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Curriculum Map Review

August 7, 2008

When I first began to peruse throught the different venues, I was leaning towards Tech Paths, the site was easy to navigate and I was able to get some information.  Then once I was allowed access to the inner workings of one of the programs Rubicon Atlas.  I found their customer support was superior, the other two didn’t jump aboard the wagon.  This changed the slant of what I was able to review. 

 

I have the ready, fire, aim personality and I usually jump into something and look back and reflect what did I do.  I enjoyed the process of navigating the websites, not really sure of what I was looking for and really didn’t know if and when I would hit the information I needed, the customer support we were given from Rubicon changed my direction and focused me on what I needed to look for and where I needed to get the information, so for me I needed someone to walk hand in hand with me the first time I navigated in the system.

 

So from where I stand at this point, Rubicon Atlas stood out for me, the alignment to Washington State Standards was a bonus.  The other two may have a way to align to the standards or play the match game with the standards.  If I was allowed eual access to the other two I might change my opinion, but at this time.  Rubicon Atlas came in first, Tech Paths 2nd for me and Curriculum Mapper came in third.

 

The process we used to get to this point is a process that will come in handy for any future program adoptions and review.  I want to know what I’m getting for my money, how easy is it to use and is it really what I need.  I see the future on the walls for education in curriculum mapping and any tools will be beneficial.

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Karen’s most current TAL

July 29, 2008

The most current TALlinked here teaching-and-learning-plan-isslc-2008

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I have reached my Educational Philosophy

July 15, 2008

My Personal Philosophy in Life and Education

Finally!!!!

By: Karen Griggs

 

When deciding what my personal educational philosophy, I had to read all the “isms” and see which one mirrored my thoughts. I couldn’t find any particular box to place myself in. I think a lot of it has to do with my own personal lifestyle. I have a personality that resembles ready, fire and aim. Which basicaaly means, I’m always willing to jump into things and then look at what happened, whether it be good or bad. In a vague sense, this could resemble Pragmatism, because it’s based on consequences, but looking at the big picture, it really means taking the path of inquiry, it does sound better that way. I truly believe you learn by doing. Is this the only way to learn? No, there are a lot of other things to take into account. I’m not a type of person that has the ability to memorize facts, but if I was able to experience something to get a deeper understanding, it creates a lasting impression. To truly learn you need to experience it.

If you were to put a label on my job, I’m a special education teacher, but most students don’t even know that my classroom is considered special education. When you walk by my door, the stories are the exact same as in the general education classroom, but I don’t follow an exact set of curricular materials. My goal is to create independent thinkers, so does that put me in the box of Existentialism?   I do have many schools of thought that appeal to me and I lean towards them, but to fit into one style, I have done a lot of soul searching and I have found the big three that mirror my style.

 

Constructivism:  I really believe that learing is an active process and you have to participate to learn.  If you have a good curriculum and the knowledge and create active process In learning, you can gain so much more. 

 

Existentialism: I really want students to be lifelong learners, and to become a lifelong learner, you need to be an independent thinker.

Perennialsim: A strong person that realizes we are people first, this is all about self-esteem and we are people first.  I live my this motto, and by teaching this way, respect for oneself and others.

I truly believe in the whole child, mind and body. When students leave my room, I want them to have positive self- esteem and a strong belief that they can do anything. In the big picture of life, a strong self- esteem will take you far.  This brings to mind a young boy that entered my room in the 7th grade and he came to school everyday, but he never had anything with him. Once I got to know him as a person and a the circumstances, it wasn’t in his control, but we spent a few months working on his self- worth and a place to store his materials everyday. Did he learn a lot in the sense of the literature book, probably not, but he learned he was valuable and he had something to offer. He did learn some of the basic principles of life, that we are people first, this provides a glimpse of perennialism. He returned to visit as a young man, and reminded me that the few months he spent in my room are the only positive things he remembers about school. So education isn’t about what is written on paper, but it does help to be able to read the paper. It is also about creating a person that is respectful of themselves and others.

So in my journey of the search for my fit into the “ism” world have I truly found my educational philosophy. No, it is an evolving process and I think that I have reached my journey for my current stage in life.  I fit into what I call the big three, Constructivism, because learning is an active process and you have to participate to learn, Existentialism, because I want student to become lifelong learners and to be a lifelong learner, you need to be an independent thinker. And last, but not least my philosophy fits into Perennialism, because I believe we are people first and, when the school day ends, you are still a person and what you learn along the path of life, you need to like yourself and others. I like it when students come back and visit and what they remember about school is that they were respected and valued and they enjoyed learning.  When this happens it makes my place in life have meaning.

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Getting closer to my Educational Philosophy

July 10, 2008

Educational Philosophy (I’m getting closer)

This is a teaser on my quest for my educational philosphy

When deciding what my personal educational philosophy, I had to read all the “isms” and see which one mirrored my thoughts. I couldn’t find any particular box to place myself in. I think a lot of it has to do with my own personal lifestyle. I have a personality that resembles ready, fire and aim. I’m always willing to jump into things and then look at what happened, whether it be good or bad. In a vague sense, this could resemble Pragmatism, because it’s based on consequences, but looking at the big picture, it really means taking the path of inquiry, it does sound better that way. I truly believe you learn by doing. Is this the only way to learn? No, there are a lot of other things to take into account. I’m not a type of person that has the ability to memorize facts, but if I was able to experience something to get a deeper understanding, it creates a lasting impression.

If you were to put a label on my job, I’m a special education teacher, but most students don’t even know that my classroom is considered special education. When you walk by my door, the stories are the exact same as in the general education classroom, but I don’t follow an exact set of curricular materials. My goal is to create independent thinkers, so does that put me in the box of Existentialism? I’m still working on the box I truly fit into. I’m not as harsh as Walter Kaufman who is quoted as saying, “The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of the adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life.” I do have many schools of thought that appeal to me and I lean towards them, but to fit into one style, I not so sure yet.

I truly believe in the whole child, mind and body. When students leave my room, I want them to have positive self- esteem and a strong belief that they can do anything. In the big picture of life, a strong self- esteem. This brings to mind a young boy that entered my room in the 7th grade and he came to school everyday, but he never had anything with him. Once I got to know him as a person and a the circumstances, it wasn’t in his control, but we spent a few months working on his self- worth and a place to store his materials everyday. Did he learn a lot in the sense of the literature book, probably not, but he learned he was valuable and he had something to offer. He did learn some of the basic principles of life, that we are people first, this provides a glimpse of perennialism. He returned to visit as a young man, and reminded me that the few months he spent in my room are the only positive things he remembers about school. So education isn’t about what is written on paper, but it does help to be able to read the paper.

So in my journey of the search for my fit into the “ism” world have I truly found my educational philosophy. No, it is an evolving proves and I promise you that by the end of next week, I will be closer to what my educational philosophy is.

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My Educational Philosophy

July 4, 2008

What is my philosophy.

 

I’m all about the whole child – mind, body and soul.  To truly have the ability to teach the child you have to work with the whole child, not jus tthe mind.  You need to be able to work with them on all levels of education and life.  I also have the ready, fire aim personality, which means I have to learn by trial and error.

Does that mean I fit under the Existentialism or Constructivism or do I have parts of Pragmatism in my philosophy.

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College Life

July 4, 2008

I decided to go back to college – what I didn’t realize is how is would affect my whole family.  They have come to the new conclusion that cereal and milk is a balanced dinner.