My bookmarks for May 26th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 26-05-2010

These are my links for May 26th:

My bookmarks for May 24th through May 25th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 25-05-2010

These are my links for May 24th through May 25th:

I am not Steve Dembo!

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Laura Smith on 21-05-2010

Hahaha! I subscribe to my own feed in Google Reader and for some crazy reason the author of my delicious posts is listed as Steve Dembo.  Hey, if it increases my readership… lol!But seriously, my name is Laura Pilker.  When I write actual blog posts like this one it shows up properly!  oh well… does anyone out there have any idea how to fix this?

My bookmarks for May 21st

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 21-05-2010

These are my links for May 21st:

My bookmarks for May 19th through May 20th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 20-05-2010

These are my links for May 19th through May 20th:

My Tweets for 2010-05-19

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Laura Smith on 19-05-2010

  • RE: @darkufo my favorite line of the episode:

    Miles: “What’s that, a “SECRET-ER” room?

    hahahahaha #

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My bookmarks for May 18th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 18-05-2010

These are my links for May 18th:

More Thoughts on Dan Meyer’s Innovative Math Curriculum…

Filed Under (Work) by Laura Smith on 18-05-2010

Yesterday I posted a rant on paper, and mentioned Dan’s TED talk about being “less helpful” when teaching Math.  He mentions that if we let kids do the figuring out for themselves, they will get more out of it.  (Seems elementary to me…)

I recently started reading Lenore Skenazy’s blog (You may remember her as the Mom who was plastered all over the news for letting her child successfully ride the subway by himself).  I love her Free-Range approach, and while I’m not quite ready to fully let go of the shackles of fear for my child’s safety (I’m trying, Lenore!), she does make some good points.

I read this article in Salon about the “blandifying” of playgrounds, and I think the concept applies to teaching as well:

“Children rise to risk,” says Joan Almon, executive director of the U.S. Alliance for Childhood. “Give them some genuine risk and they quickly learn what their limits are, and then they expand their limits.” The problem is: If kids never encounter even tiny risks, they never develop that thing we call common sense.

This is essentially what Dan Meyer was saying. If we never give kids the chance to figure things out on their own, they will never take the initiative to do so!  We wonder why kids are so “helpless” these days, why we have to spoonfeed them everything.  BECAUSE WE MADE THEM THIS WAY!  

Stop, right now, spoonfeeding your students.  There will be an adjustment period, but they will eventually get it.  They will learn, if we let them.

My bookmarks for May 17th

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Steve Dembo on 17-05-2010

These are my links for May 17th:

Drowning in Paper!!!

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Laura Smith on 17-05-2010

I HATE you, paper.  That may be an arbitrary and capricious statement, but I am really getting sick of you.  You clutter my life, I never know where to put you, you take up too much space, and really, you are just not necessary!  And thanks to the Internet and computers, I think I might just be able to survive with less of you.

With role models like Shelly Blake-Plock of Teach Paperless, and Dan Meyer,  and I’m sure many more that I haven’t found yet, there are many examples out there of how to run a classroom with less reliance on textbooks and paper.

What really bugs me is the resistance to this idea!  I recently watched Dan’s awesome TED talk about transforming Math curriculum, and then read the reactions to it on Kitchen Table Math.  How disheartening.  What is so wrong with challenging our students to think in a creative way?  To figure things out on their own instead of spoonfeeding them!  I was especially upset by the following comment:

I don’t want to be that cranky old veteran that doesn’t listen to new ideas, but I would think it appropriate to point out that we don’t yet have the capability/budget to produce affordable print products with embedded videos of water tanks filling up.So when Mr. Meyer urges his audience at the end of his talk to demand better curricula, what exactly does he anticipate these folks should be asking for? The impossible?Can you imagine what would happen to a new educational textbook company that took its starting capital and created textbooks with top-notch practice problems that were all “less helpful”?It would go bankrupt, not because it’s not a good idea, but because the reality of teachers in classrooms just doesn’t match. There’s a *reason* why textbooks are ultra-“helpful.”

Hello! Who NEEDS a textbook if you have visuals and videos via youtube? Why do we NEED a printed textbook? Why can’t we, instead, have curriculum designed for consumption via the Internet? Or, if you are worried about the possibility of access problems, you can have the curriculum available on CD or Flash Drive! We need to re-think the “old” way of doing things. Just look at this post from Mr. Meyer about a session he attended at NCTM. Scroll part of the way down the page and read about the “handouts,” where people had to make their own packets by “taking one of each paper” (oh, please, just stab me with a paper clip right now…) and then extras were promised through snail mail?!?! WHAT? This is the 21st Century, people! Get out of the dark ages and remove your head from your outdated textbook, and wake up to a world of new possibilities.

Without so much reliance on paper. I know. It’s scary. But, come on, aren’t you a little annoyed with that pile of paper cluttering your life, too?

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