Bond with James: May 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Future Hope for Education in the U.S.A

I'm going to keep this short because I'm up well past my bedtime and figured I should do this before I forget.. :)

I recently earned my Master's degree (in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Leadership) and as a current district level instructional leader I try to utilize what I learned to help teachers help their students. It also helped that I began my job and graduate school at the same time, so I was able to apply what I learned in school to my job and vice versa.

With that said, my growing curiosity in educational research and the educational history of the U.S., as well as the history of other countries, led me to this video on YouTube: What we can learn from Finnish Education. The video (embedded below) starts off in Finnish, however, the rest of it is in English. I encourage you to watch and listen to Dr. Pasi Sahlberg's explanation of the Finnish education system and potential lessons U.S. politicians, educators, and families can learn from it. 

Current news stories from around the country worry me about the direction our country is going in regard to education. Listening to Dr. Sahlberg provided me with hope that I, as a district level leader, perhaps can help move education in my district in a positive direction (I am thinking really BIG here as I have no administrative power; but I can aim high).  :)

A few interesting facts about Finland:
**All teachers are required to have a Master's degree (I need to research this more as another educator on my Facebook page pointed out that it was only for high school teachers).

**No culture of negative accountability for their teachers.

**A higher % of Finland's educational budget goes directly to the classroom than it does in 
the US, as administrators make approximately the same salary as teachers.

**Finnish schools don't assign homework, because it is assumed that mastery is attained in the classroom.

What can we learn from Finnish education system?


Your thoughts????

Link to the longer version:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chemistry Interactive Graphic Organizers

....I'm back!!!!

Okay, so I really never left; however, the past two months were a whirlwind. From prepping for the standardized testing season to wrapping up my action research proposal as my last assignment as a graduate student, I now have a bunch of free time on my hands.

With that said, I really just wanted to share a few interactive graphic organizers I created. Actually is part of my Vocabulary and Notebook Graphic Organizer series (in development) for chemistry students. I am thinking about developing a biology graphic organizer series as well.

The covalent graphic organizer is a simple one - fairly easy to put together. I was worried that I was going to run out of space, however, the graphic organizer came out quite well. Note: The covalent graphic organizer that is floating around Pinterest was only available free for a limited time when I originally uploaded the set in 2013 [this noticed was updated 10-17-15].

The two pictures below are examples of other graphic organizers that I have created Chemistry Notebook Interactive Graphic Organizers collection

Here are a few links to sites I have found covering graphic organizers, foldables(TM) and/or Interactive notebooks.