Picture Book Addict? Join Us August Picture Book 10 for 10 by Cathy Mere

Picture Book Addict? Join Us August Picture Book 10 for 10 by Cathy Mere.

 

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If you need money, here are some ideas….

If you need money, here are some ideas…..

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If you need money, here are some ideas….

Change the schedule for high school students to later in the morning. If  students  live less than 2 miles away, there will be no transportation for them. In doing this, we will save money on transportation costs, but we  will also help our students’ health: they will have the sleep they need, and get the exercise they need as they will walk to school. We must remind our community that transportation is a privilege, not an obligation, that’s the rationale for community schools.

Students in K-6 should have a  current high school schedule, early in the morning. They will learn more because they would not have wasted time watching TV/playing video games while they wait for the bus. Remember many parents leave early for work!  If they learn more because they are alert then we do not need the $$$$ we spend in remediation.

Invest in ideas that will promote more time to teach: No unnecessary clerical work for teachers,   Strategies to keep students engage in instruction, need more? Let’s have a conversation…..

Do not purchase textbooks : Balanced literacy is not dependent on textbooks but on  good literacy teachers and a sound amount of trade books.  This initiative alone will save a substantial amount of money. The money we spend on textbooks has more to do with tradition than what is good for student learning. We must keep our eyes and souls fixed on our mission: student learning.

Stop benchmark testing, teachers know how to test their students; they can tell if a student is learning. Do not trust teachers to do this? Have administrators visit the classrooms more often. If a teacher is not effective, get rid of him/her. Students do not need ineffective teachers. This initiative will save money and will be environment friendly.

Interested?  Email me at gladyslanding-corretjer@timetoteach.com

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Shortchanging our students and teachers: raise your hand if you are guilty

Shortchanging our students and teachers: raise your hand if you are guilty.

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Shortchanging our students and teachers: raise your hand if you are guilty

I am thinking about learning….

Learning is a process…. I am wondering how some of the conditions prevailing in our schools today shortchange the learning process for our students. I am thinking about teachers’ planning periods, many of these planning periods are not adequate. Sometimes, the times allotted on paper seem satisfactory, but what the public does not know is that during the planning time teachers have to attend meetings and do tons of clerical work that have nothing to with planning instruction. Do not believe me, ask any teacher who is not afraid to tell the truth (many of them are)!

Learning is a process…. and I am wondering how schools interrupt this process. Learning is sacred….but politicians know nothing about it. Schools should be places to learn, not places where curriculum changes not to satisfy/meet students’ needs but to satisfy the ego of politicians that want things their way!

Hindering learning is a sin! The Bible teaches that “my people perish because of lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) and we will give account to Him when we deliberately deprive people from learning. How do you do that, you ask? I am so glad you asked. This is how you are hindering learning in public schools across the country:

  1. Lack of funding or inadequate funding
  2. Living in the past and unwilling to accept the challenges of the present day
  3. Inhibiting teachers from doing what they need to do for students because tests scores are more important than learning
  4. Preventing teachers from learning (not allowing them to attend conferences)
  5. Silencing teachers’ voices!

I will tell you more soon. This should be enough for you to start thinking about how you politician, policy maker, school administrator hinder learning in this country.

 

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Embarrassed to Read by Donalyn Miller

Embarrassed to Read by Donalyn Miller.

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Hear ye! Hear ye!

Hear ye! Hear ye!

This is a very important announcement. Today,  I will re teach and we will learn the meaning of two important words: equality and equity. They have the same beginning and the same end, but they do not have the same meaning. No, they are not homophones. Yes, they are both nouns. No, they are not synonyms. Let’s see what the Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary has to say.

Equality: (noun) the state of being equal, uniformity

Equity: (noun) Fairness or impartiality, justness.

As you can see equality does not equal equity. We must remind ourselves of the important distinction between these two words.

Many school districts confuse these two terms constantly and here I am once again trying to explain the difference.

Equality is:

  1.  what you do in your classroom when give snacks to your students, you make sure that each student gets the same amount of cookies, grapes, carrots whatever you are giving as a snack that day (and of course I know that the money for the snack came out your pocket as teacher but I am not discussing that today)
  2. What school boards do when they assigned money in the budget for textbooks “every child must have a book”

In contrast, we have the term equity which is:

  1. What we as educators do when we differentiate instruction for our students, each student has different needs
  2. What schools boards do when they assigned salaries according to experience and education

 

Are we clear so far? Great! Because I need you to help me understand the following:

  1. Why we do not differentiate professional development for teachers?
  2. Why some states do not grant their teachers free duty lunch?
  3. Why leadership opportunities are given to “brown nosers” instead of qualified people?
  4. Should I go on?

 

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One easy way to decrease inequity and social injustice it is to read and have access to lots of books….

Nerdy Book Club

Last Friday night, I met my new students. Seeing children investigating our classroom for the first time, it finally felt like home. Walking around the room visiting families, I overheard Maggie tell her mother, “Wow. We have a lot of books in here.”

Sidling over to her, I said, “I think we need a lot of books, don’t you?”

Maggie beamed, “Yes! Yes, we do.”

She chatted with me about the Dork Diaries book she is currently reading and we looked in our classroom library for more books in the series. I told Maggie that I shoved more books in our storage closet before she and her classmates arrived, “I am glad you all are here. I know you will be taking some of these books home to read and we will have more room!”

From the first day of school and for every day after that, I want my…

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Work ethic: Pride and responsibility in students work

I just finished reading the book: The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It was a good book; the kind that is thought provoking and pushes one to action. I would encourage you to read it, if you haven’t.

In the following weeks, I will mention this book often on this blog.  Mr. Friedman is not a teacher; he is a journalist and a father. However, he can articulate an educational mission for our children with surprising clarity and vision. His comments on education and social justice are commendable.

The first issue I am going to tackle is responsibility and pride or work ethic. In my own educator’s journey I see how our students’ work ethic has change. I remember not long ago the effort our students used to put in their work. But in the last 5 years I have observed carelessness in the way they work and in the assignments they turned in, when they decide to turn them in. If any one of you feel the same please let me know. We need to strategize and combat this enemy with all the tools we have.

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Inequity and injustice

Dear Friends,
This post is not about inequity and injustice in education, but nevertheless it is injustice! This what my friend a service man has to say. Please pay attention:

Eldwin Gajate

Please spread this as widely as possible. 500,000 Disabled Military Retirees need your help. We are the last retirees who are still being forced by Congress to forfeit $1 of our earned military retirement for every $1 we receive in Veterans Disability Compensation. Congress is in the process of passing the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. This is the single bill which can put an end to this despicable practice. Senator Reid is going to submit an amendment to the bill in September. Please tell your Congress person and Senators to support this amendment. Thank you.

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