Megan's Classroom Connection

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Google Docs- a potential lifesaver April 8, 2010

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.

 

Cuts in Northern Michigan March 16, 2010

It seems like every time I am home I hear some bad news on the 5 o’clock news. A school closing, rumored cuts in a district near by and more programs being cut in a school that just lost some teachers. It is not as though I live in an area where schools are notorious for not having enough money. In fact northern Michigan schools seem to be doing alright, at leas up until this year.

The ‘not so popular’ sports, like wrestling, tennis, and cross country are at risk and being cut. Drivers training used to be paid for by the school, but that changed two years ago. Music programs, like strings and jazz band are being cut. Our schools no longer have cheer leading teams. I feel so bad for the kids going through school right now. I feel like I had so many more opportunities than the students who are going to school now. It’s such a sad cycle, the more programs that get cut, the fewer opportunities students have to express themselves and grades drop.

I am not saying it is jsut this bad in northern Michigan, I realize that cuts and downsizing are taking place everywhere, but home is where it hurts the most.

 

Really Bob Marshall? February 23, 2010

I found this blog post on one of the blogs I follow and I cannot tell you how much it repulsed me. I’ll let you read it first before I comment any further.

This is where I found it.
from Organized Chaos by noreply@blogger.com
Legislator: Disabled kids are God’s punishment


Capital News Service

RICHMOND — State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Marshall was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy, who gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building.-

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So, first of all his comments are rude, offensive and ignorant. I do not know after abortion birth statistics, so maybe more children born after the mother has had an abortion are disabled, but I don’t know.

That aside I do know that disabled children are not a punishment. Some of the sweetest, interesting and most caring children I have met are disabled. I know that education and religion are supposed to be kept separate, but this blog brings them together so I feel like it is alright to dive a little deeper into it.

I am not a Bible expert, but I am not aware of any place in the Bible that says disabled children are designed as a punishment. I am personally not for abortion, I figure you have sex  be ready  for any of the consequences, that being said I don’t support the government making that decision for anyone. I also know that the God I know would not bring a disabled child into anyone’s life as a punishment.

One of the mother’s I know who has a disabled child once said to me, ” I think God gave him to our family because Alex* needed a home and God knew we could handle him and love him just as any child needs to be loved.” I also know teachers who really value the presence of a special needs child in their classroom because of how much that child teaches the other children.

Maybe Bob Marshall should reread the Bible and then actually spend time with some of the ‘punishment children’ he is so ignorantly speaking about.

*Child’s name has been changed

 

Snow Day Snow Day! February 10, 2010

Filed under: Planning Lessons,Policies and Education — meganmeyering @ 1:13 pm
Tags: , , ,

As a future teacher I am beginning to realize how problematic snow days really are. I mean as a teacher there isn’t really anything we can do about snow days.

My placement school today was supposed to have their science fair today, but with a snow day everything needs to change. It really throws a curve into how the science fair was planned. I am sure that my CT and the school are  getting numerous phone calls and emails concerning this matter. Lesson plans that were to be taught obviously cannot be. Tests and due dates scheduled later in the week may also be affected by the day off of school.

Not only are snow days an inconvenience for teachers but for parents as well. Childcare for younger children has to be taken into consideration. It may be difficult for parents to find childcare on short notice and given the job market and economy it may be difficult for the parent to take a day off work or even pay for child care all day long.

I am not trying to say that snow days are not fun or that teachers cannot recover from them, but there is so much more that goes into a snow day than i had one thought.

 

Teaching and Government January 27, 2010

With all the news about ‘Race to the Top’  policies changing education has been a big topic on my mind lately. No Child Left Behind was a big issue when it came out and Race to the Top seems to be met with the same amount of negativity that NCLB was.

We talked about these policies in my TE 401 class and I have to say that this legislation really angers me.  I wonder,  who is making and passing this legislation? Are they people who have doctorate degrees in education, but have never actually taught in a classroom?

I understand that people do in fact think long and hard about these policies while they are created, but it seems like they have more negative connotations than positive. Race to the Top for instance is described as a competition,  I wonder how that is beneficial to have ‘losers’ and ‘winners’ when it comes to education?

That leads me to standardized test scores. How are these really an accurate portrayal of advancement and achievement of either the student or the teacher?Also when we hear about Race to the Top we mainly hear how teachers and parents need to be held more accountable. I have yet to hear that students need to be held accountable for their learning.

Since these new policies are in fact going to be implemented, with more to come for sure, we need to strive for change. If there are going to be assessments they need to be balanced with standardized and authentic assessments. We also need to let policy makers know how (or if not) the new policies are working.