Saturday, February 25, 2012

Powerful reflection through blogging

SMS principal Mike Herdliska would probably freely admit that I nagged him about blogging for a couple of years before he took the challenge seriously.

I hope you have been following his writing journey from the beginning of the school year until now, as it is testament to the power of reflection and communication.

When you taking blogging seriously, you start making connections everywhere, from the walk down the 5th grade hallway to the treacherous, icy trip home after saying farewell to a beloved grandparent. You begin writing in your head, piecing together disparate thoughts that will ultimately relate to a point you feel compelled to share. 

I have seen this happen as Mr Herdliska's writing has evolved from fairly straight forward news reporting to a deep and moving essay on life, death and yes, the Iowa Core

It isn't easy to put yourself and your thoughts out into the ether for all to read and comment on, but what we ask of our students isn't easy either. I want to thank Mr Herdliska for showing us all that it is definitely worth taking that chance.

Making connections: Anatomy and Physiology students and THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS


Making connections:
  • With the Solon Public Library. 
    • Director Kris Brown worked with local donors to purchase multiple copies of the award-winning nonfiction book. This book club collection will be shared with other Iowa communities in the future.
  • With teachers.
    •  A & P teacher, Dawn Posekany and I have been talking about Rebecca Skloots powerful story since we first read it a couple of years ago. We felt that a deep reading of the text would offer insights into many complex issues that would stretch the critical thinking skills of her students. This semester, Jim Erickson, Language Arts teacher, offered to team up with us to create a meaningful framework for developing questions and for helping the students prepare for facilitating group discussions. 
  • With the community. 
    • Local residents are invited to attend a discussion this Thursday March 1. A casual "bring your own lunch"starting at 11:30 a.m. will be followed by group discussions led by student teams divided into 4 topics: science, ethics/philosophy, race and journalism/literary structure.
  • With quality support materials.
    • In preparation for the discussion, students will locate, read and summarize outside research relating to their group focus. They will use subscription databases such as those provided by Grant Wood AEA and Iowa AEA Online and other resources that have been critically evaluated for scholarly use.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

I can't just Google it



Friday, the SHS Media Center hosted local legislators for a discussion of SBG (Standards Based Grading).

Laptops, computers, technology - those words weren't used once.

What I did hear was Google, as in "if it can be Googled, it isn't really learning".

This is inquiry. Asking questions. Understanding.

This is the heart of what Media Services is about and what I am most interested in when working collaboratively. Let's do that.

Student Inquiry and Web 2.0

Deep Learning through Concept-Based Inquiry

Framing Transliterate Learning Through Inquiry and Participatory Culture