Title One Conference, Adora Svitak

Adora Svitak, 13, the Keynote speaker for the Title One Conference taught us about students and how to help students learn and not just talk at them. "Students can make a difference no matter how young." encouraged blogging and online work for students. 92% of 2 year olds have a digital footprint. There are pictures on them somewhere on the Internet. "Why should children be restricted to an hour of classroom subject time?" Teachers that make a personal connection are the best teaching. "We can learn from our students in our class." "We can learn about hope and being naive is not a bad thing." "Decisions for children are made without the input of the children." "Teaching and learning is a two way street, but unlike driving, there is no age requirement."

Aware, enable, empower students in learning. Teach them about the topic, making them aware of the situation by making them a part of the lesson. Enable students to learn from the experience on the lesson, and enable them to come up with ideas to solve the problems. This empowers students to learn pand teach others about their problem.

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When learning we want everything handed to us on a plate and we want others to give us everything so we become note a learner, but learned-helpless. Are we learn we need to do. We need to get ourselves of the learning couch and do. Instead of having someone show us everything, we should study, practice, experiment, learn.

When we expect others to give us all knowledge, we become helpless to learn. We need to have students do the same: Research, study, experiment, practice, learn. As teachers we need to stop handing out education and start making the students work for it. This will help our students come up wi the answers that will solve the world problems, not handing them ideas that are not solving them.

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Learning about Education in Korea

I was talking to a Korean intern this week about the differences between elementary school in Korea and elementary school here in my school. It was very interesting and informative. The schools in Korea are very similar to here. They have the same basic subjects; language, reading, spelling, math, science, social studies. We are similar in teaching styles. They have lessons that are similar and discipline plans that a similar.

But there are a few things that are different. They do go to school Monday-Saturday, but Wednesday is a half day and Saturdays are every other week. We go Monday-Friday with Friday being a half day. So they do go to school for more hours than we do. Korean schools also break their school day up a little different. They have 45 minute classes and a 10 minute break for bathroom, drinks, and making sure they are ready for the next subject. They whole day is broken up this way. Korean students also have after school study at home for a few hours in elementary school, most of the evening in middle schools, and all night in high school and college. These practices are not school related, but home-driven. Parents set these times or programs up. Parents drive the learning and study after school. The schools benefit from what parents do.

One big difference is art. There is an art class that is taken as seriously as we take language and math. Art is an important part of school, but making sure that we take 3 hours in the morning for language, an hour and a half for math and an hour for science or social studies only leaves most classes with a half hour for PE, art, music, or other activities. This is a big difference in our education systems. Music is also taught. an instrument is taught in elementary school to each child.

Another difference is moral studies. There is a class for moral studies in Korea. We have a healthy lifestyles classes and it is included with the PE classes. One more class that is taught is a basic home economics class. Students learn to basics in cooking, being respectful, and basic economics. There are a few subjects we have legislated out of our schools. Our art programs suffer. More time is taken from the arts and given to the three "R's". I look at this and I can see why we have a difference in our education.

Some of these differences are societal and not educational. When we have legislators that write bills about mandatory after school programs for children and not having them participate in extracurricular activities that we love in America, then we will be able to compete in the education race with the Asian countries. As for right now, teachers are doing what they are asked to do from lawmakers.Socially we are different countries. Educationally we have different methods and ideas. We are trying to keep up with countries that voluntarily study for hours after school has ended, from elementary school to college. Unless we are willing to do this, we are going to have a hard time legislating these ideals. We can say change is needed, but until we are willing to give extra after school, we will always need change. We can and are change more. New ideas are always coming we are finding them and using them. Some good, some not. We are moving and so are the children. They expect more, they want more, they need more. We tell them not to com pre themselves to others and dinky compete with themselves, but here they are comparing us to the world. We need a global view on everything and we need to compete globally.

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I Resolve... to Collaborate...

Tis the time of year to resolve to do better in our lives. I have a few resolutions I want to put down so I have to look at them through the year to remind me that I need to do better. So here I go.
—I will have my students do more collaborative work in class. They are doing lots of cooperative projects, but the collaborative projects have eluded me. I need to teach them how to collaborate and listen to each other to get the best answers and take a piece to make the project better. I also need to read more about collaborating. Which brings me to my next resolution.
—I will read more articles about collaboration and cooperating for my students. I will also research better ways to use technology to help my students learn. I want to get better with these strategies in my class.
—I will not jump on the bandwagon of every new tech idea that comes out. I am getting tired of all the new programs that are out there that everyone tells me I need to use. I will take time to evaluate every new idea to see if it will make the learning better or easier than what I am already doing, or see if the program will take the place of something I am using. It does need to make a big difference to get me to change. There are so many fun apps out there, but they all do the same basic thing. Revolutionary. That is what I am looking for.
—I will work better as a team member in my grade level team. I take over sometimes and I need to learn the collaborative idea to get the best ideas for the students. When we collaborate, we have the best plans and best actinides for our students.
I don't want to go more than a few resolutions. I want to concentrate more on a few items that are similar rather than many different items that may get bogged down while I am teaching. It gets hard to do so many things through the year, but if I focus on one idea and look at some of the aspects of that idea, I can work on and build upon that idea.
I think I will be putting together new years resolutions at the beginning of the school year in August as well as mid-year in January. This give me two times a year to put goals together and check how I am doing on the ones I have set.
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