Thursday, October 12, 2017

History of Learning: Where are we today?

School Choice is such a hot phrase these days although I'm not really sure why. I think the big concept should be quality. School and educational quality. What difference does it make if you can apply to a crappy charter school, pay for a crappy private school, attend a crappy public school, or struggle thru some sort of virtual school experience. The real value is in having on great quality choice.

As a parent, I like quality. I love neighborhood schools since they build communtiy, the kids know their neighbors, it makes all feel right with the world. But it relies on quality. Not choice. Choice is divisive, confusing, and I'm not sure how it helps.

Now students should have some choice in their curriculum, about what they want to study and what they want to learn. VSC and other technolgoy base programs give the school all sorts of flexibility . For instance, a student can create their own word lists from their own studies on VSC.

There are 35 different learning games that can be used with these lists whether the student or teacher or school creates them. Enjoy!

Yes that is a playing card joker.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sixth Grade Word Study: Today vs Circa 1970

Suzy, I'm so sorry that I let this blog sit fallow. I know that my readers have wanted me to update this with more tips and tricks for educating sixth graders.

In sixth grade, I was a proud responsible safety patrol. The year was 1970 and the place was Bethesda MD. Every week we had vocabulary and spelling practice and dictation and it was all done by hand in the old fashioned way.  Word lists were mimeographed and had blue ink and a great smell.  Tests took class time and the teacher had lots of homework to grade all of those papers. Feedback took days or weeks to get back and we had by them moved onto new subjects.

But now it's 2017 and there's a great new automated way to learn 6th grade spelling words.  Use the app or website: VocabularySpellingCity.

Teachers can import sixth grade word lists and assign interactive games and activities to students to provide practice in sixth grade ELA standards. These web-based games support sixth grade lesson plans. Free printable worksheets aligned to sixth grade word lists are also available for download.
Sixth grade vocabulary lists encompass all literary genres. The sixth grade vocabulary word lists include poetry, like Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” and Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Vocabulary word lists for ELA literature studies, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and Eleven by Sandra Cisneros, are available on VocabularySpellingCity. Teachers can use VocabularySpellingCity’s engaging, interactive games to help students develop literary vocabulary knowledge through independent practice.
VocabularySpellingCity also offers sixth grade content area vocabulary word lists. Word lists include subject areas like sixth grade mathsixth grade science, and sixth grade social studies. Teacher can use VocabularySpellingCity’s games and activities as a supplemental tool when teaching subject areas like math or science.
That quote is from their website.  Here's some details on how it can help.

 This is a hurricane reference since in fact, the state was sort of closed during IRMA.