A few months ago, my wife went back to work. With our youngest starting kindergarten, we decided it’d be great to have some extra income. Armed with a degree in graphic design and plenty of experience under her belt, she went about looking for some part-time employment. Whatever the reason, however, whether it be a shortage of need, not having been in the game in a while, only wanting part-time, etc., she was struggling to find opportunities.
Then she found a posting for a Lab Coordinator at an Orthodontist’s office. It mentioned graphic design in the job description. She applied and got the job. When she asked why graphic design experience was listed in the description, they mentioned some design and marketing, but primarily it was because there was a good deal of computer software savvy and visual acuity and hand-eye coordination needed for the role. Continue reading Transferable Skills: Your Career Path is Not Linear
Looking to do something different this year? Searching for a way to help your students demonstrate learning as well as practice those critical skills they’ll need in their future like collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving? How about having them make a movie?
What’s that you say? You want something more serious, more academic? Something that will help prepare them for real jobs someday? Again I say, what about using film as an educational medium?
Before you dismiss it, just hear me out. Consider this. You’re a Language Arts teacher reading Macbeth. You’re trying to teach your students some of the main themes of the play – like what happens when ambition goes unchecked. Continue reading Lights, Camera…Engagement!
Last week, Tim Hargis wrote about four areas of focus to help students become active thinkers and independent writers. He described purpose and craft in detail. In part 2, he will go over the final two focus areas: genre and text structure and content. To learn more about this subject, register for The Writing Diner 2: Creating Active Thinkers for Common Core Success (Elementary & Middle School) on August 6th at Kent ISD.
A Focus on Genre and Text Structures
Teaching the three different types of writing through genre and text structure units is another way to up the level of thinking for student writers. If students have to grapple with Continue reading Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 2
The ultimate goal of all writing instruction has to be to help students become active thinkers while they are independently writing. This is the foundation of my writing beliefs. We need to teach writing in a way that will allow students, when they are sitting alone with a blank paper or computer screen in front of them, to have writing knowledge and skills inside of them that they can apply, on their own, in any situation.
If this is our goal for our writing instruction and we achieve it, then students will not only be successful in our classrooms, but they will be successful in grades, on standardized tests, writing in the content areas, and beyond.
The Common Core State Standards demand this of our student writers. The authors of The Standards outline seven characteristics of students who are “college and career ready.” At the top of the list is that students “demonstrate independence.” As teachers, we need to Continue reading Helping Students Become Active Thinkers, Part 1