Saturday, December 17, 2016

Educational Links 12/18/16

A teacher makes eight education predictions for 2017 — some of them dire 

Scoop on Deeper Learning and Mathematics: English Language Learner Edition

Faculty Development in the Age of Digital, Connected Learning

10 Steps To Include Students With Autism In General Education Classrooms

The Difference Between Dysgraphia and Dyslexia

Reading Like An Historian

Incorporating a Growth Mindset Into Your Teaching Practice

A growth mindset, as described by Carol Dweck, is a belief that while individuals are different in many ways in terms of their initial performance, interests, talents, and skills, everyone can improve, change, and grow through application and experience. We believe that one of the greatest school-based factors for improving education today is empowering educators with opportunities to develop a growth mindset by working together to build skills and strategies to increase the impact of their instruction in the classroom.

Please, Simply Have A Wonderful Christmastime

Paul McCartney & Wings - Wonderful Christmas Time

Friday, December 16, 2016

IEP Meeting? Do I Have To Go?

That confusing enough for you?
Am I required to attend IEP meetings if I am not a Special Education teacher?

I've been asked that more than once as the Special Education teacher, and especially as a Resource Specialist, also known as Special Academic Instructor. The answer in our state is that at  least one general education teacher who has the student on his/her caseload needs attend any IEP (Individualized Education Program) whether it be qualifying (evaluating to see if the student will enter Special Education), annual (the once a year assessment), triennial (every third year the educational psychologist also assesses), or an addendum which is called for a unique reason at any time. However, the better school sites have the entire teaching team there. The teachers at my middle school were very dedicated (and wanted to keep their positions) and supported the Special Ed. kids very effectively with attendance.

What should I bring to the IEP as the General Education teacher?

1.  Bring a calm and caring attitude. Parents are always concerned about their kid. Even if you as the classroom instructor have concerns, even serious ones, about the child performance or behavior, a general education teacher must show a caring attitude and a calm demeanor. Even if you must fly out of the meeting at the speed of heat to finish your day's responsibilities--you are so very important to that parent and child that every bit of body language as well as spoken words means the world, and focusing on the positive will get things done better.

2. Bring your expertise and evidence of it.  All teachers have grade books (on-line or otherwise), lesson plans, records of phone calls and communication to the parent, and copies of referrals and time-outs. Just be ready with this information and how to explain the ebb and flow of your classroom. Please have some positive comments to show you know little Johnny and how well he demonstrates a skill, reveals a talent or interest, or did something right in class. If little Janie is lacking, the parent should already have communicated with you because you called, or sent information home. The Special Education teacher should already know, too, if this is a big deal (actually, even a little deal.) The team of teachers plus family can really make it happen for a kid, and communication with coordination is the key.

How Should I Interact At The Meeting?

3. Be ready to explain your testing and grading system, including homework. The child's future hinges on what you do, how you grade, and do you offer help. The parent needs to know how you grade. Is there make up work? A Special Education student usually is not an independent learner, even if they have the intelligence, because of a visual or auditory learning handicap. Do you offer homework help? Test retakes? Tutoring? When and where? The Math Department at my last school was remarkable in the regular, systematic help for all kids. And it got results.

I Don't Feel Prepared For This--What Should I Do?

4. Coordinate with the Special Education teacher. I cannot adequately explain how complex, detailed and mind-boggingly intense all this Special Ed. stuff is. But it is to your advantage as a general education teacher to share information with the RSP or SAI teacher. Most Special Ed. teachers are type B personalities (myself included) and won't bully or force anyone to do anything. But there is such expertise there, one suggestion may change a classroom situation for the better. And frequently there are Behavior Plans to implement for a rascal. The teaching team wants to keep this side of legalities, having i's dotted and t's crossed. Of course, first and foremost, we want to help the kids. A Special Education teacher has district personnel resources and knowledge that can really help.

Love the Look Leonardo Gave Grandmother

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Leonardo da Vinci
St. Anne has that proud Grandma smile. Just noticed Mary is sitting on Anne's lap, and all their toes are perfect. Oh that Da Vinci!

Here is a lovely rendition of O Holy Night from our Canadian friend Celine. I love the lyrics as well as the music.



O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Educational Links 12/17/16

Why Social and Emotional Skills Are Vital to Keep At-Risk Students on Track

Your Child's 7 Executive Functions — and How to Boost Them

Carol Dweck Explains The ‘False’ Growth Mindset That Worries Her

Encouraging Appreciation

You're Not Shy or Stuck Up. You Have Social Anxiety Disorder.

Guns in class: Colorado school district plans to train and arm its teachers

Retrieval Practice Improves Learning, but Will it Help ALL of my Students?

So, will retrieval practice help ALL of our students learn? Well, of course, we need more research to say for sure. But so far, it seems that the strategy works for a very large number of students at different ages and abilities.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Educational Links 12/16/16

The Caring School: Kind but Not Always Nice

Where Do Introverts Fit Into Group Work?

Groups Urge Focus on High-Achieving, Low-Income Students Under ESSA

#TchWellness: Declutter for Clarity and Focus

Homeless Students With Disabilities, Language Needs Growing, New Data Show

My New BAM Radio Show Is On Using ELLs Home Language In The Classroom

Four reasons why there's no substitute for classroom time in teacher training

Employing sensory solutions and strategies can make a significant difference in the ability of some children to be able to successfully cope with the demands of school.  Remember that every child’s needs are different – what works well for one child might not work well for another.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)--were that were true

And if John Lennon were still around, this video would no doubt highlight the human catastrophe in Syria also.

John Lennon -"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"-Official Video-HQ

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Educational Links 12/15/16

Education Research Highlights From 2016

42 Phrases Students Say Way Too Often

Yes, I Get Extra Time to Take Tests, But No You Don't Want My Learning Disability

Habits are stronger than willpower: why change is easier than you think

My District Doesn’t Do 504’s. Will a Child Study Plan Work?

An Educator’s Guide to Teaching Students with ADHD

Why Executive Function Is A Vital Stepping-Stone For Kids’ Ability to Learn

This school isn’t just about academics. The emotional and physical health of kids matters too.

The project assesses how well schools provide health and psychological support for students, judicious and fair discipline policies, high-quality teacher mentoring programs, outreach to the community, effective student and faculty support systems, and broad and enriched curriculum. Schools submit applications explaining why they believe their school should be recognized.

Tired of the Same Ole, Same Ole Christmas Carols? Get Steamrolled

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas - Full Album

Special compositions used in hospitals? Everyone is familiar with the sounds of Mannheim Steamroller but did you know Chip has innovated a system that plays special compositions used in hospitals as Mayo Clinic? listen to Chip explain Ambient Therapy.

Educational Links 12/14/16

7 Ways Art Supports Interdisciplinary Work

Feds Target Disparities In Special Education


The Good — and Very, Very Bad — Education News of 2016

Boys Who Sit Still Have a Harder Time Learning to Read

4 Reasons Why Minecraft Is Great for Teaching Kids Coding

Announcing the 2017 Fifty States Project: Personalized Learning Across the Country

If you're in education, chances are you've heard the term "personalized learning." But what does that phrase mean? What does "personalized learning" look like from coast to coast, classroom to classroom?
For the last few years, we’ve collected stories written by educators--edtech coordinators, librarians, superintendents and others--from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. We called it The Fifty States Project, an initiative to showcase educators and their stories of supporting learning by using technology.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Educational Links 12/13/16

Comprehension Skills for Kids with LD

The Middle Way to Happier, Smarter Teens

What We Owe the Next Generation of Teachers

We Can't Assume Students Know How to Choose

Home-grown school superintendents bring stability, deep knowledge to their districts

The Inconvenient Truths About Assessment

6 New Apps for Young Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

Apps are a fun way to help your child learn or manage challenges related to specific learning and attention issues. Here are six new or recently updated apps for young kids. You can use Tech Finder to explore more options for apps depending on your child’s age and challenges.

Christmas Music For Feeling Sorry For Yourself

Oh boo hoo.

NPR understands what I'm trying to say.

Have Yourself A Sullen Little Christmas


Elvis Presley & Martina McBride - Blue Christmas 

Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Dean Martin - The Christmas Blues 

It's Christmas Baby Please Come Home World Premiere 

These last two songs are pretty much rated R--but the Pogues' song is actually a masterpiece.

Fairytale of New York by the pogues lyrics 

Blink-182 - Won't Be Home For Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Educational Links 12/12/16

Genius Hour In The Classroom: 6 Principles Of Genius Hour

The Teacher Isn’t Following My Child’s IEP. What Can I Do?

How to... plan the last lessons before Christmas

10 Totally True Things About Lesson Planning Only Teachers Will Understand

Dysgraphia—I Created an App for That

Inquiry Sessions As Support for ELLS

What Kids Are Reading: Five Ways to Close the Achievement Gap

Reading is an activity to be enjoyed inside and outside of the classroom. A book can challenge previously held views, spark our imagination and make us think deeper about a new topic. For students, we must ensure that we are helping institute the best reading practices in our classrooms because of the impact it has on students’ overall learning experience.

Laughing All the Way

Laughing all the way on a snow boogie board.

Diana Krall-Jingle Bells 



"Jingle Bells"

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob-tail ring,
making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight, O
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh [repeat]
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob-tailed bay
two-forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! You'll take the lead
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh. [repeat]
Hey, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
I'm just crazy about horses