Friday, April 21, 2017

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 4/21/17

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Earth Day Activities - Storyboard Earth Day activities (L:E; SA:S)

GlacierWorks – “GlacierWorks’ exhibit “Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya” showcases our contemporary imagery alongside archival photographs taken over the last century by the world’s greatest mountain photographers. These matched pairs of images starkly reveal the changes that have quietly taken place over the last century.” (L:A; SA:S)

The Greenhouse Effect - Here's what you need to know about ​the warming planet, ho​​w it's affecting us, and what's at stake. (L:A; SA:S)
Wind Power – “Wind power offers a sustainable option in the pursuit of renewable energy.” (L:A; SA:S)

My Garbology – “At MyGarbology, you'll find an interactive online game that teaches about Garbology and answers the question, "Where should my waste go?" You'll also find lessons and activities to extend your Garbology experience, from how to pack a waste-less lunch to getting the dirt on composting. Plus, read our Trash Talk blog for stories of Garbology in practice. In the classroom or at home, you can make Garbology a part of your everyday life.” (L:A; SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Makes Me Irreplaceable

“What do I do that a robot cannot? We should all have been asking ourselves that question for at least the past 10 years.”

I started thinking about what service I give to my students that they can’t get from a robot.

Here are some things I thought about:

Sincere verbal encouragement.
Explaining tone of voice and body language
Ability to explain something in different ways.
Laughing with my students.
Personal experiences that help explain a specific skill.
Ability to alter assignments according to the student’s needs.
Assess the student’s emotional status in order to be more effective when teaching.
Ability to discuss situations that involve emotions.
Give emotional support when needed.

A lot of the things I offer have to do with emotional support that I don’t believe a robot can give. I don’t think a robot can assess an emotional situation and adapt or adjust the lesson that I’m planning to teach.

I have taken online courses where there are times I would have liked to ask a person or had a question that the computer can’t answer. Sometimes the answer is not clear and unless I type it in exactly as the computer expects, I am unable to go forward. If there was a person that I could discuss my problem, I could have understood better what the computer was expecting.

I think that there are plenty of things that a robot can do that doesn’t necessarily need a human but I think education needs a human to support what a robot is doing. I don’t believe that we can only rely on a robot to teach everything that needs to be learned.

What do you do that a robot can’t? Please share.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage 2017

Last week we went to the Smokies for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.  I recorded some audio each day since I didn't have any cell service or internet so I hope you enjoy my recap of each day.

For pictures - Click Here! 

Sunday 4/9/17 - arrived at Elkmont Campground at 11am and got  Site A 13.

Monday 4/10/17 - Hiked with Dan, Sherrie, and Kim on the Grapeyard Ridge Trail (in the Greenbriar area)

Tuesday 4/11/17 - drove back home so I could teach my Furman class.

Wednesday 4/12/17 - drove back to our campsite. Hiked on the Ashhopper Branch Trail (across from the visitor center), the Nature trail, and Cataract Falls.

Thursday 4/13/17 - Hiked with Dan, Sherrie, and Kim on the Old Settler's Trail and saw lots of wildflowers.

Friday 4/14/17 - Hiked with Sherrie and Kim on the Chestnut Top Trail. Did a shuttle and left one car at the Townsend Wye and one car at Schoolhouse Gap.

Saturday 4/15/17 - returned home.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Carly’s Voice – Book Review

The Amazon summary states:

“In this international bestseller, father and advocate for Autism awareness Arthur Fleischmann blends his daughter Carly’s own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter—after years of believing that she was unable to understand or communicate with him.

At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Carly remained largely unreachable through the years. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted therapists, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’s astonishment. Although Carly still struggles with all the symptoms of autism, she now has regular, witty, and profound conversations on the computer with her family and her many thousands of supporters online.

One of the first books to explore firsthand the challenges of living with autism, Carly’s Voice brings readers inside a once-secret world in the company of an inspiring young woman who has found her voice and her mission.”

I have to say that it is a fabulous book and that all teachers should read this book. I felt so bad for Carly’s family who was struggling with this disability because autism is really a family disability and not just one person’s disability. Yet, throughout the book I felt the love the family had for Carly and how they would never give up trying to help her.  I wish I had read this while I was in the classroom because I think I would have taught my students with autism a little differently. I learned a lot by reading this book and want to share with you some of the things that I learned.

1.     Be more patient and when I feel like I am at the end of your rope, I’m not, so keep trying.
2.     Students with autism want to communicate but may not know how.
3.     Keep trying different ways to help students find their voice.
4.     Help the parents because sometimes they are just trying to keep their heads above water.
5.     Don’t take parents reactions personally because they may be frustrated and searching for answers.
6.     There is no simple solution or one size fits all solution so keep looking.
7.     Everyone can learn from everyone else.
8.     Take time to listen in whatever way the other person can communicate. Don’t just listen to words but look at actions.
9.     I don’t think I will ever know everything about autism.

This book made me want to know more about Autism and communication avenues. I also wanted to know more about Carly because this book was written 5 years ago and I wondered what she is doing now and how she is doing. So, I searched for her online and this is what I found:

Her website: Carly’s Voice

Her Facebook page: Carly’s Voice

Her YouTube Channel: Carly Fleischmann