Leer con los hijos: 5 beneficios [2017 dic]

Leer es la actividad más importante que hacemos con nuestros hijos que los impacta ampliamente. Mientras leemos, todas las lecciones de la vida se enseñan y por eso la discusión sobre otras actividades es irrelevante. Leer puede ser el empiezo y la manera obvia o sutil para abordar todos los demás temas. Sin duda, debemos hacer otras cosas con ellos, pero leer es un elemento que no se puede minimizar ni eludir.

#1 – Compañerismo. No importa si tienes un hijo único o varios, un niño o una niña, existe intimidad en compartir experiencias tras leer. Ahora tenemos experiencias, temas y fondos para discutir. Tenemos referencias, ejemplos y perspectivas comunes. Experimentamos con la fantasía y aprendemos a soñar y a tener esperanza.

#2 – Aumentar el vocabulario y desarrollar el alfabetismo. Para tener éxito en la escuela y el resto de la vida, no hay nada mejor que podemos hacer para afectar su éxito en la escuela. Ellos saben más, han visto más (aunque sea tras ilustraciones o fotos), y han tenido más contacto con más ideas, temas, perspectivas. La lectura afectará su nivel de lectura (sin duda), los estudios sociales, las matemáticas, las ciencias, las habilidades con computación, cursos de elección, y todo tipo de éxito en todas las áreas de la vida. Puede hasta influir en la espiritualidad y sistema de creencias porque aunque los iniciamos en su camino, tendrán la habilidad de leer autónomamente y crecer personalmente en este sistema de creencia cuando estén más grandes, si son capaces.

#3 – Desarrollo de los Padres. Sí, todo el mundo puede continuar aprendiendo, madurar y desarrollarse. No se termina en el grado 5, ni en el 10, y mucho menos al graduarse del colegio o la universidad. Continuaremos aprendiendo palabras, sobre culturas, de la gente, sobre materias hasta el día de nuestra muerte . Cuando leemos con nuestros hijos, su inocencia al hacer preguntas, sus perspectivas nos causan pensar profundamente y aprender a expresar de una manera cariñosa sus peticiones sinceras por dirección y entendimiento. No es suficiente decirles, “Simplemente es así.” Nos desafían.

#4 – La Conciencia. Cuando seleccionamos ficción y no ficción apropiada pero estimulante basada en los intereses de los hijos, aprenden más sobre el mundo a su alrededor: las culturas, la historia, maneras de expresarse, perspectivas, valores, creencias, celebraciones. ¿Por qué dijo eso o se portó la niña así? ¿Por qué esta familia celebra así? ¿Por qué celebramos o no celebramos nosotros algo? ¿Cómo es posible que los aviones vuelen? ¿Cómo funciona el aparato digestivo? ¿Por qué creen alguna gente en cosas diferentes? ¿Por qué trataron / tratan alguna gente a otra gente de esta manera? ¿Por qué tengo pecas?

#5 – Curiosidad, Interés. Aunque esto es similar a todo ya mencionado, es importante. Es una gran lección aprender que se puede leer lo que quiera, deja de leer algo que te aburre, etc. Cuando los hijos son más jóvenes es tan importante seguir con sus intereses, pero que hagamos las selecciones o mínimo guiarlos con firmeza para que los libros estén apropiados para el hijo. Tú eres la persona que debe conocer mejor a tu hijo, no son los maestros, los trabajadores de la guardería, ni los abuelos (al menos que tienes el papel doble de padre-abuelo), ni hasta los amigos. Leer te deja conocer profundamente al hijo. Compartir tus intereses y preferencias, sí, sirve, pero leer con los hijos tiene que ver con cultivar SUS intereses y preferencias.

Leer, discutir, reírse, disfrutar. El tiempo con nuestros hijos es precioso y una responsabilidad grave, pero debe ser divertido en vez de un trabajo pesado. Es nuestro trabajo alegre. Quién sabe, posiblemente ellos te conocerán de ti en el proceso también. ¡Anímate!

Why should you maintain your Heritage Language with your children.

Razones para mantener su idioma natal con sus hijos.

La Tomatina, Springdale Style [2007]

**Previously posted in 2007 after our FIRST EVER event; we continued the tradition for 10 years**

Nos divertimos mucho el jueves, 13 de septiembre. La Sra. Novotny de SHS y yo planeamos y organizamos una Tomatina en Tyson Park para nuestros estudiantes AP. Ellos tenían que leer sobre La Tomatina, un festival en Buñol, Valencia, España y también tenían que leer “Oda al Tomate” por el poeta chileno muy famoso, Pablo Neruda. Después de estudiar mucho decidimos que sería muy divertido y especial tener nuestro propio festival. Nos divertimos mucho pero mucho y quisiéramos darles gracias a todos los grupos y las personas de Springdale que nos ayudó: Springdale Fire Department, Harp’s stores, Price Cutter, Neighborhood Market, Springdale Super Center, IGA in Lowell, y nuestros directores (Mr. Danny Brackett and Mr. David Kellogg) por dejarnos tener esta experiencia fenomenal.

Priorities of Teachers

Wildcat Weekly, week of Dec 11, 2017

“When we live for other voices, we will quickly become worn out and discouraged. Other people’s expectations for how we should live, act, and be are sometimes unreachable.”

I think what has attracted me to teaching and kept me in the game so long is the freedom to choose how to reach my students, within certain parameters of course. I have taught junior high and high school, in small towns and in large districts. There are pros and cons to all levels in all places, but the benefits to keeping one’s own voice (direction, purpose), through all the clutter of a large school, the benefits to one’s craft are limitless.

Being surrounded by creative, smart, caring teachers, staff, and administrators for nearly twenty-five* years has allowed me to grow. I make mistakes by trying to imitate my colleagues, but I find my voice by changing the imitation to fit me: my personality, my subject area, my current students, and even my mood. I am a professional, which means I do my job, I do what is expected of me. However, being a professional does not imply that I blindly follow directions like one of John Stewart’s famous sheep. I have a brain – I am the Scarecrow AFTER he visited with the Wizard of Oz. I am an expert in my field. I have the right and, more importantly, the obligation to take all learning directives to heart and find my voice by making them work for me, for my students, for my subject, and for my level.

Questioning and having doubts are ok. It’s what you’re supposed to do if you care. We are blessed with an amazing staff at Har-Ber and an A-Team who will listen. My much younger colleagues are constantly bringing me around to the new, keeping me on my toes. I lend them a little perspective from experience. It’s an amazing benefit to have this variety of ages, backgrounds, talents, and interests that you don’t find so much in a small school environment where you may be the only teacher of your subject or level.

As we end the semester, remember your voice – or take the time over the Christmas Break to find it. Spend time with family and friends, exercise until you sweat, sit calmly at the fireplace sipping coffee and reading a mindless piece of fiction, write a letter (like, on paper!), take a mini-trip where you decide where you’re going after you get in the car. Remember, the reason that we teach children is so students can have meaningful, useful lives, not so they can work themselves to death. As Toby Mac says, “This is not a test, this is the real thing. Live every second. Make it count for you.” Lead by example. Have a life! You have my permission. It will make your life as a teacher more enjoyable.

We need and are grateful for each of our Wildcat adults, so don’t get “worn out and discouraged” by not having a voice.

¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!

Ellen Rainey

Social Media and District PD

…is causing schizophrenia. Marzano quote on Twitter recently: “too much content is the #1 issue in education today and teachers cannon solve this problem.” While I do not agree systematically (poverty, equality, funding, etc), I do agree from the PD perspective if you add to the “content” idea “resources.”

So many ideas, so many directions, so many expectations, so few clear, precise resources, or resources that “include it all.” Try this! Try this! I’m living in one, long infomercial!

Much like the need to clear out my house after years of being a pack rat, my teaching basket is overflowing and it’s not necessarily a good thing.

Technology is great, but being pushed to use it simply because it’s there when a simple, quick, effective old-school activity could be managed on scratch paper or on a white board (I think old-school would actually be a chalk board – anyone remember those?), is ineffective and bothersome. This particular phenomenon has also limited my normal spontaneity between class periods of the same subject in some ways.

What is the answer for me?

For example, this year I have one class of first year Language Academy students; they have been in the United States less than one year and are immersed in English all day, save their one period of Spanish with me for language support. By and large, they have little to no exposure with high-tech devices, so am I beating my head against a wall by trying to do digital exit-slips when it takes 20 minutes to get them logged in, find the right place to go, and then to slowly type a reflection, which in itself is a foreign concept for most? What is the point of the exit slip? Is it for them to use technology or for them to reflect and for me to understand what they’re understanding from a lesson? Also, I could use this digital exit slip with my other two classes of the same Native Speaker level, but then I would have some paper results and some digital results which to me is inefficient and unhelpful. I try to tell my Language Academy students that I’m pushing them so hard with technology so that they will feel competent when they eventually move to mixed classes with the general population, but in the meantime I’m failing them in their language instruction because we spend entire class periods, even with the help of my excellent TA, volunteers from Spanish 3 and their teacher, and volunteers from my AP classes. Again, I must reflect on the true goals of the class to find my responsibility as I’m drowning in ideas.

Do their grades, assessments, and evaluations reflect learning, development in the language, or the ability to complete tasks digitally? I’m the one who has to balance this and have not managed very well so far. I have improved on asking for help from the younger gurus who, luckily for me, are both geniuses and have great perspective for such young educators, but I also feel like I can only manage so many changes in one school year: Genius Hour, Advisory, 45-minute classes that are constantly interrupted, Redesigned Classroom, district technology help/suggestions, new District Curriculum, new District Assessments, Twitter, Facebook (talk about old-school!), Instagram, EdTech, Webinars, etc.

All these changes don’t even take into account any changes in my personal life – wait, I’m supposed to have a personal life? Darn! Now I have to start all over again, because to keep up with all the technology suggestions alone I have to either work past my normal 12-hour work day if I want to spend any time on my content area and/or collaborating with my colleagues about my content area, or ditch content and hope that all this cute technology distracts from the fact that my students are not actually learning. “But look at all the entries I have posted in gClassroom!” My new personal change, a dedication to being healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually, now takes a back seat! No way! So what goes in that back seat now? This is my idea of professional schizophrenia, I guess.

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Though I’m excited and pleased with many of the changes currently shared and popularized through Social Media, the bottom line is still that human factor. I can’t hide behind the computer screen or other device and pretend that I’m building relationships by sending a Remind or posting comments on a gDoc, or even providing more feedback than ever before because it’s easier digitally -remember sensitivity? It’s so much easier to critique digitally rather than face-to-face; no taking into account how the student may feel. I must remember to speak to my students, live and in person, to see their heart in their reactions and to encourage them to be human and step back from the technology and engage, not as an android, but as themselves, human beings. We do complain often as teachers that “those kids are constantly looking at their phones!”, but then, usually in the same breath as we turn red in the face, tell them to get on their Chromebooks or other devices and learn. Ironic? Who’s in charge here? Oh, wait! That would be me=)

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” –Albert Einstein

Maybe that quote will help be find the balance?

**Disclaimer: none of my comments are intended to be a reflection on my district, my friends, or any Social Media, but rather demonstrate my own incompetence at filtering through it all and finding balance in my professional and personal life.

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