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General

Voices from the BAM Radio Community sharing their thoughts, insights and teaching strategies.

Posted by on in General

naptime.jpg

What was I thinking?

Obviously I wasn’t when I allowed my son to choose our pre-nap reading material.

A toy catalog? Seriously? What parent that wants their child to nap makes this type of error in judgement? My son’s mind was now hyper-stimulated!

We did eventually segue to Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, but by then I think it was too late. He next had to find his Spiderman toys and engage in some pretend play for a little while. AIl the while I laid as motionless and as silently as I could, hoping that his brain would eventually quiet itself. And it did. He is three and he was tired.

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Posted by on in General

A difficult choice

Leaving the classroom was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Making the decision was one of the hardest I've ever made. Not only did I have to say goodbye to my colleagues, my administrators, and the mentors who had guided me throughout my career, but I had to leave my students. I say "MY" students purposefully. Regardless of if I taught them 5 years ago, 3 years ago, or I was going to teach them next year (as most teachers know) they areand will always be "MY" students. I wasn't leaving because it was "too hard" or because I was burnt out, though. I was leaving to make a greater impact on education and to reach more students than I ever thought possible.

How it happened

I had developed, tested, and created a system in my classroom now called The Grid Method. In my high needs, urban school with 100% free and reduced lunch, and economically disadvantaged students, it was working. Students were more engaged, achievement was increasing, management was improving, and I quickly realized that I had something here that could help more teachers and more students. Colleagues had been asking how to implement the system I'd designed and so had others I shared it with. I quickly started looking for ways to spread the word and share the techniques and systems I was using to reach more students.

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worry-less.jpg.png

I do this every time. I wake up three hours before school, but somehow spend the last fifteen minutes scrambling like a madman. Most days I am rushing to get dressed or make some semblance of a healthy lunch. But on this day I was already dressed and my lunch was all set.

But where were my car keys!!!

I am such an idiot! I don't think a day goes by in which I don't misplace something.

5 minutes before I need to walk out the door.

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Tagged in: Mistakes mybad16

Posted by on in General

 make a difference

Several years ago, as a school administrator, I joined a group of teachers from my school in attending a highly inspirational conference regarding the Holocaust. The keynote speaker, Gerda Weissmann Klein, spoke of her years of suffering in several German concentration camps. As the war neared its end and as the Allied forces descended upon the Nazis, Klein and her fellow prisoners were forced to embark upon a "Death March” of 350 miles, walking through treacherous winter conditions with little food and little clothing for warmth. Four thousand prisoners began the march; fewer than 120 survived.

Shortly after arriving in what is now part of the Czech Republic, World War II ended and camp prisoners were liberated. Gerda fell in love with one of the American soldiers involved in that mission. She and Army Lieutenant Kurt Klein were married the next year. Together, they infused their testimony and messages of hope into numerous charitable efforts to educate others about the Holocaust, civil rights, and tolerance. They spoke to all who would listen, to all who would take that message and carry it forward themselves.

I listened intently.

A few minutes into the presentation, a young red-haired woman in her thirties entered the synagogue and made her way to the seat directly in front of me. She looked familiar but, as so often happens to this veteran teacher, I could not place her name or where I had seen her before. I turned my attention back to Mrs. Klein, but the identity of the mysterious woman, now partially blocking my view of the stage, continued to nag at me.

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Posted by on in General

STEAM

It has recently become more common to add the "A", or art, to STEM education to make it STEAM education. It is not only a popular trend in education, but it also makes a lot of sense! The world is not sectioned off into subject specific experiences! Learning all of these skills together engages the whole brain and develops skills that are transferable to many educational and career-related areas. For a stunning visual on teaching STEAM vs. STEM, visit this site.

I had a lot of fun planning family science nights for the school I was a science specialist for. The last one I planned and took part in celebrated STEAM. Each activity had some combination of science, technology, engineering, art and/or math. It was a big hit and I am excited to share the activities with you today.

Catapult Painting

catapult

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