Thursday, February 28, 2008
image citing: http://www.greystoneefc.com/images/GEFCImages/teamwork.jpg
Friday, February 22, 2008
Days of Winter
Waking in the cold snow
And freezing slush, Seeing
dim light that used to be
Snd now it’s a quiet
And silent in the dark. I can
Barely see the white of the
Trees and a leaf drifting in
The sky and the last thing
I heard was splash.
The Feeling of Winter
White cold snow drifting down upon
My face making me want to freeze.
Freezing cold wind blowing slush, snow
On the roof and splashing to the ground.
Drip drip drip drip drip drip.
Then as the quiet trees dance in the nice wind animals hide
In their shelter in the dark until spring
With the wind, whoosh.
A bright light came, animals came out.
Spring is here. Happiness is everywhere.
The snow in winter is cold.
The wind chill in winter is freezing.
Also when it snows it may rain, and cause
Snow to slush. In the silent nights, the snow
Is drifting very quietly and also in the dark there
Is always a bright light and that light makes a bright
Reflection in the ice to a leaf.
white shy silent place.
Everywhere is a quiet white day.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The teacher I remembered immediately- Virginia Hamilton (not the author) of Goodrich Jr. High School, Lincoln, Nebraska. I had her for 7th grade English. She was passionate about mythology. She wasn't chic like our mini-skirted Miss Adams, who was a runway model in the off-season. She wasn't hip and cool like Mr. H., our long-haired, liberal minded student teacher in social studies who let us call him Bruce and who was subsisting on $1.00 a day for food because he wanted to experience what people below the poverty level (this was 1969) were experiencing. She wasn't smart-alecky and witty like Miss Michaels our crazy art teacher. She was a little corny, middle-aged, suited, hairsprayed, had a high pitched voice, and had the nerve to insist we do our readings (yikes) no matter how archaic the language of the text (Beowulf...double yikes). She had the ability to light Olympic torches in our literature-feeble, middle school-aged brains. We read Beowulf and pictured Grendel, the great hall, and drank non-fermented mead. Just thinking it could be fermented was tantalizing. We read Greek and Roman mythology and learned about love, scandal, hubris and tragedy in the world of gods, goddesses, and humans. Tabloid news before tabloid news. We found that year in English class interesting, relevant, and unexpectedly fun. We rewarded Mrs. Hamilton's efforts by naming the mascot of our newly opened school, "The Olympians" in her honor. As she reminded us, Goodrich was perched on a hill (Mt. Olympus to us) called Belmont whose name had Latin/Roman origins. It's almost 40 years later and these images are fresh. Her lessons and passion are fresh.
As teachers it's not often we get feedback on our abilities from our biggest audience, our students. Here's your chance. Share your story about a great teacher who left you with indelible memories. Comment on!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
We wanted our high ability classes (one each 3rd, 4th, 5th grade) to reflect our general school population. It began with efforts, school-wide to raise awareness of student behaviors that indicate giftedness. These can be demonstrated by students even though English language is emerging, reading is below grade level, or behavior challenges are present. We've had to swerve from the indicators of giftedness we grew up with, i.e. high test scores and great grades to looking for giftedness as demonstrated behaviors. Test scores and grades are a part of our criteria, just not the only criteria. Potential giftedness might show in a student through their exceptional ability to learn, exceptional application of knowledge, exceptional creative/productive thinking, and exceptional motivation to succeed*. Specific behaviors include frequent translating for a parent, learning a new language at a rapid pace, persistence with challenges, high interest and passion in a subject, quickly learns and adapts to new cultures, highly developed reasoning, problem solving, keen sense of humor, fluency and flexibility in thinking, highly curious, advanced connections... and more.
Our district provides a great system for identification for our gifted and talented programs. Our adminstration supports any staff development we need to further our knowledge about how to serve our underrepresented populations in exceptional programs. Together with the grassroots efforts of our classroom teachers recognizing, referring, and defending their students abilities, we have been successful in providing our students access to programs that would have been unavailable to them in the past based on a narrow criteria for giftedness. Along with all our work to provide for emergent learners in our school it feels good to know we are nurturing learners who are ready for more challenge.
*from our district's Gifted Behavior Rating Scale
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Cold snow splashing quietly, drifting silently through the air
White freezing snow covering
As it’s melting, leaving
Nothing but slush
Brightly dripping off the trees
Unusual Winter Silence
It sure is unusual, in this silent winter cold,
To many snowflakes in the sky, waiting to unfold.
It sure is white, in the surprising winter season,
When the trees are surely beaten. Why, is it so dark,
So early in the day, when it is bright, any other
Day? Many days have gove have gone by, and the
Sky is too fully supplied by snow.
Silent white snow slushing
Cold tree freezing. Night
Is getting longer. But stars
Are still brightening.
Bright white cold snow as I step into
The slush, splash! Quiet silent trees drifting in the wind freezing in the dark
By C. M.