My first visit to Yosemite National Park happened last weekend. I was absolutely wowed by the park as I marveled at the landscapes. Somewhat surprisingly, I also came away professionally inspired and energized. As I thought about the history of Yosemite, and the awesome natural environment I was in, I found myself making comparisons. I compared the environment of the park to that of being an educator. We enter education at a certain time in its history, and we work in an educational environment during just a short bit of its history.
Walking through giant sequoia trees was the catalyst for my realization. As I stared at their sheer size in wonder, I imagined who else had seen them during the hundreds of years they had been standing. What had those people thought when they stood where I had? Had they perceived nature and the snippet of time in history just as I had? Education, like nature, may not appear to change, but if we turn to the history of it, we find differently.
At AIMS, professional learning is about helping teachers help their students to better understand math and science. AIMS hands-on tasks and investigations are the vehicle through which we help teachers change their practice. We facilitate workshops for teachers so they may have better-engaged and active classrooms built around mathematics and science. Our mission is to help them improve their teaching quality and student learning outcomes. Our participants go back to their classrooms after we share time with them, take the reins in those classrooms, and lead the effort with their students with skill, sensitivity, and a clear sense of purpose.
It is the nature of education and the place in its history that we work on improving for today. My inspiration and energy was reset by national treasures. AIMS is working on helping educators change and improve their classroom practices. There is no better time than summer to ponder that, and how lucky was I to have those thoughts while walking in Yosemite National Park. I’m glad to be an inspired educator. I work in the profession today, and I work in its environment now to preserve it for the future. Future educators might just be in awe of what history we start today in education.
In the Common Core State Standards for Math, counting-on is considered “a strategy for finding the number of objects in a group without having to count every member of the group.” Counting-on is an efficient way to add and we want children to count-on. Yet, many young children begin by counting-all. For example: Teacher [placing… Continue Reading
Engineering Week. It’s a lot like Shark Week, but with the kind of interaction where you learn to make the Miura fold instead of losing an arm. Before going much further, watch the video at the top of my earlier blog post on this topic: AIMS Scholars Engineer Festively! From June 23, 2017. In it,… Continue Reading
I just returned from two weeks of study at Michigan State University as part of my PhD program in Education. My study related to qualitative research purposes and methodologies. I gained experience in writing field notes, conducting interviews, collecting data, and describing and analyzing observations. Although much of this work requires taking notes, this is… Continue Reading
The major theme of the Jean Piaget Society annual conference in June was Technology and Human Development. Since attending the conference, I have been part of several fascinating discussions that I would like to explore concerning the future advance of technology within education. In his book Singularity, Ray Kurtzweil talks about how human beings are… Continue Reading
New York non-public school educators came together last week at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York for three days of AIMS hands-on Science Professional Learning. I was lucky enough to be there in person to spend time with all of the participants and our team of AIMS Facilitators. There were three different grade span… Continue Reading
In my role as a Research Associate here at the AIMS Center, I have been asked many times how I would have changed my instruction in the classroom if I knew then what I know now. This is a question that I have asked myself as well. After teaching for over 11 years I know… Continue Reading
Now that the school year has ended, our research team has been gathering our data from time spent working with students and analyzing it to answer the question: “what have you learned this year?” More importantly, I wanted to figure out what I have learned that will actually enable us to help kids. After completing… Continue Reading
Dad: “Hi, son. How was school today?” Son: “Good.” Dad: “What did you learn?” Son: “Nothing.” As a son and a dad, I’ve played both roles in this exchange. I remember my dad asking me what I learned at school that day. In retrospect, I think the reason that I often answered “nothing” came down… Continue Reading
Do you think of summer as a time to grow and learn? Being an educator, I have always filled my summers with adult learning opportunities. Summer is my time to refresh and reboot and learn new and and exciting approaches to every new school year. This week I have the opportunity to be with three… Continue Reading