I am a first year English and History teacher at a public school. I worked as an English paraprofessional at a therapeutic boarding school for about a year and a half while I was working on my degree. So, for the past few years, I have been knee-deep in education. One topic that always seems to come up with other teachers is the idea of collaborative learning. I am always amazed when teachers say that they don't like (or use) collaborative learning because it creates an opportunity for students to cheat.
While I don't disagree with their claim, I find myself weighing this possibility with the innumerable pros to collaborative learning. I know that my students are the most engaged when they work together. Not only do they feed off of the ideas of their peers, but they also debate. I LOVE debate because if forces the students to look at something from all angles. This is another benefit of collaborative learning- students have to stretch their minds and constantly think outside of the norm.
I came across this article from Edutopia that really stuck out to me. I love how it says "In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens." Isn't that our mission, as teachers, after all?
I also really like the structure of the article. The headings are Teach Them to Listen, Teach Them the Art of Asking Good Questions, Teach Them How to Negotiate, and Model What we Expect. This means that collaborative learning takes time and effort from the teacher. Yes, if you put a worksheet in front of 4 or 5 students, they will probably cheat. But, if you take the time to teach your students (crazy idea, right?) , they will truly grow into the "highly collaborative citizens" we hope they will.
All right. I'll get off my soap box now. Enjoy the article and the website in its entirety!
Diannah and I bought our house with so many plans for renovation. However, a year and a half sure did fly by and the only real change we made to the upstairs was painting our bedroom. We debated over what color we wanted for days. Diannah really wanted a yellow bedroom. She said that it would feel like the sun was always shining. She promised that it would be a light yellow and against my better judgement, I eventually caved. We picked out a color together that we thought would be really mellow.
Needless to say, I have woken up every morning for the past year with an instant headache because of the awful, yellow walls. That will all end this weekend as I am finally painting over our terrible mistake.
Diannah is no longer allowed to pick paint colors.
Cody and I have been talking a lot today about New Years resolutions. I have always found it humorous that people make these huge, life-altering declarations or ridiculously difficult to attain goals and then forget all about them by Valentine's Day. I was just reading a friend's blog which commits blogging each day for a year as her resolution. This really inspired me and so, as any nagging loving wife would do, I reeled Cody into the project.
So here is the plan. There will be a new post each day and it will come from either Cody or myself. This means we will write about our marriage, work (high school or Moon Lake), projects, vacations, interests, favorite readings, or whatever we feel like!
Cody and I value our time together. The past 3 1/2 years of marriage have really flown by and we have shared some wonderful memories and accomplished lots together. We have also both worked very hard to become stronger, more well-rounded individuals outside of our relationship. This blog is something that we hope will serve as a common interest between husband and wife but will also give us a chance to document our life together and as individuals. We hope you enjoy our little corner of this massive, ever-revolving, lovely world!