kitchen table math, the sequel: 4/20/14 - 4/27/14

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Where's Waldo?

I've been skimming the various one-to-one computing initiatives because one-to-one computing is clearly on its way to Irvington.

The images are striking. Teachers are shown squatting behind or beside students (the one-to-one institute has a typical photo) or they are not shown at all.

Looking for teachers on one-to-one websites is like playing a game of Where's Waldo? without Waldo.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good News in Minnesota

A small but growing number of schools in the Twin Cities metro are going in a good direction. Many are adopting Singapore's Primary Math or the Singapore based Math in Focus.

Independent schools are leading this newest wave. The Blake School went to Math in Focus in grades 1-5 and Primary Math's K program, in Fall 2013.  Minnehaha Academy is going to Math in Focus in Fall 2014 in K-5. Saint Paul Academy is going to Math in Focus in K-5 in Fall 2014. Mounds Park Academy is going to Singapore Math, some variety tbd, in K-5 in Fall 2014. Groves Academy is going to Primary Math in its lower school in Fall 2014. Parochial school Holy Family Academy went to Primary Math in Fall 2013. Providence Academy, a Catholic independent school, is going to Math in Focus in Fall 2014.

Some charters have already been on board, including Nova Classical Academy and Yinghua Academy.

Districts are switching as well. Eagan-Burnsville-Savage district and Robbinsdale district have moved to Math in Focus.

There is more work to do, but this is a great start.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Illinois Teacher of the Year

"Teachers are needed more than ever, but in a very different capacity. We are no longer providing answers. We're providing the questions and the tools to find the answers."
-- Josh Stumpenhorst, 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Quoted by David Ginsburg in R.I.P. Sage on the Stage
Here's my question.

Are parents going to get wind of this any time soon?

This winter my district issued a newsletter extolling the wonders of flipped classrooms and announcing, twice on one page, that the district is 'student-centered.'

So there it is, in black-and-white: flipped classrooms are 'student-centered,' and the retiring curriculum director, who is responsible for the existence of flipped classrooms in my district (& is returning to her position as principle of the 4-5 school) is 'child-centered.'

If I had to guess, I'd say no more than a third of parents here would choose progressive education over traditional, given the choice. The number who believe teachers should not be sages on stages would be even smaller. Unfortunately, the only people in town who know what "student-centered" means--apart from school personnel--are Ed and me. Pretty much.

Will there come a point where parents know what the words their administrators use actually mean?