Saturday, November 10, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The system went wrong somewhere. The emphasis is always on the grades that students are assigned. From the time students begin school to when they graduate college, grades are the motivating factor... grades, grades, grades.
I have students ask me all the time... are we going to be graded on this assignment? I usually reply by saying... does it matter? Of course it matters to the students. They think they are in school to get a grade.
Who learns more?
The independent learner that gets straight A's every quarter, or the student that constantly struggles to get C's?
There is probably an argument for both cases.
Teachers, parents and peers who emphasize grades... grades on report cards, grades on standardized tests. Students are constantly rated with a false sense of comfort in a "good grade". Motivation becomes an issue. We motivate with rewards that are extrinsic... candy, parties, extra recess, paper awards, money (parents giving money for good grades). These rewards go away. After you eat the candy, it is gone. When extra recess is over, its time to do work. When you spend the money, it is gone. It only leaves the child ready to ask for more.
Why should they learn? Why should they come to school? Why should they exercise their brain? Why should they even think? What would happen without these extrinsic rewards?
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I have written before about media in our schools. The talk recently has been about the school library being a hub in today's schools... the library being the focal point of media, information and collaboration. I couldn't agree more! It puts a smile on my face when I see media specialists that actually get it. They do not let written text limit their overall goal in the library.
On the other hand, I don't necessarilly agree with limiting students to packaged online databases. These packaged databases have limitations and expected outcomes. The information that students find is within a box. We need to also think outside of this ordinary box.
Collaboration is the route we need to be taking. Students need to see that they do not have to only find information, but they can also add to it. Anyone can find information, but it takes a higher level of thinking to edit and add to this information stream.
Any thoughts and ideas about how we can do this would be greatly appreciated...
Saturday, November 3, 2007
To me, there is nothing more relaxing than dropping a line in about 25 feet of water. Waiting for that bite and reeling in a nice fish. Usually, we throw the fish back, but if we catch some stripers, I think we will keep a few this time.
The phone call was just in time. I have been non-stop. I have all of my grades completed, and this week was probably one of the busiest weeks in my life (post business ownership). I can't wait to get the boat started and head out around noon. Hopefully, pictures to come.