Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chapter 5 QTC

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 agree with Ormrod and many theorists that intelligence can be modified through experience and learning. Every person has a different level of intelligence depending on specific criteria such as what task, concept, or social habits. Intelligence is especially important in the evolutionary exchanges between men and women; men and women perform at different levels at each of these specific criteria and search to find equilibrium through each other. Intelligence is influenced by both nature and nurture, but more heavily by nurture. It depends of the practice of skills, and behaviors you associate with what intellect you are trying to increase. Someone may develop new abilities based off of prior knowledge and personal experiences that they can relate to. 

Field Trip: Live Blogging

"Dear utk, autism is my prism, not my prison." - Such strong, meaningful words.

   I was watching the assistant place her hand on the back of Barb and push on it when she needed to type the letter and guide her around the keyboard. It makes me tense watching her do that because I know that Bard had to be so frustrated trying to type. We watched a movie, "Autism Speaks" in Special Ed, that was very similar to Barb's situation. The woman in the documentary was in front of an audience as well wanting to tell her story. It took a very long time to type what she wanted to say; all the most important to maintain patience. Barb, like the woman in the documentary  was passionate about history and allowed them to be external and discuss with others about their interests. It is so neat to be able to see it first hand. I know that how she thinks inside explains her intelligence. It is amazing to me that she has written an entire book of her brilliant view of life, and yet cannot yet relay it through verbal words. It is apparent that it is crucial to be patient with Barb and try to understand how outbursts. I wonder if Barb feels trapped on the outside....she know on the inside that she is intelligent and not trapped by her autism, but sometimes can't relay that information physically. 

1. Be the best you can be
2. Persevere
3. Remember we are all the same
4. Understand (let him or her live inside their autism)
5. Keep an open-mind, 
6. Empower (should have choices and decision making power). 

These describe how she truly feels and wants to be portrayed. We as teachers can use these ideas for all of our students to recognize and be patient with their differences.  

   There is NO standard brain. This hit me hard during the presentation. Just like any culture, person, race, etc. is different, so is the brain. No judgement or comparisons. There are structural and functional differences. They relate better to objects rather than people. We must be able to recognize their needs that the brain wants them to have. Stimulation, thrill-seeking, exploration...There are some of the most intelligent people and can be significant entrepreneurs. Everyone has their place, their strengths and weaknesses. Barb has found her purpose and peace which allows her to have a happy and full life. Autistic people have BENEFITS- they are not hopeless or helpless. We must help find who our students are, and be that purpose. We have to connect and be where they are. We will understand what makes them happy and possible expressive language.I would enjoy reading her book in order to understand her thoughts and see life through her perspective.  

We are all diverse and important to this world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Group Differences

I read the article "Gay-Straight Alliances and school experiences of Sexual Minority Youth." The article was about sexual minority's three experiences they have in school: victimization, isolation, and campus climate. These students are often neglected and abused physically or emotionally by family members, or even their peers at school. They also feel isolated because they don't have anyone to go to for support and have trouble creating new relationships. Finally, they campus climate highly affects their academics and personal lives.They experience a "hostile" environment which increases the likelihood of skipping classes. All of these experiences make school seem like an unsafe place and also are associated with sexual minority youth's plans to not continue their education after high school. One way to make schools more welcoming for sexual minority youth is to adopt "Gay-Straight Alliances." These are student led clubs open to youth of all sexual orientations with the purpose of supporting sexual minority students and their heterosexual allies and also reducing prejudice, discrimination, and harassment within the school. GSA's can be found in both high school and colleges. A survey found that GSA's in schools: provide information about topics such as coming out, connecting with supportive faculty and staff, finding staff mentors, or assisting youth to develop coping strategies for living in a frequently hostile world. GSA's also increased a sense of identification for sexual minority students in their schools. The students felt much safer at school, had support for sexual minority staff, and were more interested in attending school and coursework. 

Overall, I didn't find this article to be too surprising. Although I did not know that there were such things as GSA's, it would seem that any club or organization for minorities would make school seem like a safer and more welcoming environment. These are fairly new clubs, and as the article questioned, I also wonder how open students are to their membership in the club. I feel like it would take a while for students to get comfortable within the club, before coming out or admitting to being in a sexual minority group. I think these types of organizations are a great resource for students who are struggling in school. I hope to be a source of support for all of my students, and hope that I could make an positive impact on these students as well. 

Some things I did find interesting: In a sample of sexual minority students, 74% of participants believed that their school campus was "homophobic." In another group, students in their first year of college believed that their colleges would be better off if only heterosexuals attended them. It is important to make every student feel accepted at school. Some students get involved with Greek life, others with SGA or religious groups, but these students also need a safe place to go, such as GSA's. Hopefully word spreads about this club and more college campuses can adopt them. On the other hand, EVERY student must take initiative on how they are involved and perceived. If they want to make a change, they take initiative and be a an active part of that change. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 3

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. Consider all dimensions of personal and social development, including cognitive, language,social,emotional, and moral development. 

Case study: 
You are particularly frustrated with a seventh grade group of students that appears to engage less and less with learning and more and more with one of your highly amusing leaders of the class. Cherie is really funny, but does not show good judgment in choosing appropriate times and ways to be funny. Yesterday she tripped Carmen as she passed her desk on the way to get a chair for a guest in our class. The day before, Cherie made rude noises throughout small group presentations. Today Cherie jumped up while Tommy was reading a poem about a battle, a poem that appeared engaging to the majority of the students; she started pretending she was shooting a gun at other students. Several joined in the pretend battle and disrupted the class to the point that Tommy could not finish reading the poem.  

   According to Erikson’s statges of psychologic developemnt, students at the adolescent age become curious about who they will be as an adult. This can be a confusing and awkward time period for middle school students. Many are struggling to find their sense of place, personalities, and where they fit in (Ormrod pg. 71). Students who are acting out in the classroom may be doing so in order to gain attention from myself and other students Cherie may have realized that her peers may have mixed feelings about her, and is therefore acting out in order to gain acceptance from them and make herself look better socially. Cherie may be struggling with discovering her sense of self. According to Ormrod, “adolescents tend to behave in ways that mirror their beliefs about themselves” (Ormrod pg. 68). These beliefs and feelings are largely self-constructed at the middle school age. In relation to Ormrod’s text, Cherie may have a negative self-perception and will be less likely to succeed academically, socially, and phsycially (Ormrod pg. 68). She may not see herself as a good student and therefore may pay less attention, cause problems, and avoid following directions. Also during the middle school age, students are beginning to think logically. Cherie clearly understands the behavior and the reactions she expects to receive from her peers based on that behavior. 

(3.2) 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 can promote a child’s sense of self, perspective taking, and moral reasoning skills.

   One strategy that I liked from table 3.3 was "involve students in group projects that will benefit their school or community" (pg 91). I think this is important for many reasons. First, I want to emphasize group work in my classroom so that students have the opportunity to build knowledge off of their peers and also learn from a different perspective. School is also a place to promote and teach social skills to students at this age. It is important that students learn to socially interact with others, as it is an important life skill. They must be able to work and communicate with others throughout their academic careers, and also in their future careers. It would also be an opportunity for students to do something for the community and learn to give back to others. It would be a great way to create well-rounded students. 

   Another strategy that I would implement in my classroom would be to provide them with a supportive and optimistic community that focuses on their potential and success as stated in table 3.1 (pg. 75). The first day of class would be an opportunity for me to get to know each of my students individuality  I would like to know what their goals are, what drives them, what are their strengths and weaknesses, etc. Based on what I learn from my students, I would try to include things that students like in my lessons, and be sure to praise students for their strengths. Helping them build up their weaknesses would also be a part of my role as a teacher in order to maximize student success. I want to be sure to be as positive and encouraging as I can, because those were the type of teachers at my middle school that truly impacted my life in a positive way.