Time to Teach

Rosalee

At a cross-level team meeting this week I learned that Rosalee spent four years in a Montessori primary class, where pre-schoolers usually spend just three years.  When I brought forward some of Rosalee’s language and learning difficulties in my class, her primary teacher explained that she had been cared for during her first few years of life by a Spanish-speaking grandmother who didn’t want to confuse her, so she just didn’t talk to her at all!  The teacher said that when she came to school, Rosalee had almost no language, hence the necessity of retaining her an extra… Continue reading

Week Ten: Time to Teach/Time to Learn Tally of Hours

October 20 – 24, 2008  Tally of time for teaching and learning

Monday, October 20:  Uninterrupted day at school = 5 C & I hours

Tuesday, October 21: Uninterrupted day = 5 C & I hours

Wednesday, October 22:  Routine interruptions for art and gym = 3.5 C & I hours

Thursday, October 23:  RIF half-hour, where students choose a free books through a program called “Reading if Fun” makes total for curriculum and instruction = 4.25 hours

Friday, October 24:  Specials art/gym in the morning.  Total = 3.5 C & I hours

Week’s… Continue reading

Waste

There is the waste of paper.

There is the waste of instructional time.

There is the waste of students’ learning time.

There is the waste of professional time—the time of all those professionals who have been promoted out of the classroom to create assessment instruments, gather data, make up reporting software, draw up comparative charts to disseminate statistics, dream up new flow charts for rehabilitating students “falling behind” the norms arbitraily set by the assessment teams.

Friday morning two of these professionals, educators from the front office, were in place for our faculty meeting at 8:00 am to show us… Continue reading

Week Nine: Time to Teach/Time to Learn Tally of Hours

October 13 – October 17, 2008:  Tally of Time for Teaching and Learning

Monday, October 14:  Uninterrupted day at school = 5 C & I hours

Tuesday, October 15: Uninterrupted day = 5 C & I hours

Wednesday, October 16:  Routine interruptions for art and gym = 3.5 C & I hours

Thursday, October 17:  “Extra gym,” a gift from “Coach,” so total is = 4.25 C & I hours

Friday, October 18:  Specials art/gym in the morning.  Total = 3.5 C & I hours

Week’s Total C & I hours: 21.25 hours

NOTE:… Continue reading

Measuring Up

The statistics are public now.  The scores on the first Benchmark tests are online.  In the four Upper Elementary classes at Denison, there are approximately 48 fourth graders distributed equally among the classes, which also have fifth and sixth graders in their student populations.   The teachers looked at the performance of these new fourth graders as a cohort in order to ascertain the cumulative status or “state of preparedness” of the entire fourth grade.  Looking only at the Math scores on the first Benchmark test, there were 5 students among our 48  new fourth… Continue reading

Assessment in a “Progressive School” by Chris von Lersner

Introduction by Ann:

My niece Sabine is attending a progressive middle/high school this year.  Her mother and I decided that the assessment climate at Denison, the public Montessori school where she attended last year as a student in my class, was wasting her time and  potential, if not actually squelching it.  At her new school, her cohort of sixth/seventh graders (her Expedition group) began the school year with a week-long camping trip followed by an assignment to create a brochure about her experience on the trip.  Just a few weeks later the same group of students… Continue reading

Week Eight: Time to Teach/Time to Learn Tally of Hours

October 6 – October 10, 2008:  Tally of Time for Teaching and Learning

Monday, October 6:  Uninterrupted day at school = 5 C & I hours

Tuesday, October 7:  Uninterrupted day = 5 C & I hours

Wednesday, October 8:  Routine interruptions for art and gym = 3.5 C & I hours

Thursday, October 2: Uninterrupted day =  5 C & I hours

Friday, October 3:  Specials art/gym in the morning followed by fire drill  Total = 3 C & I hours

Week’s Total C & I hours: 21.5  hours

Re-authorization of NCLB: Commentary by Barbara L. Minton

Re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and Its Hidden Agenda
by: Barbara L. Minton
From Natural News: The re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has become a priority for the final year of the Bush administration. The fact that independent test results have shown NCLB to be a dismal failure seems to make no difference. With a little tweaking, it must continue. As debate on this legislation heats up, a review of the issues surrounding NCLB and the agenda behind it may be in order.
NCLB is a federal law that provides money for a… Continue reading

Vygotsky’s ZPD

“How Learning Occurs” according to constructivist learning theorist Vygotsky, who described the  “zone of proximal development (ZPD)”***

Zone of Proximal Development, an idea developed by Vygotsky over one hundred years ago, falls within a socio-cultural context and seeks to define the process through which students effectively learn in cooperation with a teacher.  A student’s Zone of Proximal Development, or ZPD, is defined as the student’s range of ability with and without assistance from a teacher or a more capable peer. On one end of the range is the student’s ability level without assistance. On the other end of… Continue reading

AYP Pressure Mounts

Thursday, October 2, 2008, the Denver Post announced that only 48 of 151 Denver Public Schools schools met the adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals mandated by NCLB law.   The article went on to report that statewide only 60% of Colorada schools met their progress targets, compared with 75% that met the target goals in 2007.  The Colorado Department of Education attributed this decline to the schedule of AYP improvement that the law outlines.  According to the NCLB law, every three years the bar is raised to meet the AYP goals, which are to culminate in 100%… Continue reading

Archives