This is a series of provocations designed to provide resources for students to inquire into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. For more, click here.
The first challenge in helping students inquire into the need to provide clean water and sanitation is to recognize what a privilege it is to have! These resources are intended to help them consider this global goal and how they might help.
Resource #1: G R A N T E D by Michele Guieu
Resource #2: Why Water by CharityWater
Resource #3: Global Citizen – Water & Sanitation by BRIKK
Resource #4: The Water Princess by Susan Verde, Georgie Badiel & Peter Reynolds
How is clean water important to humans?
How is sanitation important to humans?
Why is clean water scarce for so many people? How does this scarcity impact an individual? A family? A community?
Identifying which posts were most read each year is always an interesting reflective process for me a I look for patterns and why’s. For instance, it’s clear that this year, people were drawn to my most status-quo-questioning posts. Meanwhile, I’m also working on my other annual post in which I share my favorite posts written by other educational bloggers, so stay tuned for that soon!
What this post’s popularity tells me: I think many of us are searching for better ways to communicate with families about at-home learning. We worry about practices like reading logs because of how micromanaging they can feel, but we also worry about simply abandoning them because of how important reading is. This post offers specific ideas addressing both concerns.
What this post’s popularity tells me: It is much easier to throw out the now-common advice, “offer students more choice,” than it is to put it in practice. Especially when it feels like we ourselves are suffocated by mandates upon mandates. The fact that this one was read so often tells me that people welcome explicit ideas of how we might find ways to provide choices even within a compulsory environment.
What this post’s popularity tells me: Lack of self-control has historically been a top criticism of youth. But self-management is really a much more universally needed skill. Resources to help students develop self management skills are thus in high demand.
What this post’s popularity tells me: No matter how much teachers supports student agency and choice, there will always be a student who makes them scratch their heads and wonder how best to reach him or her.
What this post’s popularity tells me: As agency becomes more commonly discussed across the education world, many are looking for where to start: what it means and how we can take some significant initial steps.
What this post’s popularity tells me: So many students feel like writing is only something “real” writers do. They do not self-identify because it seems beyond their reach for one or several reasons. I hope this inquiry has led to more kids starting to think about themselves as real writers, too!
What this post’s popularity tells me: As a teacher who has kept in too many kids from too many recesses myself, we just get to a point where we wonder if that’s really our only choice. I think this one was my most read post published in 2018 because we want to find alternatives that get to the root of the behavior and relationships.
What were your most-read posts of 2018? Why do you think that was?
This is part of a series of inquiry-based provocations for essential elements of the PYP and the Learner Profile. For more, click here.
Respect. It seems to be a character trait frequently invoked when describing another generation (usually not in a very complimentary light). But as with all these provocations, how often do we give our students the opportunity to construct meaning for such traits for themselves?
This week’s provocation is meant to help students investigate the attitude of respect for themselves.
Resource #1: Respect Mother Nature by Jon Rawlinson
Odds are, you’ve probably heard of Brene Brown. You may have watched one of her TED-Talks. You may have even read one or more of her books, like Daring Greatly or The Gifts of Imperfection.
If you’re like me, it’s all of the above. But I’ve noticed that lately, there seems to be more and more of us, especially in the education field. I hear phrases, read blog posts, and have conversations that make me feel sure that the scope of her work is becoming more widespread. Here are a few signs that make me think so…
They model daring and taking risks. (they don’t just teach their students to do so, but are right there “in the arena” with them).
They consciously work to “see” their students, rather than looking first at scores, assessments, and behavior notes from previous teachers; they value human connection above impersonal statistics.
They tell themselves that they are enough for their students, despite their limitations and imperfections (and realize that their limitations and imperfections are the very things that help them connect best with their students).
They regularly use the terms, “authenticity,” “vulnerability,” and “worthiness.”
They are compassionate with themselves and their students.
The see overlap when it comes to the entire concept of personal authenticity with authentic learning (ie, opportunities for authentic reading choices, authentic writing audiences, authentic math application…).
I am proud to be part of this growing tribe, not just because I feel emotionally healthier, but because I feel better equipped to connect with my students than I used to.
Looking for some lively discussion among passionate educators? Or professional development that applies to your personal goals? Or some inspiration for one of your current classroom challenges? Or even just to broaden your PLN? Then join in on one or all of these favorite Twitter Chats!
A Few Handy TwitterChat tips:
Introduce yourself when you join in.
Use the chat hashtag in every comment you make so others in the discussion can see it!
Download a platform like TweetDeck to more easily see all the incoming Tweets (they come fast during a lively discussion).
Questions are listed by the moderator as Q1, Q2, etc. Start your tweets with A1, A2, etc. to correspond with the question at hand, and try to stay on topic! If you get inspired to begin an offshoot discussion, you can always DM (direct message) an individual!
What: PYP stands for the Primary Years Programme for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, but you don’t have to be a PYP teacher to join in! We’re all about inquiry, passionate learning, and honest reflection.
School is back into full-swing for many schools by now. Amid back-to-school supplies, carefully-designed units, and seating charts, remember to maintain a vision of those things that are most important. Here are a few of our favorite reminders.
#1: Brene Brown’s Leadership Manifesto
(and while you’re at it, perhaps her “Engaged Feedback Checklist,” too. Both of these come from her latest book, Daring Greatly, which is definitely a worthwhile read for any educator!)
#2: Bill Ferriter’s essential technology reminder
#3: Ann Lander’s wisdom on child autonomy
#4: Dr. Haim Ginott’s realization on a teacher’s daily influence
#5: And this.
Or maybe just a poster that says, “Serenity now!” Have a great 2014-2015 year!
Featured Image: (only visible on mobile devices with current layout) Nick Amoscato
If you’re pausing your teaching career during parental leave for a few years, we have some ideas to help you keep up with the education world!
#1: Watch for license renewal credits opportunities
When the time comes for you to resume your teaching career, you don’t want to be stuck with retroactively tracking down hours and paperwork! Develop a professional learning plan now, combing your state or country requirements. Contact your prior administration for documentation of any accumulated credits during your employment.
#2: Volunteer at your last school
Strap on that Baby Bjorn or occasionally drop off kids with a babysitter to maintain educational ties in your community. Gauge what’s realistic for your circumstances, though, whether it’s simply to read with students now and then, or to facilitate an extracurricular activity, such as a TED-Ed Club
#3: Volunteer online
Sign up to tutor online! Become a Granny in Sugata Mitra’s “School in the Cloud.” You can even combine #2 & #3 via interactive platforms like Skype. For instance, when I was housebound during our school’s annual PYP Exhibition process, I volunteered to mentor a few student groups through weekly Skype “meetings” instead. The students loved sharing their progress on the webcam, and I loved being involved despite my situation.
Classroom 2.0 LIVE hosts free online shows. PLP Network offers purchased E-courses (with options for graduate credit, too). And once you’ve established #4, Twitter Chats can be especially helpful–for me, one solid chat usually ends with with about 37 new open tabs of resources.
Was packing your classroom materials a whirlwind of items flying into unlabeled boxes? Then you need to fire up your scanner and read our post on getting organized. ASAP. Your sanity will thank you later when you resume teaching.
#7: Organize your new resources
After getting inspired by the 37+ tabs of resources discovered during a Tweet Chat, make sure you can find them again! Establish a bookmarking system that works for you, be it a Delicious account, or several categorized folders to sort your bookmarks on your browser (Chrome is a great option since it saves your bookmarks across your devices if you’re logged into your Google account).
#8: Develop a Skill
Brush up your old high school Spanish using the free Duolingo app. Fine-tune your piano playing. Explore PhotoShop or Prezi. Anything that you enjoy will enhance your classroom, even if it’s not directly related to your content–after all, your future students need models of adults pursuing passions!
#9: Revamp Your Class Blog!
Browse your favorite class blogs, and then find ways to incorporate your favorite user-friendly features on your own blog!
#10: Re-evaluate your WHY as a Teacher!
Reflect on your previous practices and honestly assess what can be improved or tossed altogether. Consider how you can return to the educational work-force with an even deeper commitment to authentic learning (on that subject, be sure to check out our tips on becoming a 21st Century teacher)!
And of course, remember to make the most of this precious and swiftly passing time with your little one(s)!