Friday, October 15, 2010

#6 Differentiating

I looked  at Sarah Ahlberg's Blog.     Right away I figured out that I was way off on how I did my last post as far as completing the assignment. Reading through Sarah's post I also had the Tic Tac Toe idea cleared up for me, it is a simple way to organize the options you want to give your students.  I also understood better how much we can differentiate. The possibilities are endless. I liked all of her ideas they were great and very helpful to me.  I also thought that if you were to do it on historical heroes that they needed to know for core content you could go back and having collected their info on the heros make a historic hero Tic Tac Toe review.    

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have always had a deep fascination with science fiction super Heroes.  I have read many books, comic books and movie/TV scripts dealing with "Heroes".   A Hero according to many of those books is someone that saves the day. Someone that overcomes the challenges put before them to succeed at a difficult task.  A Hero to me is someone who not only over comes their own trials but also continually works to better other people, a super hero is someone with an extraordinary talent that they use to help people.
Friendly Benny
Benny "the Leopard" Bean.  As a young boy Benny struggled with the way he looked. He was short, had bright red hair, and freckles.  His classmates noticed his freckles and asked "hey what are those spots?' what are you  a Leopard?" This troubled Benny he didn't know why he had these spots.  He decided he no longer wanted these freckles. When he went to bed that night he hoped, wished, and prayed that he would wake up with smooth Tan skin and few extra inches of height. That night Benny had a dream and in that dream he saw many of his friends from school.  The friends that he thought looked perfect and also one other friend a little girl even shorter than Benny.  This little girl had something else that made her stand out and look very different.  She had crutches she had to use because of the damage done to her legs by Polio. Benny saw this classmate and thought she is happy and look what she has.  The next morning Benny did not care about his freckles.  He no longer worried about what others would call him.

This is a story about my Dad and just one of many that illustrate why I think he is a hero.  In my explanation of a Super Hero is someone with an extraordinary talent that they use to help people.  My dad has a talent to make friends very easily.  He does this by having a genuine and excited interest in the people he meets.  He finds out what they like to do or where they are from and that fact becomes his favorite thing.  He will go home and research about the place or interest and think of all the connections he might have with it. The next time he sees the person he excitedly tells them about his connections and builds more and more connections.  This seems like a pretty powerless ability but time after time Benny has helped the people he meets become happy and excited about what they are doing and succeed in so many things. Benny is not only a hero but a Super Hero.

For Teaching I think I would use the Tiered Character Map to have students explore mine and other author's heroes. Then have them build their own hero for a story.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Room For Improvement

Hallmark #2 Absolute clarity about what he wants the students to know, understand, and be able to do-about what is truly important to learn in this unit.
bad example-I was teaching a fifth grade class about explorers and part of the standard was to expand the concept of what explorer is and can be.  I gave the students an assignment to think of something they would they would like to accomplish in their lives. With that goal in mind they were to then make, a time map and, write a bout what was they wanted to be. I was not clear enough about that standard so quite a few wrote about discovering America.
good example- The teacher gives an assignment for students to learn about what an explore was, is, and could be. Understanding the specific needs of all the students the teacher gives the students specific rubric's that state what it is they are to know, understand, and be able to do with this assignment having it be clear that they the students have the ability to explore and set goals to accomplish anything they dream of doing.
Hallmark #6 Individual growth is emphasized as central to classroom success. 
bad example-The teacher gets a new class and a new set of testing standards, the teacher is told that if all students test at grade level the school will receive a large grant.  The teacher drills the students for each part of the test no higher no lower. Using only lectures and worksheets to teach and assess if students are progressing.
good example- A teacher receives a new class and takes the first week to get to know the students one on one and set goals with them individually as to what they want to be able to accomplish by the end of the year.  Knowing what is on the tests and understanding the abilities of each student the teacher plans lessons that will cater to both ends making sure the students are enjoying as much as they can.  

B-3 Become computer savvy  I feel like I am pretty computer savvy and I am familiar with the technology that can be used in the classroom but I want to learn more and more. I don't feel I know enough about Web quests, and web inquires. I get that they are a powerful tool and could be used in so many ways I just don't feel like I have adequate experience in seeing how the kids will go through the  different activities and such.