“Let there be n…

“Let there be no doubt: a “skilled” minority person who is not also capable of critical analysis becomes the trainable, low-level functionary of the dominant society, simply the grease that keeps the institutions which orchestrate his or her oppression running smoothly. On the other hand, a critical thinker who lacks the “skills” demanded by employers and institutions of higher learning can aspire to financial and social status only within the disenfranchised underworld” Lisa Delpit, Other Peoples Children

One of my motivations to keep learning to keep questioning.  



One more reflexión

I think that my growth and understanding about being a reflective teacher through blogs has been very subtle. It is hard to be reflective and be public all at the same time.  I think that many of us at the beginning of the year in our cohort could hardly bring our selves to write enough about critical issues and to share with others what caused us frustration and joy.

Many times blogging also has been times of half thoughts, and fussy ideas emerging. Yet it has been nice to share with the cohort and other people my wonders. Like my wonders about students fascination for poetry (that I did not have at their age) or how exciting it is for a math unit to come together and see students understand. Often I have found that the responses are just what I need to push my thinking or to encourage me. However as one of us put in a blog last quarter, it is an interesting world that we enter, and the challenge might be to stay connected with so much happening.

I think that part of this growth being so public is that I have to push my thinking in ways I would not usually want to. There are ideas that I found myself grappling with such as how we want to develop our community or encourage students to participate. To articulate my thoughts and respond to others has been an interesting task. I have found however that educators are mostly going to give a helping hand and support that I would not have found, if I did not challenge myself to do so. I think that like Sonia Nieto said in her book What Keeps Teachers Going that, “To survive and grow, I have to find colleagues who share my anger, hopes, beliefs, and assumptions about students and teaching.” Blogging and tweeting are just another platform that I can continue to use to develop as educators and learners.

Poetry: Amor Maternal

This was another week of more fun doing poetry with students. At this point in their work students have started to look at the poems they like the most for their anthology, focus on a topic, and looking at different ways of exploring the topic. One day this week we had students bring an artifact that they thought was special so that they could play with emotions in poetry. My CT and I made our own poems to demonstrate, and we shared a picture as well. Mine was of my daughter playing inside of a train statue.

Amor Maternal

Es incondicional,

E incomparable,

A otros sentimientos.


Es una esperanza

De empezar

Nuevas tradiciones.

Días de imaginación

Donde los chucu, chucus

De estatua,

Tienen vida.


Donde no se puede

Volar alto

Pero si se puede

Volar muy rápido.


Corazón lindo


Azúcar pura,

Mi Mina.


Multiplication and Division


It sure is fun when Math Methods course work is immediately applied to a classroom. This past two weeks in math we introduced unit 7 multiplication and division to our 5th graders. It was helpful to teach a lesson, go back to our methods class and design the unit, and then go back and teach some more.

It has been exciting to see all the ways in which students see the math problems. As we continue this unit I get to find fun ways to preview work for the next lesson.

Yesterday our worm up problem was: There are 123 students going o a field trip and I want them to be distributed evenly into four buses. How many students will be on each bus?

Students had about 3 minutes to work independently at their tables. Then they had a chance to discuss in the table groups. This was a very fun problem for students to solve because they wondered what to do with the other three students and wondered why the problem said evenly.

I went around the classroom and students said, “You can put them on top of the bus…,” “You don’t go on the field trip…,” “You can’t chop a student in half!” and “You can put one more in each bus.”(Part of the enthusiasm about the problem could have been because they are going on a field trip next week.) As the students solved the problem they wondered what to do with the remaining students. After a few more minutes of group work we started to share out different ways of solving the problem.

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Poetry: Clase de poesía al aire libre

To start out the unit on poetry my CT had students listen to us read as many poems as possible. She also expose students to as many poetry books as they could get their hands on. She suggested reading and reading some more…

This week students started to write their own. I am so amazed at the enthusiasm of the students to write their own poems. Some students have started to fill pages and pages of poems.

On one of the sunny days we had this week she thought it would be a great idea to start the lesson outside. By taking student outside she made the lesson of capturing ordinary moments and making them extraordinary, a very real experience.

This is what we wrote on a little board outside at the top of a hill:

Parjarito pajarito pio pio pio

Abeja, abeja bzz bzz bzz

Arboles, arboles swoosh swoosh

Gusano, gusano ______

Los arboles verdes

Como el pasto en que camino

Hojas secas

En el pasto

Quemadas por el sol ardiente

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