Introduction #ETMOOC In My Classroom

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In my classroom at the end of the day, I wondered what could I share about me?  Here’s the contribution:

About Me #ETMOOC In the Classroom from Sheri Edwards on Vimeo.

 

What Else?

This is a question we ask in my classroom. What else could we do or say or revise or explore or share?

So in this #etmooc, I asked, “What else could I learn?”  I wonder about these questions:

  • Given the access, technology, resources, and requirements available to me, how can I create a classroom world reflective of what my students need in the future that is theirs?

 

  • How do I need to adapt my pedagogy to create that classroom?

 

  • How will like-minded teachers connect and collaborate to create connected spaces for themselves and with their students?

As a middle school teacher of language arts, I hope to connect with others to ponder these questions, create a space to act on them, and discover together ways to improve education in our own worlds.

What questions do you have to add? Is there a better way to ask these questions? Are there answers?

 

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  8 comments for “Introduction #ETMOOC In My Classroom

  1. Susan van Gelder
    January 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

    So nice to get to know you. I am not longer in the classroom (though after 10 years out, I am volunteering one afternoon a week in a 6th grade classroom to help with a technology project), but I can identify with your approach. So much of education is artificial. We need to make it real. Fortunately the spectre of standardized testing has not yet taken over the province of Quebec, where I live. However, our curriculum is slowly being eroded by those outside influences. I feel I need to be that old lady who is screaming. I know I will be getting inspiration from reading your words.

    • January 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Susan, Glad we’re extending this conversation about the effects of testing and other current policies on learning. We need to continue working together and inspiring each other to effect the changes classroom by classroom until what counts for kids cannot be ignored any more. And because you are not in the classroom, you can be the voice behind the scenes offering support, and maybe letters in the right places! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Laurie Niestrath
    January 21, 2013 at 5:38 am

    This is a lovely introduction, Sheri! I especially like the look and feel of a scrapbook page. There is much that I need to learn about how to create some of these presentations.
    A language arts teacher in my old school had the saying about the old lady on her wall. I will never forget seeing it and thinking about how there are so many books for young people that are filled with “he said/she said…” that we don’t catch until we are reading the book out loud. I guess that our silent reading skills gloss over those redundant phrases that make literature so boring. I will never underestimate the power of a wordsmith to inspire a young writer to “Bring her out and let her roar!”
    I look forward to following you on this journey! If you are interested in following a blogger who teaches creative writing on the university level, let me know. She and I are in a “quadblog” and are going to do a Google Hangout tonight. Her writing is amusing, and the resources on her blog are certainly worth the time to consider!
    Laurie

    • January 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks, Laurie

      Of course I am interested in following your blogs and quadblogs — a perfect way to reflect and learn and improve. I would learn much from your posts. I will look for your Google Hangout tonight.

      I am glad to be learning with you.

  3. Denise Krebs
    January 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Sheri,
    Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed watching twice, once to listen to you and once to read the text. Nice job. I love the story of the flag, and that you have kept the flag all these years as a reminder of the learning you and he enjoyed.

    I like your question about creating a classroom world that reflects the real world they will be part of.

    I watched a video yesterday by Rick Wormeli, “On Late Work”, and it had an example of how we don’t always do that. He made some great points about all the ways the real world allows us to be late. If we turn in paperwork when we buy a house with a missing signature, they call us and ask us to come in and sign it. We don’t lose the house. If we are late with our taxes, we pay a small–not disproportionate–fine. The government knows they need to keep us encouraged to continue to pay taxes AND solvent so we can. Unfortunately, in schools we often prepare them for a world that doesn’t exist. Late homework gets an F or a 0 or is not accepted. What kind of classroom world does that create?

    Well, I know you, and I’m glad to know that you are creating a classroom world that prepares students for the real world. Let’s collaborate soon.

    Denise

    • January 20, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I am a follower of Alfie Kohn; we need to guide students not punish them. Understanding how people are motivated and how people choose to engage is so needed in many classrooms. Your reminder about late work is so true.

      Isn’t our goal that students learn and grow and improve in their skills? If so, why just give a low mark and move on? Why not allow student to show they can improve and complete the work with quality and for demonstrating learning? If we are working on a project, large or small, it’s the constant, specific feedback on their work that helps learn the skills. Working for a grade isn’t learning. Working to complete something well done for themselves or an audience is.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Denise!

      Sheri

    • Laurie Niestrath
      January 21, 2013 at 5:34 am

      Oh, Denise
      It’s refreshing to hear someone reiterate the sentiments that I have expressed for years. When I was a classroom teacher, I never graded kids as being late. Life happens and they are just kids, yes. So often, students are perceived as being in charge of every aspect of their lives when in reality, students become members of a family when they come home. Some homes are conducive to learning and understand the school world intuitively. Many, many do not. I often wonder why teachers don’t allow students to have a second chance. Is the purpose of school to punish students with grades or to allow them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to meet the objectives?
      I know that I am a duck out of water. I am a developmentalist in a world that refuses to acknowledge that everyone develops differently.
      Laurie

      • January 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        Laurie, Your words are so true — you said it much better than I could. “everyone develops differently” has been my cry ever since standardized tests became the god of learning. I wrote a bit about it here. I think the strings of like ideas some how come together. That would be Laurie, Denise, and Sheri and many others we may find in this etmooc to learn how to make learning work for all students and teachers. Thanks.

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