Friday, September 29, 2006

Sharing Day
Sharing day was interesting. We used a protocol to share the writings from Wednesday. Everyone switched books and looked for a quote or a statement that they wanted to comment on. Everyone got a chance to share their quote and we moved around the circle. For the first practice done as a group, we commented on just one quote throughout the whole group before moving to groups of four and one group of five.

Some comments....
>students don't like to be passed over when asking for responses to questions
>students working in groups like to be responsible for a section of the work they can call their own
>many students expressed some very stereotypical views about people who were different from themselves indicating that additional work on tolerance and anti-bullying may be in order

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I spent 10 days at Space Camp and learned more about what it means to be a teacher and more about myself than I have in many years of professional development. I learned that when under incredible stress, I tend to forget to look at other options-- I develop tunnel vision. Also when under stress, I forget to just relax and this leads to that tunnel vision as well.

I learned that wonder can come regardless of the level of experience. I was one of the few non-science teachers that attended the Boeing-sponsored Teachers' in Space Camp and often felt out of place and as if I had taken someone else's spot. Yet, each night in my room I reflected and realized that you don't have to know it all to get excited about a sharing a topic with your students. It's the wonder and the passion and the excitement that you share that will inspire -- the rest is just the details. I had never made a rocket of any kind and the bottle rocket that was constructed by my group was the only one to stay in one piece during launch and "re-entry" (aka crashing to the earth).

On the last day, we launched rockets with gunpowder engines and once again, mine held together. It was amazing to sit under the trees in the 98 degree heat with 98 percent humidity (at 9am) and realize all that I had learned. I also lamented not getting into science earlier and never having found a teacher who turned me onto the wonders of nature and also never finding a history teacher who was focused on more than dates, places and battles to help me develop that type of historical thinking as well. Sad. I would have liked the journeys or to at least have that type of thinking and looking at the world in my arsenal of tools. I now wonder if I would have thought differently about the many camping trips that we had taken if I had been equipped with a more scientific and historic view.

I hope that from my experience at Space Campt that I will be able to help inspire some scientific and historical thinking so that my students will leave knowing a bit moer about a different way of viewing the world. How many geniuses have we overlooked because we didn't let them explore and didn't equip them with the necessary thinking tools to be successful.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Who is your favorite/least favorite relative and why? Do you behave the same or differently with each person? Explain. Our 9/20/2006 Writing Prompt for WAVE.

When I am in the company of my blood relatives I am a different person. I laugh, smile, and most importantly, I feel at ease. I don't have to worry about saying or doing what would be thought of as a the wrong thing. I am accepted for who I am and where I am in my life with no questions asked. My Michigan family is this for me -- no worries, no need to send something on a specific day or time, just unconditional love. What is expected is to stay a piece now and then and give some of my time to hang out at their homes, sit down and enjoy a meal, and to share what is going on in my life. My grandmother is currently the hub of all this activity and she is the center of the visits in Michigan.

When I am in the company of those whose culture and social-cultural norms that are more foreign to me, I feel on edge and constantly on guard. I have to watch what I say, how I phrase my words, my actions, my tone of voice, my dress -- all very stressful. Love seems to be more conditional in these settings, based on outward apprearances and outward shows of affection rather than the internal ones. I don't have many situations like this anymore as most of my relatives have now passed away who represent this cultural group.

I am who I am and although I can always make changes in how I deal with life and those I love, I am essentially at the core the same person I have always been, although, hopefully, more highly evolved and aware. I am approaching a milestone and when people say that you become your parents -- I see it as a compliment not a criticism.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Response to Writing
Schmidt, Sabine. "Trip to the site of the World Trade Center is an eye-opener for children." The Daily Breeze 6 Sept., 2006: A2.

This article reminds me that Sept. 11th may not be as memorable for my students as it is for me. I lost a friend, Ruben Ornedo, on a plane that crashed into the Pentagon. The day of remembrance is something that I take very seriously and this article that we read in class as a reading sample, helped to remind me of the many emotions of people who had different links to this day that changed history for many.

As Schmidt says: "No doubt, Sept. 11 has changed our lives forever. Now is the time to do our part. In the long run, it's going to protect our children's future."(Schimdt A2)