April 2015

"Experiencing These Effects And Sinking Under Them" (Edu-vice from 1850)

Ira Mayhew CoverThe very concept of taxpayer-funded public schooling was less than a generation old, and all but non-existent in many areas - including most of the South. Millard Fillmore was President. California became the 31st State of the Union. Slavery was still entrenched in half the nation, and Harriet Tubman was beginning her work as a ‘conductor’ on the ‘Underground Railroad’ in defiance thereof. Fancy travel meant your wagon was covered, or in rare cases you rode on a train. Internet was still dial-up.

It was a long #$%@ing time ago is what I’m saying. And Supt. Mayhew was commissioned – by an act of the State Legislature, no less – to write a book on learnin’. Which he did.

Let's Get Pedagogical

To begin posting 15 years of my favorite lessons, materials, ideas – most borrowed from sources I don’t even remember and modified on the fly no matter how many times I use them – is insane, right? The reasons it’s a horrible idea are legion. But I moved from a blog to an actual website to allow for the possibility, and for a year now I’ve done only minimal work on that part of things while focusing on wowing the world with my insights, charm, and general lack of decency or shame once I’m riled about something.

But it’s time.

Classroom Management, 1920's Style (Part Two)

Old Classroom1I’ve been revisiting the chapter on “Classroom Control” from Vol. I of the 12-volume The Class Room Teacher (1927-28). We were introduced last time to a very listy list of possible methods: 

(1) No control, wherein the children all do as they please. 

(2) Teacher control, wherein rules are made and enforced by the teacher. 

Classroom Management, 1920's Style (Part One)

Teacher With Power1927-28 saw the publication of a full 12 volumes of The Class Room Teacher by Corinne A. Seeds, A.M., Principal of the Training School, Assistant Supervisor of Training, University of California at Los Angeles, with the cooperation of Milo B. Hillegas, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. What a mouthful.

The following excerpts are from the first volume, in a chapter titled (dryly enough) “Classroom Control: Methods of Control.” While we often chuckle at antiquated teacher requirements or student behavior issues from days gone by, there are parts of this I find fascinating.

The Gettysburg Address, Part Three (Lincoln's Big 'But')

Gettysburg Address CopyThis one’s a little longer than I normally like – a fact which isn’t exactly helped by adding 54 words up front to tell you so. I wanted to wrap this one up, but couldn’t bring myself to cut more than I already have. For the #11FF actually plowing through these with me, my apologies

The Gettysburg Address, Part Two (Dedicated to a Proposition)

lincoln armLincoln points to the year of the Declaration of Independence – the ‘birth’ of our nation and a written statement not only of rebellion, but of ideals. The Constitution has rules about running for the Senate and requiring the various states to play nicely together; the Declaration proclaims all men were created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Constitution is functional, but birthed in compromise and politics. The Declaration is idealistic and uninterested in practicalities – it glows and pretty music plays whenever we close our eyes and call its name three times.

"Here's Your Mule," Part Seven - Grant Me This

U.S. GrantGrant was perhaps the single most bearded example of nothing working quite the way it should have during the American Civil War. He’d have never ended up a war hero, let alone future President, in a more ordered universe. I’m not sure he’d have existed at all. 

He did, however - and oh the shenanigans.  

My #OklaEd and Others Content Challenge

Most of you are or have been classroom teachers - whether that classroom is actually in Oklahoma, in a traditional public school, or whatever. We talk policy a great deal - and rightly so. From time to time we're inundated with pedagogy - which can be either helpful or a tad pompous depending on who's doing the inundating. But it's not all that common to use the wonders of the interwebs and edu-blogosphere to get all giddy sharing something content-related that gets us all tingly in our hoo-ha.

Three Things They Didn't Tell You In Teacher School (Guest Blogger - Alyssa)

Animated AlyssaAlyssa had just finished her first year in the classroom when I met her at a workshop I was leading last summer. I'll spare her my extended lauding of her content knowledge, her intimidating grasp of pedagogy in its dozens of variations, and her - my god - her ENERGY level.

I asked if she'd share some thoughts for newbies, and she was kind enough to comply. Turns out in addition to everything else, she's pretty wise for such a young'un.