Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How we got here, your book study, and dual credit information

Welcome back! As we begin this final semester, it's time for some of you to start thinking about dual credit through UCM. Information about dual credit can be found here. Please look over the forms with your parents and let me know if you are going to register online. The cost is $85 per credit hour (a total of $340 for you--a bargain!). You will be registering for 2 classes:

  • EDFL 2100: Introduction to the Teaching Profession (3 hours)
  • FLDX 2150: Introductory Field Experience (1 hour)
Registration is due January 20th. Please, please check with your university or college before you register. You want to make sure your school will accept the credit for this class.

Class content for today:
1. We've examined some of the major issues with our educational system, so now it's time to look at how we got to this point. Today we are going to delve into our college-level textbook to explore the "History of Education in the United States" (chapter 7 starting on page 193).

First, skim the chapter to look for these important concepts:
  • Most important individuals in the history of education
  • Most important concepts 
  • Big events
When you have an idea of what you'll be reading about, start a mind map with a small group. Your mind map (which is just a fun way to conceptualize your reading) needs to include: 
  • a graphic organizer that shows the similarities and differences among the educational systems in colonial America, the 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, and the 21st century. This is where your understanding of important concepts becomes important. What are the 4 or 5 things you want to examine in your comparison?
  • drawings or representations of each time period listed in the previous bullet
  • the top 5 most important or most influential people in educational history and why you believe they are important
  • the top 5 "events" in education
2. The second thing you need to start thinking about is your professional book study (which will be due right after spring break).  This assignment ties into our last unit on professionalism. Excellent teachers (and well-rounded individuals in general) read to expand their understanding, so you are going to select a book tied to education in order to broaden your horizons. For your first book study, take notes and complete the following tasks (combined into one book reflection S'more):

  • Pretend you are a reviewer of professional learning books for Amazon. Tell teachers why they should read the book you selected. Include the major take away lessons.  (at least half a page) 
  • Write a reflection of how the principles/ ideas/ stories/ etc. connect to or impact you as a student and a learner. (a page or more)
  • Anticipate how you could use the pedagogy in the book in your current classroom placement or in your future classroom or work environment. How does your cooperating teacher model the principles in your book? (a page or more)
  • As you read, write down the questions that run through your brain. Select the questions that focus on big ideas (not small details that get answered at some point in your book) and detail them for the group. (at least half a page)
I will be assessing you on the following Missouri Core Competencies for Education and Training:

Academic Foundations
Explain [and apply] a variety of instructional models to enhance learning achievement.

Write effectively for a variety of audiences, purposes, and contexts.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
Use critical analysis to evaluate and respond to educational perspectives, [policies, and procedures].

So what will you be reading? Almost all of the books on this list will work (no poetry or coffee table books for the purposes of this assignment, but please read them for your own purposes). In addition, I recommend the following:

  • Brain Rules by John Medina--Not just for learning and teaching, but for life. Medina changed the way I think about everything I do. I should probably read it again. This one would be great for readers who like science and research, but he makes it accessible for just about everyone. 
  • The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide by Erin Gurwell--Especially good for those who want to teach high school English. You might want to read the memoir first (or watch the movie)--very honest, very emotional.
  • Green Beans and Ice Cream by Bill Sims--My friend is currently reading this for her job in the business world. I think it would be a great read overall if you're looking for ways to motivate people. 
  • Fish! by Stephen Lundin--Another one recommended by my friend. This book is about the employees at the famous Seattle fish market. It also focuses on improving morale and motivation. There are three companion books as well. 
  • QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life by John G. Miller--This one was recommended by a teacher in our building. Sounds like an awesome read for anyone!
  • When Kids Can’t Read—What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6–12 by Kylene Beers--I actually haven't read this one, but I would like to. The reality is that more and more students struggle with basic reading skills, and secondary teachers need to know how to address those issues. 
  • Testing Is Not Teaching: What Should Count in Education by Donald Graves--This is another one that I will be exploring with you. I saw Graves speak at a conference a few years ago. He has a really refreshing take on education. 
  • The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids Become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers by Nancie Atwell--Another book by Nancie Atwell that changed my classroom practices. 
  • Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning by Peter Johnston--A great book for building your classroom community and building up your students as learners and people. 

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