Integrating Maker Education into the Curriculum

“What may look like an arts and crafts activity, or just a bunch of kids playing with Legos, is actually a way to teach about ancient Rome or how to write a persuasive essay. “

User Generated Education

Rather than the maker experiences being an after school program, an add on activity, or an activity that is implemented when students have done their regular lessons work, it should be part of the regular, day-to-day curriculum. As noted in USC Rossier Online, “In order for your school and students to be fully invested in maker education, it has to be integrated into your curriculum, not squeezed in” (https://rossieronline.usc.edu/maker-education/sync-with-curriculum/).  Ayah Bdeir, who invented and runs littleBits, had this to say about integrating maker education into the curriculum:

It’s time for maker ed to move into the mainstream. Making should not be relegated to the times spent outside of class, e.g. lunch or after school. Nor should it only flourish in private schools, which don’t have to teach to standards. We need to work to show how making is a rigorous process that leads to valuable…

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The Problem with “Great Schools”

You wouldn’t buy a house without going in it, so why do so with your child’s education? When we were deciding on our current school, we toured and we talked to teachers and parents. It didn’t take that much time, and walking around and seeing the actual people in the building was the most important factor for us.

IntegratedSchools.org

by Ali McKay

If you have young kids or use Redfin, you’ve probably seen the school ratings from GreatSchools. Our school is rated a “4”. That’s out of 10. When I was in school, forty percent is not a grade that I or my parents would have been happy with. In fact, there would have been a fair amount of freaking out about a 4 out of 10. And yet, my children, and all of the other 330 kids in that school, are learning, having fun, and occasionally misbehaving or letting off steam. They are being kids. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how a building full of people – actual kids, teachers, parents, staff – can be described by one number.

I am very happy with our school, even though it has some pretty significant challenges. It isn’t a “4” to me, or to…

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Fun and Easy Ways to Learn English

The most important thing about any kind of marriage is that both are compatible.

If you are going to be married to your English – you’d better find a kind of English that suits you, will work for you and also reflect who you are.

There are many kinds of acceptable Englishes out there these days. If the one you are learning right now is not sitting well with you – it could be because you haven’t found the right one that embraces you yet. Keep searching and it will happen.

Learn English Having Fun

Learn English Phrases (audio)

Learn English: films, videos, music, books, idioms, podcasts: способы изучения английского языка

Learn English that embraces your identity

Learn English with Audio Story

Learn English with poems: Improve your pronunciation

Fun and Easy Ways to Learn English

Who’s in charge of the English language? Nobody, of course.

Schools are still killing creativity.

He always wanted to explain things. But no one cared
So he drew
Sometimes he would draw and it wasn’t anything. He wanted to carve it in stone
Or write it in the sky
He would lie out on the grass. And look up at the sky
And it would be only the sky and him that needed saying
And it was after that. He drew the picture. It was a beautiful picture
He kept it under his pillow. And would let no one see it
And he would look at it every night. And think about it
And when it was dark. And his eyes were closed. He could still see it
And it was all of him. And he loved it
When he started school he brought it with him
Not to show anyone but just to have it with him. Like a friend
It was funny about school
He sat in a square brown desk. Like all the other square brown desks
And he thought it should be red
And his room was a square brown room. Like all the other rooms
And it was tight and close. And stiff
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk
With his arms stiff and his feet flat on the floor. Stiff
With the teacher watching. And watching
The teacher came and smiled at him
She told him to wear a tie. Like all the other boys
He said he didn’t like them. And she said it didn’t matter
After that they drew. And he drew all yellow
And it was the way he felt about morning
And it was beautiful
The teacher came and smiled at him
“What’s this?” she said
“Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s drawing?”
“Isn’t that beautiful?”
After that his mother bought him a tie
And he always drew airplanes and rocket ships. Like everyone else
And he threw the old picture away
And when he lay out alone and looked out at the sky. It was big and blue and all of everything
But he wasn’t anymore
He was square inside and brown. And his hands were stiff
And he was like everyone else
And the things inside him that needed saying
Didn’t need it anymore
It had stopped pushing
It was crushed
Stiff
Like everything else.

User Generated Education

Several posts this week noted how we are failing with the nurturing, facilitating, and direct teaching of creativity within school environments.

Adobe posted Universal Concern that Creativity is Suffering at Work and School

New research reveals a global creativity gap in five of the world’s largest economies, according to the Adobe® State of Create global benchmark study. The research shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believe they are living up to their own creative potential. More than half of those surveyed feel that creativity is being stifled by their education systems, and many believe creativity is taken for granted (52% globally, 70% in the United States).

One of the myths of creativity is that very few people are really…

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10 of the most common ways blogs are used by teachers and students

Wondering how blogs are used in schools?

1.  School or District Website

2. Class Website

3.  Class Blog

4.  Class Blog with Student Blogs

5.  Specialist Subject Area Blogs

6. Personal/Professional Educator Blog

7. Library Blogs

8. Group Collaboration and Projects

9. ePortfolios

10. Professional Learning

Learn more: https://www.theedublogger.com/2018/04/17/blogs-wordpress-schools/ 

 

THE OPPOSITE OF EDUCATION IS MANIPULATION

 

Educators as Active Listeners

One of the biggest gifts we, as educators, can give to our learners is to be truly present for them; to deeply listen to what they have to say.

User Generated Education

I have a few sayings I often use in my teacher education courses and PD workshops for teachers related to active listening. They include:

  • If the teacher is doing more talking than the students, then this is a problem.
  • One of the biggest gifts we, as educators, can give to our learners is to be truly present for them; to deeply listen to what they have to say.

What this boils down to, for me, is the teacher being an active listener. I get to practice what I preach on a regular basis as I teach gifted elementary students three days a week. For this academic year, I decided to become even more intentional in practicing active listening with the students. I hope my intention has benefitted them. I know there have been benefits for me. I get to really relish in how they see the world. Their stories, ideas, jokes…

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Thousands of teachers have rallied this week for more money for education.

Teachers continue to advocate for fair funding for education and educator pay.

Oklahoma lawmakers made plans to vote Friday on bills that could earmark more money for education. But it’s not clear if the measures will satisfy complaints by the state’s teachers, which have led to walkouts and widespread protests this week.

So PROUD of Oklahoma teachers. Since I was a kid, they’ve been in the bottom 2 nationally in pay. Nothing has changed. And now, no raise in 10 years! Budget cuts. Where is the $$$? Great teachers are leaving the state.

Dari Nowkhah

Read more: Oklahoma’s Teachers Continue Walkout