Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Laura Ingalls Teaches the Lit Maven a Thing or Two....Creating a "Just Right" Classroom

Yesterday I tuned into an episode of LHOTP (Little House on the Prairie). As in most episodes there was an image of the one room school house. Generally smaller kids were in the front rows and bigger kids in the back. Kids were first sorted on size but instructed on their ability.

In the 21st Century...we sort by age.
For example: Six years old in grade one.
By sorting kids by age, the assumption seems to be, rather foolishly, that the kids are all the same in everyway. Teachers bang their heads on the wall and are astounded by this fact year, after year when the kids are reading at different levels.

Was it tough teaching in a one room school house. I guess. But at least the teacher met the kids where they were at and didn't have the illusion of "age" grades to deal with.

SO what does this mean...
I think it means a shift in thinking about how we group during the day. Perhaps flexible groupings, through the day, through the building. Teachers no longer teaching a "grade" but teaching children.

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Calvary Ain't Coming!

I am currently reading Chris Gardner's book Start Where You Are

Right into the first section of the book he announces :

"The calvary ain't coming!" translation...wishes are just wishes.

I think that is a mistake we all make. Those goals you have must have some action behind them.

Even those crazy movies of the 80's had goals. Let's take Footloose. Ren could have just gone through the motions, finished high school and moved on...
But no...
Not Ren...he wanted to DANCE.
He stood up to the Reverand in a Town Hall meeting. ACTION
He was shot down but because he made his feelings known, the lovely man at the mill where he worked...slighlty out of town limits said, "Have the dance Here!" ACTION

So Ren and his girlfriend, who was never in any movies after, that decided to round up the resources and hold the best dance EVER!!!! ACTION

After a necessary father and daughter talk and an obligatory "punch out" the old boyfriend scene...

They had the best dance ever. GOAL
...cue the annnoying South African Horns.

So what are your goals....are you waiting for the calvary? Cause they ain't coming!!!!

Until Next time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

John Connors and GaGa!

I found this lovely mash up in my google reader. I was trying to think of a post to go with my favorite book:

1000 Awesome Things

My Awesome thing today was finding a video that made me laugh. I know, small potatoes but I am consciously going to try and collect my own list of awesome.

What "awesome" thing happened to you today?

Unitl Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Learning From Simon Cowell...I know...CRAZY!!!

I hesitantly sat down to watch Simon Cowell on Oprah last month.
I admit I was intrigued about what he had to say.
Unlike most North Americans, I prefer Simon to Paula.
Paula was out there just to make friends, "you made it your own."
Simon was filter off, "you are not talented."
We need honest feedback.
I need honest feedback.
Who pushes you the most, subjective friends or objective aquaintances?

Another thing that struck me in the interview was Simon's reason for leaving,"I grew as much as I could in that job."

SO true...making changes in your career, does not mean you don't like your friends or the setting.
Perhaps the environment has given everything it ever will.
Perhaps you have taken everything from that environment that you can.

Be true to yourself.
If you want to know how you are doing, seek out those that don't have a stake in your relationship.
If you feel your growth is stunted...find a new place to set down roots.

Some thoughts to ponder.


Until Next time,
Lit Maven out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Don't Need Super Powers to Solve a Problem

When I think of strategy teams, this comes to mind.

The Mighty Ducks helmed by Emilio Estevez
The Bad News Bears

The A-Team
Power Rangers

Lit Maven read this awesome possum article Strategy Challenges and thought..."can I use this idea in the schools?"

Yes of course. I can't do it ALL!!! Surely not.

But if you assess yourself, target the weak areas and find people to fill the gaps you have the MIGHTY!!!

So next time you sit alone hashing out a problem, remember about the great teams of TV/Movie past and recruit!

The Secret to Getting Things Done

I came across this phrase yesterday..."half the battle". Here are some definitions of Half the Battle. 1. to be the most ...