Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting your boys to enjoy reading, sometimes hard to do.

I just read an article about the difficulties in getting some boys to read. I always thought since I liked to read and my husband liked to read that this wouldn't be a problem at our house, well... I was wrong. My boys would much rather wrestle, run, fight with light sabers, throw or kick a ball. Not that there is anything wrong with these activities, unless of course, they do them in my living room, but it would be nice if once in awhile they sat quietly and enjoyed a book. ;) My husband and I have done all that we could think of, we have books in every room of the house and we have read to them everyday since birth, but it doesn't change the fact that they are boys with lots of energy.
After showing my husband this article, How to talk to little boys about Reading, he told me that he didn't always enjoy reading. Well, this was news to me, because he is a better reader than I am! It wasn't until his parents introduced him to comic books on long car rides that he began to enjoy reading. "As a matter of fact", he said, "my collection is in the basement." We pulled it out and showed it to the boys and for the past two days they won't put them down! I had to take the books out of their room last night so they would go to sleep. I'm not saying that this is the final solution to our "I'd rather not read" problem, but it is a good start. It helps that the books are important to their Dad, who, by the way, couldn't have been more happy watching his boys reading his old comic books.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Parents having a voice in student assessments

As I have mentioned before my perspective on teaching and learning has changed a bit now that I am a parent with school aged kids. I am happy that the voice of parents is beginning to be heard. We are far from giving this voice enough weight, however the change has started. I don't know if parents today are more savvy in the area of education and assessments or if they just want to be more involved, but the voice of parents in schools is more present than say 10 yrs ago. It probably has a lot to do with the global job market and pressures around getting our kids gainfully employed so they don't live with us forever! Heck, I'm already thinking about the skills and talents of my 4 yr old and how that will translate into a career for him. Whatever the reason, parents are at the table and want to be heard.

I applaud this movement and encourage it within reason. Just as I don't go into the doctor's office to demand my child be given a certain medicine or treatment, I would except that parents are not going to do that to teachers. It should be a partnership.

A hot button right now is assessment. With the onset of NCLB assessments became a much larger focus and part of the education of our kids. The question that is being asked now is "How do these assessments benefit my child's learning?" The answer is... they really don't. Not to say that assessments are worthless, that is simply untrue. The key is what type of assessments will benefit my child's learning. The accountability assessments or summative assessments don't have much benefit for individual children. They are meant to hold schools and districts accountable. Formative or informal assessments are where the rubber meets the road for my child's learning. This is the type of assessment that teachers should be spending time developing and analyzing, but often teachers don't feel they have time for this because they are preparing for the "big" one. This is understandable. It is time that we, as parents and educators, speak up and let the powers that be know we want the time our kids spend in the classroom with educators to be focused on moving them forward in their learning. This should include frequent, informal assessment that inform teachers about the immediate needs of the students.

Here is an article that got my ideas started for writing this blog post, it is worth a read. What Parents & Educators Want from Student Assessments is an article written by Marilyn Price-Mitchell with Parent Involvement Matters speaking to this topic.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinterest

So, I was a little slow to pick up on the Pinterest craze, but now that I have, I'm hooked! This is such a great resource for teachers. Teachers from everywhere share their best ideas.
I am busy "pinning" the great ideas I see. Check out my "education" board and follow if you want to see what I pin. http://pinterest.com/caribegin/education/
And as they say... Happy Pinning!