What the future of my speech on optimal class size looks like…

and it doesn’t look that great.

Instead of memorizing my speech, I decided I needed to go to Target to get candies for my group tomorrow and candles to burn while I finish putting together my speech. Obviously I got distracted at target and spend hour and a half walking around. Once I got home, “I had to clean”. No I didn’t – my husband would not have minded a messy house because he knows I have school to worry about but I did that instead of preparing this speech. But, lets get this straight. I actually wanted to do this topic and I was very excited about my speech but for some reason I don’t want to put all my thoughts in order and memorize the speech. Maybe writing it out here might give me some sort of idea how to structure my notes and a motivation to finish it.

Let me share with you my notes on what I would like to say tomorrow morning with in 3 minutes I get for my presentation…

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How big is big?  The text suggests, we as educators need to create a learning environment for students were they feel emotionally and physically safe  and it is very difficult and less personal when the class sizes are large. But, large ratio and small ratio both have advantages and disadvantages.

Lets look at these problem one at a time. Small schools have limited curriculum offered, for example schools rural areas don’t offer classes like physics or chemistry. Students are involved in many curriculums at the same time, like year book, football, basketball, track, and newspaper. Teachers are teaching more than one area again like algebra and yearbook, track, football – you get the picture.

While, it is opposite when looking at big schools in big cities, teachers have to teach only one area but they can hardly get students to be invested in their studies when the class size is more than the average size of 11 students per class.  Teachers and students at this rate can’t get to know each other by which do not find achievements to work towards.

Both teachers and parents want  small schools, the factor of building cost comes in the middle and taxpayers prevent from it.

Class size of 20 students or less is optimal.

Teacher-student radio is used to measure the classroom size, which is some times misleading because it also includes administration and other district level personnel – making it look better than it really is.

Reducing the class size can help with students long term and short term effects.

Class size reduced from 25 – 15 saw a change in reading and math skills and the effect lasted through the end of high school. Low SES students actually graduated from high school with their diploma. And, students later took challenging courses and were able to attend college with larger classes. These changes were seen especially in low SES and African American students.

It also helps teachers since it will give them a chance to get to know their students strengths and weaknesses minus the amount of time wasted on classroom management, grading papers, and keeping track of all the record.

I guess this is the way I will be presenting it!

Toodle, A.

The Fundamental 5 & Boeuf Bourguignon

Full time student, Part time cook. Not really.

This only happens because I know how to procrastinate but I love cooking and I love eating.

I am assigned to read The Fundamental 5 by Sean Cain and Mike Laird (has anyone read it?) but instead I decided to make Boeuf Bourguignon. Which simply means Beef Burgundy because it is made with burgundy wine.

In my house I try to find substitute to any alcoholic recipe with nonalcoholic. I found a perfect recipe from Chef in disguise. The original Julia Child recipe and some background information, which was very useful I searched on good old youtube (Boeuf Bourguinon). It takes 3-4 hours to cook so I got to read in between.

Of course the idea of making Beef Bourguignon came from Julie and Julia while I was having lunch today and rather took on the challenge pretty fast with out thinking (again procrastination).


Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Bon Appetit, me.

Mid-terms are over.

I made it. I have been twisted up, tired, and tangled for the past 2 weeks. It kicked my butt.

I did not procrastinate (which is hard to do if your pre-plan and plan to prepare the final project and the excitement of new teaching assignment). Found myself working on all my assignment till the very last minute to make everything just right. On the other hand, I have come up with some pretty exciting things to use in my classroom.

Happy Friday.

awesomeimage source: behance.net

The most important skill in teaching is learning how to be a learner.

Seriously though.

I pre-plan. Then, plan. To finally make a lesson plan. It has been the process I have to wrap my head around these days. My schedule has been sort of an exciting one. I find myself planning hypothetical mini-lesson, lesson plan, and unit plans. I am learning to teach how others will learn.

Mentoring at a middle school where I have found myself very useful. My pre-planning, planning, and hypothetical lessons plans going to be live in an actual classroom setting. With a bit of planning and putting together vocabulary games and activities with the 6th grade teacher I am mentoring.

Although the point is, I have limited experience with children. Some carried over from my high school child development program, tutoring kids around the block, and the experience I had while being an ELL/ESL student in elementary school.

With that in mind I added differentiation to all my lesson plans. It was important to me to be the teacher I wanted as a ESL/ELL student. Simple textbook and paper did not work for me so why would it work for the students today? When making my lesson plans I always go through the dramatic scenarios I have had experienced as a learner.

All students in my opinion want to learn, but they want it to be made easy for them. So, why NOT? I have come to an understanding that teachers may find this line as “Students being lazy”. But, are they really being lazy or are we being lazy to differentiate the lesson plans…I see a positive in students even the one that are “lazy” because something motivates us all – just gotta their catch!

Let me take some time to introduce the face behind the rant…

I am a student at University of Texas at Dallas. I aim to inspire and educate. Have to just put things in writing sometimes, so I will be ranting a lot – some days it will be exciting and some days may be not so much. But, I  will be here to through out the whole process.

toddles from me.