I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Notes after day of conferences on 3/16...
I wasn't here this day, and thought a great sub plan would be to send the kids to the LMC to read, research, blog, or participate in a one-on-one conference with either Mr. Hillmer, Mr. Goldstein, Mrs. Smith, or Miss DeTogne! What great resources! And they took notes in the Google Doc!
Email received from Mr. Goldstein afterwards...
"Loved conferencing with your kids 3/4 and 5/6. With Todd, Cessie and me, we hit every kid. Notes are updated on the Google form. Really enjoyed it! I'd be happy to help do it again."
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Today... I decided to show some of the TED videos I had wanted to. First I showed Natalie Warne (being young and making an impact - she wanted to help child soldiers), then I showed Birke Baehr (what's wrong with our food), then Arianna Huffington (sleep = success), and last, the child prodigy Adora Svitak (what adults can learn from kids). I wanted to get them interested in... In being INTERESTED in something. I wanted to revisit the purpose for this project - for kids to research their interests. The topics and books being read are so varied right now, I wanted to give them more guidance about the goal.
I also showed them the rubric Briana and I came up with for presenting to the class. She shared her research on bullying with my 5/6 class. They were wowed! She read off the screen, but her statistics about those bullied, those who bully, and bystanders were engrossing to the kids. So much so that they wanted her to tell the whole 7th grade at lunch! She accepted, and so I got the ball rolling by emailing admin about it. My other classes, hearing about this, got excited to also present something meaningful. Jillian finally decided she couldn't research Dance Moms! And Rachael now wants to research child abuse, and Yin was wondering if the government is doing enough to prevent global warming. (Side note: I gave John The Hunger Games and he likes it! Stopped reading Star Wars for one book!!)
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Brought up the "how to comment" website today at the end of our WEX lesson.
I did it in this order... (bottom, then top of web page)
Article about the six elements of effective reading instruction, from Educational Leadership:http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar12/vol69/num06/Every-Child,-Every-Day.aspx
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Caught up on my Twitter account tonight... Mrs. Denise Krebbs (in Iowa) set up a discussion on the Genius Hour. Sounds a lot like our independent reading project! See her blog at: http://mrsdkrebs.edublogs.org/2011/12/02/geniushour-blog-post-index/ I have to remember to look at it all this summer, for sure!
Found another blog... http://messyprofessional.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/genius-hour/
See the article on it here:
Okay, okay... Denise Krebs put it all on one Wiki: http://geniushour.wikispaces.com/
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Read the posts this weekend... Some are excellent! It was great to read the various subjects! Computer animation, Bigfoot, the fourth dimension... And then some of the comments were helpful, too! Jamie put a link to a tesseract in Kris' blog post about the fourth dimension! Some comments were just "awesome" or "cool," but then I saw this on Twitter... I need to use it with students!
How to comment: