Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer is HERE and School is OUT

     For me summer means vacation, but also a time to read the books I have stacked up all year, and a time delve more deeply into curriculum. I have posted before that I am a huge fan of Chris Biffle and Whole Brain Teaching. I have been taking copious notes on each of the videos that you can find on the website. My goal is to fully incorporate each strategy in my class this coming school year. If I am going to have my students think critically and read closely, then they need to be focused and involved. I truly believe that the Whole Brain Teaching strategies will give me the tools to do just that.

     Currently I am rereading Mindset the New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck. This book is certainly worth exploring! Amazon summarizes the book as follows:

     "Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area."

     Finally, I continue my quest to find out more about Common Core and how I can best prepare my students for the inevitable tests that we will all be responsible for. To a large extent I have been quite frustrated as there is not that much "out there." I want examples of the in depth tasks that students will be required to tackle, and I can find one or two examples, but what about a year's worth? One resource that I plan to use extensively is The Basal Alignment Project. Volunteers have aligned stories from popular ELA texts to Common Core complete with standards addressed and questions to incorporate into your class. Check it out:

     May your summer be everything you want it to be!


Lynda Griblin

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