I Lied in March

I Lied in March

“Nothing is ever certain.” 

― Alice Sebold

March 2020 started off like every other month of me teaching. I always come 30 minutes earlier than the kids to prepare for the day. I wasn’t watching tv and still don’t watch the television as much. But I had to start because I had a classroom full of inquisitive eight and nine years old who trusted me with their hearts. They assumed I had all the answers to everything.

I greeted them as I normally did and when they sat down for morning meeting the hands began to raise. They asked if they could talk about something that was bothering them. I obliged and then the conversation began………

But before we get to the conversation that led up to me lying in March we will have to talk about how I just finally had their minds at peace about the horrific death of Kobe and Gigi Bryant.

I am in the middle of teaching Eureka Math and I hear a voice scream out to me “hey Ms. Lambert do you know Kobe and his daughter were killed in a plane crash.” I didn’t stop at that moment because I was in the middle of a math problem however I realized it needed to be address. Math had left their minds and answers to the situation at hand was needed. They waited patiently for me to finish the problems about area and get to more important things like their questions.

Connecting Generations: The Homework Assignment Your Kids Must Do This  Summer | TODAY.com

Because I am a teacher it is not my job to bring up things outside of the classroom, however once the subject comes up I make it my business to turn it into a teachable moment.

Often in life we forget that children have feelings and voices too. We try to silence them with our opinions and negate what they have to say but I LISTENED and I HEARD them.

Death in any form is hard for people. But, think about a child who doesn’t quite understand the whole process of it all and rely on you to help them understand. I am their teacher who they think knows it all or is willing to find out for them. They didn’t understand why life could be taken away so quickly. As best as I could I answered all their questions and eased their minds as most begin to say “I will never get on an airplane because I don’t want to die like they did.” Impressionable minds deserve honest answers.

Then here comes Covid-19 invoking the same fear again! Everyone who coughed or sneezed were accused of trying to kill them.

A comic to help kids understand Coronavirus - Research to Action
Get Away

So back to March and the moment I lied to my kids. After morning greetings I have the same kid who brought up the Kobe misfortune say “Ms. Lambert we need to talk.” I remember last time he said this I had a lot of explaining to do to 25 wondering minds.

This time his fear was something I knew very little about and I assured him and the class it would be perfectly fine. I LIED!

Artist draws cartoons inspired by coronavirus to raise awareness - Insider
This virus changed their lives

This virus changed their eight and nine years old lives. Well the lie began like this…….Ms. Lambert have you been watching the news. I told them the truth and said no I haven’t my only source of information came from social media so I didn’t know what was factual and what was a lie.

So I turned on the news so that I could reassure them that everything would be alright. Maybe the earliest part of March we were again having math because that was taught during the first part of the day. This is also the part of the day were most of my scholars was the most alert so they always had many questions and didn’t stop asking until they got answers.

This particular day the young man said it’s in China right now so it’s not in our country so we are good right Ms. Lambert and I assured him that we were. He came back a few days later with some other scholars and said Ms. Lambert it’s in New York now. I’ve been to New York my aunt lives there and that was a long car ride but short plane ride so we are still good right. I agreed again. He came in a few days letter and said Ms. Lambert I think it spreading and it’s coming closer. It’s in Ohio now and jumped up to look at the map on the wall and said that is very close now.

“You do know Ohio is right next to Michigan?” He said. I said yes and then he asked me was he going to catch it and die. My heart broke because I realized that I had lied to these children when I told them this virus would not change anything.

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Super Teacher

In their eyes I knew it all and would always tell them the truth. But, I couldn’t fix this for them. I spent the next week or so reassuring them that life would be the same and inside I didn’t have a clue what would take place over the next few months. On March 12, 2020 was the last day I saw most of the 25 little people’s faces. I hugged them as many scurried off to the buses and I walked the others outside to wait for parents and siblings to pick them. They still had questions but I had no answers.

Our daily routine had turned into homework packets, online classes and weekly Zoom calls. Because all didn’t have access to the internet I didn’t see or hear from many of them anymore. I lied and said everything would be the same but life from that moment will never return to how it was before March 12th. If truth be told I lied because I didn’t have access to the truth.

“I guess sometimes you have to lie to find the truth.” 
― Scott Westerfield

Puberty is not permission……

“Harassment is one of puberty’s darkest, most unreported rites of passage.”

Rachel Simmons

We live in a world that puberty is the age when the world thinks its okay for a child to make adult decision or be looked upon as an adult….

Puberty is not permission….

To touch

To stare

To experiment

To take advantage of

To belittle

To disregard

To be released into a cruel world alone

To be left to your own decision making

Working with children I see and hear far too much when children are crossing over into a realm they have never experienced before. Children need the talk and guidance before they get to puberty when their hormones are their go to for emotional and physical understanding.

Decision making is hard enough as an adult but can you imagine how it was when you were a child. What happened when someone left you to figure things out for yourself?

Watching the news and being on social media it is disheartening to see how many young people we are losing because of violence perpetrated towards them or them doing to someone else because no one took the time to explain this new moment in life to them.

Puberty is not permission for a child to become prey like they are animals. Puberty is not permission for you to use your sexuality to gain what you want because no one taught you different. Time to teach what puberty is again…….

 

Our audience of ONE deserves the best!

“The most important thing in life is knowing the most important things in life.”
― David F. Jakielo

As a parent of one as well as an educator I understand the importance of making the sure my audience of ONE gets the best! If it a small conversation about how their day is going  or something big giving them your all is imperative.

communication

However, we are losing the human connection because we live in a world that is overpowered by technology. The first thing people ask when they walk into your houses now is what is your WiFi password. It may sound funny but it is the reality we live in now.

eye contact

My child’s first semester home from college was a challenge for me at least because I did not send her off into a world depending solely on technology as the source of communication. However, I was screaming inside while she was home because my audience of ONE who I communicated with daily was losing the human connection. The reality of it all is this is the world we live in now. I looked around and just about everyone sitting in the room was consumed with some form of technology. All I saw was phones, phones and more phones, video games, televisions, tablets and laptops. Now don’t get me wrong technology has done wonders for us over the last years but we have lost the ability to make the audience of ONE feel important. Some of us cannot even hold a conversation with others because technology has consumed our lives.

iphone

I asked myself how do you compete with technology. How do you bring the balance back into a world that is losing human connection? How do you give your audience of ONE the best when their world is consumed by technology?

humanity

The answer is find a balance! Let your audience of ONE know there is a time and place for usage of technology. Let your audience of ONE still feel they are important and deserves your full attention. Let your audience of ONE understands the importance of verbal communication and human interaction. Let your audience of ONE know that life without people can get to be very lonesome. Let your audience of ONE know that moments spent with humans cannot be duplicated unlike technology that can be replayed and saved.

wifi

Lastly let your audience of ONE know that you have just entered a no WI-FI zone! It is time to connect again to people and not to the WiFi.

cropped-angela-cursive1.jpg

 

 

 

Creating and Implementing Connect-Type Learning Activities


Image result for puzzles for kids
What is a Connect-Type Activity?

In my own words it is bringing together something that you already have previous knowledge of and connecting it with an activity to further enhance what you already know. According Horton (2014) ” If the purpose is to link to something already known or prompt application of learning, it is a Connect activity.” The students in this activity will take a situation that  already have knowledge of and apply it to situations in real life. The assignment chosen was internet safety. We live in the 21st century and our children are sometimes more tech savvy than we are however they are not aware of some of the hidden dangers that comes with the usage of the internet. This connect-type assignment will give them a different outlook on how to look out for those hidden dangers.

The Connect-type activity chosen for this assignment was internet safety in and out of the classroom.

The activity is chosen for  students who are home schooled but can be used with any students. Most of the activities thus far have been outside of the four walls of the house. The students have traveled, have been to the museums, the parks, the science centers, libraries and even the zoo. Our activities have been on the computer mainly when they are doing research papers however this semester some of them began to take online courses.  Because we live in the 21st century and one of the students will be leaving of college shortly and the other two will be returning to the public school setting it was necessary that they learn the hidden dangers of the internet.

I have a 17 year old student, one that is 12 years old and the other student just turned 14. The assessment was performed to see what they already knew about the internet and most of their time was spent on YouTube or Spotify  listening to music, or writing emails, chatting with friends or basically  shopping. They had limited knowledge of identity theft, strangers requesting friendships with fake pages (via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the importance of signing out of their accounts. I found that the Questioning Activity would be the perfect example of a connect-type activity for the students because it required critical thinking skills.

Questioning Activity

“Questioning Activities” is the connect activity that has been chosen for the students. This activity was chosen because it gives the children the opportunity to ask questions as they do their research. “Like all other types of activities, questioning activities provide evidence of learning that can be used to assess learners and to evaluate learning efforts.” (Horton 2014) This was a great activity because we do a lot more open ended type assignments and this was still in the flow of how they learn. One of the great things about this subject is that my brother is a police officer and he deals with topic quite often. He was able to share some of his experiences with them. This topic gave the students the opportunity to get answers about things that happened to kids who fell prey to the wrong people or situations on the internet.

Before the assignment took place the students viewed a video via YouTube speaking about internet safety, they were given pre-test and took part in practice exercises.  They were allowed to asked questions as they explored some of the topics discussed on the video. And as a result of our “Questioning Activities” I have some expectations:

Internet_Saftey

1. Will the students  understand why  internet safety is necessary

2.Will the student understand where the privacy settings are located on the internet (social media sites) and how important they are for their safety

3. Will the student have a better understanding of what should and should not be posted online

4. Will the students be able to detect fake emails and social media accounts

5. What can they do if the wrong picture, post or email goes out?

Assessment Information

The student have now collected all the information from the Questioning Activity and is ready to share with teacher, and fellow classmates.  Before we come together with our open forum of questioning the students will take part in a short post-test to see if their knowledge has been challenged or were they on task with safe searching. The information was gained from Formative Assessment and this helped give the students the answers they were seeking along the way as well as let the teacher know how well they are understanding the subject. “The purpose of formative assessment is to promote the students’ learning through the feedback from both the teacher and the students. In order to achieve this purpose, the teacher must adjust the teaching from time to time to close the gap between the students’ desired goal and their present position.” (Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014)

The students have been keeping a journal of all the questions they have about the information they have learned thus far. The students are now ready to come together with the other students and the teacher and discuss anything they have questions about as well as start brainstorming ways to incorporate what they have learned.  The information is being shared with one another, the teacher and will be documented and shared on the blogs they have created.

This assessment was designed to help student of all ages to help protect themselves while on the internet.  This assignment was created to help  home school students to create a venue of safe searching and they could share with their friends. The assignment was constructed by the teacher, parents, a police officer and the students. They all came together to create a module for safe searching in effort to promote awareness about the dangers of the internet and to spread ways to avoid falling into the dangerous pitfalls. “A better way to approach school Internet safety is for the school to set up a comprehensive Internet safety plan that includes: 1. An Internet safety policy with clear rules, a student contract, and consequences for failure to comply. 2. Filters. 3. A school-wide Internet safety curriculum.” (MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. 2013) With the guidelines in place it leaves no room for guessing when it comes to safety. Since the children are home schooled they have a bit more freedom on the internet so it was important for the topic to be discussed.

References

retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FlU_y9Otns

MELGOSA, A., & SCOTT, R. (2013). School Internet Safety: More Than ‘Block It to Stop It’. Education Digest, 79(3), 46

Yu, H., & Li, H. (2014). Group-based formative assessment: A successful way to make summative assessment effective. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(4), 839-844. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1519975990?accountid=32521

Horton, W. (2014) E-Learning by Design 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Home School Activity

Home School Activity

Hello Class

This weekend we will be celebrating the graduation of one of your fellow students.  She will be leaving for college in one month and because we celebrate one another I have decided we would combine math and art this week as we create a Hollywood theme party for her. There have been 100 guest invited to the party so the students will use critical thinking to figure out how to use the materials supplied to create center pieces and main table decorations for the party.

Project 1IMG_4821

The children will be creating Hollywood movie theme reels which will require them to measure and cut out accurate circles. they will be providing centerpieces for five tables. They will be supplied with rulers, writing utensils, markers, scissors, glitter, glue gun, glue sticks and black foam boards. Their responsibility is to use the internet as a learning tool to find out what the movie reels look like as well as how they can be created out of the materials provided.

Project 2

The second project will display the artist hidden within the children.  They will be creating a center piece that the based will be a popcorn holder container and it will be for 5 tables.  The group will be supplied with the popcorn holder containers, straws, flowers (plastic and cloth) and glue guns.  Because I don’t want them to show their creativity I did not supply them with a template or a picture; I want them to use the learning tools from both the internet and the computer if needed to create a great centerpiece for the party.

Our goal is to allow the students to use math skills and artistic skills to create the    IMG_4823projects. They will also use individual learning intelligence’s to plan, communicate, and create the perfect party scheme for the graduate. The children created a stand for Oscars to be presented to the guest from DVD cases, tape and gold wrapping paper.