Teach Children Well

Contributing to a Learning Community

How do you contribute to your learning community?  In what ways do you foster contribution from colleagues and students?

Today a host of educators from my school system shared their learning from a recent conference.  I must say I enjoyed reviewing all the notes.  As an avid blogger, it was great to read thoughts from others in my system.  I found myself scanning their notes for answers to my questions related to teaching children well. The notes about the big ideas and productive classroom conversation drew my attention. I was left with new ideas to try out to strengthen my teaching repertoire and student learning.

The flurry of posts made me think about who contributes to the learning community and what those contributions might look like?

Here are a few ways that learners can contribute to the community they collaborate with:
  • Share your learning through emails, blogs, tweets, presentations and conversations.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop curriculum, student learning endeavors and school-wide learning events.
  • Ask questions, share ideas and innovate preferably with others. 
  • Share your expertise.
  • Seek out answers to your inquiry, problems and pursuits as there are sure to be colleagues, students and community members ready to help out.
  • Support a student or collegial share with encouragement and effort. 
  • Coach a learner. 
What other actions help to build and promote a strong, creative learning community?  The posts today demonstrated a sense of enthusiasm and passion for learning and sharing--that kind of spirit is contagious and serves to lift everyone up from typical routines to responsive, adaptive student-centered thought and practice.

How does your learning community work?  Does your learning community resemble factory models of the past or today's innovative organizations?  I'd like to grow my thinking and practice in this area, and I'm interested in your ideas and experience--please share if you're able.  Thanks!
You have read this article with the title . You can bookmark this page URL http://the-bookself.blogspot.com/2012/10/contributing-to-learning-community.html. Thanks!

New Math Standards: Transparency

I'm finally diving into the new math standards with zest as I create a student/family/educator-user friendly presentation of the fourth grade Massachusetts' standards which include common core standards.

As I draft the presentation, I am mindful of the following
  • I want the document to serve as a go-to place for students, family members, educators and others who want to understand the fourth grade standards.
  • I want the document to act as a teaching and learning resource. 
  • I want the document's language to be accurate and understandable.  I'll bold focus vocabulary and add definitions and links for better understanding.
  • I want the document to be a work-in-progress that I continually refine, update and enrich as I learn more about the new standards and the best ways to teach each standard.
  • I want the document to encourage blended learning with numerous links to varied activities and information such as videos, games, paper/pencil activities, virtual models and more.
  • I want the document to be streamlined and simple to use, thus leaving more time for rich learning activities and endeavor. 
Unlike days of old when there was one text book or a discreet set of materials to learn, today we have a vast collection of resources to access.  Hence, the focus today needs to be on a learning process that includes continual revision and reflection.  

This standards site will work in tandem with my class math website, Tenacious Team 15, and classroom program.  I am always open to developing my math work to teach children well so please don't hesitate to offer ideas and suggestions.  Thank you. 
You have read this article with the title . You can bookmark this page URL http://the-bookself.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-math-standards-transparency.html. Thanks!


Sandy has pounded the East Coast and schools have been canceled due to power outages, unsafe travel and flooding. Families and teachers in my class community are able to stay in touch with one another through the closed social network, NING.

I am able to guide children who have homework questions and thoughts.  I am also able to list learning updates and changes. There are many advantages to closed social networks and virtual classrooms when it comes to communicating with the learning team: families, students, teachers and administrators, and one of those advantages is staying in contact during canceled days of school (as long as tech is powered up).

Other advantages include:
  • Posting student projects for all to see.
  • Having online discussions about topics that matter to the learning team.
  • Posting links to learning enrichment.
  • Answering questions.
  • Reading and writing stories you want to share.
  • Sharing images and videos.
  • Sending the weekly newsletter and home study list to all in the learning community.
  • Creating a year-long log of learning events and information.
  • Making learning more accessible to families who are traveling or children who are ill.
The virtual classroom, NING, supports the daily in-class school efforts providing a 24-7 platform for optimal learning. It's a positive academic tool that takes children into the digital learning world with guidance, oversight and care. 
You have read this article with the title . You can bookmark this page URL http://the-bookself.blogspot.com/2012/10/ning-news.html. Thanks!