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on the Side
A Visual and Active Book for Teachers, Students, Parents, Principals and Taxpayers
Compiled by Steve McCrea Contributors Cary Elcome Jeffrey W. Hutt Celest Joseph 1
Anthony Lloyd Ben Udy Dennis Yuzenas
This is a draft. 20 Sept 2010 please send comments to TheEbookman@gmail.com
This book aims to share with you how to transfer responsibility for learning to your students with digital portfolios, projects, eBooks, Facebook, videos, YouTube, Sites Google and the suite of programs available with a Gmail account. Keywords: Guide on the Side, digital portfolios, projects, eBooks, Facebook, videos, YouTube, Sites Google, Dennis Littky, Yuzenas, Fischler, Hetland, Howard Gardner, Dan Pink, Thomas Friedman. This document is available on Scribd.com for free download. Yes, free. Why are you thinking about buying this book? Share it with friends, translate it, post elements on your website (just please please please attribute it, put a guideontheside.com button on your webpage or ebook or whatever form these words appear. Be sure to include the attribution, such as “Dan Pink” or whoever the author of the quote is. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Receipt ID: 4219-3360-6756-9530An email with your order summary has been sent to email@example.com
MERCHANT CONTACT INFORMATION
I’m on a mission. I want to give kids the benefit of an open classroom. I want kids who want to take charge of their learning to have the choice to do so. I’ve identified a principal obstacle: Teachers like to perform (from a conversation with Abraham S. Fischler). I know that when it comes to prepring a lesson, my first impulse is to LECTURE about a topic. The more difficult route is to write a word on the white board and ask, “Work with a partner and write five things you know about this word...” and then let the pairwork flow from there... That’s hard for me and hard for many teachers because they want to be in control of the flow of the class. I have a mission: I want to capture “what goes on inside the heads of teachers who are guides on the side."
Brief Table of Contents (Longer version at the end) Survey Part 1 Quotes that inspire us Part 2 Schools that inspire us Part 3 how to transform your classroom Part 4 Free materials Part 5 Tips and examples of projects Longer Table of Contents
To Start: Please take this short survey
What short quotes could help teachers focus on what they can do in their classrooms -- today -- to move along school reform? Make photocopies of these pages of quotes. Place the book on the photocopy machine, increase the size to 140% and hit “copy.” Paste the quots on walls in classrooms, bathrooms, stairwells. Math: The PRINT area of the book is 7.5 inches tall, 4.25 inches wide. If you increase the size by 50%, you will get a document 11.25 inches tall. So set the document for 140% and you'll be safe. Download this book from Scribd.com and select pieces. Email the pieces to friends, colleagues, stuents, teachers, principals, directors of schools, politicians and taxpayers.
The teacher of the future is a GUIDE on the SIDE, not a sage on the stage.
Aphorism passed on by senior teachers 9
Ron Renna used the phrase when I interviewed for a job at Downtown Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Education is NOT the filling of a pail, but rather the LIGHTING of a FIRE.
W. B. Yeats 11
Most students might forget what you taught them, but they will always remember how you
Aphorism passed on by senior teachers
A big obstacle to bringing Computer Assisted instruction into the classroom is the teacher, because teachers love
Dr. Abraham Fischler, author of TheStudentIsTheClass.com
Jack is a boy from Brooklyn who dropped out of school to avoid terminal
Biography of an entrepreneur, Emaginos.com
I never let school get in the way of my education.
Mark Twain 19
Drive out fear.
W. Edwards Deming 20
Never do for a child what a child can do for himself.
Maria Montessori 21
There are 2 billion children in the developing world. Instead of asking their teachers to "reinvent the wheel" every day, why not share lesson plans that work with their 59 million teachers?
Gordon Dryden Get his 1999 book as a freedigital book from thelearningweb.net
Keep Teacher Talking Time to a minimu
Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) training
The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into
Dan Pink, Free Agent Nation
What a gift some power could give us:
to see ourselve s as others
O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us. Robert Burns (adapted to modern language)
What other "pithy" and focused items can you quote? What short thoughts can transform a classroom? Send your suggestions to TheEbookman@gmail.com Recommended perusing: Danpink.com Will Sutherland's Qualified ByExperience.com Thomas Friedman's columns WhatDoYaKnow.com by Dennis Yuzenas ascd.org articles EdReformer.com by Tom vander Ark TheStudentisTheClass.com by Abraham S. Fischler TheLearningWeb.net by Gordon Dryden and J. Vos Download the free ebook, The Learning Revolution (1999 edition) and read the 2010 edition. Someone to hunt down for a cup of coffee: ribbonfarms blog by firstname.lastname@example.org Or call me at +1 954 646 8246 and dictate your favorites. I'm ready.
Take the second survey:
Part 1 Quotes that inspire us
Part 2 Schools that inspire us
Part 3 How to transform your classroom Digital Portfolios
Dennis Yuzenas describes portfolios in Schools http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=nJzLQiWmRwQ
Here's a classroom that works: Room 2-212
Motivation is the most critically important variable in the learning equation
By Dennis Yuzenas
What follows is the educational rationale for what passes as teaching in room 2-212 at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. The class is U.S. History and the students are all gifted and advanced students. The school is a performing arts magnet. Students audition to “get in.” The teacher is an old bald guy. This is all “real.” Everything that goes on in the classroom has a solid pedagogic rationale. It is clear that gifted and “advanced” students differ greatly in their ability, knowledge base, reflectiveness, and style of learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to employ successful teaching strategies. Combining the top academic students with teachers dedicated to Middle School Philosophy and a placing all the stakeholders in the richest academic setting possible is a concept whose time has arrived. Nicholls (1983) and Millington (1993) argue that if the right motivation is established, students will select tasks of suitable difficulty level and work on them in a productive manner.
That is, if attention is directed to motivation, many other apparent learning problems will be resolved. Peak motivation is achieved when the learner selects tasks judged to present just the right degree of difficulty (Csikszentmihalyi, 1979; Malone, 1981). Whether it is a reader choosing a book to read, a mountain climber selecting a cliff to scale, or a child playing a video game, motivation is enhanced when the learner makes the choice. Thus, in the “inclusion” classroom, learning is facilitated by allowing students to choose, within well defined limits, tasks to attempt and the degree of difficulty. As de Charms’s (1984) and Hoffman’s (1992) research shows, there is a need for the learner to be the originator of learning tasks and yet to operate within a structure. The need also exists for constant aid sustained feedback, to teachers, parents, and students. Expectations in the classroom must be well defined and achievable. Nicholls (1983) posits three forms of motivation: task involvement, ego involvement, and extrinsic involvement. When a learner is task-involved, he or she is focusing on die task rather than self (not “What will they think of what l am doing?”); learning (understanding) is an end in itself rather than trying to look smart or not to lock stupid. Ego involvement is characterized by concern for self rather than with leaning, understanding, or finding out. In this condition, one learns only to avoid looking stupid. An extrinsically involved person learns to achieve some reward or to avoid a penalty or to please the teacher. For this individual, learning is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
Within any class of students, not every student feels confident of his or her ability. Bright girls, for example, tend to have low estimates of their ability to tackle new concepts in mathematics (Dweck, 1986). Because competition to enter the class may be keen and ability has been brought to the forefront by the creation of such a class, some students will feel insecure. If a highly competitive and rigid environment exists within the class, students will not become task involved. By reducing competition and stimulating student interest in the tasks to be learned, tensions can be reduced and students can be freed from anxieties that block learning.
ProblemCentered (or Project-based) Learning and Motivation
How are the Classes Taught? Problem-centered (or project-based) learning is facilitated by cooperative learning. In cooperative learning, students work together in small groups, usually to solve a problem. Cooperative learning has many benefits. Noddings (1985) among many others, lists the following effects of small group problem solving: 1. Students are stimulated by the thoughts of others. 2. Students assist each other in problem interpretation. 3. Students clarify their thoughts by explaining to others. 4. Students learn useful procedures from others.
5. Students experience increased motivation by cooperative efforts. 6. Students grow from challenges to their stated positions. 7. Students show intellectual growth from peer interaction. In addition to Noddings’ list, there is also the skill acquisition involved in finding the appropriate medium in which to display student findings. In the digital world we find ourselves in it is imperative that students be taught how to use the myriad tools available to them. Every student leaving school today should have a working familiarity with web page design and construction, video pre and post production skills, and an understanding of communication networking and the internet. These are real-world skills that will serve our students well. Schools in general, advanced and gifted classes in particular, tend to be competitive. Competitive situations promote ego involvement and an extrinsic orientation to learning. They make it difficult for students to value learning for its own sake. On the other hand, cooperative learning environments foster understanding as a goal; learning becomes an aid in itself rather than a means to some other end. Teachers should strive to reduce competition and ego involvement among gifted students and to help students experience the satisfaction of solving problems and making ideas their own.
Realistic Inquiry Experiences
In summary of all that has been said so far, it seems the ideal learning experiences for gifted and advanced learners involve the following conditions: A sense of internal control or self-selection on the part of studentsIntrinsic interest in the tasks to be learned A sense that the learning tasks relate to the real world, and are not simply “school” activities A real search for meanings, solutions, or understanding A discovery of the plan or system when skilled behavior is the goal Some of the major forms of realistic inquiry experiences in school include the following: • Discussion (Good and Brophy, 1984) • Role playing (Gallagher, 1975) • Discovery and guided discovery (Anthony, 1973; Bruner, 1960) • Inquiry (Taba, 1962; Suchman, 1961) • Small groups (Good and Brophy, 1984; Feldhusen, 1986) • Seminars (Kolloff and Feldhusen, 1986) • Games and simulations (Greenblat, 1982; Maker,
1982b) • Induction and deductive logic (Halpern, 1984; Nickerson, Perkins, and Smith, 1985) • Critical thinking (Ennis, 1962; Harnadek, 1976, 1980) • Mentors (Haeger and Feldhusen, 1987; Edlind and Haensly, 1985) • Field flips (Feldhusen, 1986) • Experimental research (Dallas Independent School District, 1977) • Library plus online research (Polette, 1982 and Gardner, 2003) • Tutoring experiences (Ellison, 1976) • Problem solving (Glaser, 1984; Tuma and Reif, 1984) • Future studies (Flack and Feldhusen, 1983; Whaley, 1983) All of these teaching methods can involve gifted and advanced students in generative learning (Wittrock, 1977), a process in which students themselves are actively involved in higher level cognitive activities. They can create their own understanding of concepts and principles and their own cognitive guides for skilled behavior.
Wittrock points out that generative learning experiences make it possible for students to relate current learning to prior experiences and perceptions stored in memory. Generative learning contrasts with reception learning (Ausubel, 1978), an approach to instruction in which the emphasis is as transmission of well-organized information to the student. In the latter approach, the student acts more as a passive receiver of knowledge and less as an active pursuer of understanding. The sixteen strategies (there are four and then another dozen or so that follow...) proposed here can all be used by teachers to achieve the following goals for gifted students: 1. Teaching of broad concepts and principles in the discipline 2. Developing a broad range of process or thinking skills 3. Helping students became self-directed learners 4. Stimulating intrinsic interest in the content Teachers who are concerned about the teaching of basic skills will see that the relatively automatic behavior that must become a part of every student’s repertoire (Samels and Eisenberg, 1981) can best be developed through initial learning experiences in which gifted and advanced students develop a cognitive schemata or plan for the skill through their own self -directed exploration or investigation. Automatization of a skill evolves best though repeated experience in using the skill in real
contexts or new and more complex leaning situations.
General Guidelines for Developing Strategies in a Project-Based Classroom
The various methods and strategies discussed are based on a conception of learning that sees the gifted and/or advanced student as an active, generative, problemsolving learner, creating his or her own understanding and conceptual framework within the disciplines. We now examine a set of very general guidelines that teachers of the inclusion program can use in a wide variety of teaching situations. These are general strategies for implementing curriculum plans. Curriculum specifies goals and objectives, subject matter content, concepts and principles, thinking skills or processes, basic skills, attitudes, and values to be learned by gifted students. In this chapter we have focused on instructional strategies that seek to motivate and involve the student in an active, self-directing role in the learning process. The following general guidelines embody the general approaches for such learning for gifted students: 1. Make extensive use of generative instructional strategies such as discovery, discussion, small group problem solving, and other nondidactic methods. 2. Use instructional strategies appropriate to the content. Obviously, certain subjects and topics are best taught by one instructional strategy, whereas other topics are best taught with other strategies. While small group problem solving might work well in science, practice might work
better in math. Good teachers constantly make their strategy choice based on judgments about the content and student learning styles (Gardner, 2006). 3. Encourage students to develop their own methods of reasoning including self-generated algorithms; encourage alternate ways of thinking and performing tasks. 4. Allow students the freedom to organize their thinking. 5. Provide a learning environment with a variety of options that enable students with different learning styles to choose activities and materials that fit their own learning styles. 6. De-emphasize competition and encourage cooperative learning. 7. Establish a learning environment conducive to task involvement Nicholls and Burton suggest that, “The teacher’s task is to create and sustain task involvement and to prevent children’s preoccupation with taskextrinsic incentives or with how their ability compares with that of others.” This is no easy task, but striving toward it will produce a richer intellectual climate for gifted and advanced students. Grading policies and evaluation methods should be examined to consider the effect they have on motivation. 7.1 Alternative means of assessment should be incorporated into every classroom. The process may begin with a modified type of portfolio and should be expanded into the multimedia arena.
8. Use little or no drill and practice. Since gifted children are often advanced in skills, it is necessary to first assess what the students know, then teach the skills needed. Practice is useless unless the skill is newly acquired, and gifted children need far less practice to acquire skills than average students. 9. Make differentiated assignments to meet the various needs that each student in the classroom has. It is accepted that the skill levels for any particular task will vary widely within every classroom. 10. Encourage students to set their own goals and to make decisions about what to study. Provide mechanisms suds as planning forms and lists of options to enable students to develop their own learning plans (Feldhusen, 1986). 10.1 Failure is accepted (provided learning has taken place.) Bold experimentation on the part of students will only be realized when the academic climate allows for both trial and error. Taking academic risks is encouraged and rewarded. You can add your own cheesy Edison quote here! 11. Resources for these types of classes are not limited to a single teacher in a single subject area. The use of interdisciplinary team teaching and co-teaching with an assigned resource teacher makes effective and sustained team curriculum design and implementation essential.
Imposition strategies alone, such as lecture and other modes of “showing students how,” can have an adverse effect on how students learn. On the other hand, it is argued that negotiation strategies are powerful in establishing a learning environment that allows students to create, integrate, and synthesize ideas and the way these ideas are presented and shared. By learning in an environment that encourages cooperation and free exchange of ideas, students become capable of setting goals and achieving them with guidance, not imposition, by the teacher. Although students vary greatly in their orientation to learning, it is, in a practical sense, impossible for the teacher to design a separate learning experience for each student. Attempting to do this risks having the teacher as the puppeteer and putting the learner in a puppet’s role. An alternative strategy is to challenge students to set goals and make decisions about how to attack a problem and present their solutions in the most appropriate fashion. In this way, learning becomes an adventure in which the students are anxious to participate. The basic thesis is that in matching instructional strategies to learners, the matching is best done by the student with guidance from the teacher. Motivation plays a key role in the learning process. By attending to the motivational effects of what develops as a classroom culture, it is possible to enhance learning a great deal. It has been said that we learn what we want to learn. Whether gifted and advanced students (or students at the other end of the educational spectrum) want to learn topic X depends on their beliefs about the
learning process and how they feel about their role in the activity. Task involvement is a desirable goal. By deemphasizing extrinsic rewards and competition, we can stimulate students to be interested in the subject for its own sake and enjoy the love of learning. Dennis Yuzenas teaches at Bak Middle School of the Arts in Palm Beach County, Florida. He can be reached at yuzenasD@gmail.com – his website is WhatDoYaKnow.com.
To see a summary of his method, search these works:
Dennis Yuzenas Visual and Active edu-taining teaching technique on Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ZnR_nCakIKk To see how Yuzenas gets his students to gradually take over responsibility for their learning, go to Youtube. Search words: Dennis Yuzenas uses Mindsets and Paradigms Link: youtube.com/watch?v=EAaXhuiLAAU
To see a rubric, see Part 4 (the first item in the Free Materials section)
Assesments A Narrative (derived from the Met Center's format) Student: Jorge Gonzalez Parent: Maria Gonzalez Mentor: Jane Dawkins Advisor: Richard Flanagan Grade: 10th Quarter 2
Date of Narrative: Absences: 4 Late: 2 Highlights:
• Jorge sought and won an internship at the YMCA • He is also pursuing his interest in car mechanics with a class at Vernon Vo-tec: Air Conditioning Systems. • He helped to organize a food drive. • He was ill for an extended period but rallied to make up homework for his car course. Learning Plan Work:Goals Met LTI/lnterest Search: While beginning to look for an LTI at private detective agencies, Rhonda then matched this interest in being a “detective” with archeology and pursued an internship at the Public Archeology Lab. Currently, she is working in the lab washing specimens and working with the education director. College Prep:Rhonda has been writing drafts of her college resume and visited the college fair. She also took the PSAT in October. First Quarter Project:Rhonda chose to write a paper about high school dropouts, but is behind. While she completed the reflection part, she has not completed the interviews or the research component. We decided to move the deadline for this paper until after her college research paper is due in January.
Big Picture 301:Rhonda has met most of the goals in this area this quarter — she has been consistent in her journal, she uses her Supercalendar effectively; as a leader, she spoke to 9th graders about exhibitions and she has worked with new students to help them learn about the school. Main Gaps Big Picture 301:While she writes in her journal consistently, she does not always turn it in. I would also like to see her participate more in the school community and in advisory discussions. Quantitative Reasoning: Increase exploration of this goal in the projects. Empirical Reasoning: Increase the exploration of this goal in projects. Pursue research for the first quarter project. Personal Qualities: Perseverance and time management. These are satisfactory, but given the demands on her time, she will need to work very hard on these to succeed. Overall - Depth in project work Exhibition/Portfolio evaluation: Rhonda’s exhibition
was well organized with documentation of all the work that she had finished and time-lines for the work that she had yet to finish. Graduation Readiness: Rhonda seems to be on target to graduate on time. She has a bit of contract work to complete for early December, but given that she has a college class in addition to other Learning Plan work, she has done an admirable amount of good quality work. Overview:Rhonda has had to face many new challenges this semester. She’s found an internship at a business outside of the hospital setting and has begun facing the challenge of a class at a local university. This year, the expectations on her work and her thinking have been increased. As she has always been a good student, she has felt the challenge this quarter and has been confused, lost, and overwhelmed at times. In general, 1 think these challenges are good for Rhonda, who has the opportunity to learn and grow with these new expectations and persevere through challenges. As always, it is a pleasure to have Rhonda in class. It is difficult to see her feel discouraged from too much work or overwhelmed, but I also know this is a good test of Rhonda’s determination and she will be better prepared for college and the work world having tested herself now. I am proud of how bravely she is facing her challenges!
What should be on the second quarter Learning Plan: Communication with advisor —asking for help. Participating in advisory discussions/leading by voicing your opinion. Contract work Research/Empirical Reasoning (for first quarter project and for the college paper) and Quantitative Reasoning. Depth in each project. (The college research paper will allow a great opportunity for this.) Ask more questions at the LII and at school. Focus on being more inquisitive. Exhibition — add visuals; plan and teach a lesson on what you are learning at your internship and college class. Show at the next exhibition how the college class allowed you to work on Social Reasoning and Personal Qualities — it will be important for you to connect the class to your personal goals. Advisor: Jane Dawkins 11/2010
A Narrative (derived from the Met Center's format) Student: _______________________ Parent: _______________________ __________________________________________ Mentor: _______________________ Advisor: _______________________ Quarter ___ Date of Narrative:
Grade: ____ ________ Absences: ___ Highlights:
• Jorge sought and won an internship at the YMCA • He is also pursuing his interest in car mechanics with a class at Vernon Vo-tec: Air Conditioning Systems. • He helped to organize a food drive.
• He was ill for an extended period but rallied to make up homework for his car course. Learning Plan Work:Goals Met LTI/lnterest Search: While beginning to look for an LTI at private detective agencies, Rhonda then matched this interest in being a “detective” with archeology and pursued an internship at the Public Archeology Lab. Currently, she is working in the lab washing specimens and working with the education director. College Prep: _____________________________________________ First Quarter Project: _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Integrated subject areas: _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________
Quantitative Reasoning: _____________________________________________ Empirical Reasoning: _____________________________________________ Personal Qualities: _____________________________________________ Overall - Depth in project work Exhibition/Portfolio evaluation: __________________________________________
Readiness for Graduation: __________________________________________
__________________________________________ Overview: __________________________________________ __________________________________________
What should be in the next quarter's Learning Plan: __________________________________________
Advisor: ________________ Date: ____________ Pages 152--171 in Littky's book, The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business details this form of assessment.
Part 4 Free materials
Project-based Learning Rubric from Microsoft.com
Score Content § Is well thought out and supports the solution to the challenge or question § Reflects application of critical thinking § Has clear goal that is related to the topic § Is pulled from a variety of sources § 3 Is accurate § Few (1 to 3) spelling, § Information supports the Conventions § No spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors § High-level use of vocabulary and word choice Organization § Information is clearly focused in an organized and thoughtful manner. § Information is constructed in a logical pattern to support the solution. Presentatio n § Multimedia is used to clarify and illustrate the main points. § Format enhances the content. § Presentation captures audience attention. § Presentation is organized and well laid out. § Multimedia
§ Is well thought out
and supports the solution § Has application of critical thinking that is apparent § Has clear goal that is related to the topic § Is pulled from several sources § 2 Is accurate
grammatical, or punctuation errors § Good use of vocabulary and word choice §
solution to the challenge or question.
is used to illustrate the main points. § Format is appropriate for the content. § Presentation captures audience attention. § Presentation is well organized.
§ Supports the solution § Has application of critical thinking that is apparent § Has no clear goal § Is pulled from a limited number of sources § Has some factual errors or inconsistencie s
§ Minimal (3 to 5) spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors § Low-level use of vocabulary and word choice
§ Project has a focus but might stray from it at times. § Information appears to have a pattern, but the pattern is not consistently carried out in the project. § Information loosely supports the solution.
§ Multimedia loosely illustrates the main points. § Format does not suit the content. § Presentation does not capture audience attention. § Presentation is loosely
organized. § Provides inconsistent information for solution § Has no apparent application of critical thinking 1 § Has no clear goal § I pulled from few sources § Has significant factual errors, misconception s, or misinterpretations § More than 5 spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors § Poor use of vocabulary and word choice § Content is unfocused and haphazard. § Information does not support the solution to the challenge or question. § Information has no apparent pattern. § Presentation appears sloppy and/or unfinished. § Multimedia is overused or underused. § Format does not enhance content. § Presentation has no clear organization.
Discused by Dennis Yuzenas at http://whatdoyaknow.com/ProjectBasedLearning/AssessmentRubric.htm
Part 5 Tips and examples of projects Projects
The project-based classroom requires projects. Sometimes one comes along that really suits the bill. The YouTube sponsored What's Your Issue contest is a perfect project. For 2010 – our 5th year — we’re outreaching to 200 million young adults 14 to 24 to create and submit local solution-project ideas to front-burner issues, submitted digitally via three-minute videos accompanied by a onesheet project outline. Winning solutions – picked by an illustrious VIP Jury and the public, online – will be presented to senior officials within the Obama administration and the Republican National Committee. Apple, Best Buy and YouTube Video for Change
have joined us for 2010 as our premiere partners in this massive outreach to engage youth in solution-finding, with collaboration and participation of The Corporation for National & Community Services, American Red Cross, NAACP, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance and others. Tom Brokaw is heading our VIP Jury Leadership Committee, as Distinguished Honorary Jurist. Joining Tom are Deepak Chopra, Jack Black, Yoko Ono and the heads of The Oprah Winfrey Network, NAACP, Apple, Sony Pictures and others. Our historic roster of past Jurists includes Senator Barack Obama, Walter Cronkite, Wolf Blitzer, George Clooney and Anderson Cooper. Jack (we’re not really on first-name basis with the amazing singer-actor-activist) Black is our inaugural VIP Jurist for the new “Issue Song” competition. We’re looking for 3-minute songs from young adults 14 to 24 on any issue that burns for them, because we believe in the power of music to touch hearts and change
minds – and we believe in music-making. Winning videos and songs will also be presented at a VIP reception in Washington, DC, at our annual Awards Ceremony co-hosted by Sony Pictures at its Los Angeles studio, on iTunes – and on screens in every Best Buy store on the planet! Prizes also include a MacBook and iPhones. The Issue Song winner will also be presented to 70,000 industry leaders at the annual NAMM conference, and the winners will be included in a compilation CD of emerging artists in partnership with Band Together. Proceeds will benefit Gulf Coast recovery. (We are also hoping that a few VIP Music Jurists will record versions of winning songs.) We have defined seven front-burner issues for 2009-2010: environment, education, healthcare, pathway from poverty, national security and defense, public service, human and equal rights issues. Our catch-phrase – and if you don’t like it,
come up with a better one! – is that our initiative is at the nexus of digital video media, user-generated-content, the internet, social networking, public service and activism, specifically geared to millennial young adults 14 to 24. We also see problem-solving as an act of leadership and entrepreneurship and social entrepreneur. To that end, we are launching Y/E – the Young Entrepreneur Network. Y/E will provide valuable resources, content and tutorials from our partners to support leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The submission period begins mid-January 2010, and runs through early April, 2010. Voting follows shortly thereafter, and winners announced in May 2010. Submit your email for updates as we move closer to launch!"
Cutting to the ChaseSarah won with her
entry: Shark Finning Here is the page the students started with:
Tip: Use Google Documents to share files By Anthony Lloyd A Gmail account comes with access to a suite of programs that are free. Yes, they are available only when you are online. The key advantages are a) the files are less likely to be lost that if you store the items on your hard drive or a pen flash (small flash drive). The flash drive could be lost, a CD, if burned, could be scratched, lost or stepped on. A google document is (almost) forever. As creator of the document, you can allow others to read it or edit it. This is a great way for students to work together. The process of writing is actually a lot of RE-writing. You can document the changes by saving previous versions. The teacher also has access to the document. Students who are confused about what is expected can look at previous projects to get an idea what's been done by other.
Tip: By Iain Barraclough Iain is what teachers and parents might strive to be: experts in any field in addition to education. Yes, it's important for parents (and student) to know how to learn. It is often an outside expert who sees something that we teachers miss. That's why it is essential for teachers to read Dan Pink, Malcom Gladwell and Thomas Friedman as well as other nonprofessional educators. These authors are actually experts on how to prepare for lifelong learning, but they have prescriptions for building better schools that might work....if implemented. Now, if we could just find someone who could apply these methods and then reach a dozen teachers...hey, how about you?
Tip: Volunteer work for students (and teachers? Parents?) I volunteer at Sunland Park Elementary. They need volunteers. I have a program called “Breakfast with Mentors” from 7:15 to 8 am. Do you think some students might come by for service hours? They can be flexible 7:15 to 7:45 and then walk or bicycle over to Dillard? Let me know who is in charge of volunteer or community service at Dillard. Thank you. That's what I sent to a teacher at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Why not try something similar for your students?
Here are the videos that explain what my team of volunteers does: 67
Part one (6.5 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/buildingintlbridges Part two (7 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G0PeKfHSW4
Tips: Websites for Teachers Convert PDF to text ONLINE http://www.convertpdftotext.net/ File Juicer to convert PDF to text. Cost ujder $20 (2010) http://echoone.com/filejuicer/download Convert a youtube to keepit.com (a zamzar.com sendds a message with a link to uyour email account. Click on the link, then click on the “donwload” button and you have the video or mp3 document in your computer's download folder. Dennis Yuzenas: WhatDoYaKnow.com Tip: The Five Skills (attributed to Thomas Friedman)
Recommended reading: Hot Flat and Crowded, The World is Flat (especially after page 309), and his columns on “Super Frugal, Super Broke, Super Power” (distinction between 68
desirable and vital), “The New Untouchables” (what it takes to become indispensable) and
Interview with Celest Joseph
Celest Joseph teaches at Dillard School of the Arts. His Advanced Placement students routinely earn college credit and say, “This is one of the best classes I've ever taken.” He can be reached at email@example.com.
Interview with Cary Elcome Cary tells this story: There was a kid who didn't do well in the preparation for standardized tests. “Boys like you are not destined to go to University,” intoned one of the kid's teachers. It took the kid twenty years to realize that the teacher was not right. The kid, now an adult, earned a certificate from Trinity College and became a certified trainer, teaching people to become English Language teachers. That teacher had decided to be a gatekeeper and he used psychological intimidation to dissuade the kid from finding some way to get into university and “make something of himself.” “Many teachers have no idea how powerful their words are. That SOB knew exactly what to say to intimidate me and destroy what little self-esteem I possessed at that time. He 69
wanted to keep people like me from aspiring and joining his class.” TIP: Students pick up more from us than just the content of our lessons. A casual comment can damage or reinforce a kid's world.
Tip: Expect Some students to “get it” and others are confused I've evolved the portfolio system (with an individual education plan, which appears in the Free Materials, Part 4). Some of the students understood your ssytem but many thought it was strange, chaotic. The teenagers liked your methodology possibly because it allowed them complete freedom to do as they wished. The energy and passion you bring to the classroom is excellent. However, you lack of regard and respect for the school's curriculum, methodology and personnel is unfortunate.
Tip: Use OpenOffice.org By Ben Udy Two-thirds of the world operates on a shoestring or less. The suite of programs that come with a Gmail account are 70
fabulous – but only if you have cheap Internet access. I use GIMP instead of Photoshop, Linux instead of Windows and OpenOffice instead of Microsot Word. Why not make a contribution to thank Sun Systems for creating a free offline word processor?
Ben Udy runs a school in Honduras, inspired in part by John Corlette, Kurt Hahn, the round Square philosophy and numerous teachers at Aiglon College. He never went to college, so he joins the ranks of Jobs, Gates, Ellison and others who altered the planet with their entrepreneurial efforts. He invites anyone to visit his school’s website cofradiaschool.com and consider making a donation, coming down to teach what you know and learn more about Honduras.
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Table of Contents (annotated)
Survey Part 1 Quotes that inspire us Part 2 Schools that inspire us 79
Part 3 how to transform your classroom Part 4 Free materials Part 5 Tips and examples of projects Longer Table of Contents
Quotations on One Page
The Quotations (on one page) I have a mission: I want to capture “what goes on inside the heads of teachers who are guides on the side." The teacher of the future is a GUIDE on the SIDE, not a sage on the stage. Aphorism passed on by senior teachers Education is NOT the filling of a pail, but rather the LIGHTING of a FIRE. W. B. Yeats Most students might forget what you taught them, but they will always remember how you treated them. Aphorism passed on by senior teachers A big obstacle to bringing Computer Assisted instruction into the classroom is the teacher, because teachers love to perform. Dr. Abraham Fischler, author of TheStudentIsTheClass.com Jack is a boy from Brooklyn who dropped out of school to avoid terminal boredom. Biography of an entrepreneur, Emaginos.com I never let school get in the way of my education. Mark Twain Drive out fear. W. Edwards Deming Never do for a child what a child can do for himself. Maria Montessori There are 2 billion children in the developing world. Instead of asking their teachers to "reinvent the wheel" every day, why not share lesson plans that work with their 59 million teachers? Gordon Dryden 81
thelearningweb.net Keep Teacher Talking Time to a minimum. Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) training The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Dan Pink, Free Agent Nation What a gift some power could give us: to see ourselves as others see us. O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us. Robert Burns (adapted to modern language) More quotes: If you recall being a child yourself and how you might have completely closed off every thing else as you lost yourself in the drawing, you might also recall the intimacy with self. In other words, losing oneself in the act of drawing. Only to find oneself. – G.E. Barr, “How Teachers Can Use Art and Music Education to Heal Children Heal form Trauma.”
Frequently Asked Questions Steve, you should be a teacher of teachers. Response: Jaime Escalante. The guy who wrote My Hair is on Fire The list of quotations ought to make it clear that my transformation from lecturer to facilitator came because I sat one-on-one with Dennis Yuzenas and visited Dennis Littky's school. It is they who ought to become teachers of teachers – and in fact they have. Dennis Y. gives workshops and allows his classes to be videoed and shared on Youtube. Dennis L. wrote a book (retail $26, available on Alibris for $6 plus shipping) – the Bible, Koran and Ramanaya of school 82
reform or transformation...and it can start with the teacher. But you should be teaching teachers. Response: I do. If some students rave about the class, some teachers grumble about having to teach in a room “filled with things” (pens, books, magnets, laptops for searching a picture dictionary, etc.) to spark conversation and reactions from students plus poster-making materials, colored markers, large sheets of paper, magaziness for photos, scissors, glue). Other teachers ask, “What happened here?” and “How do you use posters?” and “What does your lesson plan look like if every student has his or her own project?” and “Where do you get your ideas for projects?” That teacher to teacher exchange of information is why I'm still in the classrom. It's hard to do that without being a teacher....facilitator. Note: Dennis Littky's interview on NPR April 25, 2005 is required listening for anyone who wants to earn the Visual and Active Teacher's Training certificate (VATT can be posted after your name). For more information about the VATT, contact VisulaAndActive@gmail.com You should write a book about your methods Response: The book would be excerpts from other books. My book would be a reading list and watching list. I would give links to websites and the teachers would magically transform into facilitators. Those who were still confused about what a facilitator does can call me: 954 646 8246. So the book would not be anything new. As Gordon Dryden and others have observed, “There are no new ideas, just new combinations of existing ideas... so they appear original.”
Student-centered learning is the way to go to maximize 83
student learning and success. It's so unfortunate when our administrators see our passion but fail to understand the route we need to take to keep our students engaged and accountable for their own learning. Your project-based classroom system also seems like an excellent way to get parents and the community involved in student accomplishments. Can you share a couple specific projects you've assigned? Thanks for sharing. Sandra Lawrence
The key is GRADUAL transfer of responsibility for learning from the teacher to students. The first week or so, there are clear choices to make but guided. A or B. You asked about specific projects.... If the student wants to be a doctor, guess what? the vocabulary of anatomy and human digestion and other functions is important. If I'm teaching literature, after the basic vocab of the doctor is learned, the student analyses the readings from a Doctor's viewpoint. Why not? This is straight Littky: rigor, relevance, relationships. The project can be making a poster, analyzing the medical conditions of characters in Shakespeare (?). The controlling key to project-based learning is the assessment tool: the portfolio with rubric. Dennis Yuzenas does a good explanation in nine minutes on Youtube.com
Dennis Yuzenas describes portfolios in Schools
Search words: Link: youtube.com/watch?v=nJzLQiWmRwQ How to Use CDs in the Classroom
Search words: CD Parents Dennis Link: youtube.com/watch?v=U0Rxyv6by88 84
Portions of at least five books from Dennis Littky's reading list will help. Neil Postman (Teaching as a Consrvative Activity, Teaching as a Subversive Activity) That's a good start. Where do you teach? Response: Wherever I'm tolerated. I've left three schools before I was asked to leave because the administrator didn't understand why all of the students were not on the same page of the book, why the students were asking to go on field trips, why students had portfolios, why everyone took a different weekly test, why the tests were “portfolio assessments,”'... Projects: Your emphasis on technology is admirable and I'm sure students love to use smart phones and computers in your class and keep touch with you on facebook or by email.
here do you teach?
Some teachers are on a mission. They want to give kids the benefit of an open classroom. They want kids to take charge of their learning. They want to transfer control of the class. Here's a principal obstacle: Teachers like to perform. We know that when it comes to preparing a lesson, our first impulse is to LECTURE about a topic. The more difficult route is to write a word on the white board and ask, “Work with a partner and write five things you know about this word...” and then let the pairwork flow from there... That’s hard for many of us because we want the best results and we want to be in control of the flow of the class. Let's capture whatever goes on inside the heads of teachers who are guides on the side. Let's adopt “teacher talk” that inspires kids (and others). I want you to have access to the same fabulous input that makes me a better teacher facilitator. – Steve
Guide on the
side This is a draft. Please send comments to TheEbookman@gmail.com
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