Featured Post

Dr. Seuss Inspired Classroom Theme

Since I don’t have a classroom of my own to set up this year, I dropped into a friends classroom to offer my bulletin board expertise (I LOVE decorating for the year and begged for her to let me help).  She is teaching first grade for the first time this year and wanted a fun theme.  Dr. Seuss is perfect!  I hunted down some good Dr. Seuss quotes that would tie in with what she wanted to display on the bulletin boards and we set to work pulling it all together.  I think it looks great! This is right next to the clock, it says "How did it get late so soon?" Above the door to the classroom it says: Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. This is the classroom jobs board and morning message board. Over the jobs board it says: This mess is too big and too deep and too tall. But, we can clean it up! We can clean it up all! Kings Kid is like a Star Student or VIP, they make a poster all about them to hang up for the week. This quote says: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you. This is the reading corner, it turned out so cozy! Another angle of the reading center with the Cat in the Hat on the back of a bookshelf. On the closet door is Thing 2. Horton is on the girls bathroom door. Two fish is on the boys bathroom door. The backside of two bookcases in the reading center. This is where student work will be displayed. The quote above says: Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the Thinks you can think up if only you try! Front of the classroom with the Promethean board. Back of the classroom. Toward the reading center. Teacher desk The room turned out so cute!  Right now the calendar has purchased numbers on it, I suggested that she take pictures of all of the kids holding up their class number and using those as numbers on the calendar.  She only has 19 students this year so for the additional numbers she is going to have specialist teachers and admin hold up numbers.  To tie in with the Dr. Seuss theme, she is going to use Photo Booth’s green screen background to insert a Dr. Seuss background for the kids.  The kids will wear a Cat in the Hat hat for the pictures.    It is going to be cute! My favorite touches in the room are that each bulletin board is designed for student interaction or to display student work or accomplishments.  I can’t wait to see it when all of the student work is up!

Read More

Shocking! The real purpose of your life! or What are we preparing for?

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, video | Posted on 26-11-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4


Today @lancefinkbeiner shared this video with me.  It is too good not to share!  Now…how to make this the reality of what learning is really about in schools.  I can’t tell you how often in education that the answer for why something is done is, “we are preparing kids for…”  For example, we give 3 hours of homework to elementary students because we are “preparing them for middle school.”   In middle school we give additional homework and weekly tests because we are “preparing them for high school.”  High school has it’s own set of ridiculous standards in preparation for college.

My question: when are we preparing kids for life?  When are we preparing them to engage in the world around them?  When are we preparing them for healthy relationships with others?  When are we preparing them to ask good questions and seek answers?  When are we preparing them for what to do with failure?

The problem for preparing kids for the next system they will encounter is that the next system isn’t really the goal.  That goal is this imaginary place we call “success” and “perfection”.  Neither exist.  How do we prepare kids to live honest, meaningful lives?  THAT is what I am interested in preparing for.

Comments (4)

Aren’t we *always* preparing kids to live honest, meaningful lives? I find your question a bit strange, I admit. Your preamble implies that kids require formal education (school) to learn to live honest, meaningful lives. I don’t think this is the case today, nor has it ever been. Kids need to learn many things outside of school. The best way to teach your kids to lead an honest, meaningful life, is to live one yourself -its amazing what kids will pick up from their surroundings. Formal education and life-lessons shouldn’t be conflated

Dave, this can be the trouble with a blog post…all of the nuances of thought can’t be wrapped up neatly in a few words. Judging by your comment here, my guess is that you don’t follow my work regularly. Sometimes I make the mistake of assuming that my readers know my background and previous thoughts that bleed into this one.
In answer to your comment: I don’t know that I agree that we are always intentionally preparing kids to live honest meaningful lives. I think that assigning hours of homework to an elementary student, for example, doesn’t lead to honesty (in learning for the pleasure of learning) or for working toward a meaningful life. I’m actually not saying that kids require formal school to learn to live honest, meaningful lives. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe that kids can learn this in spite of their formal schooling. What I am suggesting is that schools should stop telling kids that the purpose of learning is for the next institution of learning. What I am suggesting here is that learning (in schools) look more like life. I would agree, the best way to teach a child to live an honest and meaningful life is by modeling that ourselves. The question I pose to you: How is that possible in a system that leads children to believe that the purpose of learning is to prepare them for the next system? I started a school, http://anastasisacademy.com, to free up teachers to lead by example and to give students the freedom to explore what it means to live and honest, meaningful life.

I thoroughly agree with the video AND this post! Children aren’t able to learn and enjoy school anymore because they are bombarded with testing. State testing, this and that testing. It’s ridiculous. This is also having a negative affect on teachers because they cannot TEACH what they want, and they cannot really enjoy the career. We should reevaluate how our education system is working. Too many people graduate with Bachelor’s degrees that are useless. This needs to change! Great post!

I think it’s quite true that schools have to prepare children not only for next grade or level but also to prepare them for life and job skills that require worldwide awareness, collaboration, communication, problem solving…etc. Some people call those skills “The 21st century skills”.

Testing is not the olny way to assess students success at school. Teachers are using different tools such as daily observation of pair and group work. I am sure that there are many projects running worldwide are concerned about enhancing students’ life skills.

Write a comment

*