nations of others, becomes a time of gathering. Gatherings of exiles and emigres and refugees; gathering on the edge of 'foreign' cultures; gathering at the frontiers; gatherings in the ghettos or cafes of city centres; gathering in the half-life, half-light of foreign tongues, or in the uncanny fluency of another's language; gathering of the signs of approval and acceptance, degrees, discourses, disciplines; gathering the memories of underdevelopment, of other words lived retroactively; gathering the past in a ritual of revival; gathering the present. Also the gathering of people in the diaspora: indentured, migrant, interned; the gathering of incriminatory statistics, educational performance, legal statutes, immigration status--the genealogy of that lonely figure that John Berger named the seventh man. The gathering of clouds from which the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish asks "where should the birds fly after the last sky?" (139)

Connections to Current/Future Work:
To write like this. To force the reader, through an inundation of imagery and mystery to keep reading. To reveal just enough. To slick the water with palu and bring the fish in.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 37: Warming and Cooling the Classroom

Dicicco, M. & Cook, C. (2015, September). Community warming: Creating a climate that engages all students. American Middle Level Educators 3 (2), 24-26. 

What is Sacred:
I am trying to create my own "book" of resources for my introduction to middle/secondary level education so I am going through my stash of AMLE magazines because they are written like middle school teachers - short, to the point, with useful information that can be implemented tomorrow.

There isn't much that is totally new, or that I don't already have in some shape or form in my own teaching toolbox, but I'm not making this for me, but rather for my teacher education students who are going into their second field experience of their journey. 

This article is about cooling the classroom, warming the classroom, keeping it warm - in other words it is about how to create relationships, strategies that can help that as well as how to keep it up even when you are doing curriculum.

I like this quote under "be positive":
find ways to laugh with students, and focus on student strengths to encourage and engage students.
I think that is the key to middle school. You have to have a sense of humor, big time. People that cannot laugh at themselves, laugh at situations, people who are too serious, prone to freak outs and crying - they need to not be at the middle school level. Go to high school or better yet, come to the college level.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
I am going to use this for my EDEF 345 course but more importantly we will model some of these things. I put 2 truths and a lie down because I know it works, but also I wanted to talk about how that can be used in content. I liked their suggestion of 2 successes and a challenge. That is a good way to talk about their field experiences not just in EDEF 345 but also my secondary practicum course. Heck, even my intro to teaching course. Three out of my four classes are in the schools which is why this will come in handy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Day 36 Defining Cultural Humility

Waters, A. & Asbill, L. (2013, August). Reflections on cultural humility. CYF NEWS: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/newsletter/2013/08/cultural-humility.aspx

What is Sacred:
I have been sitting on this little one page article for months and I'm not sure why. I kept reading and re-reading the first line, knowing tat I was going to use it, but it has been an open tab on my Chrome for a long time. 

This is a short definition piece for cultural humility. It is the written elevator speech that helps to define what I am trying to do and what I need to do. 

So nutshell of an already shortened piece:
Cultural humility - "ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person]" (Hook, Davis, Owen, Worthington, & Utsey, 2013, p.2). 
3 factors guide a sojourner toward cultural himility
  1. lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique - we never arrive at a point where we are done learning. Therefore,  we must be humble and flexible, bold enough to look at ourselves critically and desire to learn more. Understanding is only as powerful as the action that follows (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998).
  2. desire to fix power imbalances where none ought to exist (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998).
  3. aspiring to develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for others - we cannot individually commit to self-evaluation and fixing power imbalances without advocating within the larger organizations in which we participate. It is larger than our individual selves (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998). 
Connections to Current/Future Work:
 I am incorporating reflection and the what you going to do aspect of self-reflection in my courses this year. I think I want to use video for those conversations.

I think I need to be more clear about power imbalances in my writing even though I don't always want to do that. There is a fine balance between informing and whining.

I am definitely working on building relationships with groups in the community who do this type of work and bringing a little mea ʻai to the table so that I can then ask for kōkua.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Day 35: Teacher Education Program Assessments

Ronfeldt, M. & Campbell, S. (2016, June 13). Evaluating teacher preparation using graduates' observational ratings. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 20(10), 1-23.

What is Sacred:
Our department likes to collect data from our students, from our mentor teachers, from our alumni. I am a self-proclaimed anti-data person, but I am also in charge of new teacher induction so I need to know what our new alumni need to know. Also with different teacher preparation programs popping up in Hawaiʻi, what makes us different? Which program is more effective for our teachers and our community? What makes a program more effective?

These are the questions I was looking for but the answer is always more complex than just do this or don't do that. The research really looked at using both observational ratings from graduates as well as other data like how much experience student teachers have before they graduate to try and create a clearer picture.

The conclusion was that the observational ratings have potential and they are more effective when paired with other types of assessments. As far as what really makes an effective program, there is not enough data to create a picture for that. 

Connection to Current/Future Work:
I don't know about connection, I just know that data is hard to understand, statistics are not my thing and academic writing is not aesthetically pleasing or very readable for me. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 34: This is Just to Say

Source: Parker, I. (2016, Sept. 12). Pete Wells has his knives out: How the New York Times critic writes the reviews that make and break restaurants [Online Profiles]. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/12/pete-wells-the-new-york-times-restaurant-critic

What is Sacred: 
I don't know about sacred except that good writing is sacred. Writers who can write for the The New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post - they have figured out how to post three columns a week and still produce writing worth reading. This is a profile of Pete Wells, the restaurant critic for the Times and what his process is. It is a lot of eating out and many balls in the air, many unwritten articles waiting for the right ball to land. It is also about compassion when delivering bad news for chefs. It reminds me of the movie Chef. It reminds me of my philosophy of feedback and how as I get older and have been in this longer, it is about compassion without compromise. I will still say I think your writing or your lesson or your planning failed, but I will try to be less passionate about it My passion comes off as anger because students do not understand the whole teaching with love and rage thing. 

Really I wanted to know how he gets through the not wanting to write. Pete Wells has some techniques. I am especially interested in those Oblique Strategies cards by Brian Eno. Mostly, though, he has an understanding that he can whine to others in the same way that Chang whines and swears, self-reflects, whines some more and then moves forward, but this is his job. He is a writer. According to Chang, what Wells replied that is perhaps most sacred here, "This is the life you chose."

Connections to Current/Future Work:
This is just to say, I needed to rant because I am feeling sorry for myself and I cannot write or look at my writing to revise. Even if I continually read and write down connections, I cannot put the pieces together.

I am beating myself up on voice issues. I am worrying about the word as if I were writing poetry, which I am not. I cannot seem to figure out who I am after the years of figuring out the kind of poet I am, it does not hold for academic writing, although I keep trying. Just get the freaking thing done. What is the message. It is the same with the poem. What is the message? What is worth reading? What is the sacred? Reveal it!!! 

Bottom line, this is the life I chose, so stop sniveling, and do it. 

I did look up Oblique Strategies, and I am lazy and cheap so I found websites where people put up a random card. Here is what I got (I pressed it three times because I was looking for some explanation until I realized the cards have none, thus they are oblique.)
  • Accept advice (yes I am trying to give myself advice - big straw - suck it up; do the work, dammit - as well as follow my advice since accepting is different from acting on)
  • Infinitessimal gradations -I don't know how to spell that and I pressed it again to get another card, so. . . yes, I see that. The connections I make with other pieces are my gradations that need to be put together, or not. See the infinite in a grain of sand.
  • Do the washing up. Yes. ok. I like this. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Day 33: What to Teach in Methods Courses

Ours, K.E. (2015) "I learned it in my methods course": How secondary English/language arts teachers learn about writing instruction before graduation. Masters Essays. 

What is Sacred:
This paper is on a study of what kinds of skills/strategies should be taught in an English/language arts methods course. One agreement and one surprise:

Although philosophy of the content is important, writing process is very important. Agree. 

Bring in language arts teachers from the community to talk about their craft. Duh. Why didn't I think about that.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
The writing process, what it feels like, how it can be done is important for my content area teachers because it demystifies the mystery. It takes the stigma of reading and writing  out of the language arts realms.

For my methods courses, definitely start looking for those mentor teachers that I want to invite to speak in the classroom. 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Day 32: Life Before the Internet

Source: Mirani, L. (2014, August 21). Going Walden: What it feel like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet [Web log]. Retrieved from http://qz.com/252456/what-it-feels-like-to-be-the-last-generation-to-remember-life-before-the-internet/

What is Sacred:
I am reading a lot of summaries. I think it is about teaching the course on literature reviews which is all about being able to summarize larger works, so my tolerance for larger works is giving way to just wanting to read the summaries and see people put their thoughts together as model texts for what I want my master's students to do. More like wishful hoping?

This summary of Michael Harris' (above) book The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection gives a fair reading of the book. It is balanced and does not fall into the trap of personalizing someone else's message in order to tout your own agenda. Nice.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
This really is a read for me and not really for anything other than that. Can I get students to create summaries that link to what they are going to talk about, but keep that agenda out of summaries? I really don't normally do that kind of instruction. I rely on the English 100 and English 200 composition instructors to do that work. I think it was purposeful on my part to get my graduate degrees in education rather than English - mainly I don't want to teach composition as a course anymore. But I digress.

This is for me, as a BI/AI traveler to remind myself that when I feel like I must check in or check my email, check my feeds, etc., I am spending that time because I am afraid I am missing out. I need this to remind myself that when I tell people I am unplugging for the weekend, it should not matter if others do not understand me. I am embracing my Jurassic side that holds on to life before the Internet as an idyllic time where communication meant an ability to plan ahead, talk it out before leaving the house, and then figuring it out with all the critical thinking power of our own brain sans technology.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Day 31: Kranzberg's Six Laws

Sacasas, M. (2011, August 25). Kranzberg's six laws of technology, a metaphor, and a story [Web log]. Retrieved from https://thefrailestthing.com/2011/08/25/kranzbergs-six-laws-of-technology-a-metaphor-and-a-story/

What is Sacred:
This is a link from a link from a link. As someone born before 1985, and a dying breed of humans who exist as both BI and AI navigators (before internet - after internet), Kranzberg's six laws of technology are indeed both metaphor and story. 

I have been on an annotated bibliography, summary kick, but the writing is superb. Go read the link from the source instead as my writing a summary of Sacasas' summary will be disrespectful of the words on screen. 

Connections to Current/Future Work:
I hone in on the fifth law: all history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant. 

Let's talk about that. I want to have that conversation with my secondary social studies candidates. My colleague and I want to produce secondary teacher candidates that are political about how they teach, political about what they teach. We want them to approach their curriculum as cogent beings. 
I chose this picture above as my own starting point to this conversation of the laws, so let's dialogue. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Day 30: Habit is a Cable

Costa, A. & Kalick, B. (2009). Habit is a cable. In A. Costa & B. Kalick (Eds.), Habits of mind across the curriculum: Practical and creative strategies for teachers (2-7). Alexandria: ASCD.

What is Sacred:
This is the first chapter of a book with an obvious title and it is just going over what the rest of the book will be talking about.

The need to know: Habits of Mind can weave through every content. It serves as the "warp" for the curriculum and the content or courses of study are the "weft."  I had to look it up since it doesn't really explain that analogy in this chapter. Basically, the warp and weft make up the basic elements of all textile weaving, so that is the metaphor.

Connections to Current/Future Work:

I think I will try this out in my courses as a reflection piece, but then as I learn and they learn, perhaps it can be a warp and weft throughout.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Day 29: Multi-genre Texts as a Political Statement

Source: Jung, J. (2005). Do I belong "in" rhet/comp? Revision, identity and multigenre texts. Studies in writing and rhetoric: Revisionary rhetoric, feminist pedagogy, and multigenre texts (29-55) Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press.

What is Sacred:
Sometimes (most times) I do things a certain way because I know it's right for me and I know what my intentions are, but they are still hidden. Then I read something that has been sitting in my must read folder and the skies open up because someone wrote something that I was thinking. This is one of those. This is a complicated, look up words in the dictionary chapter to a very long titled book, but it was highlight AND take notes worthy, so I am putting it in my highlighted folder in Evernote for now until I figure out where to put it.

This is about the multigenre essay form as a rhetorical strategy to be heard through disruption and juxtaposition. It specifically talks about the metadiscursive commentary and intertextuality as strategies that enable this kind of rhetoric to form a paradox of writing that enables the writer to both listen and to be heard (30). 

The idea of metadiscusivity is that the writer continues to question self, viewpoint, perspective with the idea that knowledge is always partial, even contradictory, so (I am making up and trying to make meaning here, I may be way off) we choose our truth and our lens, even if it contradicts with the standard truth and lens -- purposefully. The juxtopositioning, then is a political weapon as a writer. 

While the metadiscursive moment reaches toward "another" voice, the intertextuality moment "reaches back, filling in gaps with new and different versions that both work against and support the central text" (31).  The way I look at it and I think I wrote this in my dissertation, this is one story, not this is THE story. 

There is more. There is so much more.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
This gives me the words to fix my mo'o piece. It makes it more publishable because it hones in on purpose and uses authors that I want to use like Anzaldua.

This gives me a different view into Anzaldua and her own multigenre piece on Borderlands.

This gives me a talking point with my multigenre project for EDUC 410 such that I extracted five pages and inserted start and stop points so that we could practice STOP(stop to orally process) which is a helpful strategy for content area literacy.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Day 28: Effective Reflective Practice

Loughran, J. J. (2002). Effective reflective practice in search of meaning in learning about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 33-43. 

What is Sacred:
What I know for sure is that a reflective teacher is an effective teacher, so I have been working on upping the reflection game from the intro to teaching course up to the last practicum in an attempt to get teacher candidates not just practicing reflection on their experience, but sharing it and now, according to this article, using what is shared to create some common assertions around a problem of practice. That is a new aha for me. 

I think what is most sacred about this is its emphasis on examining a variety of view points by first "seeing." That is easier said than done sometimes because we have to get rid of our assumptions in order to really see and be able to spot problems. I like this rationale the most:
To counter the likelihood that practice may be routinized, teacher educators and their student teachers need to pay particular attention to the nature of the problems they are confronted by in their teaching about teaching and their learning about learning. (34)
That's the key, I think. You cannot acknowledge, or ACT upon a problem if you do not see it as a problem. If it is just "the way things are" (students are bored, disengaged, etc. because THEY _____  - insert rationale here - poor, lazy, poor home life. . .) then we don't have any power to change that.

Connection to Current/Future Work: 
I have been in this game for a while, it is like my apps. I have my preferences, I know what I like so I don't tend to drop everything for the newest thing (no Pokemon Go). I believe in nurturing creative practitioners. I didn't need to be sold on that, but what I truly can use in this article is the next step - share your reflection so that others can see that they are not alone, that they can solve problems together, etc. BUT the add on - now that you shared, meet together in small groups to debrief the sharing and come up with some common assertions based on the reflections.

Now we're cooking with gas (I don't know what that means).

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Day 27: Being a Mindful Chef

DʻAglas, N. (2009). Cooking habits. In A. Costa & Kalick, B. (Eds.), Habits of Mind Across the Curriculum: Practical and Cretive Strategies for Teachers (8-13). Alexandria: ASCD.

What is Sacred:
I have been thinking about incorporating habits of mind in the student reflections as a lens to look at growth, so I am reading some of the chapters. This chapter is about how the individual habits of mind can relate to becoming a better chef.

Connections to Current/Future Work:
I am going to give the habits of mind with some of the examples of the cook to the students or just give them this short chapter and have them use the similar metaphor to come up with their own connections. One week done. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Day 26: Social Justice Reminders

DellʻAngelo, T. (2014, September 29). Creating classrooms for social justice. [Web log]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/creating-classrooms-for-social-justice-tabitha-dellangelo

What is Sacred:
This is not really an article, more a reminder - social justice, defined as recognizing and acting on the power that we have for making positive change - is a good thing. It is necessary. Some of us spend all of our careers fighting for social justice in education. This is just a gentle reminder.

when making curriculum decisions, consider, value, build on the diverse prior learning experiences of students
Other focuses - creating community, making learning relevant, creating authentic assessment

Connections to Current/Future Work:
This does not replace the social justice focus that I talk about throughout the pre-service journey, but I can use this along with a TEDx talk to create a discussion point.

If parents were educators themselves, I think what they want for their children from their teachers is social justice. They want their children to learn in a community of learners. They want their children to be in a classroom where teachers are making learning relevant. I think if parents were educators, that is what they would ask for. I know that is what I asked for, and seriously, I tried to be as silent a partner as possible in my boysʻ educations because I know what it is to be a teacher and get questioned by parents. But when I did blow up, and yes it was always a biggie - apologies to the teachers - it really had to do with a social injustice issued in the classroom. Fairness and compassion and transformation not punishment.

So social justice is as simple as asking students what they are interested in, where they come from, who they are, what do they think, and then really listen and plan accordingly.