The last few days I have been on fire! Full of great ideas!
Here they are:
1. After an e-mail from a parent stating they want to get their child on an IEP, my brain started working on this problem. The student has not qualified before because of good test scores. But something was bothering me, and I couldn't put my finger on it. I have now figured it out! Test scores don't measure cognitive functions. (another problem with standardized testing!) They can measure basic knowledge skills, but a very important skill is the ability to solve a problem that requires a multi-step solution. The student can not follow a complex set of directions to complete a task. I also have concerns about short term memory. In order to be eligible, it has to be shown that the disability disrupts learning. If given a clinical evaluation, I'm sure this student would meet criteria to get the help they need for next year! I've organized my data for a meeting today already, and I think I have a good case!
2. A colleague was rearranging their room and didn't want the tables in rows. I suggested she put them in the shape of a hexagon, with students facing in, and room in between to pass through. This way she could stand in the middle to work with all students, teach dynamically, and encourage whole class discussion and collaboration. It worked great!
3. Our school is trying a new thing called reader's workshop. It is a program that encourages the development of reading skills across curriculum. To keep track of each of the 12 skills being taught in each subject, the students created a binder with tabs for each skill. Then, they 3-hole-punched the papers and placed their documents in the appropriate spot. The problem with this is the amount of paperwork and the logistics of hunting down the right folder, for the right students, in the right classroom. Then, for each teacher to review and discuss and evaluate what is happening in each class, they have to get their hands on all 110ish binders... what a pain. So I suggested a move from physical binders to an online portfolio using google docs. Templates can be shared with each student. They share documents with all teachers, teachers can give feedback, collaborate with other teachers, students can collaborate together and share with each other, and best of all, nothing gets lost (unless google crashes, but that would be the end of the world anyway, right?). They will be able to access the documents anytime and anywhere there is internet access. The teacher I ran it by shared it with another and they are discussing it during a meeting today.
So, there is the remainder of my intelligence for the month, I've used it all up!