This blog is a place to ruminate on the problems of teaching. If I am thinking thoughtfully, my posts will hopefully raise more questions than answers. By problematizing teaching we reflect on those questions that are constantly behind, in front, and at center of everything we do in the classroom. Feel free to comment. I'd love to hear what other teachers are thinking about on these and other issues.
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All You Need is Ecuador
We are now officially on spring break.
I teach at an international school in Quito, Ecuador, and many of my students are from all over the world, but primarily from other Latin American countries. Whenever we have a vacation, many of my students take advantage of all this beautiful country and region have to offer. Here's where some of them are going during this break - Macchu Picchu, the beach, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, Mindo (subtropical town in the cloud forest about 2 1/2 hours from Quito), Guayaquil (the major port city in Ecuador), and Baños (quaint town in the mountains that is home to the Tungurahua Volcano that has been actively erupting since 1999). Of course, there is always the trip to Miami.
Just in case you are not familiar with Ecuador, here are some promotional videos from the Ministry of Tourism that will introduce you to this beautiful country. Sit back, relax and enjoy the images of Ecuador in these videos.
My family is staying home to enjoy a much needed week of R and R.
I'm a hoarder.
There, I've said it.
I try to deny that I'm a hoarder but it comes back to haunt me every time I move houses, or pack up my classroom at the end of the school year.
I have old articles, lesson plans, handouts, folders brimming with teaching ideas, past issues of profesional journals. I hardly throw anything out though I've learned to be more selective over the years. My one rule of thumb, and I really try to stick to this, is that if I haven't used or referred to something in a year, then it's time to toss it into the recycle bin. One exception to this rule (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) is past issues of journals from professional organizations. However, with the ability to locate articles online through my professional memberships, even this exception is becoming less and less useful, which brings me to the topic of this blog post.
I am currently reading a copy of The Reading Teacher from 2010. I've clipped a couple of informat…
The strategy lessons highlighted in Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations –
Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension, in The Reading
Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo are critical to students’ engagement and comprehension, as well as their ability to write literary essays, or even book reviews, summaries and
reflective pieces about books. If students aren’t able to talk about books in a way that is invigorating and joyful, they
will be less likely to develop an interest in growing ideas for writing about books. In
her introduction to this chapter, Jennifer Serravallo, reminds us that when
conversations go well, children are inspired by what they read and are motivated to keep reading. However,
when conversations fall flat, then kids get bored and tune out. How do we avoid
this situation and teach kids to have focused conversations about books? The answer is easy: teach kids strategies to help them develop effective conversational skills.