brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Some articles about teaching & educational institutions I found interesting recently, many from the Crooked Timber group blog (which has a feed here on DW at [syndicated profile] crooked_timber_feed):

"Get your students to know each other and make them write for each other" on Crooked Timber

"How could a research university systematically improve undergraduate instruction?" on Crooked Timber

"Why have classroom discussions anyway?" on Crooked Timber

"New Directions in Open Education" on Hapgood:

We’re moving

From Classroom Exhaust to Customizable Copies
From MOOCS to Loosely-Coupled Classrooms
From One Best Book to Choral Explanations

To Build a Brick Wall: My First Six Months at MIT as an International Student – Hiro Ono's Odyssey":
These days, on every college campus in the US, you will find an army of Asian international students whose English is so poor that you can hardly communicate with them. Or perhaps, you would not have a chance to communicate with them anyway, since they always hang out with friends in the same ethnic group. They would not speak a word in class discussions, but solve math problems like machines. They would rarely come to socials, and even if they do, they would stay outside of conversations and keep smiling silently and mysteriously.

I was one of them eleven years ago.

I also enjoyed "teachers are laborers, not merchants" by Fredrik deBoer which seems to be unavailable, and the Internet Archive is momentarily unreachable, but it should be in there.
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Data Carpentry seeks a full-time Associate Director to lead the organization’s community engagement and education activities, to cultivate a healthy supportive community and provide mentorship and training to current and future instructors.

They're reviewing applications starting on 18 December. It's a telecommuting position you can do from anywhere with an internet connection. This is a growing nonprofit -- a sister organization to the healthy and growing Software Carpentry -- and worth looking into just for the free teaching resources on their site.
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
I've got another post up on using games as literature; this time, I focused on the research available around the impact of games on students, learning, and so on.

As before, any thoughts, comments, or critiques are welcome!
rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
I'm interested in hearing thoughts and feedback on the idea of using video games as texts in class; my first blog post in a series on this subject is about considering what 'literature' means in this context, and I'm happy to have disagreement or discussion on that, but the later posts will be more specifically about the use of games.

So, if you are interested in the idea, have negative or positive feedback, or even experience to share on the subject, I'd love to hear it! I'm especially interested in recommendations for games that might be used in a classroom, as my later posts will start to include critiques of such things.

~Nathan Rockwood
aqua_eyes: reese and finch from person of interest. reese is looking at finch with a little pink heart between them. (SPN - Sam & Dean - Case)
[personal profile] aqua_eyes

I am doing my teacher training (Post Compulsory Education - Art Teacher), and scrapping the bottom of the barrel for icebreakers! Lo and behold there is a dreamwidth community for teaching!

So what's your favourite icebreaker to teach, and what's your favourite to do?

ettegoom: (Dr who scarf)
[personal profile] ettegoom
The first one all year I think!!!

Maybe someone will start listening to the teachers... Not anyone in government I imagine, but the parents and the general public?

ettegoom: (Dr who scarf)
[personal profile] ettegoom

I came across the slide show in a place that shall remain unnamed, and added an appropriate song (Thanks Vostok Lake for an awesome cover of the song!)

I am kind of hoping that it will be spread around a bit to counter the rubbish that is being spread by the media and government... so feel free to refer it on to anyone - but no names attached at all please (request by the unnamed author of the original slide show - who doesn't want it possible to link it to any establishment)

redsnake05: Temple roof with a dragon on it seen against the sunset (General: Dragon temple roof)
[personal profile] redsnake05
It always seems odd to me, but how is the first little bit of the school year going for all you northern hemisphere types? If anyone has actual enthusiasm, please share. Also, what is your favourite way to start building relationships with your students?
ettegoom: art by Marcia Furmam (Default)
[personal profile] ettegoom
LEARNZ virtual field trips:
They do videos where they interview people and show videos of a range of different places around NZ over a short period of time (the idea being that you get a series of 'live' updates)
You can access the videos even after the field trips are finished, so the videos can be accessed and used at your discretion within your learning programme.
It is free for teachers to sign up.

ettegoom: art by Marcia Furmam (Default)
[personal profile] ettegoom
First, the websites (so I don't lose them)

Science Postcards -
Linked to picture books, these have fabulous, simple experiments that the kids can start with, and then move through the scientific process of modifying their proceedures to improve their conditions

- We did the basic experiment, then approached it from the "What if?" perspective - what if we....
- after brainstorming "what ifs" we then grouped them on a graphic organiser with 4 categories:
- Test now (we have all the stuff we need so can try it immediately)
- Test later (we don't have everything we need, but we can get it and test tomorrow)
- Ask an expert (we don't know how to test it)
- Too hard (we just can't get the stuff we need to test it.

(This seminar was mainly based at primary aged kids, but there were secondary teachers there too who seemed to think it would be appropriate for that level with slight modifications)
- You need to sing up to access the postcards, but it is free.

GNS science -
There are some good little teaching units and stuff under the education section - including some interactive stuff

Science Learning Hub -
Totally AWESOME!
More appropriate for secondary schools, but there is material that primary teachers can read, use or adapt for their kids.
Has video interviews of scientists, information sheets, interactive activities for a wide range of topics relevant to NZ. 
There is a strong focus on the nature of science on this website.

I find it a little confusing to navigate, but if you play for a bit you should find your way around.

NZ Sealion trust -
Has an education page

NZ Marine Studies Centre -
Has a fabulous range of resources for ECE, Primary and Secondary.
You can email them for identification cards for North Island and South Island rocky shore life
They have really groovy wee newsletters with games and activities about sea creatures in them too.

I have to go and watch soccer now, but will provide an update on Nature of Science when I get back!
yaramaz: (Welcome to my world)
[personal profile] yaramaz
 One of the courses I teach is 1st year business English- mostly concepts and vocabulary/terminology for EFL business admin students. Today's lesson in our course book? Ethics. Listening exercise: BP's External Affairs Manager is interviewed about corporate codes of ethics and why it's important to have them in writing and to adhere to them.  Shall I use crude oil instead of chalk for effect?
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Subversive teaching)
[personal profile] redsnake05
So... this week. Fab or Drab? What happened that was a ray of sunshine in the middle of the overcast?
used_songs: (tosh lady geek)
[personal profile] used_songs
At school we're filling out our teaching assignment preference surveys for next year, and it got me wondering what everyone here teaches.

I teach 7th grade (ages 12-13) English, Pre-Advanced Placement (if the students stay in this track they can take high school English for college credit) and Gifted. In the past I've taught ESL, US History, reading, and Street Law. As far as grade levels, I've taught 6th, 7th and 8th (roughly ages 10-14).

I've been toying with the idea of getting certified to teach technology. I've also thought that I might teach at a junior college someday.

What about you? What do you teach? What would you like to teach?
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Subversive teaching)
[personal profile] redsnake05
This week, I kept my temper. How did all of you fare? Please, give me something you did well so I can cheer and celebrate your awesome.
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Subversive teaching)
[personal profile] redsnake05
I used to have an icon on LJ that said "Do I look like a motherfucking role model?", and it was an awesome icon. I don't have it here (which I might rectify later), but I do have the concept still, of why would I want to be a role model?

Some things I have thought of this week: )

Do other teachers sometimes struggle with being a good role model? Do you make conscious decisions about what sort of role model you're going to be? How do you do that? Some of you, I know, work in places where being a teacher is much, much more hedged in and you have less freedom than I do. How do you deal with that?
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Alchemical woes)
[personal profile] redsnake05
Hi everyone. I guess most of you know about the Three Weeks for Dreamwidth celebrations, in honour of a year of open beta. I was wondering how this community could celebrate it, and came up with this poll. Happy clicking!

Poll #2714 Three weeks for Dreamwidth... and teaching
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6

Would you like to have some kind of celebration for Three Weeks for Dreamwidth?

View Answers

Hell yes!
2 (33.3%)

It depends on the nature of the celebration
1 (16.7%)

Will I get a prize?
1 (16.7%)

2 (33.3%)

0 (0.0%)

Which of these celebration types would appeal to you?

View Answers

Members write and discuss meta on teaching (metacognition, teaching practice, learning styles, whatever)
6 (100.0%)

Members take photos of their classrooms and share them
2 (33.3%)

The mod offers a prize to the person who contributes the most (either a Real Thing or some paid time/credits)
0 (0.0%)

Members do something else, which I will talk about in the comments
0 (0.0%)

used_songs: (Sundial)
[personal profile] used_songs
My academic dean approached me last week and asked if I would be interested in working with a student teacher next fall. I've had student teacher observers who came to a number of classes and then worked with small groups in my class or presented one or two lessons, but I've never had a student teacher who I worked with closely for a prolonged period of time and then relinquished a class to for her/him to take over. I never did student teaching myself as I did alternative certification.

Have any of you worked with a student teacher? Any tips for me? What was the hardest part? What can I do to make the experience useful for them? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Crafty!)
[personal profile] redsnake05
All that and I get to do the trials! I am so happy.

The upshot is that the Y10s will be doing a unit called Engineering next term. Basically, they get a choice of two topics each round. The first round will be either plastics or structures. They get some very basic information about each topic (a mixture of images, diagrams and brainstorming prior knowledge, I think) and then choose one or the other. Then they gather more information (a mixture of teacher-provided/directed flowcharts, diagrams and readings, and (for more able students) self-directed searching). From this, they come up with a hypothesis, aim or testable question and then write some learning outcomes for themselves (which the teacher then approves_. We're allowing work in groups of up to three. Then they work independently to meet the learning outcomes.

The cool bit, though, is that we're using an exemplar for the first round, so that students who really, really, really don't get what the point of all this is can follow along in the steps of the exemplar for the first round and then do their own work the second time. Still doesn't sound cool? I am making the exemplar - about making t-shirt transfers out of recycled plastic bags and sharpies, a la these posts on the topic.

I'm so excited. I'm so excited that it's the holidays and I am working on the exemplar and stuff.

Anyway, I expect that a lot of students will choose to do an investigation into different ways to recycle plastic bags, mostly because that's the one they'll be able to model off the exemplar the best while still doing their own work. I know about these fused plastic grocery totes, but what other plastic recycling ideas have you seen around?
redsnake05: Art by Audrey Kawasaki (Up to no good)
[personal profile] redsnake05
Last night was Interview Night at my school. I was so tired when I dragged myself in the door at about 8.30pm. Talking with parents, caregivers and extended whanau can be so tiring, and often so unproductive.

In my experience, most people who come to these things are the people you don't actually need to see. It's still nice to see them and touch base about what's going on and what the students are saying about class, but, for the most part, these are kids that are already on track for achievement. However, last night I had a few meetings with students and whanau that were really good, constructive and necessary.

What's your experience of Interview Nights?


teaching: Four colour trees (Default)

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