Monday, October 20, 2014

Crash Course Week 7: Tenacity and Insight

Do you wonder if anything you're saying to your students is sticking? Have you had opportunities to follow up with former students? If so, what have you learned from them that has affected your teaching or your thoughts about getting through to students? And, related to chapter 11, how do you understand and celebrate the differences between your students?

We're more than halfway through the book club now. For next week we will read chapter 12. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Crash Course Week 6: Love and Generosity

This week's chapters really went well together. How do you show love and support to students in your classroom? I like Kim's question at the end of chapter 9 -- do you/how do you model a spirit of encouragement and support for others?

Our reading assignment for next week is chapters 10 and 11, "Tenacity" and "Insight." This week marks the halfway point in the book club. If you need to catch up on the readings or your comments, take some time to do that this week. Also, if you have friends or colleagues who would like to join the book club, they are more than welcome to. Just be sure they introduce themselves in week 1.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Crash Course Week 5: Talent and Optimism

More great stuff in this week's readings! Have any of your students surprised you with a hidden talent like Tyreece surprised Kim? How do you encourage your students to discover their talents and utilize them? As we all struggle with negativity and complaining, how do you improve your own attitude and encourage your students to be positive? I love Kim's suggestion to follow people's negative comments with postitive comments.

Next week's reading assignment is chapters 8 and 9, "Love" and "Generosity." It's so exciting to see all the great comments to my posts and other people's comments. Keep up the great work!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crash Course Week 4: Play and Recovery

When was the last time you laughed out loud or were just silly with your friends, children, or students? It is amazing how, when you let yourself relax and have fun, you just feel better! Do you have some examples of how you incorporate play, fun, silliness, etc. into your classroom? Or do you have thoughts or plans as to how to do this?

Recovering from a set back is incredibly difficult, especially when you let (or feel you let) others down. How do you recover when you make a mistake in your school or classroom? Or how do you move on and forgive when you are wronged?

Next week's reading assignment is chapters 6 and 7, "Talent" and "Optimism." If you are behind in your reading or commenting, just catch up as you are able. Or if you have a coworker who would like to join, tell them to jump in. Just be sure they start with an introduction in week 1. We are still very early in the book club so there's a lot of time to join in and get caught up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crash Course Week 3: Magic and Courage

This week we are discussing two chapters, "Magic" and "Courage." Wow, Kim is creative and certainly makes her classroom a magical place! The House of Ing! Use your imagination to come up with ways to add magic to your classroom. Share those ideas or ways you already use magic in your classroom.

Jumping into the chapter on courage, I like the quote, "It is okay to be introverted, but every child must be able to communicate effectively." Share how you can support your students in overcoming the fears that are holding them back.

Next week we will read and discuss the next two chapters, "Play" and "Recovery." Have a great week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crash Course Week 2: Chemistry

"Relationship building isn't always easy, but I have learned that it is the single most effective way to engage and motivate my students."

"The most powerful relationships occur when we willingly give of ourselves and seek to understand others wholeheartedly."

These are two quotes that really jumped out at me in this chapter. Relationships are so important in education and life in general. What thoughts do you have about relationship-building in your classroom? Do you have an example of a student with which you struggled until you were able to build a stronger relationship? What advice do you have for other teachers who are working on building relationships with students?

Thank you all for the tremendous participation last week. We've got over 70 people participating already. If you know of others who would like to join us but were not able to participate last week, please let them know it is not too late. For next week, we will read and discuss chapters 2 and 3, "Magic" and "Courage."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Crash Course Week 1: Introductions

Thank you for joining us for the Fall 2014 eLearning Book Club. The book club will last about 12 weeks and each week we will read 1 or 2 chapters, depending on the chapter length. A discussion question or prompt will be posted in the blog every Monday morning and you should post a comment back to it. You are also encouraged to comment back to other participants' responses. All participants who make a meaningful contribution to every week’s discussion will be eligible to be awarded a $1000 professional development grant and will receive 12 PGPs.

Today we will start our discussion of Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me by Kim Bearden. Let's use this week to meet each other. As a comment to this post (click on "Comments" below this post), please tell us your name, your school/corporation/organization, and what your role there is. (If you have any problems commenting, please email Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.) Your reading assignment for next week is chapter 1, Chemistry. Happy reading!