Thursday, February 16, 2017

MRVED Business

MRVED Meetings
February 22, 2017  Superintendents' Council
February 23, 2017  TAC
February 24, 2017  Principals' Council

March 17, 2017  Title III Paraprofessionals
March 21, 2017  Counselors
March 22, 2017  Superintendents' Council
March 23, 2017  Social Workers

What Great Teachers Do Differently - Respect Everyone, Every Day

Great teachers create a positive atmosphere in their classrooms and schools.  They treat every person with respect.  In particular, they understand the power of praise." (Whitaker, 56)

It seems trivial, but the old adage of "Treat others how you would like to be treated", really is a crucial part to what separates the good teachers from the great teachers.  Think about a time you were think of a time you were praised.  Which one was easier to think about?  Which memory was more recent.  Chances are, you could easily identify a time when you were mistreated and your memory of praise happened more recently.  Why is this?  It's because those memories of mistreatment stick with you.

How does this apply to the classroom?  Think about the student who constantly feels as if he/she is mistreated by the teachers.  Do you think that will stick with them?  Whitaker makes a great point.  He says, "You don't have to like the students; you just have to act as if you like them." (Whitaker, 50).  Now, this seems like an awful statement to make, but I guarantee you that there are one or two students in your classroom who you can think of right now who you have a hard time liking.  If they know you don't like them, they can sense you don't care about them.  Do you think they will do anything for you?  Probably not.  If you act as if you like them and treat them with the same respect you treat all other students, they will be more than likely to do what you want them to do.

Whitaker goes into length about Ben Bissell's "five strategies that help praise work".  They are the praise must be authentic, specific, immediate, clean, and private.  Authentic, specific, immediate, and private praise are self-explanatory.  But clean praise could be somewhat confusing.  For praise to be clean, you can't expect something in return for the praise.  For example if you praise a kid on Monday, you can't expect the kid to not screw up on Tuesday.  The two behaviors are not related.  For praise to also be clean, it cannot contain the word "but".  For example, "great job on question 2, but you got 4 and 6 wrong".  The praise will not have an effect on the student because what do you think they remember from that sentence...they got 4 and 6 wrong.  They probably don't even realize you said "great job on question 2".

In short...respect everyone, every day!  Treat others how you would want to be treated, even if you really don't like them.  Give praise that is authentic, specific, immediate, clean, and private.  Great teachers, according to Whitaker, do all these things.

February Science Update from MDE

The February Edition of the MDE Science Update includes:

  • MnSTA position statement of elementary science
  • Minnesotan receives national teaching award
Teacher events
  • Spring and summer workshops
Teacher and School Awards and Programs
  • Presidential Award
  • Chemical disposal
School Programs
  • Scientists in the Classroom
  • Field Trips
Student Programs
  • Student competitions
  • Summer programs

MDE Science Update

Tech Tip - FrontRow Adds Social Studies Content

FrontRow Adds Social Studies Content
FrontRow is a program that allows teachers to assign students practice in reading and math.  The program can be adaptive to how the student is performing.  Teachers can get some great data from using this program.  If you are looking for something for your students to practice before the MCA's, this could be a great supplement.  All content is based off the Common Core standards.

Recently FrontRow added social studies content.  Right now there are 11 units to choose from ranging from the Civil War to Elections.  There are videos, handouts, and readings for all ages.  If you are currently using FrontRow, check out the social studies content today.