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Title: This%20is%20not%20how%20I%20teach.


1
This is not how I teach.

2
Welcome to VSH Academys curriculum night!
  • Who we are identity and culture
  • Why strengths of a small multi-age environment,
    some about Reggio Emilia
  • What we are aiming for Kindness, Connectedness,
    and Wisdom
  • How we get there together
  • Social
  • Academic

3
Who am I? (the ringleader)
  • Bachelors from UW (History), Masters from
    Seattle U.
  • Attended both private (elementary) and public
    schools
  • Began as an assistant in a Montessori infant care
    room,
  • toddlers, and regular classroom during
    college (nurturing side)
  • Worked as a full-time nanny for a family of two
    boys while attending night school, until I
    graduated, started a family AND a school of my
    own (hit the ground running)
  • Full-time head teacher of VSH for about 8 years,
    through two location changes, while Meg was
    having the girls (human development)
  • 5 years at St. Josephs Parish school 5th, 6th
    grade (in the box)
  • Back to start Academy now in its 5th year (out of
    the box)
  • Four daughters, Veronica freshman Tulane, Rio jr.
    at the Overlake School, Georgia freshman at Bear
    Creek, married 22 years this October, musician,
    artist, tinkerer

4
Who we are
  • entrepreneurs or small business
  • experience, training, skills,
  • or family members with a
  • teaching background
  • locals
  • somebody you know,
  • sent you to the school
  • an extension of The Village Schoolhouse pre/k
  • technology field reference

5
Why a small multi-age group?
  •   The Caring Capacity A Case for Multi-Age Experi
    ential Learning. (ED443620)
  • The multi-age setting heightens everyone's
    awareness of individual differences and the
    necessity for cooperation and mutualism. It
    maximizes the opportunity to develop leadership
    and interpersonal skills alongside peers of
    different ages to become assistant teachers who
    model appropriate behaviors and desired learning
    outcomes for younger students. In passing on
    important lessons in trust, responsibility,
    compassion, and conflict resolution, students
    develop self-confidence and empathy. Perceptions
    of failure are diminished because of a learning
    climate that embraces student diversity and
    individual as well as group accomplishment.
  • when older students teach information and skills
    to their younger classmates, their academic
    performance, and even IQ scores, dramatically
    improve. The research of Arthur Whimbey (in his
    program T.A.P.S Talking About Problem Solving)
    showed that when students were routinely given
    the opportunity to teach someone else, their
    scores on IQ assessments improved as much as
    eighteen points.
  •  Multi-Age Classes and High Ability
    Students. (EJ600456)
  • Studies of cognitive and affective factors have
    consistently shown positive effect sizes.
    Discusses conditions under which positive effects
    are most likely and explores multiage classes as
    an alternative for high-ability children.
    (Contains 85 references.) (SLD)
  •  Are Multi-Age Grouping Practices a Missing Link
    in the Educational Reform Debate?(EJ499127)
  • Cognitive and Noncognitive Effects of Multigrade
    and Multi-Age Classes A Best-Evidence
    Synthesis. (EJ522378)
  • Picture kids of different ages in one classroom
    with one teacher for several years, and you are
    visualizing a trend in education reform. Sandra
    J Stone ASCD  

6
In presentation mode
So you see, that is how photo-synthesis takes
place! (I hope theyre watching)
Wow the big kids are smart! I bet I can do
something thatll impress them! (Wonder if
theyll help me out?)
Wow, that was great, next time
7
In project or collaboration mode
A- Provides leadership and a larger sense of
timeline or expectations, keeps things rolling
and group engaged, scaffolding for higher
thinking. How does Mr. W do it!?
The wide eyed admirer who makes everything seem
fresh, fun, and new. Can give ideas and wants to
contribute in a manageable way. Observes the
whole process unfolding and is SO PROUD! We are
awesome! Look what we did!
B- Looks to older student for cues on how to
approach task, what level to reach for, provides
energy, ideas, and a bridge between older and
younger. Jumps right in Yes maam
8
Multi-age means
  • Research supported
  • More positive about school and learning
  • More opportunities to develop empathy and
    understand differences
  • More forgiving of others and self
  • Leadership opportunities available to every age
  • Greater individualization is possible when
    learning is happening at many levels
    simultaneously
  • RESULTS Maxd personal and academic growth

9
The small multi-age learning community is rich
soil for these personal traits to grow out of
  • Kindness small expressions
  • of affection and social grace
  • which remind us all that we
  • are valuable

10
  • Connectedness
  • feeling useful,
  • a companionable
  • relationship with others
  • based on shared
  • experiences,
  • to depend on others,
  • to be dependable

11
  • Wisdom an attitude
  • towards life, utilizing
  • knowledge and skills
  • accumulated
  • by search and curiosity,
  • tempered by experience,
  • filtered through
  • a system of values or morality,
  • involving patience and a sense of timing,
  • often illustrated by careful observation of
    nature

12
How we get there together
  • Social (discipline)
  • Think about what you want to pass on to your
    child and society
  • Be a good example
  • Teach and rehearse
  • Insist on it and enjoy the smiles
  • Accountability and conversation
  • connect to student physically and emotionally,
    develop empathy, provide the tools to student to
    take charge of self or situations
  • report cards and self-evaluation
  • Built into days, weeks, months
  • daily rituals, Manners Monday, literature
    connections, holidays, social studies, service
    connections, expectations made clear

13
Academic
  • Language Arts literature writing
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Music
  • Art

14
Fuel for the Fire
  • KEY A variety of high quality, engaging
    literature,
  • modern or classical
  • Great Books anthologies
  • short stories, excerpts from
  • classic novels, poetry
  • Magazines and periodicals
  • Award winning, classic,
  • or high interest new novels
  • Engaging non-fiction science or social studies
    books

15
Gathering Round
  • KEY- target critical thinking and writing
  • challenging questions (no easy answer)
  • text/evidence based
  • focus on fluency in younger grades
  • connect personally, imaginatively and
    comparatively
  • identify the tools of excellent writers
    personification, alliteration, repetition,
    simile, metaphor, allegory, allusion, themes,
    change, dilemma, tone, word choice, sentence
    construction, plot dynamics, etc

16
Hands to the Heat
  • Elements of Fiction Setting, Plot, Character, ?
  • Graphic organizers characters changing,
    cause/effect, problem/solution, etc
  • Active Reading Journals
  • Predict and qualify
  • Summarize
  • Connect (self/story/world)
  • Imagine (five senses)
  • Evaluate (like/dislike, well done/poorly done?)
  • Challenging Question

17
Gathering Round Looks Like
A novel read aloud, to the whole class, with
pauses to discuss, draw out critical thinking,
questions, and highlight elements of fiction
Young learners are exposed to scaffolding or
high level ideas which provide a model on how to
think like a big kid
Sometimes very young students have amazing
insights
18
Or
Small groups of parent, staff, multi-age led
groups, who listen and discuss, then respond
19
Or
Reading groups, or partnerships where they share
the responsibility of reading aloud, discuss
together, then respond, sharing ideas and helping
each other write a quality response.
20
A sampling of books/authors
  • 1st-3rd grade
  • Dr. Suess
  • Frog and Toad
  • Magic Treehouse
  • Shel Silverstein (all age)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • A.A. Milne
  • Fairy tales and folktales from all over the world
  • 4th
  • The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald,
    Clifford B Hicks
  • A Horses Tale integrates with WA state
    History/Geography
  • The Sea Lion by Ken Kesey (tale told in NW coast
    traditional style)
  • Many other NW Coastal folktale picture books
  • Boxcar Kids series
  • Happy Hollisters
  • Wind in the Willows Illustrated novel

21
From 5th grade on
  • 6th-7th
  • White Fang by Jack London
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • Something Wicked this way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  • Onion John by Joseph Krumgold
  • King Solomons Ring by Konrad Lorenz
  • 7th
  • (7th) Good Masters, Sweet Ladies Voices From a
    Medieval Village
  • The Devils Workshop by Katherine Marcuse
  • 7th-8th
  • Wuthering Heights by C. Bronte and The Scarlet
    Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Romanticism
  • Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  • Uncle Toms Cabin
  • Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
  • Animal Farm and 1984 by G. Orwell
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne
  • The Hobbit
  • The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

22
25 books during the year
  • MS students must read 25 books during the school
    year across 11 different genre groups
  • They should bring the book to school, or at least
    the title and author, then give a book talk
  • But thats like a book a week YES, get
    reading!
  • Goal is to encourage independent reading by
    exposing them to lots of different types of
    books!
  • Younger students are also on the list!

23
Building Your Own Fire
  • Important paradigms which inform writing
    instruction

The Writing Process
6 traits of effective writing
Ideas
Organization
Sentence Fluency
Word Choice
Voice
Conventions
24
Specific Tools Projects Yearlong
  • Tools
  • Graphic organizers
  • Student/Expert Examples
  • Collaborative Writing (we all write short pieces
    together on the board)
  • Outlines
  • Checklists
  • Student/Student peer coaching
  • Student/Teacher conferencing
  • A sentence composing approach material
  • Projects
  • Book Reports (yearlong)
  • Newspaper (student driven)
  • Building paragraphs topic sentence and details,
    question stem (Sept)
  • Letters (Sept)
  • Creepy Story Festival (Oct)
  • Persuasive Letters/Ads (Nov)
  • Poetry Journal (Dec)
  • Special Project Night (Jan)
  • Illustrated Storybook (Feb)
  • Research Paper/Informational Paragraph (Mar)
  • Science Experiment (Apr)
  • 5 prgrph essays (5th )

25
Lets Talk About Levels ie. Book Reports
26
Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation?
  • Grammar Punctuation materials chosen with
    students in mind, weekly concept focus, trying
    hard to draw attention to corrections in daily
    work, NOT in brainstorming or drafting stage of
    writing process generally, MS sentence fluency
    chunking
  • Focus on revision in writing APPLICATION
  • List of 1200 most commonly used words in print
    student works with words NEEDED, not
    pre-determined list of words

27
Public Speaking
  • Constantly reporting/performing group results of
    projects where everybody must have a role, and
    where inclusion is a measure of success. Its in
    our culture!
  • Skills and practices of good public speaking are
    taught and rehearsed Creepy Story, Science
    Experiment, Special Projects
  • MS Mock Trials, Debates, Readers Theatre
  • We believe that speaking to be heard and
    understood is something you learn to do through
    specific guidance
  • and practice!
  • eye contact, volume, pacing,
  • voice, gesture, stance

28
Mathematics
  • Singapore curriculums advantages
  • Repetitive focus on fewer concepts,
  • introduced more gradually, designed to help
  • students gain mastery at higher levels before
  • moving on like many more modern
  • spiraling curriculums like Everyday Math
  • Accessible, portable, colorful, and you can write
    all over them
  • Has excellent methodologies and structures which
    are built into the curriculum from the first book
    continue consistently
  • Proven track record of success with Singapores
    international test scores head and shoulders
    above the rest

29
How it works
  • Students assessed placed at pretty easy to
    build confidence, momentum, and get accustomed
  • Quiet work in math time everyday, getting help
    from peers or staff when they need it,
    interacting with manipulatives on their own, or
    with guidance, staying in from recess if not
    productive enough!
  • Students begin to self-correct work with
    calculators or answer keys, staff and parent
    oversight when they are mature enough to do so
  • Singapore 2nd grade math books 1B/2A (1st and
    2nd half of year)
  • You end on book A of your actual grade.
  • Homework each night possible, parents check work
    and initial page or mark mistakes students try
    the problem again! Or get help in the process of
    trying!
  • When books are finished and all corrections made
    85 min. score on test needed to advance, at less
    than 85 review and practice must be undertaken,
    then re-assessed.
  • Math facts drill and practice? YES and no
  • IT IS BETTER TO MASTER IT, THAN MOVE ON TOO SOON!

30
Standard Math Textbook alternative
  • Progress in Mathematics from Sadlier/Oxford
  • Like our old texts 12 concepts in a year,
    organized by chapter with assessments at the end
    of each chapter.
  • Short lesson, then practice the algorithm or
    concept.
  • Matches standard curriculums
  • in most public and private schools

31
Compare and Contrast
  • Singapore
  • -MATERIALS Two books with lesson and some work
    in one, prescribed practice in another. Stop
    and go
  • -Review along with way, but summative
    challenging assessment at end of books course
    mastery level
  • -Fewer concepts covered a depth and intensity
  • -New models and ways of thinking analytically
    about math and patterns
  • Standard Text
  • -MATERIALS One book and a lined paper journal
    look here, write here
  • -More opportunities for assessment along the
    way chapter tests
  • -More concepts, but covered at lower intensity
    (less practice and repetition easier)
  • -Recognizable algorithms and strategies

32
My thoughts
  • Singapore seems to work well for the naturally
    math inclined, who are focused and independently
    driven. Challenge and modeling are appealing, as
    well as the ladder structure. Builds high
    level of analytical thinking. Concepts not
    covered will be easily picked up as they mature,
    or as they are exposed to them in new settings.
    Highly fluent math learners are ready for
    whatever comes their way. A,B,C,D,E and zed
  • Standard texts seem to work well for students who
    struggle with mathematics generally, or who have
    focus challenges. No switching back and forth
    from book to book. Smaller doses with built in
    opportunities to reteach and review along with
    way, but level of competency and concepts can be
    superficial. A,B,C now move on
  • Each has strengths and weaknesses, we evaluate
    and discuss with students and families as they
    mature.
  • Individualization and middle ground for both
    approaches?
  • One book Singapore? Individualized pacing for
    standard text? Boutique it?

33
How we work to insure success
  • We check along
  • the way for mastery
  • of smaller skill sets
  • We develop review and practice materials when
    students need it
  • We use flashcards/games to develop instant recall
    of important math facts
  • We teach them how to write the problem neatly
  • We are always looking for a way to teach to your
    student individually
  • Daily and weekly goals involving student in self
    motivation!
  • We track weekly progress every Thursday
  • We check each morning if they have done HW,
    record it, informing you if they are off track,
    every 2 weeks
  • We date stamp their work each day to show where
    they stopped
  • Every Monday we review some math vocabulary words
  • We recognize and reward consistent progress and
    homework habits

34
My gripes about typical math curriculums and
classrooms
  • Score high enough on the test and you move right
    along even though you may have gotten all of one
    skill wrong. We analyze each test for error
    patterns.
  • Most math curriculums have all kinds of stuff
    added which can be a distraction from the
    essential skills which each student needs mastery
    over, and are needed to be ready for new, more
    complex concepts.
  • Everybody is usually working on the same thing at
    the same time, and there is little room for
    students to slow down if necessary, or move
    faster if they understand the material.
  • Often not enough of a focus on math vocabulary,
    which, if not understood, can stop you dead in
    your tracks! Whats a quotient?
  • These can create a situation where students move
    through year to year with only a tenuous grip on
    the basics, finally confronting the gaps when
    its pretty late to correct them and their
    confidence is low, they have to be remediated,
    its embarrassing and usually too late to affect
    much change in attitudes, which can be more
    important than any one skill in the long run.

35
Transition to Middle School
  • Completion of book 5A or 5B, we begin to consider
    transitioning the student to alternative
    curriculum if they express interest
  • We will always be open to individualizing to keep
    engagement high as they mature
  • Choice is a always a powerful motivator
  • Algebra by 8th grade if their work habits and
    mastery demonstrate their ready

36
The level of complexity, nuance, and detail rises
with each year, but many of the larger themes run
through year after year in every area! Examples
Community, Conflict, Change through Time,
Geography affects Culture, etc
37
In Balance
  • Text-based learning
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • Smaller trade books
  • Tests
  • Vocabulary
  • Questions at the end of the chapter
  • Research
  • Alternatives
  • Documentary films
  • Brainpop animations
  • Playing a character
  • Storyline
  • Mock Trials or Debate
  • Building Models or Simulations

38
Keeping both approaches effective
  • Text based
  • Active
  • reading
  • Elements
  • on the page
  • How to re-read for answers and where to look
  • Taking notes
  • Studying for a test
  • Researching skills and organizing thoughts
  • Completing long answers
  • Alternatives
  • Pausing films/
  • documentaries
  • to discuss
  • Providing focus questions or assessment
    afterwards
  • Keeping simulations historically accurate
  • Providing good preparation and background info to
    make simulations successful
  • Giving enough time for fruits of imaginative
    projects to mature

39
Some examples of Social Studies Enrichment
  • Primary documents and artifacts
  • Hands on Burke Boxes
  • Field trips
  • The Museum of History and Industry
  • Issaquah History Museum
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Library for Special Project Research
  • UWs Burke Musuem
  • Underground Seattle
  • State Capitol in Olympia
  • Henry Art Museum
  • Frye Art Museum

40
Some important concepts to emphasize
  • Historical empathy multiple perspectives
  • Questioning the source of information
  • Economic forces behind major events
  • The role of innovation and technology
  • How the stories we accepted have
  • evolved as our culture has evolved

41
Some favorite materials
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
  • Readers Theater for American History
  • Colonial House, Frontier House PBS documentaries
    about modern families trying to live successfully
    in historically accurate settings
  • The War that Won America documentary on the
    French and Indian War
  • Old magazines and stuff from the attic
  • The internet integrated historical fiction
    novels

42
A thumbnail sketch of focus by grade
  • 1st-2nd My community, my family, my neighborhood,
    from yesterday to today, solving problems
  • 3rd My community, my region, my neighborhood,
    first peoples, jobs, and govt
  • 4th Wa state history and geography, NW coast
    native peoples
  • 5th US History to 1791
  • 6th World History Ancient Civilizations and
    geography
  • 7th World History Medieval to 1490 and WA state
    history geography
  • 8th US History from 1776 through Reconstruction

43
My top priority is to make sure that our
students know the history of the world in general
terms, the history of our country and its unique
beginnings, the history of our great state, and
that they will be savvy participants in the
democracy.
44
Science knowledge has a shelf life, curiosity
and critical thinking are a treasure of
civilization
The three primary areas of scientific knowledge
run through all of the science text-based
materials, although the divisions between them
quickly fade away. As students mature, the same
concepts are revisited with great layers of
complexity.
Physical
45
In Balance
  • Text Materials
  • Biology/Anatomy coloring book
  • Textbooks/Workbooks
  • Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Books
  • Science non-fiction trade books
  • Supplementary non-fiction materials
  • Periodicals
  • Science internet sites
  • Alternatives
  • Hands on investigations
  • Model building
  • Inquiry based projects/Problem solving
  • Experiential learning
  • Formal Experiments (writing connection)
  • Field trips
  • Burke Boxes full of specimens
  • Science documentaries/shorts

46
This year we began with and essential question
which will guide inquiry all year in both science
and social studies!
  • Who am I?
  • -I am an organic system, made of systems,
    within other systems. (Human body focus)
  • What is a system?
  • -A system is set of parts working together for
    a common purpose, which require energy to
    continue operating. (Inorganic and
    organic/social)

47
Questions are more important than knowledge
Einstein
  • Students complete a formal
  • science experiment in April
  • Starting next week, a graph of the
  • morning temperature from our
  • weather station, generalizations about the data
  • It is very important that we learn to think
    scientifically and logically! Like Spock

48
We have excellent specialists!
  • Retired Master Music Educator (Music Man)
  • rhythm, pitch, volume, dynamics, patterns
  • the voice is your primary instrument
  • New art teacher Mrs. Barber from VSH
  • integration of great artist study with technique
    and concepts
  • Van Gogh movement, color, medium
  • Every year we make
  • movies where students are
  • directly involved with writing
  • directing, acting, filming

49
Things to consider about middle school
  • Usually a rough time in social/emotional
    relationships with parent and peers.
  • Self image can suffer due to the stormy and
    uncertain nature of the group. Lets put them
    all in a big building together!
  • A time when academic performance for girls
    plummets Pretty girls are quiet girls.
  • The opportunity to LEAD, to be an example, to
    manage people, to serve a community, is a
    LIFE-LONG benefit experience and a skill set that
    never goes away.

50
Question As a student comes to the time
in their life where their peers become the most
powerful influence a time when the culture of
the crowd rules What kind of culture will they
enter?
51
New area of interest Reggio Emilia
  • Reggio Emilia philosophy and practices are built
    on the same constructivist foundation as
    Montessori (the tradition I spring from)
  • Meg and I are both researching the ideas and
    methods associated with this movement since it
    provides so much more social, natural, emotional,
    and intellectual context to the learning
    environment.

52
Reggio is right up our alley!
  • Emphasizes respect, responsibility, and community
    through exploration and discovery in a supportive
    and enriching environment based on the interests
    of the children through a self-guided curriculum
  • In addition to the influence of many early
    childhood psychologists and philosophers, such as
    Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner and Bruner, the
    educators of Reggio Emilia were inspired by their
    community-centered culture.
  • Children must have some control over the
    direction of their learning
  • Children must be able to learn through
    experiences of touching, moving, listening,
    seeing, and hearing
  • Children have a relationship with other children
    and with material items in the world that
    children must be allowed to explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities
    to express themselves.
  • The child is also viewed as being an active
    constructor of knowledge. Rather than being seen
    as the target of instruction, children are seen
    as having the active role of an
    apprentice.5 This role also extends to that of
    a researcher. Much of the instruction at Reggio
    Emilia schools takes place in the form of
    projects where they have opportunities to
    explore, observe, hypothesize, question, and
    discuss to clarify their understanding.6 Childre
    n are also viewed as social beings and a focus is
    made on the child in relation to other children,
    the family, the teachers, and the community
    rather than on each child in isolation.7
  • Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and
    advocates for their children. Teachers respect
    parents as each child's first teacher
  • Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child's
    learning by planning activities and lessons based
    on the child's interests, asking questions to
    further understanding, and actively engaging in
    the activities alongside the child, instead of
    sitting back and observing the child learning.
    "As partner to the child, the teacher is inside
    the learning situation" (Hewett, 2001).
  • Teacher autonomy is evident in the absence of
    teacher manuals, curriculum guides, or
    achievement tests. The lack of externally imposed
    mandates is joined by the imperative that
    teachers become skilled observers of children in
    order to inform their curriculum planning and
    implementation.8
  • Teachers trust themselves to respond
    appropriately to children's ideas and interests,
    they trust children to be interested in things
    worth knowing about, and they trust parents to be
    informed and productive members of a cooperative
    educational team. The result is an atmosphere of
    community and collaboration that is
    developmentally appropriate for adults and
    children alike.
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