Thursday, April 25, 2013

Barb Rentenbach Presentation

Barb began this presentation by typing: "dear utk autism is my prism not my prison"

- Dr. Prislovsky has worked with Barb for over 10 years and read excerpts from the book she and Bard wrote entitled "I Might Be You"

- Barb say- Autism is not designed for physical or mental juggling

1. Discover- find out who person is and help him/her
2. Persevere- dont give up
3. Remember we are all the same
4. Allow person time each day to be inside autism
5. Open- keep an open mind and consider other forms of communication
6. Empower- autistic person should have power- offer responsibility and we may take it

- Flower metaphor
--> just like no standard flower theres no standard race

- What is autism?
Autism is a type of neurology. (no comparisons, no judging)

- We know there are functional and structural differences in people with autism

- Individuals with autism often relate better with objects rather than people. Often completely immersed in systems, processing, and order

- When we medicate ADHD away, how many entrepreneurs don't happen? Seek stimulation

-People with dislexia are twice as likely to be entrepreneurs than people without dislexia

material thinking- ordinary perception of time and space
interconnectedness- piecing together big picture
narrative- have ability to make amazing images
dynamic thinking- being able to interpret what comes next
**benefits to all types of diversity**

-find out who you are and be that on purpose- Barbs favorite quote

-Began typing in therapy to display love of history

-Sometimes to connect you need to relate (ex- not speaking a lot when dealing with people who may be nonverbal) MEET THESE INDIVIDUALS WHERE THEY ARE

- Respect interests. Build on strengths, find out where they are comfortable, be patient-- it takes time (everything is within walking distance if you have the time)

- Barb is a brillant thinker

- We are all flecks of God- all diverse- all important to this world

- DVD- meaning of life

- Proving alternative forms of communication is as important as education gets
- Book took 10 years to write
- first part of book was written by hand-over-hand support
  second part of book written using progressively less suport
- be patient- there are more autistics now because of evolution
- silence opens worlds of communications
- remember who you are and what you are here to teach-- do that for your students. students embrace the ladder and get out your colored chalk--> it is time to brighten the world

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 (p. 137-149)
(3) You have now read several views about intelligence. What do you think about intelligence?
Is it one trait or many? more heavily influenced by nature or nurture? a fixed capacity or a
modifiable ability? Articulate your views in a paragraph of 6-8 sentences. 

I believe that intelligence is one trait, with many different domains. I think that everyone has a type of intelligence, and teachers need to focus on the individual intelligence of each student. I agree with Howard Gardner's multiple Intelligences, where people have many different types of intelligence that are virtually independent of one another. I believe that everyone is instilled with intelligence by nature, and by nurturing intelligence we can allow it to grow and foster. So, I personally believe that intelligence is a modifiable ability and as we grow, change, learn, and are exposed to new experiences then intelligence has the ability to change. Overall, I believe that everyone in innately born with intelligence of some sort, and educators are given the responsibility to foster this intelligence and explore students individual strengths and weaknesses.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Discussion of Poverty: Radical Possibilities

Radical Possibilities

Radical Possibilities suggests that if we want to uncover poverty we need to look at our urban schools. These schools depict poverty, joblessness, low wages, and racial and class segregation. Looking at urban schools will model both poor schools and poor communities with a lack of resources. Urban schools expose injustice, and many parents and students show a passion and willingness to fight to make education a central part of their lives. As educators, we have an opportunity to build a change regarding the injustices that urban schools face, since we have continual access to students, parents, and the community.
This article spoke a lot about how to inspire urban students and give them a voice. Finding a cause that students are passionate about and can relate to is an important aspect in inspiring them to succeed. Teachers should use the classroom as a tool to inspire critical thinking skills and provide a thought-provoking atmosphere where students are free to discuss the problems they face. As teachers, we need to always have social justice as a goal.
Some ways to inspire urban students and involve them in the community:
      • Help students appreciate their own value, intelligence, and potential
      • Emphasize relationship between education and freedom
      • Recognize and acknowledge with students that they are not free--social change is necessary
      • Show an interest as an educator- make sure they know you think the issue is important (parent-teacher conferences, community “walks”, develop vision for what needs to be changed)
      • Organize extended issue campaigns--issues should come from parents, students, and other residents. Locate key school and district personnel, develop changes and a plan, pressure administration
      • Find a social problem students are interested in and give them the tools to have an empowering voice. Some main issues involve college preparation, criminal and juvenile justice, economic justice, and immigrant rights. Promote teen activism to increase community connections, teach life skills, increase trust between students and teacher
      • Students map out and document community resources and important people and present to community
      • Have students consider who is in power in their community. Ask leading questions to allow them to think
      • Develop an issue campaign-- give students responsibility.

Quotes I found really interesting

“ African American and Latino scholars write tellingly about the fears harbored by many students of color that they fit stereotypes white society has of them.”
“ An important mechanism is that this “stereotype threat” can prevent students’ full engagement in academic work, as they fear failure and fulfillment of the stereotype.”
“ We must also teach minority students the culture and knowledge held by powerful Whites and the middle and upper classes”
“When educators work with community residents as equals and as change agents to organize for better education, movement building is taking place; and as a not inconsequential outcome, schools typically improve and student achievement increases”
“ A reason for increased achievement in schools where parents and educators work together as change agents may be an increase in trust and respect between parties”
“An angry parent is an opportunity”
“Moreover- I believe it is the case that teens want an education- a high quality education.”
“And college would be understood as a continuation of government’s financial responsibility for public education, thus providing a material basis for motivation and effort on the part of the K-12 students and educators”

Questions I had
Why are urban schools surrounded with this stigma?
What are some ways to implement empowering ideas and community action to elementary students?


This article was of particular importance to me. I plan to work in an urban school, and I believe that while doing this it is so important to be aware of students home situations, must like the article suggests, and encourages students to overcome adversity they are faced with. It is important to let students know of resources that provide outside support (health care, financial, etc). I have seen a concrete example of this at Lonsdale Elementary School. After school, they provide classes for parents to get their GED, classes for parents to learn English, and free dinner for families of students. Lonsdale also does an amazing job of informing
parents about additional resources

Giving students a voice is so important, especially in schools from a primarily low SES. Letting students know that they fit into the community where they are oppressed and have an opportunity to make a change is something that can really inspire students. Giving students an empowering rather than domestic education is a key to success.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Personal and Social Development

Song Activity 

"100 Years"
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 15 for a moment

1. This song portrays Erikson's stages of development, on page 72-73 of our text. As the character in the song is 15, he is caught between 10 and 20 and dreaming. In this stage of adolescence, the character is experiencing role confusion, which is characteristic of Erikson's identity vs. role confusion stage. He has mixed ideas and feelings about his identity and is "stuck" between 10 and 20. When the person depicted in the song is 33 he has a kid on the way and is thinking about a family. This is characteristic of Erikson's middle age stage of development, where the focus is on contributing to society, perhaps by raising a family. Erikson would say they are reaching generativity. However, when the person is 45, he is "heading towards a crisis" and "chasing the years of his life". While still in the middle age stage, Erikson might say that he is reaching stagnation, or a dissatisfaction with his or her lack of productivity. At 67, the character is "suddenly wise". This person is reaching integrity,  characteristic of retirement years. People look back on their lives and accomplishments. They develop a sense of commitment and integrity if they believe they have led a happy and productive life. Conversely, when the person in the song is 99 he is dying for a moment and dreaming. This may be Erikson's stage of despair in the retirement years, if they look back on a life of disappointments and unachieved goals. 

2. Although this focuses on Erikson's stages associated with adolescents into adulthood, I could use the knowledge of Erikson's earlier stages in my future elementary classroom. I should be aware of the concept of Industry vs. Inferiority and know how critical elementary school is in developing self-confidence. I would need to know what fosters both a sense of industry and inferiority and make sure that I encourage industry in my classroom. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 3

(3.1) Personal and social development can have a major influence on both individual student learning and the learning environment as a whole. Identify a case from the CSEL guidelines* that you would like to address in your paper. Then, examine the possible developmental factors that could be influencing your target student(s) or classroom in the case study.

You engage your third grade students in cooperative learning activities at least twice a day, changing heterogeneous group members once every four weeks. You have agreed upon routine procedures that your classroom community uses within their small groups, including the roles and responsibilities of group members. Lately you have noticed that one small group always seems to have difficulty grasping material and completing their project in an acceptable manner.  You observe this group carefully and find that Lisa seems to be the catalyst for their problems.  She gets angry with others if she does not get the job she wants and refuses to do her part in contributing to the group’s learning.  She constantly interrupts others in her group.  She does not pay attention when her group prepares for class presentations. 

While looking at Piaget's basic assumptions, he assumes that "Children are active and motivated learners", meaning they are naturally motivated to learn how to live in and adapt to their environment. My first thought is that Lisa is not motivated in this group, which is the cause of acting out.

Although Lisa is in 3rd grade and probably around 8 or 9, she seems like she may be still be operating in Piaget's preoperational stage, which lasts from 2 to age 6 or 7. I think this because Lisa does have language skills, clearly, since she gets angry with her group and interrupts. But, Lisa seems to be experiencing preoperational egocentrism, which is an inability to view situations from another person's perspective. Since Lisa gets angry when she does not get the job she wants, it tells me that she is not able to see why people are getting assigned jobs and that sometimes you do not always get your first pick. I would also assume that jobs are under a rotation, so Lisa may not be able to understand that rotation.

 Looking at Vygotsky's theory,  he states that "Complex mental processes begin as social activities and gradually evolve into internal mental activities that children can use independently. To Vygotsky, many complex thought processes have their roots in social interactions. Since Lisa is having such a problem socially interacting with her peers, I would say that she is not gaining the full potential from this interaction and potentially not developing these complex mental processes.

One of Vygotsky's main areas of interest is the zone of proximal development. The zone of proximal development is an area where students participate in tasks that they can accomplish only with some assistance and support. Since this group work is something that is more independent and group oriented with less teacher support, I would say that as of now group work is something that is out of Lisa's zone of proximal development.

(3.22) Check out tables 3.1 (p. 75), 3.2 (p. 83) and 3.3 (p. 91) with particular attention to the age ranges you are interested in teaching. Identify your personal favorite ways that an educator canpromote a child’s sense of self, perspective taking, and moral reasoning skills

Table 3.1 gives suggestions for encouraging a sense of self in different grade levels. I chose to focus on the grade level 3-5. Personally, I really like the suggestion Focus students' attention on their improvement over time. I think that showing children progress and improvement really encourages them. A great way to do this is keeping a portfolio and tracking progress in a kid-friendly way.

Table 3.2 talks about perspective taking and theory of mind at different grade levels. Again, focusing on grade levels 3-5, I liked the suggestion As students read literature, ask them to consider why various characters might behave as they do. There are so many fun ways to incorporate this into a classroom, such as acting out or giving a writing prompt. Considering others' perspectives is such a important skill to develop.

Table 3.3 give suggestions for promoting moral reasoning and prosocial behavior at different grade levels. There were many suggestions for grades 3-5, but my personal favorite includes: Explain how students can often meet their own needs while helping others. I really like this suggestion because students need to realize the importance of helping others and the way that it benefits them socially, emotionally, and morally. A great example of this is when an older class, say 3rd grade, goes and reads to kindergartners. Given this scenario, as a teacher it would be important to tell the 5th graders that it will help them become better readers as well as benefit the kindergartners.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chapter 2

Given the influential theorists' (Piaget or Vygotsky) ideas on cognitive development, how might you accomodate students who are not yet working at the level of peers?

If I had a student who was not performing at the level of their peers, I would try out various methods to accommodate my students.

While looking at Piaget's basic assumptions, I think that the assumption Interactions with one's physical and social environments are are essential for cognitive development would really help a struggling student. In this assumption, students need to manipulate physical objects and experience the physical world in order to grow cognitively. With struggling students, often times the problem lies with not having multiple representation to understand a problem. I think that actually showing a concept and letting students experience it is a really important in growing their understanding. Also, I think socially interacting with peers is a great way to understand new concepts for students who may be struggling. Being challenged by other students and seeing new ways of thinking may really help a struggling student understand a concept. Often times, peers are able to explain something in more understandable terms than an adult can.

(2) Theories in educational psychology promote the idea that language plays a critical role in
cognitive development. Examine Table 2.2 (p. 51), paying particular attention to the age range
that you are interested in teaching. Consider how you might incorporate or adapt the strategies
presented for use with your own students.

While focusing on the age range of 6-8 year old children, I notice that 6-8 year olds should know about 50,000 words. To promote this, I would encourage use of vocabulary in my classroom through verbalization, written language, and social interaction. I will provide vocabulary that is authentic and can be used frequently. To learn this vocabulary, we will act out the vocabulary words in skits to give students a visual representation and show them application, hopefully this will improve their memory of the word and meaning.

By this age range, students should have the ability to carry on lengthy conversations about abstract topics. I will implement this in my classroom through social interaction. I think that collaborating and talking is such a great way for students to learn and grow in their beliefs! These social skills are also what they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. This also intertwines with the significant growth in knowledge about the nature of language, which should be happening around 6-8. How else is linguistic knowledge supposed to grow without practice through social interaction? I plan to have students participate in small group and partner work all the time in my future classroom!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapter 10

Which of the learning activities/skills can you think of that lend themselves to learning through modeling?

Modeling is a change in people that results from observing others. I can think of a million ways to model in the classroom, however, I am just going to focus on a few. 

Since I plan (hope) to teach third grade, I can be fairly sure that they have been exposed to school rules, rule following, etc. However, I may need to correctly model classroom procedures that are characteristic of my classroom. For example, one of the teachers I have observed gains classroom attention by clapping a pattern and having her students mimic it. I really liked this idea, and plan to model it to my future classroom. 

Another major thing to model in elementary school involves math computation. Students do not just automatically know how to correctly multiply two digit numbers. I will need to show many interactive examples and talk my way through the problem, complete a guided practice, and then let children do individual work as I monitor. This is true of any math skill. 
 Through this method, hopefully we can avoid this!!
I love the sequence of modeling that focuses on I do: You watch, I do: You help (together), and You do: I watch. I think when introducing any new concept, this sequence is really  important.  

How might self-efficacy and self-regulation contribute to the intervention plans you use in your case study?


You engage your third grade students in cooperative learning activities at least twice a day, changing heterogeneous group members once every four weeks. You have agreed upon routine procedures that your classroom community uses within their small groups, including the roles and responsibilities of group members. Lately you have noticed that one small group always seems to have difficulty grasping material and completing their project in an acceptable manner.  You observe this group carefully and find that Lisa seems to be the catalyst for their problems.  She gets angry with others if she does not get the job she wants and refuses to do her part in contributing to the group’s learning.  She constantly interrupts others in her group.  She does not pay attention when her group prepares for class presentations. 

 I would first begin by teaching self-regulation to the whole cooperative learning group. For example, if you know you are getting off task or distracting other students get up and go get a drink of water to focus. I would teach them to make a time-table together, to show what they need to complete each day in order to complete and turn in their project on time and in an acceptable manner. 

Next, I would speak with Lisa individually. I would encourage her in order to raise her self-efficacy, because maybe her problem lies with feeling inadequate and being lost when the other students are working together so she acts out to compensate. I would try to get to the bottom of her issue while also encouraging her. I would then work on self-regulation tasks and we could brainstorm together ways to regulate her behavior if she gets angry. I would also want to come up with some system of job delegation so everyone gets a chance to do everything, which may help Lisa by realizing she will get a chance to do the job that she wants as time goes on. I will tell her if she wants to interrupt then raise her hand or pass a not to the person speaking, this way she is still getting to make her point without being rude to other students. In this situation, I think the key would be to let Lisa be an active participant in brainstorming ways to self-regulate and working together to implement this behavior in her small group setting.