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Running and Reading

September 19, 2009

I speak with educators frequently about not starting from a blank slate. As teachers and administrators, you are so busy that recreating the wheel is not a productive use of your time. You should consider checking out what resources are out there before you begin writing curriculum, preparing for a presentation, or designing a unit of instruction.

This is not an original concept. But so many of us worked in isolation, behind the closed doors of our classrooms for so many years, that it doesn’t come naturally to us to reach out to others for assistance. It has just been recently that so many of us have join in on Social Bookmarking, Nings and other methods of sharing resources with each other.

As I was watching this video, it linked the whole week together for me. It’s funny how as you drive in your car, or are out walking the dog, (you know, the times you actually can catch moments to think to yourself) how everything becomes somehow connected…

Will Smith says in this video “There’s no new problem you can have with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything. There’s no problem you can have that someone hasn’t already solved and wrote about it in a book.”

On Tuesday, I was listening to a middle school math teacher introduce exponents to her class. She spoke with them about the Twilight book series and the upcoming movie release. The students used their calculators to figure out how many people would become affected should one person in the class be bit by a vampire. I was impressed at how engaged they were and the teacher really made a great decision as to her choice of pop-culture connection to meet her objective.

Tuesday evening when I was doing home work with my daughters, I looked through the papers that their teachers sent home and was happy to see this. I figured that “Why I Can’t Skip My 20 Minutes or Reading Tonight?”,  couldn’t be unique to this particular school, so I Googled it and found that it’s widespread. I saw some familiar websites in the search results including the one I’ve provided from 1st grade teacher Marcy McGowan of HW Mountz School in Spring Lake. Here I was again with the exponents. The idea of how far behind my daughters would be if they didn’t complete their reading assignment each night. (Thankfully they both have a love for reading and at this point in time, it’s a non-issue.)

Friday morning I taught a podcasting workshop and would you believe it, the theme of exponents came up again as the enthusiasm exploded for just how many students and families this type of technology would be able to help int he district.

Will said “the person that works the hardest wins”.

He also said that the two keys to life were running and reading. If you haven’t watched the video yet, please take ninety seconds to watch it and then go read these books.

The Tipping Point
http://books.google.com/books?id=MMlxzMNkE_0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Disrupting Class
http://books.google.com/books?id=wiBcUl44FEcC&printsec=frontcover&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Everything Bad is Good for You
http://books.google.com/books?id=9_YZyOfgqbEC&printsec=frontcover&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2009 6:39 pm

    Lisa,
    Thanks for this post. What you say is so true and the video is very inspiring. Will does a great job summing up success in a way kids can understand. Can’t wait to share it with kids this week!

  2. kathy shields permalink
    September 20, 2009 7:49 am

    Lisa, since I teach elementary school(grade 3), I have learned the hard way that parents find just about everything pop culture related to be controversial. Consequently I like to explore what might be controversial before I use something like the Will Smith video in my classroom. After all, I teach at a school who couldn’t even watch President Obama due to the controversy over HC. The link between Will Smith’s schools’educational methods and Scientology has people talking, Study Tech I do love the message and your examples I just wish I had more freedom as a teacher.

    • September 20, 2009 5:22 pm

      Kathy, thanks for your comments.

      I caught a glimpse of what you are referring to at the school I was in the day of Obama’s speech. There were no students that day, but I was in to present for the teachers and many were not going to show it to their students later in the week. They refused, from what I understood. (I could have misinterpreted the situation.)

      Who are the pop culture role models appropriate for the population of students in your building? Who is it okay according to the parents for them to relate to? I would love to know. Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. Reading Logs — Part Two (or “How Students Can Grow Their Brains) | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
  2. Twitter Trackbacks for Running and Reading « Thumann Resources [thumannresources.com] on Topsy.com
  3. The 2 R’s: Running & Reading « iThinkEducation.net!

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