Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"3 in 3"- Three Things

That would be 3 "memes" in 3 days. I saw this one at Vicki Davis's CoolCatTeacher blog. I wasn't "tagged" for this, but I love the question: "What 3 things do you believe about ALL students?"  I skimmed over what Vicki wrote but decided to write mine first, before reading what anyone else wrote. I don't want to be influenced as I ponder this important question:
What 3 things do you believe about ALL students?

1. I believe that all students want to feel successful. 
I believe that our students do want to learn, and they want to be good at it. They want their efforts to be recognized. I think that part of the problem with schools today is that with the honing in on academics and standardized testing, we have taken away some of the avenues our students have to succeed. Some students will be most successful at sports, some at academics, some at art, some at music. If we give everyone the opportunity to find their thing, to experience their success, I think that the other things, the things that don't come as easily, won't be so frustrating or daunting. In other words, I think that by taking away art and music and PE in favor of more and more academics, we are actually having the opposite effect we desire. 
2. I believe that all students have something to teach.
Everyone has something to teach and something to learn. I can (and must) learn from anyone- the youngest student, the most difficult personality.  Everyone contributes something unique to the group.
3. I believe that all students want to be treated with respect.
This isn't really that different from #1 and #2. If we keep in mind that students want to do well and have something special to contribute to the group, that goes a long way toward creating an environment of mutual respect. 

I hope you will answer the question on your own blog. What 3 things do you believe about all students?

Another Meme- Nearest Book

This one's fast. I saw it on Langwitches. It is called the Nearest Book Meme. I am the queen of both reading and random, so it appealed to me. 

The Rules:
•Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
•Go to page 56.
•Find the 5th sentence.
•Write this sentence - either here or on your blog.
•Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
•Don't look for your favorite book or your coolest, but really the nearest book.

The closest book is the fiction I'm currently reading, American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I hope the 5th sentence of pg. 56 is appropriate for my blog. Let's see--ok, counting from the first complete sentence on the page, here is #5:

Approaching each other, him from the gym, me from the library---this was when I walked down the aisle and he was waiting, this was when we made love, it was every anniversary, every reunion in an airport or train station, every reconciliation after a quarrel.
That's it. Pretty random. Your turn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Wordle Meme

I've been double tagged for the wordle meme by Silvia Tolisano and Terry Shay
1. Create a wordle from your blog's RSS feed. 
2. Blog it and describe your reaction. Any surprises?
3. Tag others to do the same. 
4. Link back here and to where you were first tagged. 

I tried changing my settings, as described by Ann Oro in order to access more posts in my wordle, but the wordle was the same before and after changing settings. It draws from my most recent posts only.  According to Silvia, that is okay because you can do wordles over time and document your "Zeitgeist" or spirit of the times. In fact, she has added to the meme:
5. Create different Wordles of your blog's RSS over a period of time. Do it once a month for the next year. 
Without further ado, here is my blog's wordle, my Zeitgeist for Fall 2008-
What do I see? Students, front and center, loud and clear. Yup! 
I don't like the fact that SCHOOL figures more prominently than LEARNING. 
Think, teachers, kids, groups, technology, project, create- no surprises there. 
Election, survey, political, issues- these words help illustrate the spirit of the times this fall.

Silvia also adds a #6. Share other uses (at least one) you have found for wordle (for your students or personally) to your blog post. 
I've been working on an application, and I decided to wordle a few of my answers to the questions. I think it is interesting to see what words you might be overusing in written proposals, grants, etc. and to make sure that the words that figure most prominently are representative of the ideas you are trying to express. This could be used in the teaching of writing as well, as a fun, new way to "see" your writing.

The hardest part of the memes for me is the tagging. If I tag you, I hope you want to be tagged. If I don't tag you and you DO want to be tagged, please consider yourself tagged!