Monday, January 18, 2010

Taking a break

I've finished nearly all of the grading - enough to think of myself as done, although I have four extra credit projects still unassessed. Fortunately they'll be easy because any kid good enough to have done extra credit is likely to have done it well. Also they're unlikely to change my assessment of those students - kids motivated enough to do extra credit have usually been doing well all along. I will of course look at the projects tomorrow.

Before I go to bed, I want to post a few articles I've come across but haven't felt the luxury to form complete commentary on. The articles are good enough to stand alone; you should read them!

The Atlantic looked at Teach for America's upcoming report on What Makes a Great Teacher? I hope to take the ideas, especially about constant re-evaluation and changing what doesn't work, and implement them this semester.

I have thought Lisa Damour was fabulous ever since I heard her speak about Growth Mindset and Stereotype threat. I think the things she is looking at are important and I think she's smart and able to explain things in a way that are easy to understand. So I was pleased to see her article about teaching girls to tinker in Education Week. And that was before I knew she mentions computer science!

Clay Shirkey's Rant About Women is getting a fair amount of play. I *really* want to know what Sarita Yardi thinks, since I can tell she has strong opinions but so far I haven't seen them. I'm willing to overlook the strong language and think he has some very good points. I'm sure my opinion is informed by the fact that I've been trying to do some self-aggrandizing writing lately and I'm not very good at making it sound like I'm all that.

I'm trying to be more positive in 2010. So the article from Teacher Magazine about having better classroom management by focusing on the positive was nicely timed. I'm not seeing stuffed animals in the classroom in my future, but maybe I can yell less.

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