Wednesday, December 9, 2009

VIPS Visit

On Friday December 4th, I went to my elementary school like I always do. When I woke up in the morning, I felt horrible, I had a cough, sniffy nose and my ears were clogged so right away, I thought great I'm not feeling well but I decided to go anways because I have missed two times already from being sick and I didnt have a fever so I went. On the way there I was really dragging. So I got in there and I signed in and went to my classroom and reading intervention started and I noticed that I had a new group of students. So I introduced myself and the students told me their names and then I just kind of sat there because I really didn't know what do to. I could feel myself heating up and I was just out of it. So we started to play the games/activites and the first game we went through right away, they knew bascially everything. Then I took out the next game and there was no materials for it. The different activites had no materials for me to use so we could not do the activity correctly. I just kind of looked at them and said okay lets play a game of Guess Who? and thats is what we played for the rest of the time. I would tell them that the word that I am thinking of begins with the sound "ssss" and shines up in sky and they would guess what I was thinking. When I left to go to my first grade classroom I felt really bad. I felt like I didn't do what I was susposed to do and the students that I had in my group were not the students that I have ever had before so they did not know how outgoing I ususally am, because we did not have fun or at least I did not have fun. It was like a VIPS day gone bad :(

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Empowering Education*

"Participation is the most important place to begin because student involvement is low in traditional classrooms and because action is essential to gain knowledge and develop intelligence. Piaget insisted on the relation of action to knowing: "Knowledge is derived from know an object is to act upon it and to transform know is therefore to assimilate reality into structures of transformation and these are the structures that intelligence constructs as a direct extension of our actions" (1979,28-29)
I agree with this because, I think that when students participate in the classrooms they will really understand the material better because they will have a visual of what is going on. Some students don't like to participate, but in the long run the students learn better when they do participate with all of the other students.

"It is a student-centered program for multicultural democracy in school and society. It approaches individual growth as an active, cooperative and social process, because the self and society create each other. Human beings do not invent themselves in a vacuum, and society cannot be made unless people create it together. The goals to this pedagogy are to relate personal growth to public life by developing strong skills, academic knowledge, habits of inquiry, and critical curiosity about society, power, inequality and change."
I also agree with this quote as well. Society isn't a society if there isn't people in it, and we the people make up a society all together, and each person puts in their differences. People and society intertwine.

"Situated, multicultural pedagogy increases the chance that students will feel ownership in their education and reduces the conditions that produce their alienation"....."But participation is a means, not an end, in this program for empowering education. There is a challenging goal to the participatory process I am suggesting: to discover the limits and resources for changing self and society"
Students that have a foreign language as their first language come into schools and already feel alienated because they don't speak the language that everyone else is speaking. If teachers bring the language into the classroom then the students wouldn't feel so alienated and they would feel welcomed and want to participate instead of not wanting to talk at all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Citizenship in School:Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome*

I really enjoyed this piece..I was very interested in it. I and minoring in special education, so I was into reading it. I agree with a lot of points in the article and heree are my quotes that I chose!

1. "Lee is, in a sense, in a way he's branded. People see him. They see Down syndrome. They see mental challenge, retardation, whatever you want to call it. That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him. Do you know what I mean? Because Lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted - in how he solves problems, cares about others, reads, loves math. So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee. It's not Lee you're picking out. It's your stereotype, your mind-set. It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee. But if that's how you choose to see him, I don't know that anything I could do, we could do, I don't think there's anything Lee could do to change your mind."
I really like this quote because I just think it's so true. In high school people would be like "theres the special ed kid" and it would always make me mad because just because they aren't as fast of a learner as others, doesn't mean that they aren't awesome people and don't have big hearts and have their own unique way of learning and doing things.

2."According to Shayne, the notion of Down syndrome often obscures our ability to recognize the child as a child. She or he becomes a walking pathological syndrome, a mobile defect on the loose."
After hearing since we were younger that this kid is down syndrome and that kid is special needs, it is hard to look at them as a child, when really that is what he/she is...just like you or me.

3. "Acknowledging students with Down syndrome as thoughtful, creative, and interested learners with personal identities that distinguish them from all other people suggests an individual value that enhances any context containing the child."
I like this quote as well because for anyone, if you give positive feedback, or act positively towards someone then the person feels good about themselves!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Promising Practices*

Promising Practices was a great experience for me, even though I didn't want to wake up at 7:30, it was well worth it in the end! When I first got there I registered then went through the Curriculum Resource Fair and chatted with some of the people there and got a ton of free books and stuff it was great!!!

Then I went to my first workshop which was Yoga and it was so great!!! It was all about the stress levels in the students and how if you practice breathing techniques and learn how to control it then the stress level never gets too high. When I first got there we did a breathing technique and closed our eyes and imagined we were at the top of a stair case and at the bottom was complete relaxation and then we went through it. Then she talked about how anxiety in students is huge right now and that a lot of students have to deal with it when it can be controlled. She was saying how she does yoga in the classroom and the students are a lot more focused through out the day. After she does yoga with them she has them write in their journal about how relaxed they feel or how stressed they still feel etc. Some of the students in the classroom have to go to a counselor to help them control their anxiety but for most of the kids yoga really helps them. Each time they take time out of their day to do yoga the teacher makes it a theme and ties it into what the students are learning at that time and then they write about it. This was very familiar to me because I have anxiety and I go to a counselor and we always practice breathing methods and different things that can help me get through an attack. I absolutely LOVED this workshop and when I become a teacher I want to get certified to teach yoga so that I can bring this into my classroom because I think it would really help the students focus and learn easier!!!

The second workshop that I went to was about different methods of teaching. There were 3 different teachers and each teacher was focused on a couple of students and tried to help them learn more efficiently. The first teacher that spoke was a 1st grade teacher in the Providence school system. She said that she would always have a student that would not listen and had a behavioral problem and she wanted to help them and make them focused and learn. So she focused more on them. She felt that when the students came and sat on the rug to do their activities that the students could never stay in their own space and it would get all out of hand so she asked the students what they wanted to do to learn the different activities. Some said at their seats and others said on the rug so she did it half and half through out the week. For the student that had the behavioral problem she let them sit where ever they felt was comfortable to them at that time so that they could focus, and when they couldn't she would let them go to a different room to gather themselves up and start to focus again to come back to the classroom. The next teacher was a special education teacher in a room where there was a general teacher as well and she was a teacher in elementary school. What she wanted to know was when the students worked together in partners and they choose their own partner if things the work got done or if she partnered the students together herself if it would work out better. So she partnered up the classroom and had a student at a lower learning level and then a student at a higher learning level pair up and she found that even though the students really never had spoken before the activity the students seemed to get along great and the work ended up getting done accurately. Most of her students spoke Spanish so they could also communicate and explain different things in Spanish so that both of them could understand each other. The third teacher was just strictly a special education teacher with students who were deaf, blind, in wheel chairs etc and she was in a middle school. What she wanted to do was have students from a general class come into her special education class to spend time with her students in the social aspect and as well as helping them cook, read, play games etc. The students ended up coming into her classroom and helping out her students and she noticed that in the hallways they would say hi to each other and she noticed how much the general students loved coming in and spending time with her students. I really enjoyed this workshop as well! This workshop reminded me of a couple authors that we have read throughout the semester. One of the authors would be Delpit because each of the teachers had their their own direct style of teaching and they really helped out each one one of their students and tried to make school an awesome place to be! Another author that came to mind would be Collier because the second teacher that spoke partnered her students up with a child who was a lower level learner with a higher level learner student and they both spoke Spanish so they could conversed in Spanish as well to explain certain things to each other so that they could understand completely.

The keynote speaker, Tricia Rose was AMAZING!!!! I loved how real she was like she wasn't putting on an act for the audience, she was just so real and seemed that she spoke from her heart. I really liked her story about the girl who was presenting to her class and said that her computer was acting "gay" in the class and how the students felt hurt by what she said and how she as the professor had to address it the next class. I think that she addressed it very well and that no one really got hurt in the end. She was an extremely powerful speaker, and everything that she said connected with this class and it made a lot of sense to me. I loved her pledge, I thought it was really great that she came up with something like that. She was awesome and I really enjoyed listening to her!!!

I really enjoyed the conference and I learned so many things from it!!

This is one of the poses that we learned in the yoga workshop! This is the warrior pose.

This is another yoga pose, its the downward dog pose!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gender & Education in 2009
I choose this video because it is someone from the Real World on MTV that went to a school and talked about gender inequality and her history and how she feels that she used to be a boy and how she had a sex change etc. I liked this video because I think it makes the peope in the crowd feel very comfertable with themselves whether gay or not. She tells stories about her childhood and is funny and I think that the people in the crowd would feel comfertable with themselves listening to her.

This video is mainly about education. The different kids in the video talk about how they wish they had teachers that cared about them and had teachers that actually listened to them instead of just lecturing. Also they talk about spending money on jails and such where they live and they wish that the money could be spent on their schooling and teachers because thats where they want to be. They want safe places to go to read and do homework etc but instead most of these kids are out on the street and they don't want to be.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Talking Points # 6*

After watching the two movies interviewing Tom Wise and after looking at the sites that Dr. Bogad posted on the Brown verses Board of Education, I realized that there is still racism in the United States today. Even thought Obama is now president, people are now saying that you have to dress and act like Obama to be a successful African American. I think that is ridiculous, it is only a skin color what is the big deal!?!? We should all be treated the same way no matter the color of our skin or where we have came from. Unfortunately just because the United States has a black president, doesn't mean that racism is gone, there is still much work to be done so that everyone can feel as though they are being treated equally.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In The Service Of What?

I think that service learning is extremely important to all. I think that people need to sometimes go outside of their box and see the actual real world and see what goes on in other peoples daily lives. I also think that when people do service learning they get rewarded by how thankful the people are and you feel good about yourself. In high school I had to do service learning and I did it at a private pre and kindergarten school and loved it! It was a real eye opener to how the children acted and how it was different from everyday and I learned so much from it!!

1. "In addition to helping those they serve, such service learning activities seek to promote students' self-esteem, to develop higher-order thinking skills, to make use of multiple abilities, and to provide authentic learning experiences--all goals of current curriculum reform efforts" I think that this quote is very true. I think while you are doing service learning not only are you helping out the people you are working with, but you are also helping out yourself. You learn from people and you realize how much you can actually do to help someone out.

2. "The ability of service learning curriculum to foster authentic, experience-based learning opportunities, to motivate students, to help students in higher-order thinking in contextually varied environments, and to promote interdisciplinary studies" I think that this quote is true. I feel this way about my service learning right now that we are going through. I am learning a great deal with being with the students and I help them with what the students need.

3."The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of "otherness" that often separates students--particularly privileged students--from those in need. In so doing, the potential to develop caring relationships is created." I love this quote. I think that in schools where you have privileged students and where you have those students in need sometimes the students in need get put down even more by the privileged students which doesn't make them feel any better about themselves.