Life is a highway...yeah I know it a song but it is a really good one. Our educational journeys are so different since we come from different schools, districts, states and countries. Pick a road sign that relates to you and your classroom/school and share your story.
My road sign would be ...
There are so many changes in technology and curriculum that my journey with teachers and students is never straight. I am always adapting ideas and strategies to address the changes and stay on top of my educational technology game. If I don't stay on the road then then I'll be taking too many pit stops or end up in the junk yard!
Susan- what a great discussion - I love that you made it visual! The first road sign that I found was one that had me thinking about the shifts in education - whole language back to the basics whole language.
The second one I found was about sharing the road. I think that this one is pretty good- because as a teacher you have to teach your students about sharing - sharing the technology with each others, peers or sharing resorces with other educators or understanding that different teachers share and teach differently. So this one I think has many meanings.
So glad yall like the post! I did this activity with teachers in a PD I conducted and it was so much fun. I shared it with one of my teachers and she used the road signs with the novel she was reading with her students (Touching spirit bear). She had them do a character analysis by drawing the road of the character (curvy, straight etc.) during the book and then they drew road signs for the milestones. They had to explain the road changes and signs. It was AMAZING! Could anyone use this activity in a classroom setting?
I love this discussion thread! What a great way to connect to literature. You'll never look at a sign the same way again. I want to put a story behind a sign or attach the sign to something significant.
I would think this activity would be great to use with a topic in history. The road would be the timeline and the signs would describe the events that happened along the way. I also think this would get students thinking at a deeper level when trying to connect signs in a way that would highight the significance of the event.
Julia, I love the "Share the road" sign. I'm always saying, we are all in this together. The journey we are all on is much more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with. As with any journey, there are wrong turns, bumps along the way and rerouted roads. To me, that is what makes the jouney enjoyable. You never know what you're going to happen upon.
I like this discussion, want to share my sign:)
No U Turn
As you said that there are so many changes in technology and curriculum so in my journey there is no U turn,I have great difficulty saying no. I’m now in a position where there’s so many wonderful challenges still to be tackled.It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars.See every difficulty as a challenge, a stepping stone, and never be defeated by anything or anyone. I dont loose my heart and never go back, when i faced challanges. I tried to solve these problems by using 21st century skills.
What a fantastic question and discussion! I am unable to single out just one sign. I have two signs that I think represent technology and me.
The first is: because I feel technology allows me to divide assignments up in ways allowing students to feel greater confidence. It also represents the challenge of trying to make sure that differentiated instruction truly is headed the direction I intended it to go.
Here's why I chose a yield sign:
It could be because we yield the right of way to our students, but the real reason is this...
One of my early homework assignments in math includes a table the students have to complete. I give an object and they write the polygon shape(s) associated with it (ex. snowflake, soccer ball, The Pentagon, honeycomb, stop sign, YIELD SIGN).
When we go over the homework in class, we talk more about each of these items. I always ask the colors of the stop sign and the yield sign. Every student says correctly that stop signs are red and white. But, curiously, almost every student (perhaps 90%), every year, says that yield signs are yellow and black. There are some yellow and black yield signs out there, but they haven't been yellow and black since 1971. The vast majority of yield signs are red and white. I'm still amazed at this. I've suggested to my students that someone do a science fair project related to this to perhaps shed some light on this phenomenon.
This is a fantastic activity. I know of a HS Life Skills class that has to actually learn the signs but what an extension lesson this could be. I will definately suggest this to the teacher. I had to think really hard about my sign and here it is because this is kind of how I feel right now. I went from one position to doing consultant work for many different people. I am definately thinking about using this activity as an icebreaker for one of my online classes. Thanks!
This sign accurately represents my feelings some days. I must exercise great control to not get angry when teachers are unwilling to move into the 21st century. (Actually, I would be happy if they would migrate into the 20th century!) Thanks for showing me what my true feelings are. (I'm the one behind the rock!)
Soooooo ... which holiday are you thinking of?
My personal favorite is for a wonderful location just up the road from my school. This location has a "petting zoo" for young children, a "tulip garden" in the spring, a delightful "Thanksgiving Garden" to enjoy throughout the summer and fall. Their golf course is one of the most challengin in Utah. Winter brings delightful decorations that bring smiles to young and old.
There are so many responsibilites in the classroom that relate to these signs. Teachers have to create resources, slow down to engage a variety of learning styles while stopping to assess and reflect along the way. Parking is not an option. After assessing students, the assessment data must be used to create strategies for designing activities for reteaching, providing students opportunities to demonstrate mastery through projects and connecting with professional learning networks for professional growth.
There wasn't much else around. There wasn't even a dirt road to turn on. I passed the sign, then did a U Turn on the 2-lane highway to snap this shot. I just could not resist. I keep it posted at my desk, and it reminds me that we don't know what the future holds or necessarily how we'll get there, but the road goes on, and I'm on it. I don't know what's to the right, but there's something there, and maybe I'll learn about it someday.
We are definitely on the fast track. In addition to the common core and essential standards, teachers must become intimate with the Professional Teaching Standards as well as become comfortable with Revised Blooms Taxonomy, Problem based learning, Real world lessons and the list goes on. I am sure next year teachers will feel as though they are going in circles as well. What strategies are your schools implementing to make this shift in teaching and learning better for students and teachers.
i'm so glad that you posted this, glen, b/c the first thing that came to my mind was also something that was not quite a road sign, but still interesting, nonetheless. i found this gem when i was searching for other unrelated resources online a few weeks ago, and i do love it... in a humorous way, of course.
You are correct ... I should have used a real road sign. I was thinking of my door for the coming year and thought I'd share. By the way, I just discovered a Road Sign making app for iOS!
How might using a road sign making tool help students demonstrate their understanding better?
glen, actually, i was glad you shared something a bit different, as that allowed me to feel okay in sharing something that is a bit different, myself. i think yours is perfect! thanks for sharing the app, as well, as it's a cool way to have students be creative (allowing even different interpretations of concepts/relevant points) in sharing their thinking/understanding about particular topic.
You should be warned ... I march to the beat of a different drummer. Following me may lead you away from what everyone has been telling you to do for years. Personally, I like trying to change things up personally and professionally. I often have former students visit my classroom and exclaim "we didn't do that when I was in your class. That's NOT FAIR!" I hope to always be able to modify my teaching to become better.
Now to figure out how I can have students create science signs ...
But, if I had to choose a road sign, I found this one to be great... (many of you have used some extremely wonderful ideas...and i felt like i was copying many of you each time i found something)...so something different:
The reason I like this one, is b/c of the interesting possible un-intended outcome: the animals might get sick, if they eat you... This reminds me of how often students come up with something entirely different than where I was going with a quesiton, comment or scenario. It always is a wake-up call for me, that maybe we're not always on the same page, and I need to be careful with how I phrase and communicate particular thinking...