Monday, December 3, 2018

Last Blog Post of 2018!

This is your last blog post for the semester! YAY! As the semester winds down, take some time to reflect on your internship experience thus far. What were some highs and lows? What are something you could improve upon for next semester? What have you really enjoyed and what have you not liked so much? What do you think could be done differently about our class time together? Is there something you would like to learn about that we haven't covered yet?

Please post your remarks by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 7th.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Developmentally Appropriate Classrooms

Have you ever wondered what your classroom says about you and your students?  What would an outsider's first impression be of your classroom? Is your room filled with engaging materials?  Is your curriculum appropriate? Do you plan for transitions? Do you use positive guidance with the children?

All of these factors work together to build a classroom that is developmentally appropriate - a place that is comfortable, safe, and secure. The developmentally appropriate classroom is a carefully planned room where children can initiate learning. It is a place that meets the needs of the children and provides materials that are age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate.

Research has shown that children in developmentally appropriate programs are less stressed, less anxious about tests, better creative thinkers, and better communicators. However, children have a number of limitations depending on their developmental level.  Educators must ensure that children are provided with an age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate environment.
There are many aspects involved in making a classroom developmentally appropriate, including: the physical environment, curriculum, teacher involvement and parent involvement. These aspects should be integrated so children get the best experience possible from their classrooms.

The developmentally appropriate classroom is a safe, secure, and stimulating place where each child can grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Classrooms should consist of developmentally appropriate materials and learning centers for the children to explore. The general
atmosphere of the classroom should be relaxed because children learn more when they feel psychologically safe.
Describe a developmentally appropriate activity that you have observed your mentor teacher use in their classroom.

Write your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, November 30th.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Multiple Intelligences

Read up about Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Then, watch this video about multiple intelligences in action.

Tell me what you think:
Do you agree or disagree with Howard Gardner’s theory?

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday,November 16th.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Training New Teachers

Imagine you have recently accepted a position as an assistant principal at an elementary school. One of your duties is to train new teachers in classroom management. What classroom management skills would you like your prospective teachers to possess? Use the following questions to gather your thoughts.

  • Think about your favorite teacher. What made this teacher special? Did he or she have good classroom management? Describe his or her classroom.
  • What is classroom management?
  • Why is a positive learning environment important and how does it relate to the success of students?
  • How do classroom management skills relate to the success or failure of a classroom? Of a student? Of a teacher?
  • What characteristics do you possess to promote effective learning skills?

Write the answers to the questions in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday November 9th.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Community Service VS. Service Learning

Community service is a project that an individual or group works on to help out members of their community - churches, other individuals, non profit organizations, etc. Community service provides something to the community that is needed, and those involved will hopefully learn life skills along the way.

Service learning is different from community service. Whereas the goal of community service is providing the service, and the learning is subsequent, in service learning it is the other way around. The primary goal is learning, and service is secondary. The person/group being helped is still receiving the same amount of service, if not more, but the learning from the experience is so much more.

A group or individual involved in a service learning project will generate ideas on how to help, come up with an action plan, perform the service, and reflect upon their experiences. Through this process there will be personal growth and understanding of a situation bigger than themselves.

Describe a service learning project that you have been apart of (or one that you know of).

Who was helped in the process?

What was learned?

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, November 2nd.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Meeting “America’s Educator”

Ron Clark has been called “America’s Educator.” In 2000 he was named Disney’s American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author, whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries. He has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, and Oprah. Ms. Winfrey even named him as her first “Phenomenal Man.” His classes have been honored at the White House on three separate occasions. Ron’s teaching experiences in New York City are the subject of the uplifting film, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry.

Ron Clark and Kim Bearden met in 2000 when Disney honored them both as Teachers of the Year. They became fast friends as they shared their passion for students and creative teaching. In the fall of 2004, Clark and Bearden met to hold a serious discussion about something that they had casually chatted about numerous times over the previous five years: Clark wanted to start a school of his own - one that would be unlike any other. At that time, the school had no name, no funding, and no facility. However, Clark and Bearden’s vision for the institution were tangible from the very start-- they shared common beliefs and ideas, and they knew that they were called to move forward. Bearden gave Clark her word that she would help him with the endeavor, and the dream began.

The Ron Clark Academy (RCA) is a highly-acclaimed, nonprofit middle school located in Southeast Atlanta. The Academy has received both national and international recognition for its success in educating students with academic rigor, passion, and creativity balanced by a strict code of discipline. Our 5th - 8th grade students represent various socio-economic and academic backgrounds and communities from across the metro region.

If you had the opportunity to meet Ron Clark, what five questions would you ask him?

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm, Friday, October 26th.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Children's Stories

Children’s stories have always been special and the source of stimulation of the imagination. They generate creativity and unique storytelling. Stories allow children a connection to people and the world. Reading allows children a safe place to learn and be entertained. Stories provide an avenue to explore new ideas, morals and promote intellectual development.

Thinking about children's stories and why we use them in school, answer the following questions.

It is wise to teach young children morals because _________________________.

Educators have the responsibility to enforce morals in their classrooms because ___________________.

The benefits of reading to children include ____________________.

My favorite book to read as a child was _____________________because _____________________.

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm Friday, October 19th.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Cooperative Classroom Games

Imagine this: You’ve planned a fantastic lesson that involves students working together and learning together. In your well-crafted plans, the students are engaged in your activity. supporting one another, and growing as a learning community. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

Classroom activities don't always happen this way. Why? Most likely, your students are unable to work together properly because they do not know how to support one another. By using cooperative games, students will become critical thinkers, learn to work with one another, and apply these skills to accomplish team goals. The best part? Your students will have FUN while developing these skills!

Cooperative games are not like competitive games. Cooperative games do not have to have a sole winner, as the objective is for all teams to succeed. Competitive games sometimes result in poor self-esteem for students who are on the losing end and not all students have the competitive edge needed in order to win.

Cooperative games allow students to work together to make decisions based on creative thinking, communication, and collaboration. When students are provided with a challenge, students are given the freedom to work together to solve the challenge by discussing various strategies, communicating their ideas, and putting their plans into action. These games have the student’s development in mind, as students are the primary decision makers with little teacher direction.

As there aren’t any right or wrong answers (just strategies), students build better relationships with other team members as they struggle, deal with failure, and eventually work to master the problem presented. Throughout this process, students are critically thinking of their strategies and making quick decisions, while they are verbally and physically interacting with one another and, therefore, developing their cognitive abilities. As students try out various strategies and assess the outcomes, they are becoming more self-confident, learning to deal with stressful situations, and understand the importance of working together as a team to be successful.

Perhaps one of the simplest, and most well-known examples of a cooperative classroom game is the human knot. Likely, we have all been apart of this challenge at some time.

Find an example of a cooperative classroom game.

Try not to post the same game as anyone else!

hint: advantage to those who post first! ;)

Post your game example (name and description/objective) in the comments by 11:59 pm on
Friday, October 12th.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Week ONE Complete!

Congrats! You finished your first week as a student intern!

Tell us all about your experience. Don't hold back!

Things to think about:
Exciting things that happened?
Have you learned anything yet?
How do you like your mentor teacher?
What are the students like?
What is the classroom environment like? (set up and mood)
What was your favorite part of this week?

I'm excited to hear!

Post your response in the comments by 11:59pm, on Friday, October 5th.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Importance of Literacy

You start to learn language from the day you are born. You learn to use language to express your feelings and communicate with others. During the early speech and language development, you learn skills that are important to the development of literacy.

Literacy is a person's ability to read and write. Reading and writing are important to help function in school, on the job, and in society.

In school, children with communication disorders are more likely to struggle with literacy skills. They often perform poorly in school, have problems reading, and have difficulty understanding and expressing language.

Adults may also have literacy problems. Some adults continue to struggle with reading and writing from childhood. Others have trouble reading and writing after a stroke or brain injury.

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you were illiterate?

What would you do if you could not read or write??

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 28.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Effective Schools

Read this article from the Washington Post on effective schools:

Do you think Round Rock is an effective school? Why or why not? If you think yes, what other schools have you go to that were effective and why? If you think no, what would make Round Rock more effective?
Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 21st.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Classroom of the Future

In the past 100 years, classrooms have evolved tremendously. We've transitioned from the one-room schoolhouse in the middle of town to large institutions housing thousands of students and hundreds of teachers simultaneously running classes. Keeping in mind how much change has happened even in the past 10-15 years, I want you to look ahead to the future.

Tell me what you think the classroom will look like in 100 years.

Things to think about:
- The students
- Classroom environment
- Technology used
- What is the teacher like? Is there a teacher present?
- What are the materials like?

Post your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 14th.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Me, a Teacher?!

Why do you want to be a teacher?

In 2-3 paragraphs, tell me why you think you would like to be a teacher.

Also, include:
- Your name (first name and last initial only - ex: Melissa T.)
- Your grade level
- What grade(s) or subject(s) you would be interested in teaching
- Your "aha" moment - when/how did you realize this is something you wanted to do
- What kind of experience are you gaining right now, pre-college, to help you reach your goal

Post your comment/response by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 7th.

Monday, August 20, 2018

TED Talks

Educational TED Talks

Find an education-related TED talk on either or TEDed

Post a link, or the title of your selected video in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, August 31st.


Welcome to our class blog!

This is where we can stay connected to current issues, trends and developments in education. Be sure to check back weekly for new blog posts. New posts will (usually) go up by Monday at 9:00am.

You will be required to read and comment on each blog post posted by Mrs. Oliver each week. Your comment will be due on Friday by 11:59 pm. You will also be required to read and comment on someone else's post twice a six weeks. These will be weekly grades!

If you have questions, need help or have concerns, just ask!

Happy Reading!

--Mrs. Oliver