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.