Friday, September 11, 2015
More information below.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/artseesdiner/2014/09/06/talk-with-me-sleep-deprivation-and-the-impact-on-american-learners A huge issue facing American Schools. Sleep deprivation. There is a simple fix, so why won't we do it? Our First Lady has made it her priority to end obesity in children by controlling what they eat, but, one of the leading causes in obesity is being ignore AND it also causes learning impairment, and an increase in adolescent disease!
Sunday, July 19, 2015
After spending 2 years as a High School, educator/mentor in a Credit Recovery/e-Learning program as well as over 12 years as a public school educator, I have made some observations, some of them disturbing, some of the hopeful. I want to begin by making a disclaimer in that I did not do any absolute scientific discovery and there may be components that are in fact missing. My attempt at improving the well-being of our students and the financial health is at the forefront of my following commentary.
Sleep Deprivation and Low Test Scores
Thursday, July 16, 2015
After being in education as a professional for 15 years and as a parent well, let's just say, I am now a grandmother, I have seen the trends and identified what works and what does not work. First of all, let me stress, the old belief that ¨I learn better when I watch television. Or, I learn best when I have loud music blaring!¨ Is a bunch of bologna. While there are many people who come up with whatever excuse they can to justify distraction away from a required task, the truth is our brains are wired in particular ways. If you are using a computer with limited data space and you start opening multiple tabs, stream a video and play a game of (albeit free) online poker, the likelihood the system will run slower and possibly even clog up. So it is with the brain. the younger the brain, although flexible, the greater likelihood that confusion will be an outcome and altered understanding will emerge.
¨Introduce behavioral addiction principals to our young and you have got a lifetime consumer.¨ Whether it is Saturday morning cartoon advertising which convinces every child what toy to beg for, or it is beer distributors giving it away on college campuses, to now the smartphone revolution, our kids have been groomed to be consumers, NOT, producers.
By the time our kids get into sixth grade, we have convinced them that they cannot survive if they do not have their cell phones on. It isn't just the communication with peers that becomes so important. Parental obsession with communicating with their kids is out of control. As a classroom teacher I cannot tell you how many times I have been in competition with Mommy or Daddy as they are disrupting their own kid's learning by texting them appointments, literally arguing with their kids by texting or even asking why they got a certain grade on a test that just showed up in the online grade books. Kids are texting parents in real time about what is happening in the classroom. I have even had student recording and sending incidents in the classroom out to parents. How this isn't a violation of FERPA, I have no idea! Add into all the parental fanaticism that is rampant these days, facebook, twitter, friend to friend texting and you have little to no learning taking place. Don't even get me started on the boyfriend/girlfriend drama!
¨NO, it isn't okay to just have it on vibrate in your pocket! Turn it off, put it away and enjoy your smarth phone on your free time, which happens to be before school, lunch and after school!¨ I can tell you the vast difference between the learning outcomes of the kids who do not have their cell phones on their person, or who do not have them on. The vast difference between the kids married to their cell phones and those who do not own one is even bigger. Sadly, what I have witnessed is that their is a racial/socio-economic leaning to the cell phone overuse as well. Could that have been the motivation? Keep the learning gap ever widening by distracting our minority and poor kids?
If you want to improve the graduation rate, literacy, and mathematics, then focus on teaching students to become producers and leave the consuming to non-academic hours. ¨I just had a great thought, but my text alert just went off and I lost it, sorry!¨
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Monday, October 20, 2014
Oklahoma's winter testing will cost taxpayers $3.4 million this year. Well, that doesn't sound like a whole lot, but considering many school districts are cutting services such as cleaning classrooms daily. They are cutting programs such as art, physical education, educational field trips and yes, classroom teachers. So, IT IS A BIG DEAL! What should this really be signalling to all of you? Well, to me it signals that testing is a big money making scheme all on the backs of our kids to perform and it is a financial burden on you and me. Also, that no matter how well our kids are doing or not doing, the testing will only increase until YOU do something to demand that it stop!
Now, let's do a little applied math lesson shall we? Multiply 3.4 million out by all 50 states! Then multiply that times all the tests that are mandated annually. Then multiply that times the amount of Administrator and teacher's salaries used in order to implement the multiple tests that our kids take annually. Then add in the cost of local, state and federal agencies in place to fund said tests. Then add in the number of supplemental programs (all non-profit of course) that are put into action to make up for the assumed inadequacies of the tests that were put in place to measure the effectiveness of instruction, or the lack thereof. (You see if we are spending up to 5 weeks or more a year in testing, THERE IS NO INSTRUCTION taking place! Testing is not instruction. It is not teaching!)
Maybe it is time for taxpayers to spend more time questioning where the money goes and why it is that suddenly the generation of children that entered our schools beginning in 2000 need to be tested to the nth degree. Maybe it is time for them to start defending their school district, children and their teachers and pointed the finger of blame where it belongs at the governmental agencies that are in collusion with the publishing companies!
Oh but wait! We have an entire nation filled with parents who bow down to the First Lady when she, not the President or Congress, when she says our school lunches are not adequate! Well sorry to tell you but, I did not elect the First Lady and you are not a paid representation of this nation! Am I the only one thinking outside the box around here?http://newsok.com/oklahoma-board-of-education-approves-contract-with-current-vendor-for-winter-testing-window/article/5357679