Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How we gonna pay ....

Loooooong article in the StarTrib (via TWIE) on Minnesota charter schools and lease aid. The gist: A few hacks are profiting off of it.

Our school would not be able to operate without lease aid given the type of lease we have and the current per-pupil funding for charters. Not only do we pay rent, but we also pay property taxes and all maintenance and repairs. I don't think that the state should write a blank check for schools to construct new buildings. But the article suggests that spending on lease aid is wildly out of proportion. Perhaps it's just that per-pupil funding simply doesn't cover the full cost of educating a child in a charter school.

Where I'm From

An illustration of how an activity can bomb in one class and rock in another:

My first year teaching I adapted a unit that my wonderful student teaching mentors developed: Using the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon as a mentor text, students write their own poem by brainstorming, drafting, and then writing numerous consecutive drafts until it is a well-polished piece of work.

I decided to add a second mentor text option: The song "Where I'm From" by the hip-hop group Digable Planets.

By the time the song ended on my little CD player, the students were looking at me and each other like, "Who is this crazy lady and what is this strange music?" It was one of those terrifying first-year moments when the class reacts exactly the opposite of how you expected and you are at a loss of how to proceed.

I was brave enough to try the assignment again this year with a class I thought would be more receptive. The benefit of a bit of experience paid off. After we spent quite a long time reading and discussing the poem, they got to see the YouTube video of the song. They got so excited about making their own version. Today a student asked me, "What was the name of that group again?" and then wrote it down so he could remember.

Edutopia's 2009 Guide to Holiday Gifts for Teachers | Edutopia

Hint Hint! Any students lurking out there? Hehehehe.

Edutopia's 2009 Guide to Holiday Gifts for Teachers | Edutopia