meowdate: (Default)

Personally, I have a high need for connection with others.  In order to avoid burning out my nearest and dearest, I’ve decided that finding groups that share my values may help diffuse some of that pressure on my supporters.  So, I personally want to find:

  1. A progressive chavurah, shul, temple or synagogue to join, and a Women’s Mosque as well, if there are any lady Imam or leaders around (there was one in Ankara back in 2005…)
  2.  A Quaker (Friends) Monthly Meeting to join and stand silent Peace Vigil with,
  3.   Greek or Balkan or other international folk dance,
  4.  a walk-run marathon group
  5.  a public library-based book or reading club
  6. A public library based writer’s critique group
  7. an NVC and also maybe Literacy Volunteering group (and give blood).

 Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

meowdate: (Default)

Ok, you want a way to reach and teach difficult kids, which is what I was trying to do in 2001/2 and 2003 when I wrote up a proposal for theater based lessons, and discovered that the Coalition for Essential Schools (Ted/Theodore Sizer I believe: the CES) had pretty much already done that, but only in a few expnsive private schools where the teachers were on a first name basis with the 10 students per class. (In DC in 2012 I was told that that idea is now being put into practice in more places...)

So, my 4 ideas that may help you:
1. Elmer Fudd + Theater Productions (done by the students: I'll find the doc and translate, as this backup copy from Puerto Morelos, MX,  is all I can find at the moment, but I think the better copy is up on my Academia...) -> Constructivist/movement+art-based learning
2. Socratic Method based tutoring, which you've already seen: again, using "eliciting" instead of force-feeding the information to the kids, by asking questions and stimulating their curiosity. (I had an ADHD kid brilliant but never sat still, so I brought in a map of Aztec Empire and shot questions at him to go find places on the map during class, and throwing equations at him to solve at the same time: worked pretty well!)
3. Walking Tours of the local area with Freedom/Civil Rights songs: this is what I did w/adults in DC after I got turned down for funding to give classes outdoors, but the idea does work with willing students: start the lesson indoors in teh classroom, explain that we are going to find examples of what we are studying around us, and go outiside for a walk, talking about the lesson while we walk. Yes, harder to control a large class, but doable at least in theory, and certainly with a small class or one student.

4. Community Sing Alongs: again, adults came to sing Freedom and ethnic songs, but this can be worked into a lesson plan, if the teacher has the time and support of superiors. (yes, ok, a very big iff...)


Hope this helps, ask any and all questions, please,

 

1: Theater based teaching lesson plans from Puerto Morelos, Mexico: ( up on http://bath.academia.edu/DestinieLandrac)

 

Teatral de Arachne

  1. © Siir (Xiir) Destinie Jones, (much removed due to formatting problems, but full doc is online...)
  1. Planes para profesores de matemáticas
  2. Día 1 y día 2: Coordinados Cartesianos
  3. Objetivo: El alumno aprenderá usar el sistema de coordinados rectangulares a través de ejemplo de tejer.
  4. Tiempo: 45 minutos, con actividad opcional para segundo día
  5. Resumen de actividad: 1. dibujar una línea recta horizontal, y una recta vertical, explicar como ejes X y Y. 2. encontrar el origen, varias puntos X y Y separados, y varias puntos (X,Y) como coordinados.
  6. 3. opcional: Construir un tejido con los hilos “warp” como el eje Y y los hilos “weft” como el eje X.
  7. Lección:
  8. Actividad1. Muestra una línea horizontal en el pisaron. Pide a un alumno que se acerca al pisaron para dibujar la línea recta. ---4--3--2---1--0--1---2---3---4-------
  9. La línea recta de dibujamos nos ayuda contar unidades desde 0 al lado positivo y al negativo. Estas unidades podrán extender hasta infinidad, así:
  10. | | | | | | |
  11. | | | | | | |
  12. -3 –2 –1 0 1 2 3
  13. | | | | | | |
  14. | | | | | | |
  15. por eso, esta recta es puede llamar el eje horizontal, o eje X.
  16. ¿Preguntas?
  17. así podemos contar cuantas unidades al derecho o al izquierdo usando el eje X. Cuando hacemos otra recta vertical por 0, tendremos los ejes X y Y. Entonces podemos contar por derecho o izquierdo, y por arriba o  abajo, verticalmente, por el eje Y.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Actividad 2. ¿Dónde aparece el cero? Como cero está en inicios de todos lados, lo llamamos el punto en el centro “el origen” y empezamos a contar desde allá.
  2. Siempre ubicamos un punto así, con (X,Y) contando x unidades en el eje X, y y unidades en el eje Y. ¿Qué puntos ya tenemos dibujado? Por otros ejemplos, donde estará el punto (1,1)? (1,3)? (-2, 1)?
  3. Opcional: Actividad 3. Si sobra tiempo, pueden tejer algo y ubicar puntos allá…
    1. Hale: (3,4) (-1,1) (0,3) (-5,1) (-2,-2), el origen, y (1,-4)… 

Arachne matemáticas Planes para día 3: Distancia con Coordinados

 

 

Objetivo: El alumno empezará medir distancias en una línea con coordinados.

 

Tiempo: 40 minutos

 

Actividad: ¡Ubícate! Un juego para practicar nuestros coordinados.

 

Imaginase, alumno, que eres una araña en el centro (el “origen”) de tu telaraña. Caminas 4 pasos al derecho, y paras. ¿En cual punto estás ubicado? R.: (0,4)

Ahora, el alumno a tu lado seguirá como araña, caminando. Halle el punto en donde se para, y sigue el alumno vecino, etc.

Cada alumno tendrá que tener por lo menos tres turnos en el juego.

 

 

Tarea: Consigue un cuaderno o libreto para usar como bitácora de matemáticas. Por tarea de esta noche, escribe en tu bitácora de matemáticas como crees que podrías adivinar la distancia entre el origen y el punto (3,5). ¿Será la distancias diferente, desde el origen y (-3,-5)? ¿Por que?

 

 

 

día 9: repaso de la matemáticas en la obra “Arachne”

 

Objetivo: Alumnos dirán cuenta que ya saben ubicarse, medir distancias, e incluso dibujar un triangulo sin medida, todo por la obra “Arachne”.

 

Tiempo: 40 minutos

 

Actividad: 1. Elicitar de los alumnos sus recuerdos de coordinados, Valor Absoluto, y la Formula de Distancia antes de introducir el juego para mañana, que será dibujar un triangulo solo usando dos círculos.

  1. En el pisaron, un alumno puede dibujar una gran telaraña, y un imagen de que piensa cuando se oye la palabra “distancia”.

  2. ¿Cómo se puede conectar los dos imagines?

  3. Que imagen tienen cuando piensan en “navegar”?

  4. A dibujar un barco de vela con triangulo, el la telaraña:

 

 

O.__________________.B barca

 

 

.A

 

  1. Para ubicar el barco en punto B, debemos saber los coordinados de punto B.

  2. Para saber la distancia entre A y B, usamos, sabiendo los coordinados de punto A, la formula Distancia.

  3. También se puede dibujar un triangulo con puntos A y B de un distancia fija, sin medirla. ¿Cómo? -Ya veremos mañana por la tarea!

 

 

 

Tarea: Busca en la biblioteca y escriben en sus bitácoras –quien era “Euclid”?

 

 

 

Fin: día 10, matemáticas después de la obra de Arachne

 

 

Objetivo: Alumnos aprenderán

  1. dibujar un triangulo ABC con base de medida línea AB usando el teorema Primero de Euclid de Elementos de Euclid #1

  2. los conexiones entre Euclid, Pitágoras, y Arachne.

 

Tiempo: 40 minutos

 

Actividad 1: 20 minutos

  1. Dibujo barco de vela B, y punto a, con distancia AB (por línea AB).

  2. Usando línea AB como radias, haz circulo A con centro A, y circulo B con centro B, con línea AB por radias común.

  3. Sea la intersección de círculos A y B encima de línea AB el punto C. Ya tenemos triangulo ABC con base AB.

 

 

Actividad 2: 15 minutos

  1. ¿ De que tamaño creen (los alumnos) que sean línea AC y línea BC? ¿Por qué?

  2. ¿Qué tipo de líneas, o que parte del circulo, son línea AC y línea BC?

  3. ¿Qué relación tienen líneas AB , AC y BC?

  4. ¿Qué tipo de triangulo será ABC, entonces?

  5. Sea CD la línea a AB, desde punto C, a medias de AB (se llama ese línea “el bisector perpendicular de AB”…)

  6. Ahora tenemos dos triángulos rectangulares, y podemos medir la distancia entre punto B, donde está nuestro barco de vela, y cualquier otro punto, gracias al Teorema Pitagórica.

 

Actividad 3: 5 minutos

 

  1. Discuten en la clase: ¿Piensen los alumnos que Euclid, Pitágoras y Arachne hubieran sido buen amigos?

 

 

Tarea: Escribe como habría podido cambiar su destino, Arachne.

 

 

 

Opcional extra: día de danza por Arachne

 

Objetivo: Repasar los coordinados, números en la historia, y geografía mientras aprendiendo un baile folklórico Griego

 

Tiempo: 45 minutos

 

Materias:

  1. Sabana con mapa del mediterráneo (con el origen en Atenas) (o del Grecia y Turquía)

  2. Placa o letrero con los números griegos

  3. Placa o letrero con los números Árabes (modernos)

  4. disco de música de Tsamiko

  5. un pañuelo blanco

 

 

Actividad:

    1. con la sabana en el suelo y todos descalzos, el líder con el pañuelo blanco empieza en el origen (0,0) que sea Atenas y pasa al norte por Esparta, Macedonia, el mar Iónica, Cecilia, Ciprés, y Estambul e Izmir, Turquía (que fueron Constantinopulous y Esmyrne antes…).

    2. llega un “Turco” quien va a reemplazar la placa de números griegos con la de números modernos

    3. cambian de líder de la danza por el “Turco”

    4. en fin de la danza, decimos gracias a los Turcos por traer los números árabes, que usamos hoy en día

    5. localizamos Esparta, Macedonia, el mar Iónica, Cecilia, Ciprés, y Estambul, y Izmir, Turquía en el mapa, con sus coordinados.

    6. recordamos que el Tsamiko es el baile de independencia de los griegos del emperio (Turco) Otomano.

 

 

 

Tarea: Muestra el Tsamiko a sus familias, los alumnos, con el cuento de cómo los Turcos trajeron los números árabes al Europa.

 

2: Socratic constructivist based teaching methods (Elmer Fudd):

 


17 April, 2002
Philosophy of Education

The use of Constructivist methods in teaching mathematics

“How Would Elmer Fudd Teach Math?”

Elmer Fudd is a hunter. Most 
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity 
Disorder) diagnosed children are hunters, as defined by Thom Hartman in his 
series of books “Hunter in a Farmer’s World.” These children tend to change topics and 
interests often, moving their focus of attention, sometimes boisterously, from 
one activity to another rapidly. Standard/traditional teaching techniques, such as lecture, and rote 
memorization, have been shown not to suit these types of learners well. This paper will argue, on both pragmatic 
and philosophical grounds, in favor of the combining of constructivist teaching 
methods with traditional methods. Pragmatically, a person who 
is able to gain and use knowledge on his own, examining ideas critically and 
taking initiative, will be a more productive   member  of 
society, and more useful, in general.  Philosophically, every person has the right and responsibility to take 
initiative both to care for  herself , and also to 
contribute to the collective thoughts of society.  In order to pursue either responsibility 
or freedom, knowledge of the available options, and how to increase those 
options, is necessary. John Dewey, 
in his essay on “The Child and the Curriculum” decried the evils of dumbing down 
material for all children, leading to dull-brained thinking, and passivity. Both hunters and farmers, to be 
responsible for their own lives, must be able to take initiative, think 
critically, and apply newly learned information. Traditional teaching is being shown to 
fall short with the vast majority of students in this regard, as well. Constructivism, which can be defined as 
the forming of a mental model in response to being placed in an environment that 
stimulates active wondering, is a useful alternative to the traditional style of 
education which also answers both of these objections. Note that the use of  constructivist techniques  is meant to be in addition to, not instead of the 
standard teaching methods. One 
suggestion is to devote two or three days per week to constructivist style 
teaching, with the remaining days devoted to standard lecture methods. Since all are generally familiar with 
the traditional style of teaching, usually defined by lectures, recitations, and 
memorization, little time will be spent on descriptions of that teaching 
format.
 This style of teaching will be defined, 
further, as the dissemination of information in verbal, written, or both 
formats, without interruptions or intermittent questions, or when all questions 
are saved for after the instructor has completed with giving out the bulk of 
information to the class. To 
summarize, lecture is defined here as the push of information from instructor to 
learner without substantial breaks during the lecture for questions, exchanges 
of information, or class participation.

     If, as social reproduction theorists agree, education is a primary 
element in perpetuating and creating the type of society we will have in the 
future, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that all of the talent available in 
our society is developed to the fullest.  Education is the vehicle that will take us there.  We are obligated to create a society in 
which all are truly free to participate, and this is only possible when all 
members of society are fully trained in critical thinking.  Whether we are born with all knowledge, 
as Socrates believed, or must learn it afresh, questioning and initiative are 
crucial parts of participation in any free society.  John Dewey, in his treatise “Democracy 
and Education,” pointed out that in order to truly learn  something,  the learner must absorb an idea, and take 
ownership of it. These concepts: ownership of an idea, putting information in 
context, and providing thought-provoking educational experiences, are at the 
heart of Dewey’s writings, and of the constructivist movement.   Only by asking “why, and how, and from 
where,” can the learner fully internalize a piece of Information. He 
also felt that learning a particular subject in isolation from its context and 
the surrounding applications is not a complete way of learning the subject. This is in direct opposition to the 
traditional method of teaching each course as a subject unto itself. Geometry, as one example, is taught in 
complete isolation from other courses, and removed from its context. When geometry is taught in conjunction 
with art, or other applications, student understanding is enhanced. This context is, in fact, one part of 
how a teacher must, according to Dewey, provide learning experiences that 
encourage questioning, observation, and wondering, which leads to more thought, 
surrounding the subject to be learned.
So how, then, does a mathematics teacher provide contextual and concrete 
experiences, when faced with such abstract topics as linear algebra, and matrix 
equations? 

      How would Elmer Fudd, 
our hunter par excellence, teach them?


            Acting is a 
powerful teaching tool, particularly for learners who learn by moving around and 
using their bodies. Charlotte 
Perkins Gilman, in the novel Herland, advocated movement and play as the 
most effective means of learning.  Acting is play at its best, allowing both the actor and the audience to 
engage an idea actively, both consciously considering the idea, and 
subconsciously, through the artistic side of the brain, simultaneously. One application of Howard 
Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences involves acting out, or  becoming  an equation.

   Mr. Fudd would probably use this 
technique to teach young hunters how to determine the trajectory of a bullet 
aimed for a rabbit, during rabbit season. 

Given the equation ‘X + 3 = 5’, two students stand for the variable X, 
another student for the plus sign, four other students each stand for the 
numbers one through four, and a student forms the equals sign, standing opposite 
the plus sign student. Five other 
students, each standing opposite a ‘number’ student, represent the numbers one 
through five.  The evenly matched 
pairs of students show that the equation has been correctly solved.<SPAN 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>There are many possible variations on 
this theme, leaving out the plus and equal signs, or the variable, for a more 
clear solution of the equation, or if fewer students wish to participate.


Other uses of 
acting involve allowing one particularly gifted student to demonstrate a 
technique or concept, by  becoming  the 
concept. For example, an especially 
rambunctious pupil was having difficulty in one of my high school mathematics 
classes with the concept of reciprocals.  After explaining the idea of inverse fractions several times, I asked him 
to do a handstand. To the delight 
of both the demonstrating student and the rest of the class, the concept became 
much clearer as I pointed to the inverted student, and explained that we were to 
do the exact same thing with our fraction!

    There are, of 
course, down sides to the use of acting as a teaching technique.  One rather pointed example is the use of 
my overly athletic student to illustrate the concept of reciprocals.
When I asked him to stand right side up, 
after completing my explanation of reciprocals, he promptly fell over, landing 
with a crash on the floor.  While 
Elmer Fudd might have approved, the guidance counselor in the office next to my 
classroom did not.  Although the 
student was not injured in his fall, the noise certainly did create a 
distraction, both for my class and for others in nearby rooms.  This leads us to another pitfall of 
acting as a teaching technique.  Acting can often be a noisy and fast-paced   It  is not easy to maintain proper 
teaching decorum over a classroom full of students, whether children or adults, 
even, when somewhere else in the classroom, one or more individual students are 
moving around, making noise, or even standing silently in a distracting pose –on 
one’s head, for example. There must 
be a focus on the idea to be learned, in order for the experience of acting to 
be of educational benefit, and that focus can easily be lost in the hustle and 
bustle of a group of actors showing off in front of a crowd. An additional concern with acting is 
that it does require imagination. 
 Not everyone will benefit from acting out or watching the portrayal of a 
concept, since not everyone learns through movement or body language. Acting may thus be a waste of time for 
non-kinesthetic based learners. While they may enjoy the show as a form of entertainment, which is 
arguable valuable for education in itself, these students will miss the point of 
the actual lesson, unless non-acting based methods are employed, in addition to 
acting, to illustrate the concept being taught.


    Elmer Fudd 
would undoubtedly use acting at least occasionally, as one of the tools in his 
armory of young hunter training techniques.
Beyond being enjoyable for restless 
young hunters, who are constantly on the lookout for rabbits and ducks to 
capture, acting as a teaching method can enhance the learning pleasure and 
effectiveness for young farmers as well.  Mr. Fudd would be certain to remind all of the students to “be vewy verwy 
quiet,” and to be respectful of classmates in the entire building.  To ensure that the point of the lesson 
is addressed in the skit, he would also be likely to give a short synopsis of 
the concept being illuminated by the skit, either before or after the 
performance. In addition to 
illustrating the pure mathematical concept under discussion, a skit can 
unobtrusively tie in the context, historical, social, or scientific, for which 
the math was developed. A group of 
students working on units of measure may take the opportunity of Patriot’s Day 
to enact a short skit on the Battle of Marathon, “running” the distance in 
miles, meters, and even cubits. This brings not only context, but passion and creativity into the 
classroom: two things that Jonathan Mooney and David Cole, co-authors  Learning 
Outside the Lines,” point to as essentials for learning, and for life 
itself. Acting also 
provides a perfect methodology for team teaching. Teaming up with one or more teachers to 
combine several classes for a short time, with a specific purpose defined can 
work nicely, if planned out well beforehand. As pointed out by Theodore Sizer in the 
first book of his “Horace Trilogy,”  The Dilemma of The  American High School , team teaching 
can cause confusion and even be counterproductive, if a central focus and 
teacher coordination are not maintained. As an example, several students for a class that is studying arachnids in 
science, and  cartesian  coordinates in math, can act out 
the myth of Arachne’s contest with Athena.   A history or social studies class could even join in, if enough room is 
available.  Each student can take 
turns at the loom, and keep samples of the weaving. The geography, language, attitudes, and 
clothing of ancient  Greece can be taught through this skit, as well as the grid coordinate system, of course, 
using a real cloth example. Latitude and longitude lines can be compared to the X and Y axis, 
referring to the warp and weft that the students created with their own 
hands.
Not to mention the unfortunate Arachnid. 

 Another well-respected constructivist technique that 
Elmer Fudd would likely have occasion to use is that of building things.  
It is generally acknowledged that if one 
is able to build a working item, of almost any kind, then that individual has 
mastered the principles involved in its making.
While this may sometimes be up for debate, it is undeniable that to build a thing is to involve 
some practical 
application of at least a few concepts.  Practical application is often the best way to understand a concept, and 
also gives the satisfaction of having produced a tangible object when 
completed. Vocational schools are 
often popular for this very reason –they allow students the opportunity to see 
results built by their own hands very soon. The shorter time frame between learning 
concepts and putting those concepts to use can be a great help and motivator for 
a young person (or an adult) who is apt to ask “why are we learning 
this?”


   Theodore Sizer, in his chapter on agreement (between 
teacher and those taught) in  Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of The 
American High School,  argues that sometimes letting students discuss what 
interest them, and then pointing out the curricular application in that topic, 
can be more effective than doggedly sticking to the prepared lecture. If that happens to be building an 
electronic circuit, as it was in my Algebra1A class, one day, then building a 
hands-on model for display can be more instructive than any textbook work, or 
lecture.   As it happened, on this 
particular day, we were actually reviewing graphs and charts.
A student interrupted my lecture to 
comment about his heartbeat, so I took the opportunity to return to the topic of 
the day by explaining how to graph a heartbeat in terms of beats per 
minute.
I then asked the class to draw a series of graphs, from flatliners to 70 beats per minute.
The gregarious student, stymied that I had redirected his comment, began to 
talk about his electronics project with several of his classmates.
I used this conversation as an 
opportunity to review the solution of single step equations, using Ohm’s Law as 
a starting point.
At least for that 
particular student, this proved to be more interesting, and he came back after 
class for several days in a row to work out the equations needed to determine 
how to build his circuit.
Rousseau and 
Elmer Fudd would very likely agree on one thing –Emile, like Mr. Fudd’s 
students, will learn best by doing, and experimenting, and building.
From tree-stands to bows, arrows and 
quivers, and maybe even muskets and balls, young hunters under either of these 
two hands-on teachers would learn by doing and building.
This project 
used laptops and GPS (Global Positioning System) units.
Students 
discussed and were taught the general elements of cartography, then provided 
equipment and one adult guide for each group of students, and encouraged to 
discover for themselves the challenges of mapping out an area.
This is a wonderful idea, but how many 
school districts will realistically be able to implement such a project, given 
the expense of a laptop, GPS unit, and even a simple topographical map?
Any one of these items may be beyond the 
reach of a school district, particularly in an inner city struggling for basic 
funding of any kind.
Even in cases 
where money is not an issue, many schools face the problem of limited 
space.
At least one Middle-High 
school in New Hampshire uses 
trailers for temporary classroom space, and even shares space with a neighboring 
school.
Given constrains like 
these, it may be difficult to find the room needed to spread out enough to build 
individual projects, store them, or even manage to transport them through the 
halls, crowded as they generally are.
While it is 
important to cover all of the required material, it is equally, if not more 
important to help learners absorb what is being covered.
Rousseau would have argued that less is 
better, and that anything covered must always be done through building.
As with his example of Robinson Crusoe, 
whatever is taught must be taught through experience and practical 
experimentation.
Elmer Fudd might have to remind Emile, though, that the consequences of firing a musket 
improperly could be rather permanent, and so, learning to read is a necessity in 
order to avoid fatal experimentation.
Thus, not everything is best taught by hands-on methods.
Reading the directions can be both more 
efficient, and even life-saving.
Keeping that in mind, Elmer Fudd would have to balance the impatience of 
young hunters against the cautiousness of young farmers.
Mr. Fudd would also remember to balance 
the need to inspire passion in both groups against the need to cover all of the 
requisite mathematics to be able to count the number of days from duck season to 
rabbit season.
Most days, Mr. Fudd would likely cover 
the standard math, using lecture format.
He could then periodically remind his students that once they have 
learned enough of the required math, they would be able to more effectively go 
on their planned hunting expeditions.
In the meantime, as an optional homework project, individual students 
could be allowed to research and build model rabbits or ducks to show off to 
their classmates, and explain the various uses rabbit and duck parts could be 
put to after their expeditions.
Mr. Fudd would always make sure to point out the various mathematical topics and 
principles that were used in the creation of these models, and tie them into the 
ongoing classwork.
That would give 
the students a context into which to put both the previous, current, and 
upcoming classwork and homework.
He 
would also allow the students to help planning the expeditions, which would keep 
all of the students engaged in and looking forward to both the upcoming trips, 
and the ongoing classwork which is in preparation for those trips.
That way a smaller number of projects 
could be stretched across more lecture format classes, while holding the 
attention of the young hunters in the classroom.
Manipulatives of any kind will certainly 
cost more money than simply drawing on the board would cost.
Then there is the additional custodial 
cost of cleaning up after the class that used manipulatives, quite often.
Does Not Show Graphics...
If we know either C or  D, we can find the other. 

This is an extra credit assignment for which you should collaborate with 
your classmates. You may put on a 
skit during class next  Friday, that  will serve as a 
review of circumference, area of a circle, and the meaning of Pi. You must decide who will be actors, who 
will build the set, what sort of scenery needs to be drawn, and what music to 
use. All of this must relate to and 
help explain the uses of Pi, area, and circumference as you would use them in 
your own lives.

   Have fun, and Good 
Hunting!


     Constructivist 
teaching methods strive to supplement lecture methods by filling in the gaps 
that lecture leaves open, such as body-kinesthetic and interpersonal 
learning. Constructivist techniques 
also emphasize critical thinking and learning how to find and interpret 
information based on a broad range of connections. Matthew Miltich, in his recent article 
for the NEA Higher Education Journal entitled “All the Fish in the River: An 
Essay on Assessment,” likens ideas and knowledge to fish to be caught. He defines the educator’s job as that of 
helping the learners to learn how to catch those fish for themselves.
As asserted by Theodore Sizer in his 
section on teachers in Horace’s 
Compromise:  The Dilemma of The American High 
School, one needs a broad base of knowledge both to teach and to learn 
effectively. The fish require a 
broad net. As our society becomes 
more completely industrialized, and moves into the post-modern information age, 
a larger and larger percentage of our population will have to be well educated 
to provide a workforce that will allow our businesses to continue to 
function. Even from this strictly 
Machiavellian point of view, we can no longer allow the large numbers of our 
learners to slip through the educational cracks. It costs too much to import trained 
workers. That requires us to adopt 
new techniques in educating our learners to the minimum level necessary (which 
continues to rise, as the technological complexity and business requirements 
rise) to contribute to the workplace. From the more 
idealistic standpoint, ours is a democracy, and to be a full participant in a 
democratic society, one must be able to analyze and debate the issues, which 
requires training in critical thinking and analysis.Also required to function in a 
democracy, is the ability to draw connections between even pieces of information 
that may seem only remotely related to one another.As Jack Dewey points out in Burned 
Out: A Teacher Speaks Out, both learners and 
teachers must be exposed to a wide variety of topics within a subject. Good critical thinkers must also be able 
to draw upon and make for themselves the connections between traditionally 
separate concepts, much in the same way as connections must be inferred between 
such traditionally separate subjects as mathematics and history and 
science.

   The connections are there, 
but are made unapparent by the strict division of subjects in modern schools. 
While Jack Dewey may or may not be 
correct in arguing that cross-disciplinary certifications is the answer to the 
connections problem, there are certainly connections between each of the various 
subjects that are taught in schools, and there is certainly room for both 
traditional and constructivist methods in math teaching.

3:  Walking Tours with songs adapted to or taken from the communities that lived in the local area.  Use local landmarks or significant locations to elicit questions and discussion or debate to stimulate and increase natural curiosity and critical thinking.

4:  The idea from the Community Sing Alongs and Cooperative Values Discussions was similarly to stimulate discussion on ways to build cooperation based on shared values and shared cultural connections. These same ideas can be used to teach any subject, given sufficient creativity, time, and support from other teachers and staff/administrators.  The use of maths journals and math portfolios or construction projects for evaluation is an adaptation of this idea.

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
13 February, 12016 HE
meowdate: (Default)
The night before, I dreamt I was a consultant on a ship w/an insane captain somewhere in the North Atlantic, with giant waves that froze around us like a white out. I ordered and got a shovel, dying digging while the sailors around me gaped as if I were the crazy one. No, digging did not help, but at least I think I died on my feet.

Last night, it was me being attacked by a crocodile : not sure if it was Sacred or not, but at least I died warm!

Ok, I will admit that trippling the number of km Power Walked (Fr, but accessible) (in compensation for km not run, trying to reach 45km/week by mid-March (English, log in needed) ) may not have been the best idea I've had lately, but why the renewed 'My Life is in Serious Danger' dreams now that I've stopped running/walking for the last 4 days?

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka la Dépression Hivernal, is linked to light, but also to excercise levels (which is why I always take my walks and runs early in the morning), I wonder if the feeling of a cold or flu coming on, combined with having to rest the ankle tendon due to my own stupidity, makes me feel powerless? Obviously the answer is Yes! But it remains irritating, and a bit scary, to see how quickly those fears and despair of just a short while ago can come screaming back, threatening to overwhelm you, just after a few days of darker than usual weather (weekends I generally do not write, so do not sit with my SunLamp), and enforced 'rest' (which is making me more restless by the day, but with a tendon still aching for no apparent reason...).

So, dear friends, my reason for writing this post is as follows: if you feel down, do not give in to despair. Drink a spicy hot chocolate (soy milk and Fair Trade chocolate with cayenne if possible, but if you feel rotten, just a hot choc. may help), and then turn on the lights for a few minutes, and bask in them. Then, get out a pad of paper, and write. Preferably while you wriggle your toes and think of Frodo Baggins!

Then, plan to change your life. Taking risks is scary, but sometimes the only way to make life better, for you and for someone else. Don't let those dreams that tell you your life is in danger go unheeded: especially if the one putting you life in danger might be You.

Human Love,

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
31 January, 12016 HE
meowdate: (Default)
originally posted 24.11.12015 HE on:
https://shiradest.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/glad-i-shared-a-smile-that-day/comment-page-1/#comment-103

autobiography, cooperation, healing, health, mywritings, nanowrimo, recovery, survivors, tools Edit

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE
meowdate: (Default)
First of all, it gives us something in common with our future conquerors, ok just kidding!!

First of all, it is a Free way to socialize in a non-superficial way.
Second, it is physically and mentally health-full (free) activity.
Third, it teaches part of the skills needed for physical self-defense.
and
Fourth, it teaches moving meditation, needed for emotional self-defense.

Did I mention that being together thing, next to other folks of all ages, especially those older folks, who know how to do it all best for having done it for years?
And did I mention the FREE thing, as in spend no money, just move slowly in the public park?

1. If the first point needs explaining, please let me know.

2. I think everyone knows the health benefits of Tai Chi.

3. Many people may not know that this Soft side complement of Chinese Kung Fu is required by many instructors, like my own Shi Fu, in addition to the so called hard side, the fast Kung Fu. The same blocks and attacks or counter-attacks are used, but as slowly as possible, forcing you to develop your balance and stong muscle coordination.
4. On emotional self-defense, of which I believe meditation is an important part, having the strength of sternum to straighten your back and say "I Refuse" to a big drunk guy can often come from your memory of many expensive Tai Chi lessons after those expensive Kung Fu lessons. Worked for me. Again, ask for details if interested, please.
Ok, time to make dinner, too bad the baby lima beans I remember as a kid no longer seem to be around. Oh well, just have to train those pigeons to go fetch some decent corn and beans. Oh, no more carrier pigeons either. What, did Tom poison them all?
Peace,
In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

21 November, 12015 HE
meowdate: (Default)
Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political TerrorTrauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Lewis Herman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book, for me, was a horrible read. Horribly accurate. Yet hopeful as well.

Horrible to see that I am not so different after all -I see myself in every comment she makes on adults who survived long-term trauma as children.
Horrible to see that my experience is not so different.
Yet hopeful to see that there are ways of solving the problem, living 'normally' -just that ignoring it is not one of those ways.
Most irritating.
Especially after burn-out has twice stopped me from working enough to distract myself from my distracting memories.

She mentions The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma in her 2015 epilogue, and that book seems to recommend both movement and writing -both of which helped me until I had to get back to sitting in a chair looking for a job all day long.

I seem to be stuck in Stage 2, and worst of all, I read over and over again that either in writing or in talking therapy, I must now stop "living in my head" and move back into my body. I have always found it easier to forget to eat then to bother about my body. Work has always been a useful form of escape, until now. Ok, not so much -once I get to about the intermediate level of just about anything, it seems no longer to hold my interest, and I find myself assaulted by unwanted memories that refuse to go back into their Blankety-Blank-Blank!!! boxes.
Irritatingly enough, this is the first place I have seen such a thing predicted.
She even has the gall to predict and counter my 'unique' perspective on my right to choose when to die, and how. Apparently this too is normal for folks like me. Huh. So much for being misunderstood. I guess she has us pegged, finally, Thank the non-existent God!! Finally someone actually documents what we go through, and tells us it is a normal response to a hideous start in life. Ok, now, on to how to fix the problem: start with saftey (years of martial arts did help some), get a good therapist, talk, write, and move your body. And remember that faking functionality will not work forever.

Peace,
ShiraDest
27.10.12015 HE




View all my reviews
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    A woman came up to me, after a Zembekiko at a Greek festival in the Boston area, and asked me
'What do you feel when you dance?'  -I had to ask her what she meant; she explained that I seemed to be in another world, as if I were having a spiritual experience, when I danced.  
   Upon reflection, I had to admit that she was right -the beautiful music of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, even of those wild places where men danced with swords in hand, or like Zorba, gone mad with grief -those mournful yet insistent strains pulled me into some place where life existed.   A place, maybe the only place, where I felt alive.

   For me, spirituality seems to be that thing that gives meaning to life, a reason to keep going day after day, eating, breathing.  Why bother?  Because there is beauty in this world, and each person has a particular way of looking at it -a distinctive way of seeing the world. 

For me, writing makes me understand and remember how it felt to be alive, throwing myself into the air, reaching into the clouds, stretching into the breeze.  When the words overwhelm me, refusing to leave me alone, writing them down is the only escape. 
But then, they demand to be pondered.
The emotional work always follows the meaning -is it possible to be happy, and why does that matter?  Action matters.  But thoughts and feelings affect actions.

So I use four criteria to order my days:

1.  An action that gives meaning to my life: either dance or write each day,
2.  A thought that adds to my emotional stability each day, either comprehending my reasons for feeling/behaving a certain way, or meditation on some feeling and the causes behind that feeling, leading to a decision on how to classify and use that feeling in the future.
3.  A physical action that furthers my goals for reaching my body's fullest potential (running a marathon, for example),   and 
4.  An action that furthers my goals for developing my fullest personal intelectual potential (reading a certain number of pages in Turkish, for example).

For me, these four things represent my personal responsibility to reach my fullest potential as a human being, spiritually (if that exists), emotionally, physically and intellectually.  Now, I wonder if and how I can help others do the same?
Shira "Holocene/Human Era" Destinie
20 August, 12015 HE
Bretagne
meowdate: (Default)
I suddenly understand what my principal tried to tell me when I started teaching math -she criticized me, saying that power is not bad, since I could not control my students.  I had difficulty with this, and ended up being fired since I'd lost control of 3 of my 5 classes.  Now I understand -I hate imposing my will on others because I had no choice as a child, and I cannot stand to be like 'that.'  Too bad I did not understand this in 2001.

Je viens de comprendre, tout d'un coup, ce qu'a voulu dire ma chef quand j'avais commencé comme prof de maths -elle m'avait rapproché en disant que le pouvoir n’était pas mal, parce que je n’arrivè pas a contrôler mes élèves.   J'avais du mal à l’écouter, et j'avais fini par être renvoyée car j'avais perdu controlle de 3 des mes 5 classes.  Maintenant je comprends -j'ai l'horreur d'imposer ma volonté aux autres parce que je n'avais pas le chois quand j’étais petite, et je ne veux pas être comme ça.  Dommage que je ne pouvais pas comprendre in 2001.

(response:)
Little by little, you will find these old reflexes, analyse tehm, and put them in the right place so that they no longer keep you from moving forward.

-----------------------------
 Petit à petit, tu vas trouver tous ces (mauvais) anciens réflexes, les analyser et surtout les ramener à leur juste valeur et ils ne t'empêcheront plus d'avancer dans la vie. 


--

Tools every adult needs to have or develop...
25.6.12015 HE

March 2016

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