Portfolios and update

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Hello, hello, hello

I miss you all! I'm just back from San Diego where I learned some great things about changing the paradigm of schools from an instruction model to a learning model. I plan to share some of that with you next week, cause I'm not sure what this research statistics stuff is supposed to be about and I don't think we need the time at the beginning for ITP projects. Am I wrong?

I haven't spent time with you the last couple of Wednesdays because for Winter quarter I have another class scheduled from 4-7:30 Wednesday nights. I was in a little of last weeks on glamorizing violence and alcohol and drugs and found it interesting. I would suggest you talk back and forth in a threaded discussion a bit about that topic and last nights too. I plan to get the videos and get more up to date with them. The portfolio assignment some of you may recall, is putting together in some kind of written format your progress during this fall semester so that we can discuss individually your assessment for the semester grade. We can start that process next week, so some of you please be ready and continue it the following week. Think about what we have done throughout the semester, big things like Toxic Child series and Thesis updates and presentations. Think about criteria for excellent grade, good grade, fair grade. Do we want the same criteria for all, or individual criteria? What weight should attendance have?

If you aren't clear with expectations, e-mail me or post your need for clarification here(maybe that's better so that everyone can have a say) and we'll proceed.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 1999


Hello All! No wonder Frank sounds so peppy. He has just come back from some place WARM! We who have survived these last HORRID,COLD and UGLY days, should get some sort of a medal! Am I the only one who HATED this weather? Good God, get me to some sunshine and warm weather! Complain, complain, grouch! Here is my two cents worth of input on our portfolio. As far as attendance, my feeling is that some of our group have had a hard time getting to classes because of family medical issuses. These people should not pay a penelty for their lack of attendance. Also, I wish that we could some how share our feelings and input with each other. Perhaps not ALL or everything,but a brief overview of what we personally felt was the most important to us. Throughout this entire process I have gained so much from listening to all of you and hearing about your reactions to things. This aspect of our journey has for me, been one of my most valued experiences.......and I would prefer that we do it as a class and not over the computer.....even though I have to say I am really getting pretty good at this! Jackie

-- Anonymous, January 15, 1999

I agree with Jackie that the interaction and discussion in class has been most beneficial in processing all the information we have been given at the Toxic Child presentations and in the thesis updates. I have spent a lot of time reflecting , but not writing it down or sending it via the alco site. I tend to condense and limit my responsess on the alco site. The feedback is not immediate and not everyone has used the site to respond. I feel we have an opportunity to have face to face discussions with a diverse group and we could all benefit from more of it in the time we have left together. I know working in a group on the research projects has given me much more information and insight than I could have attained alone. I'm looking forward to Frank sharing with us what he has learned and hope we get to multiple intelligences soon. I'm not sure about the grading guidelines we should use. It would be good to self-evaluate and inventory what we have been gaining and investing this term. I"m better at giving others grades than grading myself. I have some fairly high standards that I'm not sure I can meet.

-- Anonymous, January 17, 1999

I found the presentation by Paula Randall very interesting and applicable to the students I teach. She spoke about a subject that is often awkward to talk about and did it in a very relazed and professional manner. She was easy to listen to and presented good information. I thought the "Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes Inventory" was an excellent tool to use to open up the discussion on the topic and also to present accurate information. The panel of teens were very uninhibited about the topic and gave us insight from their perspective. This should be a topic that is covered with youth by their own parents but I know in many cases it is not and the teen affirmed that fact. I have a group of senior high students who have been trained in a curriculum that delivers an abstinence message that they present to 7th grade students. The 7th grade students like having the older students as presenters and do join in discussion. Again this is a case where the schools have to pick up the responsibility of the parents. Regarding the portfolio, I feel it will be easy to document my progress for this term but I think it is difficult for me to determine a grade. I don't have any suggestions for exactly how to do this part of our assignment. Dana

-- Anonymous, January 18, 1999

The last two Toxic Child classes I attended dealt with teenage sexuality and teenage pregnancy. I thought they were both excellent and I enjoyed listening to the students and their thoughts more than anything else. I knew all of the students that were from Central and it was nice to here them speak to adults and not be afraid to speak their minds. Many of my students are sexually active and do not know the responsibilities that come with it. I also have 5 students who are teenage mothers and I see how hard it is for them to deal with school and everyday problems.

I feel the Toxic Child classes that have had guests and "experts" have been more enjoyable than just listening to the "experts".

This is the first time I have responded to the alco site since last November. Everytime I checked for new questions, I never saw anything until now. I have responded to all of the questions regarding Toxic Child and our Thursday night sessions, but it doesn't seem to be a lot. I hope to get more clarification on what written material we should have ready for the conference. I look forward to sitting down with Frank and talking about the last semester. I would also like to be able to talk as a class about the semester and what was important to everyone. Ed

-- Anonymous, January 21, 1999

I, too, have benefited greatly from the Toxic Child Series. I address the topic of sexuality with some of my parent groups--and it is not an easy topic for most parents to talk about when thinking about their young children (2, 3, 4, and 5 year olds). But, the key here is being open and having a relaxed attitude about sexuality. Many young children are curious why boys are boys and girls are girls and ask parents very direct questions which very often they are not prepared to hear from their young children and are not prepared to answer. It is the adult hangups that make it difficult for parents to talk about sexuality with their kids. Most often young children ask questions simply because they are curious. These questions are hard because it is hard for parents to think of their "babies" as sexual beings and yet sexuality is a normal part of human development. I thought the evening was very enlightening and I really appreciated the teens and their candor. I see this candor in my daughter and I am a little envious of her attitudes and comfort level regarding this subject. I think it is so valuable that teens can openly talk about their sexuality.

The Toxic Child Series has been good but I really miss making connections with the Cohort. I feel that I have acquired a much better understanding of education as a whole because of what all of you have shared with the group. For me, an incredible amount of learning takes place during our discussions. The ALCO site is good but not the same as class discussion. I think the Wednesday night sessions have prevented us from growing together as a Cohort.

-- Anonymous, January 22, 1999

I have learned a great deal of information from the Toxic Child series. The last one we attended on Sexuality was very well done. I had a dentist appointment so I arrived late that night but what I heard was very interesting and presented in a mannner that was very relaxed and comfortable. I think that whenever we talk about sexuality if we can maintain a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere what we hear and learn seems to increase. That's kind of what we talked about with the Glasser book we read last year. I remember that being a real element of the book "The Quality School" We all seem to learn better in a relaxed atmosphere . I really enjoyed the panel of students from the various high schools who were so willing to share their thoughts with us. I have had some pretty frank discussions with my own teenagers and I always think , I could never have done this with my parents.

As good as most of the Wednesday sessions have been I really feel like we have lost some ground as a cohort as a result. I miss the weeks that we have not met.

As far as grading for this semester goes I really like the idea of the self reflection but I too don't know how to come up with a grade. I have learned so much not only from the people in my research group but from the entire cohort. The discussions we have had have been very thought provoking and have helped me see things in ways I would never have thought of on my own.

-- Anonymous, January 23, 1999

Hi to all of you discouraged researchers and thesis writers out there. During our session last week (Jan28), I found myself feeling very discouraged about the actual process of writing this huge paper. I feel very intimidated and I think I feel this way because I am the type of person who needs to have things orderly--some sort of plan or outline in front of me. I hope to have some real clear cut parameters over the next week or two on what each chapter needs to have in it. I know each one of our projects will be individual, but I feel there must be some standardsinformation that all thesis/research papers need to contain. I'm not sure if the outline we received from Tom Boman is the one we should be following. Does anyone "out there" have any input for me? We (Barb, Sandy, Sarah, and myself) are editing Chapter One right now. See you on Thursday.

-- Anonymous, February 02, 1999

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