Megan's Classroom Connection

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Lice! April 27, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 3:03 pm
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I regularly read a blog from a fellow teacher and her latest post was in regards to the lice epidemic in her classroom.

She wrote a playful letter to lice everywhere explaining that her students and her school  do not have the resources or time to deal with lice. Although the letter was funny it got me thinking about how things like lice do actually affect the classroom and the learning that takes place there.

I can still remember when our school did its scheduled lice checks. The whole school got checked in a matter of one day, with two adults doing the checking. The teacher would send about five students to the office at a time and it was always the gossip of the lunchroom who hadn’t returned to class after their check. I am unsure what teachers can do to actually prevent lice, but it is important that the teacher talks to the students so that they understand what is happening. It is also important that the classroom community is strong enough to prevent the students who do have lice from being ostracized when they return to class.

Just something to think about sorry for making you itch!

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Homeschooling April 19, 2010

I read a blog done by a mother who homeschools her children. While this mother does in fact seem to be doing a great job, as far as I can tell, it makes me wonder, are her children losing out on the typical school experience?

This mother seems to have great resources that are rich and educational and she also blogs that her children are involved in various activities with other children in the community, but I still feel like they are missing out. Some studies have shown that homeschooling is a great way for children to learn and I agree to an extent. I think that there are some children out there, children with speical needs or who have been through a particulary intense trauma,  who would benefit from a more private education. But I think the goal should be to get that student back into mainstream education.

Another question about homeschooling I have is how does the parent know she or he is actually capeable of teaching a student who is perhaps past the middle school level.  How will that student cope when he or she enters the real world? Will the social skills needed to succeed be there?

I have never talked to a home schooled parent or child and I supose that is the real place I should be directing my questions.  🙂

 

Ughh Technology April 12, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,Technology in the Classroom,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 6:52 pm
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So as much as I may LOVE  technology right now is a time I definitely DO NOT!.

Last week I found out my hard drive was about to crash. Hate. But I was able to upload all my documents to google reader and burn pictures onto dics. Love. I was able to keep all my bookmarks from delicious.  Love.

My mom took my computer home and my boyfriend is lending me his, but when I went to reply to Jeff, Lauren and Emily’s blog I was unable to. Hate.

This is jsut a little rant, probably being shared, when it really shoudn’t, but I had to express my frusteration somewhere and where better than a blog shared with other students, who most likely have expereinced something similar or the same!

I’ll restart the computer and try replying later- wish me luck!

 

wikis in general April 8, 2010

I tend to think of wikis more as actual websites compared to weebly or blog websites. Wikis are great resources for group work as well as individual work for students. It allows them to colloborate when nessicary as well as work on the project from virtually anywhere. Wikis are also very user friendly and allow work to be divied well, for instance each person could be repsonsible for a page.The students are also learning authentically as they create the page, by determining what is necessary information as well as how to organize it.

One of the most important features of a wiki is the history feature of it. It is essential to be able to view the history and edit changed made for the product to be successful. The history tool is also a great resource for te teacher to monitor student accountability and contribution.

I also like that the teacher can grade and monitor the wikis from anywhere and throughout the whole creation process. The wikis are also great becasue it gives the students ownership and the feeling of real accomplishment when they are done. One last great feature is that the information can be shared with grandparents and aunts and uncles, etc.  anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet!

 

Google Docs- a potential lifesaver

I think about this class often. I try and think in interesting blog topics that also relate to class in someway and I think of of the technology too.

The other day, last Tuesday to be exact I learned my computer was about to crash. Great- all my documents (I was mainly concerned with word docuemtns and pictures) would be lost forever.  That is until I remembered Google Reader. I uploaded ALL my documents and presto- they are safe. Any other word documents I may need to create before the dreaded crash happens I am doing in Google Docs and they are safe!

What a great resource for students to use, not only to protect documents, but also to have the ability to access them from anywhere! I just thought I share my first non CEP class use of Google Docs!

 

Reading Fluency and Word Recognition April 6, 2010

In my TE class we have been talking about fluency and word recognition, so I thought I’d share my thoughts oin the topic…

When talking about assessing the two the running record was the main approach used for word recognition and fluency. It is important for teachers to be continually assessing both word recognition and fluency through out the year. Although it may be difficult to do formal assessments for every student it is important that the teacher does assess every student a few times throughout the year in order to understand and meet every students’ needs. Once formal assessments are done the teacher can then transition into more informal and daily assessments to gauge progress.

It is important to note that the majority and the most effective recognition and fluency assessments are oral, since the teacher needs to hear what the student is saying. Word recognition and fluency are difficult to assess since they typically need to be assessed orally and not all students are strong oral readers, they may get nervous and perform poorly, when in reality they have excellent word recognition and fluency when reading silently.

 

Graduation March 30, 2010

Filed under: Classroom Culture,College Ed.,Uncategorized — meganmeyering @ 9:58 am
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I was in my Popular American Culture class today and the topic of graduation as a ritual was brought up.

Our instructor informed us that the robes we wear actually link back to robes that monks wore long ago and related that to the obvious topic on the minds of the seniors at Michigan State University. He also brought up the idea that graduation is a ritual or ceremony that really gives a person identity.

Talking about graduation as a way to give someone identity makes me wonder if that is a good thing and if it is why don’t we have more kindergarten and elementary graduations? A family friend back home teaches kindergarten and does her own classroom graduation every year. I understand that this takes her personal time and money, but I think it is really important and gives the students a great sense of pride in themselves.

Elementary graduations do not have to happen every year or be full-out celebrations, but I do think that teachers really need to make an effort of celebrating the completion of every grade. Moving up in grades is a big deal and students should feel as though they have really accomplished something when they do so!