A conversation that we really need to start having as educators is how do change math? I know that there has been an influx of ideas regarding this subject, but there has to be another way. Think about it, as time goes on just about all of our academic disciplines have morphed as a direct result of the impact that technology has had on them. The same cannot be said for math. While we have adopted new ways to handle computation (calculators) we have not changed our approach to how we teach and, more importantly, how we apply it in a practical sense. This is a dilemma that we currently face at my own school. We are facing a real issue with how we teach mathematics and the more I think about it the more I think there has to be a paradigm shift on the horizon. With that said, I’ll leave you with the video from Conrad Wolfram presenting what he believes is a reasonable solution to this entire dilemma.
Harry’s Kindergarten is a wonderful YouTube channel that provides educational videos to teach the basics of kindergarten. Our kindergarten teachers are currently using Mr. Harry’s channel to teach counting to 100. To check out all of his videos click here.
Yesterday morning athletes from the University of Arkansas stopped by Leverett as apart of the Sweat Hog program. Sweat Hogs is a program in which student athletes work with local schools in order to promote healthy lifestyles through exercise and diet. The university athletes spoke to the students about how they specifically stay healthy and what a day in the life of a student athlete is like. In the video above, you will our 3-5 grade students participating in the famous hog call with the university athletes.
Today we celebrated the 3rd annual McClung Awards! The McClungs is the most prestigious awards ceremony in all of education. It all started three years ago when I decided that the normal school awards ceremonies were a bit lame because they only recognize the top tier students academically. So I decided to host my own award show and give awards for whatever I deem necessary. Students are given awards not solely based on their academic ability but also for their personality and work effort as well. The videos below are acceptance speeches from both current and former students.
Euguene accepting his Swag Award
Mason accepting the Snooze Button Award
Harry accepting the Most Time Spent in The Plenty Box Award
Blake accepting his Ironman Award and reflecting on his tough childhood in Utah.
Chase accepting his Ironman Award
This year was by far the largest awards so we have ever had with the number of attendees per period ranging from 30-50. We had special guest attend the show and also former students who are still at Woodland and other students who are currently at FHS. This was a great way to end the year and I could not be more happy with the 2012 addition of the McClungs.
On Friday we held our annual talent show at Woodland Jr. High, and as usual we had tons of great performances by our students. The videos below include several of my Arkansas History students…please excuse the shotty camera work and position on my part.
Ryan from 2nd period and her dance performance.
Genny from 4th period belting out an original song.
Devin and DeShawn from 6th period perform their version of “Pretty Girls”.
Today in Arkansas we continued our conversations about Manifest Destiny and the continued removal of Native Americans and the ongoing conflicts that took place out west in the 1800’s. During this conversation we took one of our AVID strategies called philosophical chairs. In this activity students are given a statement and asked if they agree or disagree with the statement. Students then pick a side of the argument and then defend their stance. Students are allowed to switch sides at anytime and the key emphasis is to have an opinion. See the short clip of our discussions in the video above.
On Friday we had a little bit of spare time on our hands, since we recently finished up our study of the trail of tears, so we had some fun with poetry and history. I gave my students the assignment of coming up with Haiku’s about the Trail of Tears. Each period had some great entries that were both amusing and serious…much like the submission from Jack in the video above.
Of course once we finished with our real Haiku’s, we then had a little bit of fun by creating Haiku’s about non-sense topics. Check out Chase and Isabelle in the video above.
As we continue to move forward with our study of Arkansas history, we now begin to enter the portion of history that deals with Arkansas becoming a territory. For the past two days we have discussed the boundaries that were established by the Missouri Compromise in regards to slavery in the US. The Missouri compromise had three major components:
Missouri would enter the Union as a slave state.
Maine would enter as a free state, and any state entering the Union after this point as a slave state would have to enter with a free state in order to maintain balance.
All the land that was included in the Louisiana Purchase would be a free states, expect for Missouri.
The Missouri Compromise not only had a major impact on state boundaries but it also prolonged slavery in the US as well by allowing southern states to continue to own slaves.
This blog post was originally published two years ago, in the spring of 2009…enjoy.
Having lived in Arkansas for nearly 25 years now, I realize that while there are some really great things about our state there some things not so great…like stereotypes. The video above is one such example of a stereotype. This poor guy seems to have had his truck picked up and slammed by a tornado…and felt the need to share it with local news, then felt like he was a great representative for Arkansas to talk about the recent tornado storms in Arkansas. Thanks CNN for fueling the fire…enjoy the video everyone.
Today in AVID my students focused on writing thank you letters to everyone that recently helped out with our teacher appreciation project in which we served coffee and brownies to our teachers here at Woodland.
Today we put our last reformation project to rest with the conclusion of our reformation song project. Students were asked to create a song that was historically accurate about the formation using people, places and events from that time period. Students worked in pairs and really turned out some awesome songs…such as the rap that Blake and Jacob gave us in 2nd period. Not all students presented their songs to the class, some just simply shared their lyrics for the class as I read through them like a poem…such as John and Turner’s, which can be seen above. This was the first time that I have ever undertaken this project and I have to say that it was incredibly successful and I was really pleased with the finished product. Tomorrow in class we will take a unit test over the Renaissance/reformation period and then we will move on to the scientific revolution and industrial revolution.
Yes y’all! It’s that time again to do some things on three things Thursday. Today we will be watching CNN News with a special interest towards the occupy Wall Street movement that is currently taking place.
We will not only discuss what is going on in New York, but we will also talk about small protests that have broke out in our own city of Fayetteville. The picture above was taken early this week when some protestors were out on Dickson Street in front of the University’s Kappa Sigma house. We will discuss the significance of this picture and what is actually going on here.
Blake, Jacob, and Jack (kinda) explain their roles on their create a country project. Students are using Google Docs to create a presentation for their project and Google Sketch-Up to create a map of their country.
Today in class we will be discussing political theory and ideology. In our conversations we will be discussing political movements/governments and historically significant ideas…such as expansionism and imperialism.
So…funny story. As it turns out I left my backpack (with all my school stuff) in Wyoming this past weekend. Luckily though I have a great friend that was kind enough to fax me my lesson plans. I thought it would be appropriate to send him a thank you video.