Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Mash-Up: The Real World

Happy Monday morning!  I am thrilled to call my first linky, Better Together, a success.  I needed help, so I reached out to my blogging friends for advice.  I love collaborating with other great teachers, and I can't express enough how much better we all are together.  I had four great entries- check them out!

1. "Collaboration=Creative Genius," from Katie @ The Oatmeal Chronicles contributed lots of great ideas: paired work, tiered questions, extension cards, and "switching students" in co-teaching settings.  I am especially excited about the extension cards, and am working on a set of those for my room today!  (And I used her narrative-songs-for-plot-structure lesson plan Thursday with great success!)

2. "Teaching Tuesday: Classroom Management," from Elizabeth @ E, Myself, and I discusses mutual respect, tough love, and being a team player.  My favorite part?  

"If you call me a b*^#@$, I'm giving you detention and calling home.  Every.time.  Period.  BUT, I'm not going to cause a scene about it, and I'm NOT going to hold a grudge.  The next morning, I will greet you with a smile.  When it's done, it's done."

3. "Better Together," from Suzanne @ The Curly Classroom offers some great advice for co-teaching, which I'm new to this year.  While I feel like my co-teacher and I are off to a great start, I definitely hope to start planning more together.

4.  "Stayin' Alive: My Classroom Management Survival Strategy," from Joanna @ Daydreaming in Maths has some good classroom management tips for surviving with those "trouble-makers."  I love the bit about spending quality time with them and getting to know their "why."  Plus, it's kind of awesome that Joanna is from Cape Town, South Africa!  

Keep your eyes peeled for my next Better Together Link-Up in October.  I'd love suggestions for topics!

Now, on to some of my other favorites from around the blogosphere this week-- which all seem to revolve around the real world.

"The 'Real World,'" from Josh @ Stump the Teacher is a deep inspection of what those two words mean.  Every teacher likes to think that s/he is preparing students for the real world, but what exactly does that entail?  We may not realize it, but many kids are already living in a world that's all too real.  

"Why I'll Let My Kids Get Teased at School," by Adriana Velez for The Stir is another one of those for-moms-but-could-definitely-be-for-teachers-too posts.  I have said for a long time that rather than constantly harping about eliminating bullying, we should spend as much time teaching our kids to develop a thick skin and react appropriately.  There will always be bullies in the real world, even in adulthood.  We choose to give them power over us-- or not.  Please know, I'm not in the business of ignoring bullying.  I just really like what Adriana has to say about the importance of letting kids learn to deal.

Similarly, "Have We Made Things TOO Easy for Today's Kids?" by Bill Ferriter for the Center for Teaching Quality focuses on the fact that teachers are working much harder than students in many classrooms today.  He compares modern classrooms to the ones he attended as a student, and the results are obvious.  Again, I'm not calling for a return to teachers who do nothing but lecture and dole out classroom spankings, but I do think it's time we give kids some responsibility.  After all, isn't that our job-- to prepare them for the real world?

Finally, a look into a classroom where kids are learning in the real world:  Katie @ A Hundred Affections has put together "A Crazy Idea That Just Might Not Be So Crazy After All."  In order to help her students connect to their American literature studies in a real way, Katie has devised a heartwarming, beautiful, educational service-learning project for her students.  They'll be writing a memorial book, creating a memorial garden, and even marching with The Wounded Warrior Project.  This is the kind of service-learning kids will never forget, and I can't think of a way to better connect classroom learning with the real world.  Major kudos!

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