Monday, November 29, 2010

Empowering Education (Connection)

  This article was a very long but interesting article. While reading this article I noticed a few points reminded me of articles we have read in class.
    As I was reading Finns and Oakes was the first article that crossed my mind. In those two articles the talk about tracking and how it teaches the "high" ability kids to think outside of the box while the "lower" performing students have to stick with tedious worksheets that don't force them to think outside of the box. It also talks about by putting students in tracking class rooms you are basically placing them for the outside world as well. In the article that we just read Shor talks about how we need the kids to look beyond what is right in front of them and classrooms should be doing this. "If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted". We need to force kids to look beyond the text in front of them and look at the bigger picture. "Not encouraging students to question knowledge, society and experience tacitly endorses and suports the status quo".

 I also found that I could relate this article to Johnson. Johnson tells us to say th word and talk more about different things so that we can have a better understand of what is going on. In this article Shor begins by telling us how we should talk and question why we go to school. "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school". "A school year that begins by questioning school could be a remarkably democratic and critical learning experience for students". By having your class do this it makes them think out side those four walls and it gived them a chance to have a better understanding of why they are there and not just becuase their parents force them to.

  In class I would like to discuss how to come up with fun creative ways to make students think outside of the box.

I found this article to be interesting.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Promising Practice Conference

  At first I wasn't at all excited about this conference. I didn't really know what to expect. All I knew was that I had to get up extremely early on a Saturday morning. I was not at all thrilled about this. I went into Donavon and received my folder I noticed that for both the workshops I had received my first choice. I kind of forgot about which workshops I chose. When I was reading the information on the I became pretty excited. I really enjoyed the workshops.
  My first workshop was Horton: Digitally Organizing your thoughts. I was unsure what this workshop was going to be like when I signed up for it. But I knew the teacher Connie Horton, from the semester before she was my technology teacher. I really enjoyed her class she is very upbeat and teaches really well, I learned a lot from her. Her workshop was just as informative as I had hoped. She taught us how to create webs on the computer. She had us try organizing one on our own we had to organize our Sunday. She showed us the different tools you can use in Inspiration 8.This program creates different kinds of wed designs. I found this to be very useful. It's something I think I can use in my future classroom. It is very important to organize your thoughts before you sit down and write a paper. I really enjoyed this workshop. Here is the Slideshow she showed us in the workshop.
  I found my second workshop, Horwitz et al: Photovoice as a self-study research tool, to be very informative. In this workshop I learned that Photovoice is very important its an easy way for kids to express themselves. In Johnsons article he talks about how we must say the words.I think Photovoice is a way for people to show others tghe different issues going on because it's not easy to just talk about it. Kids often have a difficult time saying what they want to say and have a difficult time expressing who they are. Photovoice gives them this opurtunity to say what they need to say through a picture. I really liked this workshop because I love taking pictures and I love photography.This workshop did get a little dull at times she gave us some bachround information about photovoice. Then there were 4 students that got up and talked to us about their photovoice project. They had to go out around Rhode Island and take pictures about literacy. This is when the workshop bacame a little confusing. It was almost like they talked more about literacy and their projects then they did about photovoice. Besides that part I enjoyed learning about photovoice and how it is a very useful tool for students.
Here are two articles that explain more about photovoice and its impotance:

  I found this conference to be an overall sucess. I really enjoyed the workshops that I attended even if it was extremely early on a Saturday morning. These workshops were very informative and I think they will be very useful in my future classroom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome (Reflection)

  I found this article to be very interesting I feel like I learned a lot and I also feel like I can relate to this article. I don't have a learning disability but I do have a physical disability so I know what its like to feel like someone is judging me. "people without disabilities are judging us". I have CMT which causes weakness in the muscles in my lower legs and hands because of this disability I sometimes have to wear leg braces. I am always very self conscious of this of people staring at me or judging me just because I am a little different.
    "Community requires a willingness to see people as they are different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or in their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society". People have a way of judging before they truly understand. People with disabilities are some of the strongest people anyone will ever meet. They are fighting a battle everyday that they can overcome and get past to be able to be accepted in society.
   I also understand what it feels like to be singled out at school because of my disability. Because of my disability I couldn't do all the activities like everyone else. When I went to high school I remember a gym teacher yelling at me because I wouldn't do jumping jacks but I was embarrassed I didn't want to tell her why I couldn't do the jumping jacks in front of the whole class. My cousin was in that class and he knew exactly why I wasn't doing what I was suppose to in class so he basically yelled at the teacher telling her I couldn't do it and the teacher stoped. At the end of the class I told the teacher the reason I wasn't doing everything I was suppose to. I never wanted to be singled out I wanted to be treated like I was normal. All I wanted was for the gym teachers to be aware of this so they wouldn't single me out. In elementary school I did have to take a "special" gym class but that didn't last very long. I also didn't like that I was being singled out. I feel that kids with disabilities should be able to be in a regular classroom with everyone else. They just might need a teachers aid to give them a little more attention but its good for the kid to interact with kids without disabilities and it is also good for the students without disabilities to interact with them so they can understand a little better about what their peer is going through and wont jump right away to judgement.

 In class I would like to talk more about if it's a good idea to put a student with disability into a class where kids don't have disabilities.

If you want too know more about CMT 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oakes and Finns (quotes)

  I found these two articles to be very informative. They really made me think. Like in the article by Oakes I never really thought about seperating kids in "low ability classes" and high could be an issue for kids.

 "Students who need more time to learn appear to get less; those who have the most difficulty learning seem to have fewer of the best teachers".
    This quote really stood out to me. I actually had a converstaion about this with my friends. This actually happens at RIC. For example the kids who are undeclared dont have a set advisor. These are the kids that need the most guidence and here at school they are recieving the less. The students who have a major have a set advisor. Those students already know what they want they don't nees as much guidence as the students without a major and who are unsure of what they want.

  "If students of all abilities are to benefit from being taught together, classrooms will probably need to be organized differently, providing a diversity of tasks and interactions with few "public" comparisons of students ability".

   This quote explains that if they were to mix students with different abilities the teacher would have to mix up their ways of teaching particular things to make sure that everyone understood what they were being taught. It could be a good thing to mix students in a different class the students with a low ability could be motivated by the students with higher abilities. If the students were to be mixed though it would be a lot of work for the teachers. So this could go either way.

  "Most public displays are well-enough meant; good work shown as a matter of pride, intended to motivate and provide examples for others. But too often they are convenient and irresistable oppurtunities for comparison".

  Teachers tend to compare students to others, by showing kids works when they do well and praising them. This can be damaging to the kids that do poorly. This could bring them down instead of motivating them to do better which could be their intention.

In class I would like to talk more about if its a good thing to seperate students or can it be damaging to the students with lower abilities.

Grouping kids by ability

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gender and Education (Hyperlinks)

    Gender Gap for the Gifted in City Schools
   This article is very interesting. I have heard that girls tend to do better in school than boys do and this website says that they are unsure why this is, they only have theories. One of their theroies is that the standarized tests favor the girls. "Among the most popular is the idea that young girls are favored by the standardized tests the city uses to determine admission to gifted programs, because they tend to be more verbal and socially mature at ages 4 and 5 when they sit for the hourlong exam." Because of this not many boys are places in the gifted programs. "A 2002 study by the National Academy of Sciences reported that boys were “overrepresented in programs for learning disabilities, mental retardation and emotional disturbance, and slightly underrepresented in gifted programs,” Girls and boys tend to learn in completly different ways and the standarized tests tend to favor the girls.
       Geneder Gap in Education
     This article is about how girls and boys use different senses and learn by different ways. And schools generally teach their students certain ways that tend to be more suitable to the girls than the boys.  "The researchers found that while girls can easily process language in the abstract, boys depend more on their senses. The upshot is that boys may need to be taught both visually and verbally, while girls can learn equally well through either means and presumably have an easier time with learning because of it."

      This youtube video is very informative. Towards the end of the video they talk about a solution to teaching boys and girls differently. It also talks about why it is that boys and girls tend to learn in different ways.

   In class I would like to talk about what we as future teachers can do to make sure our lesson plans are suitable for both boys and girls.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brown v Board of Education and Wise video

    Last year I had to read Brown vs Board of education for my political science class and the different things we talked about in that class I found to be interesting.So, I learned a lot about these different cases like what I viewed on the website. I found it very sad that we had to set certain laws just so blacks could be treated equally. For example they chose to be "seperate but equal" but who was this really helping? In reality it wasnt equal. The whites had better schools while the blacks were placed into basements at schools. Like what happened in the case of "Sweat vs. Painter" This case is about a black man that applied for a white law school in Texas because they didn't have a law school for blacks set up. Instead of enrolling him into the school like every white student they set up a few rooms in the basements for them and had only three part time teachers. This was ruled unconstitutional. He was seperated but was it really equal?

     Wise's video shows me that after all this time their is still segregation all over the place. Looking at this video and reading the information on the website I have noticed that not much has changed over the years. We still have racism. Many people will argue that they didnt vote for Obama just because he was black or the other way around many people did vote for Obama because he was black.