Category Archives: #Kinderblog13

Brag – #Kinderblog13

This week, our colleagues in the #kinderchat #Kinderblog13 Challenge are asked to brag a bit, to tell something about themselves that is special.  I have a few ideas running around in my head but I will limit myself to one important one.  It’s not that I am super special but I can see some traits that serve me well in the classroom and out.

I LOVE to learn!   I seek out opportunities for learning and explore communities online to find nuggets or gems to add to my bag of skills and tricks.  This involves a certain amount of risk taking and that’s another cool quality to own.

Being a professional means staying on top of the craft as well as the science.  By following great folks on Twitter and by curating blog posts for  Scoop.it/Kindergarten, I come across loads of great ideas every day and they invariably help me see my job in a new light.  As an active member of my communities, I pass on much of what has appealed to me.

clmooc_site_logo This summer I am participating in #CLMOOC, a Google+ community of education minded folks.   The community is encouraging teachers on all ends of the tech spectrum to learn more about their own practice and demonstrating new tools for sharing our thinking.

I am also completing another MOOC through Stanford UniversityHow To Teach Math.  That one is full of reflections and peer sharing. I love the pace of it and the way the developers have blended videos with reflection almost seamlessly. I highly recommend this one.

Math_1Here is the response I drafted to a recent prompt:

Question:If you wanted to take on this new evidence on brain growth and ability, how would it change what you do?
Response
I will approach student learning with a clearer understanding that the students’ brains need to be exercised more.  Not by drills but by discerning where they are in the learning path, and by targeting instruction to shore up the weak areas of their foundations.  It will give them more connections for future learning and understanding. This does not need to apply only to math but to other subjects as well such as reading.

Learning new things? – yep, that’s what I am good at.

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Peace In Kindergarten

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Peace Jan. 2013, a set on Flickr.

Peace is pretty simple in the kindergarten classroom. It is the thing that holds us together as a community.

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My Confession Is Also My Credo

Since I am participating in a couple of online community challenges this summer, I thought it would be neat to connect the 2 of them whenever possible. The #Kinderblog13 blogging challenge and the #clmooc on Google+/Twitter/Flickr are both looking for some reflections this week.

As a kindergarten teacher, I am increasingly asked to teach a strong academic program.  I confess that I am at odds with this approach.  The world of exploration and discovery will always be the place of ideal teaching and learning, at least in my mind and heart.

The movers and shakers who are directing education (CCSS and educator evaluation) are forcing teachers to move away from the more natural learning environments and instead pushing us to create and show very specific results every step of the way.

The focus is on demonstrating student learning through assessments. The more time I spend on assessing, recording, graphing, checking off, reporting student learning, the less time I have for creating more meaningful learning opportunities.

It boils down to time.  Time that is in short supply.  Time that ends up being taken away from other aspects of my personal and professional life.

Teachers are being drawn to $$ boxed curricula, at least in part, because they need the ready-made assessments to present the teaching and learning and therefore prove their own mastery of curriculum planning and assessment.  That also means they teach the $$ boxed program to achieve those learning goals prescribed by the assessments.  I am at odds with the strong academics being foisted on early childhood education.

That is my confession.  My credo is always going to be challenged by the market-driven $$ powers that be.  Let’s see if this year marks a change and I find a healthy balance between my own credo and the needs of the evaluators.

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