March 2013

CPL Clément Pineault

“I learned more in 1 hour with your book than I learned in the last 5 years!”

Sir Ken Robinson – Schools Kill Creativity

There have been more than 37 million hits on Sir Ken Robinson’s famous TED talk about Schools Killing Creativity.  It’s loaded with pearls of wisdom. Are they pearls before swine? What are teachers if not the cogs of education. “If you are not prepared to be wrong you will neverUntitled-TrueColor-01 come up with anything original.”  His philosophy flies in the face of everything we were taught at home and school about how shameful it is to make a mistake or be wrong about anything. But there are no solutions in Sir Ken’s expose.

Many of us know our education was at best a sham yet most of us are more than ready to cheat the next generation out of a decent education as well. Failing them is so comfortable for us. What can we do differently? The answers are becoming clearer. Pioneers like Rita Baker for grammar and Michael Lewis for fluency have been teaching English radically and originally for over 30 years. Why didn’t we learn their methods in Teacher’s School? More recently Denise Eide has solved literacy. You have a computer – look them up.

What we know for sure is we have to do something – anything – differently. When we risk being wrong, we’ll teach our students the most valuable lesson of all. For the sake of your students, I wish for you the courage to fall flat on your face.

Until next time,

Teacher Judy

What Sound Does the Final S Make?

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Teaching Without Words

It sounds crazy. Teaching is done exclusively with words and I can’t imagine any other way. Words are not barriers to teaching they are vehicles for sharing knowledge. Right? – Wrong. Very little learning happens through words.current teaching methods tedx chart

According to a California study, most students are either English Language Learners (ELL) 25%, have Learning Difficulties (like dyslexia) 15%, Low Language Comprehension 20% or characterize themselves as Visual Learners 30%. Words are not the best medium to reach 90% of students. Here is a link to a TEDx video that gives an eye-opening glimpse of what is possible in education if we take away words. Teaching Without Words:

Okay. I was wrong. I assumed/believed/didn’t consider any other possibility but that words are the primary tool humans have to teaching other humans. It begs two questions – How am I supposed to teach ESL without words? and What else am I assuming/wrong about teaching?

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Albert Einstein

Ain’t it the truth.

Until next time,

Teacher Judy