Giving: tis the seasonRead Now
Give until it hurts. Despite the current status of the economy and more than likely yours as well, it is more crucial than ever to Give. Over the years I have become ever more critical of who I decide to give to and build a charitable relationship with. The relationship is the most important piece. Whether its a personal cause, a job-related endeavor, or a individual passion it's important to give to an organization in which you have a connection with. So as I discuss my charitable relationships I do so knowing everyone has their special cause, but also sharing credible organizations as ideas for those who want to begin building their charitable relationships.
A dance marathon at The Ohio State University benefiting Children's Hospital pediatric cancer. As a co-chair for the 1st ever event back in 2002, my understanding and trust for the use of the money raised is strong. I am proud to see this event grow to where it is 10 years later and can't wait to see where it goes next.
A nonprofit, year-round youth development organization, anchored by a residential summer camp with an educational focus. This is one special place. The incomparable staff behind this hidden jewel are undertaking a Capital Campaign so Project Morry can go from serving 400 children each year to over 1,000. The fundraising drive will achieve three key priorities: 1) Purchase our summer camp site 2) Establish a Westchester facility 3) Expand our Summer Camp facilities. Start supporting Project Morry today.
Global Camps Africa changes the lives of South Africa’s vulnerable children and youth by providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and training through a high-impact residential camp experience and continuing education, equipping young people with the life skills that will support them in becoming safe and productive adults who have hope for the future. I had the privilege of volunteering at Camp Sizinani run by Global Camps Africa and it truly is life-changing for each person, children (campers) and adults (staff).
OTHER Charitable Foundations to support - remember find one that fits you.
PENCIL: Transforming Schools. Together www.pencil.org
SCOPE: Summer Camp Opportunites Provide an Edge www.scope-ny.org
MS Foundation: Multiple Sclerosis www.nationalmssociety.org
KIVA: loans with a purpose www.kiva.org
Donors Choose: Specific projects, direct to teachers, students benefit
My Reading ListRead Now
Here's a few great books I've enjoyed recently.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougal
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Amazon
The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark
So many useful, tangible ideas to stir things up inside and outside the classroom with one result in mind - the success of children. I love chapters 9, 11, 12, 16...well just about every chapter is great because Ron Clark uses examples to get his message across and gives tips at the end of each to assist you in incorporating the "solutions" into your class/school/home. The parents section is a must read for every adult, teacher or not. Amazon
Skill Building Pick:
The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner
An in-depth look at leadership with practical and inspirational lessons for anyone. Filled with endless quotable take-aways, one that stuck with me is, "Success does not breed success. It breeds failure. It is failure which breeds success." Amazon
All-time great pick:
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
A life worthy of 630 pages. You won't be dissappointed.
Unexpected Surprise pick:
The Shack by William P. Young
Chapter 2 hits you hard and it never lets up. Unusual perspective that gives you new perspective. Amazon
To gain more insight on the acculturation process we need to look further at the aspect of ‘a culture of failure’ and where this truly comes from, specifically student’s attitudes towards education. Is this connected to the “lax” attitude of America, the change of discipline, a cultural manifestation, or something else? Also, the trust of the school system and it’s administrators. Does the strength of the one's cultural identity influence how one trusts the American school system, its leaders, the special education realm, and the act of disciplining misbehavior in a child? In the end does this affect the way a teacher teaches, the way a principal manages, the way a parent interacts with the school, and the way a student learns?
“New York City is a moving, busy city where ethnicity never really melts away, and class and generation differences remain visible” ( Bryce-Laporte, 1979). Mitchell and Bryan discuss the need for Caribbean immigrant students to be given school intervention that is compatible with their familial and cultural values. They go on to say “school counselors must team and collaborate with family, community, and school staff members to develop and implement comprehensive programs of partnerships to meet the needs of students at risk for academic failure, many of whom are minority and immigrant students” (2007). This is a critical component going forward, but stereotyping one nation's citizens or immigrant population will counteract the individual interventions – cultural values may be consistent but how students incorporate those into their new setting will be different. A child may react to the acculturation process in a variety of ways, depending on the strength of their values, acceptance of change, self-esteem, and influence of peers. This needs to be incorporated into professional development for teachers, counselors, and school officials.
The stress of immigrating to a new country increases when the community in which the immigrant is now living is uneducated on potential challenges in acculturation. Understanding they might not understand special education to its fullest extent requires someone to discuss the process with them. Understanding how misbehavior is handled differently will reduce the discrepancies and potentially smooth the transition for the child. Understanding the cultural values and family expectations of new families could bridge the disconnect of parents and schools, resulting in trust and acceptance of the school system, its curriculum and methods. The implications here allow administrators, teachers, and other school staff to begin to take the necessary steps to incorporate immigrants more justly and allow them an equal opportunity to succeed within education and personally. Overall talk to these families, learn from them.
Investigating and seeking input on various topics is an ongoing part of my professional development. Discovering new teaching strategies or understanding concepts is a critical part in working with children. Beyond the classroom lessons and benchmark testing, one large piece to becoming a better teacher is recognizing your students’ differences and individual needs. An area rarely seen in professional development workshops or discussed in grade meetings is that of cultural influences and its impact on the students’ academics.
It is understood that family and home issues affect student’s behaviors and academic performance, but does the country of origin play a role? With a larger population of immigrated students this year, I am beginning to see commonalities amongst my most recent immigrated students. I see their struggle to find space to fit in amongst the social networks of middle school, and their approaches to these obstacles. As I want to help my students feel comfortable in the school environment, it is a challenge when there are more obstacles in relation to cultural values, traditions, and perspectives. Understanding these views from the student and their families will go a long way in determining strategies to best resolve the variety of issues I see these children deal with daily.
As an 8th grade teacher of mathematics and science in the special education setting many experiences cross my path every day. I have been able to work with children with varying learning disabilities and behavioral issues, varying home life and values, and cultural backgrounds. Does their cultural identity play a role in those expectations? Does this affect their desire or need to gain acceptance from the community, school, and classmates?
The acculturation process can impact a child’s educational future. Specifically Caribbean immigrants in the New York City area have a high school dropout rate of 23.53% among males and 19.66% among females according to the Board of Education. As a teacher I have observed students succeeding and struggling with becoming acclimated to school, forming friendships, and cultural adjustments. I have been able to work with children that have varying learning disabilities and behavioral issues, differing home lives and values, and cultural backgrounds. What can we do to assist them in overcoming the acculturative stressors they face? Please comment...conversation to be continued.
Grab it, Use it, Share it #2Read Now
Three new links I think you should bookmark:
NeoK12: I use this site frequently for many things. Most recently I was introducing the Rock Cycle and showed a few clips, had students tweet something from the video they didn't know before, and the I used the matching vocabulary game to engage ALL students by getting them to interact with the smartboard, review important terms, and have a slight dose of competition between classmates. Many opportunities for usage across the board.
Recently at a local trivia night with some friends a question arose about the capital of Kentucky and only one team (our team) got it correct. Meanwhile on a question concerning the name of a Simpson's character every team knew the answer. People are you kidding me?!?! Learn your geography and have some fun doing it here: Challenges . If you'd like to embed this game on your site go here: TravelPod
A small obsession with TV and in particular TV ratings leads me to this site quite often. Pretty in depth coverage of all corners of entertainment. Not your tabloid TMZ style information either, the quality keeps me coming back. Enjoy Zap2it.
Did You Know...
...Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya became the only person EVER to break course records at BOTH the Boston Marathon and the NYC Marathon in the same year!
...Mazes of the Century has Holiday Cards available, send them to your friends and family and they can actually solve your card!
...Perforated toilet paper was first distributed in 1880! History of Toilet Paper
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Middle School SpEd teacher, maze designer, tech club director, social media seeker, idealist, avid volunteer, sports/tv addict, living the moment