Blog post – Week 11 – 4/2 Openly-Networked

1. Re-Crafting Mathematics Education

This site shows some ways that crafting such as knitting, sewing, weaving and quilting employ mathematics.  

2. Re-Crafting Blog The link to this blog was embedded in the ReCrafting Mathematics Education site.  It provides more information regarding the making of things and also discusses how mathematics and mathematical concepts are an  integral part of the making process.

3. When will we stop teaching kids to memorize math?  This essay really gets at the heart of what I aim to do with my teaching. I want students to comprehend what they are doing, not simply compute answers.  “The important part of math is understanding how to represent a real world problem using mathematical symbols. How math connects to everyday things. What math symbols mean.”

4. Here’s how to get kids to stop saying they hate math. This article also really gets at why it is important to teach mathematics in a meaningful way in order to promote understanding. ”Teaching this way is a critical first step if students are to begin recognizing mathematics as meaningful. Conceptual understanding is a key ingredient to helping people think mathematically and use mathematics outside a classroom. ”

5. Problems

https://twitter.com/mashupmath

Finding Our Shared Purpose

This week, I was asked too contribute to a class google slides project about our shared purpose in equitable connected learning.  It was an interesting experience because while we all had a similar basic interpretation of equity in the classroom, we each have a personal spin on equity as it has played out in our lives.

This s what is so great about shared purpose! There is a goal that we are all working toward, but it offers a certain flexibility that allows each of us to reach that goal in our own way.   I am reminded of Roberto, a student I was introduced to in Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom.  Roberto is a student who does not see the value in engaging in academia in the traditional ways because the system itself looks down on identities that he claims.  Those tasks that Roberto does deem meaningful, he engages in completely, which is when his teach used shared purpose to approach Roberto and engage his strengths.

Roberto reminds me of my brother.  He always did exactly what he had to do to get A’s and B’s and he exerted little more energy than that.  He was not stimulated by the traditional classroom setting, however, he would come home and  go cliff jumping with his friends and his Go-Pro and come home and make films with audio and visuals.  When he got bored of that, he began taking sneakers apart and rebuilding them in the basement.  My brother is very intelligent, though you would not necessarily know it by looking at his report cards growing up.  He thinks differently and is stimulated by real-world problems, not the facsimiles produced in classrooms.

My brother could have greatly benefited from learning with a shared purpose because it would have allowed him to demonstrate his unique style of problem-solving and bring an additional perspective to the classroom.  That is what shared purpose can offer.  In the classroom, shared purpose can offer access by valuing diversity where diversity would otherwise be looked down on in favor of teaching to the test.

 

Find 5 Friday #F5F

  1. Mixing it Up with Purpose  is a lunch initiative whereby student from different cliques sit with one another and engage in conversation.  This initiative came from about because of the conflict LA schools were having.  This is an opportunity for shared purpose because everyone was being impacted by the conflict and this was their opportunity to work together.
  2. Sharing Our Colors: Writing Poetry is a lesson plan which uses poetry to help students develop their racial and ethnic identities in a safe space.  The shared purpose of developing different identities is a rich one and by doing so through poetry, students can be vulnerable and access these identities through a medium that invites creativity.
  3. The Importance of Purpose in Education seems to support standards based learning but also acknowledges that students need to forge their own paths to reaching those goals.  So can shared purpose support standards based learning?
  4. Connecting Elders and Students to Improve Socio-Emotional Learning The shared purpose of improving socio-emotional learning has led to a program that partners the elderly and school age children.
  5. Creating Identities as Digital Learners is an article about a shared purpose of becoming a more digitally competent.  A teacher takes an unfortunate scheduling mix-up and turns it into an opportunity to teach and learn about digital technology.

Find 5 Friday #F5F

  1. Mixing it Up with Purpose  is a lunch initiative whereby student from different cliques sit with one another and engage in conversation.  This initiative came from about because of the conflict LA schools were having.  This is an opportunity for shared purpose because everyone was being impacted by the conflict and this was their opportunity to work together.
  2. Sharing Our Colors: Writing Poetry is a lesson plan which uses poetry to help students develop their racial and ethnic identities in a safe space.  The shared purpose of developing different identities is a rich one and by doing so through poetry, students can be vulnerable and access these identities through a medium that invites creativity.
  3. The Importance of Purpose in Education seems to support standards based learning but also acknowledges that students need to forge their own paths to reaching those goals.  So can shared purpose support standards based learning?
  4. Connecting Elders and Students to Improve Socio-Emotional Learning The shared purpose of improving socio-emotional learning has led to a program that partners the elderly and school age children.
  5. Creating Identities as Digital Learners is an article about a shared purpose of becoming a more digitally competent.  A teacher takes an unfortunate scheduling mix-up and turns it into an opportunity to teach and learn about digital technology.

ED677 Spring 18 Week 12 #F5F

I chose this as my first article for pick five since it explicitly describes the process to formally creating a shared purpose.  I often find that when we examine how policies that enhance interpersonal connections (like shared purpose), it can be hard to formally enumerate policies.  I think this article does a decent job describing the diversity and complexity of creating a shared commitment for learners.

I posted this group of articles about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from the NYTimes.  The idea behind this post is exploring how students in an online class, (but may not have ties such as a college matriculation or college major) can create social norms and create that shared commitment to a common purpose.  I think that MOOCs may have had a slight comedown from their initial popularity from several years ago, however I do believe their effect to “democratize” education describes their lasting impact.

 

Another shout out to my classmate Kristin on this great find… I selected this article, because I think it encapsulates much of the struggle that occurs when administrators are trying to create strong policy such as common purpose.  If it is just some formal piece of writing, it does not really help to create that strong sense of common purpose necessary for a classroom, let alone one focused on connected learning.  The focus behind this article is to create that strong common purpose to drive a great learning environment.

 

I included this strategic plan from Arcadia University.  This framework is meant to have a forward looking mindset to try and create a high benchmark of success to inspire and create positive change.  Has it been successful?  Does it create the outcomes that it hopes to accomplish?  I would argue to my classmates that this is up to us to make that determination if Arcadia’s organizational attitude has had its desired outcomes.

 

Last but not least… this article describes the shared governance that US Higher Education struggles to maintain today.  With the corporate mindset that the article describes it is difficult to maintain that collegiality or group mindset that higher education is known to maintain.  However, instead of saying that this change is bad, knowing that this change to higher education shared purpose is important to incorporate to future policymakers since it describes how universities will need to interact in the future.

Find Five Friday

Hi everyone, Happy Friday!

I hope you enjoy my resources this week…

  1. To have shared purpose in a school environment, it takes a lot of preparation and planning. It can be overwhelming trying to incorporate shared purpose into a school, especially if it was not put into place from the start. If teachers and colleagues want to incorporate shared purpose into their school community, this link displays multiple resources to help understand what shared purpose is, ways to attain it, and mission statements from other districts. Take a look: https://www.teacherpowered.org/guide/storming/governance/purpose
  2. The following video discusses a mentoring strategy used to train new teachers about planning, instruction, and assessment. In the strategy, student teachers co-teach with professional teachers who have been in the field for years. This strategy is used, so that new teachers and teachers who have been in the field can strengthen their craft with the use of collaboration. https://www.edutopia.org/video/mentoring-strategy-preservice-teachers
  3. The next link is an article that discusses a “teacher powered school” where teachers created a mission statement they wanted staff and students to follow. Then, the article discusses how that shared purpose was designed, typical questions that were asked, and how that share purpose changed their school environment. https://www.teacherpowered.org/files/attachments/Shared-Purpose.pdf
  4. I really enjoyed the following video because it discussed a shared purpose that was revolved around creating a school community for English language learners. In the school, they have a period called “community circles” where students and teachers are celebrated for their hard work. This shared purpose boosts morale and student/teacher confidence, which I think is an extremely key component of a successful school community. https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/school-culture-community-circles
  5. My last resource this week wraps up shared purpose by discussing various schools’ mission statements and the process it took the schools to create them. Also, the article mentions why mission statements are so important to have and follow in a school community. Last, there are links that further explore mission statements and their purpose. http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/adminimutest2.shtml

Five Fabulous Friday Finds – Week 12

Yes, yes.  I know it’s not yet Friday, but it’s Friday, Jr., so that’s a good enough excuse for me to post my finds.  This week, the finds will look at the concept of shared purpose.

(1) Harvard Business Review posted a brilliant article on how a shared purpose drives collaboration and then took it a step further by reminding us of some of the most outstanding examples of collaboration in history!

(2) Lately, I have found myself asking the following question: “Why did I decide to go into education?”  I have asked my teacher friends the same question, and after much conversation, we really all came back to one shared purpose –> We all went into education in the hopes of making a difference.  Truly to make a difference though, we need to do our best to find what inspires our students to help them find their purpose.

(3) I LOVE the idea that my classroom is a little family.  As is such, it is important to do our best to group students purposefully together, which leads to productive collaboration.

(4) In regards to Find #3, the reality is that students always will not get along and work collaboratively toward a shared purpose or goal.  Fortunately, Thom Markham wrote an article that delves into how we, as educators, can foster collaboration and team work in the classroom

(5) Finally, I bring to you this spoken word piece that I stumbled upon ages ago, that the boyfriend happened to stumble upon recently, thereby bringing it to my attention and sparking a renewed interested in this piece.  Taylor Mali cannot help but share what his purpose was as a teacher, and I cannot help but agree with every word he says.

Always,

Ms. J

Shared Purpose

What does it mean to have a shared purpose?  In order for a shared purpose to exist, then a common goal must be present.  For students, the common goal often is a project or an assignment that must be completed in order to receive a grade.  For educators, though?  Well, the hope is that educators have a shared purpose of bettering our students in terms of academics, social skills, courage, and personal goals, to name a few.  Fortunately, as educators, we are given many an opportunity to collaborate with our students and our colleagues, thereby enabling us to go even further with our shared purposes and goals.  Not only are we able to collaborate during professional development trainings, but we also have the opportunity to work together to write curriculum, while also giving our students a voice in the classroom, especially with the technology initiative the provides every student at the high school level with their own Chromebook!

Once a shared purpose or goal is determined, then it just becomes a matter of staying determined and motivated to see the purpose or goal through until the desired results are accomplished!  With that said, we should find a way to work toward a shared purpose of creating equity in education.  

Working in the field of special education, and working with students who are on the spectrum, I am no stranger to the inequalities that exist in education.  All of my students are limited in certain skill sets that come more easily to some of their typically developing peers, thereby creating an unequal playing field.  With that said, this inequality is not specific to my students, as there are a number of students at the high school who find themselves on that same unequal playing field.  These students find themselves on that unequal playing field due to socio-economic status, language barriers, opportunities, and so on and so forth.  Therefore, it is our duty as educators to do our best to ensure that our students have what they need in order to become successful.  Will it always be fair that some students receive more supports than others?  Not necessarily.  However, fair does not equate equity; rather, fair enables for equity as every person then ends up on that very much desired level playing field.

What are some of your purposes and goals that you would like to see come to fruition??  

Always,

Ms. J

Openly Networked Find 5

1.  I found this video fascinating.  It highlights an innovative high school in Singapore that embodies the connected learning framework and 21st century skills.  

2.  The ISTE infographic found in this article, How to Be a Connected Educator, is a great visual on small moves educators can make to be openly networked.  I especially love the idea of creating and posting surveys and questions on social media sites.

3.  Five Steps to Better School/Community Collaboration:  Simple Ideas for Creating a Stronger Network  offers some very practical ideas on how to be more openly networked.  Step 3 is my favorite…creating a community resource map.  “ A visual representation of your community and the various skills people have to offer is a super way to understand what community resources are available. If you build one, also point out the materials people can supply at cost or for free, the time they can invest in projects, and how they can connect to curriculum, and classroom activities. Include the networks they can utilize to raise awareness of the needs of local children and families, and always promote and foster resource-sharing and collaboration. “

4.  Check out this video about STEAM Studio, a collaborative community project in Chicago.

5.  Wow!  This last article is an amazing example of how community connections can literally change lives.  A public library in Nashville partnered with a juvenile detention center to empower the students to find success. Definitely worth reading!