Showing posts from April, 2013

After The Boston Marathon Bombings: Resources for Parents and Teachers to Help Students (Steve Guditus @sguditus)

As adults, we feel helpless after a tragedy such as the Boston Marathon Bombings.  There is so much
pain, grief and anger that we feel even as adults, it is important to stop and remember how these same feelings may be impacting our students.  Two big questions I've been considering are:

How should I speak to kids about this?What can I do to help?Below, you will find some resources and suggestions to help answer both of these questions.

Resources to speak with kids about the Boston Marathon Bombing Tragedy:

National Association of School Psychologists - Helping Children Cope in Unsettling TimesNC Department of HHS: Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events - advice from Mr. RogersCenter for Social and Emotional Education: Talking to Children about Violence and TerrorismDr. Gail Saltz - via The Today Show: Talking to Your Kids about the Boston Marathon BombingsNational Association of School Psychologists: Tips for Parents/Teachers - Talking to Children about Violence
Ideas of How To Hel…

Climbing The Rock Wall (Steve Guditus @sguditus)

This weekend, I attended the Adaptive Open House at the Lynch van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead, MA.  A fabulous event for many reasons, one of which was meeting some amazing people.  As I witnessed a wheelchair-bound guest be lifted out of her chair and proceed to climb the rock wall in the lobby, I thought about school (to where my mind often wanders).

I had seen many people climb that rock wall in the lobby, but had never seen someone without the use of their legs climb the rock wall.  The accomplishment was the same, and I found myself overwhelmed watching the accomplishment in the lobby.  Holding the expectation the same, the athlete had spotters and climbing rope assist her, which allowed her to make the same accomplishment as all other rock wall climbers.  Truly, the Y had provided the scaffolding required to allow the athlete to accomplish her goal.  

I wondered, Do we always provide the proper scaffolding to all of our students, so they are able to climb the rock wall?Student…

Marvelous Mistakes (Steve Guditus @sguditus)

This week, I had a conversation with a first-year teacher about a student who plagiarized.  The student had pretty closely adapted a cartoon, and handed it in as his/her project.  Unsure of its true author, the teacher did some research and found the cartoon, nearly word-for-word and image-for-image (is that a thing?).  The teacher asked me to discuss the scenario with her, because she had never before encountered a student plagiarizing.  Our conversation was a fruitful one, and she asked great questions:

Why did the student plagiarize?Did the student know that he/she was plagiarizing?How will he/she learn from his/her mistakes?How do I grade the student?What about consequences?  What message gets sent to the student and fellow classmates?Do students know what plagiarism is? Ultimately, when students make a mistake, they should be permitted to learn from their mistakes; a consequence should be separate from the learning and the grade, which should reflect mastery, not poor decision-mak…