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Showing posts from April, 2013

Being Remarkable! Global Collaboration

Continuing my reflection on the learning that has happened this year, I would like to share a story on how one teacher found an opportunity to collaborate globally and gave her students a great learning experience.

Over winter break, Valley View 8th Grade Social Studies and French Immersion teacher, Irmgard Farah visited Costa Rica. While there, she took a trip to the the Children's Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde. While there, she learned of the "Friends of the Rainforest" project and how classrooms around the world had donated to help with land purchase, land protection, educational programs and guided travel opportunities.

On her way home, Irmgard wondered if her students would be interested participating in a fundraising project for the rainforest. She thought it would also be a great opportunity to incorporate service learning strategies for her students, and thought it would also tie nicely to her curriculum if she could make a connection with another French speakin…

Being Remarkable! The 2013 Learning and Technology Showcase

Photos courtesy of Tim Berndt and Susan Brott

This past Saturday, we hosted the 2013 Technology and Learning Showcase, an opportunity for our staff and students to share some of the great learning happening this past year in our district. Over 200 students, parents and community members and staff from other districts attended the event. This year's showcase featured the work of many of our staff who took part in our iSquared Integration Initiative, an effort to unleash student passion for learning and empower great teaching through grants for technology in classrooms. The staff taking part in the initiative committed to ongoing training throughout the year in use of the devices they would be using in their classroom. 
In addition, other staff and students chose to take part, including students in our eLearning2 initiative, Project Lead the Way students from Edina High School, and 8th graders who had participated in a Language Arts Book Trailer contest, as well as documentary films f…

Opportunity Knocks...

A few weeks ago, while watching the Masters golf tournament, I couldn't help but notice Exxon commercials touting their support for the Common Core standards.



It's interesting that people from the leftthe center, and the right,  have lambasted the Common Core, stating that it will move us away from progressive, student centered learning, contain too much detail and will micro-manage the teaching profession, and dumb down the curriculum respectively. 

I find it interesting that Exxon spent millions of dollars promoting their support of the Common Core, and other initiatives. My skeptical nature makes me want to follow the money. Perhaps they are getting into the publishing business, or more likely are diverting our attention from the latest toxic spill

Personally, I'm not sure whether a standard core curriculum is just a way to make money for publishers, or could ultimately level the playing field by making sure ALL students have a high quality curriculum. But regardless, …