Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In the News (Snow Day Edition)

Hi again!  Here's another edition of "In the News" because it's a snow day and I'm catching up on a bunch of articles that have been sent my way.  I feel like I could post an "In the News" post every week...but is that overkill?  I just posted one...last week, right?  As usual, these are articles I found educationally informative, interesting, or just plain amusing.

So first, this.  
Happy Snow Day! 
(sorry to those of you who had to go in to work today.  If if makes you feel better, I'm totally working from home...)
I'm so sad I didn't think of this first...

Now onto the latest news...

Washington Post/Twitter #evaluatethat
Let's start with something heartwarming... All the things teachers do for students that can't possibly be evaluated or measured.  Good work, guys.

Washington Post
States are renaming the Common Core standards in hopes that it will calm the backlash from the public.  Kansas did!  We call them the College and Career Readiness Standards (or CCRS if you need another acronym).  Do we really think the people won't catch on to this? 

Science World Report
This latest study shows that students who used their "intuitive sense of numbers" gives them better math problem solving skills.  Brush up those estimating skills with your students!

This article states that although Common Core is to be fully implemented at this time, many districts haven't completed a scope and sequence for their teachers or set out a complete plan to guide instruction in the classroom.  So does that mean that teachers are just making decisions based on what they think the standards mean?  Don't get me wrong, we are professionals and have been doing this job and we do have the skills to put this together...but doesn't this kind of defeat the point of having a common curriculum if not everyone has developed their system and explained the rules?  It's hard to play the game without knowing the rules.  Also, I have blogged about attacking these new standards and how to break them down into what is required by students in my blog post {Curriculum Planning is So...Fun?} from August.  It has been super helpful this year.

Video from CNN
I tried to embed this video and it won't work, so you'll have to follow the link!

{Pink, Princess-y, and Sexy Too Soon}
I just really believe this is big in our country today... I don't have children of my own, but it really bothers me when parents call their daughters princesses.  I have friends whose parents call them princess (we are thirty, for heavens sake), and girls do respond to this title differently than girls who are not taught that they are a princess.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about pretend, and if you want to pretend to be a princess, then go for it.  Just remember that it is pretend.  I'll step off my soapbox now!  My favorite quote from this article is "Once you see it, you can't unsee it."  Parents (and teachers!) need to be aware of what their children are being exposed to and do our best to keep it filtered when we can.  

CNN (again...)
I actually really liked reading this article after the previous article about redefining girly-ness.  The idea is thought provoking and I know there are many pros and cons to both educational settings.  Food for thought.

That's all for today. I'm busy working on our school's AdvancED accreditation.  We are in year four of a five year cycle and will be evaluated next school year.  It's so hard since our curriculum has changed- even testing is different- so evaluating the data and showing improvement is really tricky this cycle.  I'm one of the team leaders for Standard 3: Teaching and Assessing for Learning.  We are working through {this document} and self-assessing our school and where we think we sit right now.  Teachers are always hardest on ourselves.  So now my team is presenting our standard to the school with what we think we do really well, and what we think we really need to work on in the next year.  Back to work!

Happy Teaching!

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