Saturday, April 7, 2012
Lots of folks are interested in Jesus, and as mentioned in a previous blog, He is respected by major religions, philosophers, and human rights leaders.
Here is a convenient, inexpensive way to see the simplified version of His life and message. For His followers and fans, it is always an inspiration to hear those marvelous words spoken again.
This is an interesting link describing the creation and mission of this film, which is meant to change lives. http://www.jesusfilm.org/
More info on the creation and distribution of this film. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_%281979_film%29
Here is some Gospel music from an amazing choir and Gospel music leader, Donald Lawrence. I think it beautifully expresses the curiosity and confusion of the times concerning the mysterious preacher, Jesus. And it is some wonderful music.
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-city Singers-Stranger
Here are the lyrics:
So--blogbuddies--let's go "Love one another."
Friday, April 6, 2012
|To quote Charlie Brown...|
|Uh-oh, the third kid from the left has his legs crossed at the ankle.|
|OK, yes, holding the pencil correctly is important.|
I am being sarcastic; but I have really had it with the lack of knowledge concerning how kids learn among those who should know and care how kids learn. For the teachers' own self interest, and effective testing, classroom instruction cannot maintain too many consecutive direct instruction minutes. Even if the students comply and don't riot out of boredom, you can't check for understanding if there is no unique student product to demonstrate what they are thinking and comprehending. ESL kids need to use language in groups to reinforce their language acquisition. That's not even touching upon the sense of isolation a kid may feel when there is no teamwork or comradery in the class. Students can gain important confidence, validation and social skills in groupwork.
This is a review of John Holt's book, "How Children Learn."
This is part of the author's opinion of what we need to address as kids learn.
" Fear of failure, punishment and disgrace, along the with the anxiety of constant testing, severely reduces students’ ability to perceive and remember, and, thus, drive them away from learning."
Students could be considered non-compliant if they don't succeed in Direct Instruction directives, ending in failing grades and discipline.
Could this be part of the story of low test scores? Kids need to have the opportunity to be accepted and succeed according to the appropriate methods for their age and needs.
There are many methods and activities to increase learning and create confidence in the classroom. And these are actually not too much trouble to implement. (I think the teachers that overuse Direct Instruction are concerned about losing control of the class with any movement or talk among students.)
|Man, I would really love to be in this class! And I don't even know what they are doing.|
|Let's git er dun.|
More information on the definition of cooperative learning.
Team activities don't have to be sophisticated. They might just be collaborating on guided practice leading to homework. But there are so many interesting and fun activities that create learning and serve as an effective review of the material. I believe if teachers recognized team activities as the very effective review of material that they are, class would be more fun and test scores higher.
|This is for you visual learners.|
Collaborative learning can hit all styles of learning and learning gates for a more thorough saturation of the subject in the student's mind. Kids will retain the information they review in teams because it is a different venue. It engages their emotions in a positive way (if teacher is supervising properly) adding value and import to the experience.
Anansi of the Many Stories
(this is a great link)
|Sarah Etc. avoiding chores.|
|Fat Albert and his cooperative learning group.|
Spencer Kagan's organization has tons of ideas for group learning. Our district has been exposing us to these forever.
This is a summary of their philosophy:
Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:
gain from each other's efforts. (Your success benefits me and my success benefits you.)
recognize that all group members share a common fate. (We all sink or swim together here.)
know that one's performance is mutually caused by oneself and one's team members. (We cannot do it without you.)
feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group member is recognized for achievement. (We all congratulate you on your accomplishment!).
|Maybe that quiet teacher uses these.|
Your colleagues also probably have many successful activities. Especially that quiet teacher that never says anything at staff meeting. She might just be a marvelous creative resource. You never know until you ask her.
Remember we can incorporate the arts across the curriculum. Let's be using both left and right brain!
Here is an excellent group to check out for support in bringing the arts into all classrooms.
The Arts Education Partnership.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
|Stating the obvious.|
These are some of my favorite quotes from various tweets about education over the last few months:
'Reading Is Not Optional'
"With the help of their teachers, students can develop the skillsets needed to solve problems that have not yet been recognized, analyze information as it becomes rapidly available in the globalized communication systems, and to skillfully and creatively take advantage of the evolving technological advances as they become available."
"Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when their parents are involved in helping them learn to read."
"Teachers, more than any other feature of a school, determine how well students learn."
"Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined."
'There is as much cause for hope as for horror. As David Orr said, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.”
The following are from a kids' book about Dr. King's famous quotes:
You are as good as anyone.
|Dr. King as a boy.|
When I grow up, I'm going to big big words, too.
Everyone can be great.
Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.
I have a dream...
This is my favorite--
"Think of oppositional behavior as an ingenious attempt to actually contribute."
|I believe this is a child actor, but I have seen that expression more than once on a kid or two.|
Also, teachers, don't forget Frame-a-Quote, and website with thousands of famous persons' quote, and/or topic. The kids can also frame and print their own quotes. Its great.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
This group, The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson has a wonderful site, and if you choose to join, they mail so much information about every six weeks. There are also conferences at many major cities.
This is their philosophy:
- Goal 1: Increase the awareness of policymakers, administrators, and practitioners about dropout prevention, reentry, and school completion.
- Goal 2: Increase the number of states that set and meet reasonable and rigorous performance targets for State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators 1 and 2.
- Goal 3: Help State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) develop and improve data systems to track students at risk of dropping out.
- Goal 4: Help SEAs and LEAs implement and evaluate effective, comprehensive school-completion models, practices, and systems for students with disabilities.
How can we coordinate our efforts to help high school kids? Here is more information from the Education Commission of the States' High School Database:
Encouraging the kids to be the best they can be, and article "Academics and School Life: The Importance of Character," another great article from Edutopia.
Although this article is primarily aimed at younger students, parent involvement is always an effective aid.
|Facing the future in a cap and gown.|
Monday, April 2, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
This is cool--students with not-that-great reading skills doing a whole book together as a class!
Here are some highlights:
Framing the project. The students recognize this ritual as the beginning of a personal literary journey.
Providing reading time and support. The key is to make students feel part of a group process without getting in between them and the text.
Creating group mini-projects. Students collaborate to expand their understanding of what they read without interrupting the subjective, immersive nature of their experience.
Discussing literature. By the time the due date arrives for completing the reading, students are usually dying to discuss the book.
I say, hats off, to this persistent educator in leading the kids through the trek of an entire book. What a gift she has given them.
Fiction can help kids become more caring individuals. A writer can allow a reader to enter into the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of a character in a way that the real world cannot. Et voila! empathy.
Living through literature. What would it be like if...
Here is the quote of the week: "Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined."
(Naturally from an English major.) What a surprise, great literature develops your brain!
Here is the article this is from: 'Your Brain on Fiction." Great Title!
Wyeth's illustration of "The Last of the Mohicans." You just can't tell me Nattie Bumppo wasn't real!
|Uncas, Hawkeye , Chingachgook|
|Dad and son (Perseus and Helius)|
I did like Agenor. Maybe the next film in the series will be about the Navigator. As long as they're making up Greek myths.
We respect the rights of all people to have beliefs. I am not recommending showing films about Jesus or not showing them in your class; that is a decision for your school.
But beginning in Middle School, at least in the State of California, there are many passages from the Bible, and the New Testament in particular, that are considered worthy of literary consideration. The Book of Job, the Psalms, the Sermon on the Mount, parables. The King James version, which last year celebrated its 500th birthday, is considered a masterpiece itself. It is said Shakespeare made a contribution to it.
And this is a pretty good time of year to show portions of the Jesus story if you're going to. Even the History Channel, liberal bastion of cable TV, frequently shows the television film of "Jesus of Nazareth" in entirety, Jesus being a central person of historical interest. That's why this is the year 2012.
|Mary, the mother of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."|
|"The Passion of the Christ" 2004|
|"The Kings of Kings" 1961|
|"The Greatest Story Ever Told" 1965|
Several Bible-themed movies came out in the sixties with blue-eyed Jesus actors quoting the King James Bible. Jeffrey Hunter was in the "Kings of Kings," a remake from the Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 version.
Max von Sydow played Jesus in 1965 in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." The films are sympathetically presented, especially toward poor little misunderstood Judas, who is frequently the most interesting character. These films have a respectful mood if not accuracy, and for the viewer who is looking to connect with the words of Jesus quoted in the Bible, these films are very effective. Children who are familiar with the story should be okay with the crucifixion scenes which are not too graphic, but kids have to be prepared.
As children watch a film about Jesus, it is very intense. Jesus is a lovable and sympathetic character whether He is considered in a religious sense or not. Kids really have to be prepared for the story to transpire. I was invited by a friend to a theatre full of viewers from her Baptist church to see "The Passion of the Christ." All adults, all in tears (both men and women) by the end. It is just a really tough and sad story for both believer and non-believer.
|"Jesus of Nazareth" miniseries 1977|
My preferred film about Jesus to view with children is the television miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth." (1977). It is frequently on television at the Christmas and Easter seasons. Visually, there are lots of references to famous works of art, and the music is sort of mysterioso in a supernatural sense that a good something, maybe a miracle, is going to happen; that something supernatural isn't always sinister. Jesus is compassionate, powerful and somehow one-of-the-guys while being divine. Peter is great with his bumbling, yet strong and sincere personality. Mary was a little young being portrayed by Olivia Hussey. Judas was indecisive until he was creepy and betrayed his best friend. I personally don't think Judas was sorry after he did that. Laurence Olivier portrayed Nicodemus.
|Nicodemus quoting Isaiah 53 as Jesus is on the cross.|
|Jesus hangin' with His homies, for which He was criticized severely.|
Here is the Prodigal Son, put up on youtube.
I would like to share a song that I still find marvelous. This was written during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970s and presents the case for Christianity at its most basic and radical. Which pretty much describes the Jesus Movement, and how Jesus happened in my life then, too. Enjoy.
"Jesus Is All That We Need."
The Way http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Way_%28band%29
|Good ole fashioned Jesus music from good ole fashioned Jesus People @1972|