Monday, February 27, 2012

International Partner - Found!

So after lots of links and bread crumbs I found an international partner from Australia.  Through the blog and site Home Ec Connect I have stumbled upon a group of Family and Consumer Science Educators who are seeking to gain the respect our field deserves.  Of course those of you who know me well realize I cringe at the term "Home Ec", but elsewhere on this world they have voted to keep the term.  In the USA only do we go by Family and Consumer Science. 

Find more videos like this on HomeEcConnect

This video may shed some light on how Home Ec truly does connect all of us to the world.

So I am on my soapbox, and this is my blog, so I have the floor.  The goal of Home Ec or Family & Consumer Science is the sustainability of our culture through the use of resources to make our lives, families and society better.  We try in a quiet way to help students connect the "core" subjects into life for all students.

Speaking of connecting ... I really connected to the theories of constructivism and humanism/ARCS.  So much of my teaching philosophy fits into these two theories.  To be they seem like they go hand in hand.  By realizing how our behaviors, expectations and words effect those around us by "filling or draining" buckets it makes our classroom more manageable and successful.  This seems particularly important when doing so many activities where students are constructing their knowledge through hands-on activities.  You do realize in Family and Consumer Science we "construct" as a matter of habit.  To those of you who presented, Great Job!  Both lessons were great, fun and informative.  I still think we need to vote for the Norwal Whale, the Unicorn of the Sea!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Breathing Time

Thanks to our Presidents, we have this Monday off from school, with a WIMBA cafe scheduled.  Its been refreshing to have a little relaxing time.
Spent this weekend evaluating GLOGS for the National FCCLA competition.  It was interesting to see how other Family & Consumer Science teachers have integrated this competition into their curriculum.  Gives me hope that there are administrations out there that recognize the importance of our discipline.  I was able to judge entries from Florida, Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Kansas and California.  Good work to those who took the iniative to post and enter the competition.
Still sewing the flags for Indoor Guard, even though they continue to compete with older styles.  Both teams yesterday won their divisions at Gateway.  Go Southern!  For those of you that don't know what Indoor Guard is, picture marching band, without the band... or view these photos of our "Gold" team competing in Connecticut last weekend with their new flags... Little Red

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Theories into practice

            Oh the joy we felt when Monday evening endeed with our synectics presentation going amazingly well.  So glad the electricity stayed on and the internet and WIMBA was operational; not sure if I could have handled the stress!  The theory presentations were great... just wish I could have typed faster to get some of those sweet rewards from the Behaviorists!  We certainly enjoyed watching how Paul the cat was conditioned, just to see that conditioning applied to us, all fighting for the candy.  The cognitivism presentation was quite interesting.  It was very simple to see how we can build on the knowledge we developed previously to solve those geometric measurements.  I also found it interesting to see how much of our educational pedagogy has been based on this theory... Objectives, gain attention, assess previous knowledge, teach, review, reteach, access, etc.  I think my biggest reflection on the evening was how all three theories can be integrated to reach all learners. 
            Now I feel relief that I can focus on my Personal Learning Theory paper; developing a best practice to demonstrate 21st Century Skills within the sewing curriculum.   Speaking of 21st Century Skills; my collaborative side has taken on another aspect.  I will be judging National FCCLA "Glogster" posters for our Spring competitive events.  Can't wait to see how students around the country are interpreting the assignment - MyPlate. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Regrouping and Refocusing

     This week in class certainly offered us a chance to truly get focused on our learning theories lessons.  Synectics has been an interesting process to study; I believe I had the opportunity to go through the business training of the process many years ago in my previous career.  Goal to think outside the box for truly creative results.   I have found the collaboration difficult; not due to the work so much as to the many other areas of life that are desirous of my time. 

      I remember the time that I spent in retail management - January was always a let down.  Customers dwindled, time dragged, all the decorations were put away and you were left with the doldrums.  Well that can't be said for this educational climate.  We finished January with the Middle School Stone Soup Supper that took lots of time, but was definately worth it.  Over $1500 raised to help the less fortunate in Ocean County.  We then began gearing up for FCCLA Spring Conference, as well as the Chocolate Cake Contest.   Put on top of all the extracurriculars and  finishing up a marking period, I still decided to take delivery of over 40 yards of silk for Indoor Guard Flags.  Love the fabric, but boy sometimes I feel all tangled up!