Blogs on California

Blogs on CaliforniaRSS
Bob LenzJuly 5, 2011

The end of the school year presents us with an opportunity for reflection at Envision Schools. We take a final measure of students' progress throughout the school year, celebrate the many Envision graduates that will be heading off to college in the fall, and consider how we can incorporate those lessons into improving our own work to best enable, encourage, and ensure student learning.

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Elena AguilarJune 22, 2011

At the end of a school year, there are so many measurements which could indicate that a teacher was "effective" -- graduation rates, grades, test scores -- quantifiable and ostensibly objective. Whether a teacher was effective must definitely be measured by how much his/her students' learning increased over a period of time, but it can not be the only measurement.

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Betty RayMay 27, 2011

Editor's Note: Through video observation, collaborative planning, and candid, constructive criticism, California high school math teachers Mike Fauteux and Rose Zapata have devised a formula to improve their practice and increase student achievement. After Edutopia produced this video, Mike and Rose, who teach at Leadership Public School in Hayward, CA, shared their insights with me about how to create a successful team teaching partnership.

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Cal JoyMay 23, 2011

Cal Joy is Edutopia's Director of Web Development and resident pancake breakfast maker extraordinaire. She spent a weekend in LA to attend the 826 reading, and had this to report.

Baking a book takes time. 826LA intern Neekta Khorsand has worked with Los Angeles student, Brian Young and his forty-three fellow student authors on location at Dorsey High for several months. Their delicious creation is From the Couch to the Kitchen: A Book to Indulge In. 826ers believe in meeting students where they are academically, providing one-on-one attention, and understanding students' individual learning histories. Differentiated instruction focuses on each student, getting the right ingredients needed to nurture their skills. Approaching all learners the same academically doesn't work. 826 writing programs focus on where students are in their learning process. Using individually prepared instruction, 826LA takes a custom approach connecting each student's skill level to an appropriate assignment.

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Michelle HlubinkaMay 17, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Michelle Hlubinka, the Education Director for Maker Faire and Make magazine.

Maker Faire is a combination DIY festival and project showcase, sponsored by Make magazine, where "makers" of all ages convene to show off a spectacular array of projects that combine science, art, performance, creative reuse, and technology in varying degrees. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of educators are getting involved in these events which are currently held in the Bay Area, Detroit and New York. There are also many independently organized Mini-Maker Faires around the country. Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, May 21 - 22nd.

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Amy WhittakerMay 9, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Amy Whittaker, one of the co-producers of the STEMposium event.

On April 1st, a sold-out crowd of 250 students, teachers and civic, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, education and technology leaders flocked to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for STEMposiumTM - a celebration of excellence in K-12 STEM education innovation presented by the nonprofit EnCorps Teachers Program with co-host Citizen Schools.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 28, 2011

There's this myth in the brick and mortar schools that somehow the onset of online K-12 learning will be the death of face-to-face (F2F) interaction. However this isn't so -- or at least in the interest of the future of rigor in education, it shouldn't be. In fact, without a heaping dose of F2F time plus real-time communication, online learning would become a desolate road for the educational system to travel.

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Don Doehla, MA, NBCTApril 21, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Don Doehla, French teacher and instructional coach at Vintage High School in Napa, California. Don recently stepped up to become the new facilitator of our World Languages group. He's got some great ideas for teaching world languages, including the use of project-based learning. He shares a few of these tips today. We hope you'll join him in the World Languages group as well.

The world may be small and flat, but it is also multilingual, multicultural, and more and more, it is an interconnected world. Consequently, cross cultural communicative competencies are increasingly important for mutual understanding and cooperation - how is that for some alliteration?! Our students' need to be able to communicate with their neighbors, here and abroad, is increasing with every moment which passes! The borders separating our countries are diminishing in importance as the global culture emerges. The definition of who my neighbor is has changed as well. No longer are we isolated from what is happening across the globe. Recent events demonstrate this quite well! Examples abound for everyone on the planet. We must be able to communicate well and proficiently across the kilometers which separate us.

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Ken EllisApril 13, 2011

It's a few minutes after 7 a.m. on a drizzly Friday morning and math teacher Jonathan Winn is standing just outside his first period classroom yelling at the top of his lungs, his voice reverberating across campus. "How does that go?!" He's not so much yelling at his students as yelling for them, exhorting them to shout out the answer to a complex calculus problem, in unison. A few minutes later, Winn is dressed in a wig and a white ruffled shirt, playing 18th-century mathematician Gottfried Leibniz doing calculus in Paris. Later in the 90-minute class, he puts on a drum major's hat and exchanges drum beats and claps with his students, to get them to feel the power of their unity.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 12, 2011

This post was originally written for my website. Since then, I have received so much kindness from my online network of teachers;

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