Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Challenge 20/20

The 20/20 Challenge is new to me, however it seems like a great way to collaborate globally.  It is a program that focuses on 20 global problems which can be viewed locally at first and then taken globally when you collaborate with another school in another country.   As they mention in the NAIS 20/20 Challenge website “Challenge 20/20 allows the students to see themselves as activists, not only in their community, but in the wider world.” (  It is an opportunity for students to realize the importance and impact each and everyone has not only in our classroom but in the world, and how we can all work together to make global problems better for a better tomorrow. 

Just as I have become aware of this initiative, I urge you to look into the 20/20 Challenge.  I understand that as teachers we feel our plate is already full with curriculum expectations and deadlines, however this is a project that not only can be used in conjunction with our PYP units, but it has transcendental value as it focuses on real life issues that affect everyday life and one of today’s and tomorrow’s fundamental skills: collaboration.

It may be too soon to jump into this upcoming 20/20 challenge, but with some investigation and dedication, we could all rise to the 2014 20/20 challenge!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motivating 21st Century Students


In Dan Pink’s Ted talk: The Puzzle of Motivation he points out a very true concept that an “if-then” motivation approach most often than not limits creativity and has negative on the outcome of a given task or project.  Hence, incentives are not necessarily an optimal motivator.  When rewards are offered or expected for a specific task, people tend to show poorer or not up to full potential performance.  This can and is true in many settings: as he mentions in a business model for encyclopedias Encarta and Wikipedia or at a more basic and everyday setting, our classrooms. 
The if-then motivation system is an easy trap to fall into, especially when treating with young children as we do in the ECC where they will easily do a task for a small yet luring reward.  Do not get me wrong, I believe that in order for rewards to fulfill an educational purpose they must go hand in hand with autonomy, mastery and purpose.  These three concepts are what Dan Pink mentions to be the real triggers of high performance.  These are ideas that are fostered in most of our classrooms everyday, where we aim to foster student led learning, inquiry, project based learning, where it is through student exploration that they will learn best, and have a more meaningful and enriching experience that is relevant to each student.  Let’s not limit our students’ potential with achievable tasks, but instead, lets give them the tools for them to surprise us with what they can accomplish.

Assignment #PA3a

Monday, May 6, 2013

What is PBL?

Tutorial - What is PBL? video

These charts depict the major differences between traditional class and project based learning (PBL).   They were created with the use of Cacoo.
 Mainly, in the traditional classroom, the traditional way to attack a project is introduced by the teacher.  The material to be taught-learnt is based in curriculum expectation and administered during the unit by the teacher.  Students are introduced to the information and topic at hand, activities, classroom research and traditional testing at the end of the unit motivated by grade obtained.

In PBL the main focus is on a project that will teach students about the unit itself.  In PBL students are guided by the teachers on the subject and expectations, mainly as facilitators.  However, students inquire and learn on their own throughengagement, exploration and application.  Themes are relevant and through the completion of the project students learn about real problem solving techniques and applications.  In the end, PBL is reflective and shows what and how students really learned about a certain topic, subject or unit.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Introduction to Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a concept that has come up quite frequently in previous SUNY masters classes. My understanding of PBL is that it is a hands-on way of learning that is directed by the students in order to ensure a broader understanding of concepts through a project. After watching the video, this idea was reinforced. PBL is an effective way to teach were students are given real tasks to solve in order to show what their understanding is.

In the Early Childhood Center we guide our students through several projects. Due to their age limitations the central idea must always be very concise in what aspect or area we want our students to focus, yet it is their own imagination, knowledge and drive which lets them create their own project whether it is individual or as a group.

ASF in general follows PBL throughout all grades. Whether it is in the fourth grade “operas”, where students direct their own opera whilst applying and reinforcing concepts learned in the classroom, or an Upper School Science Fair where student’s ideas are put into action to show, prove or demonstrate their understanding.

In my perspective PBL has many positive aspects due to its nature where students are putting all of their potential into a project. PBL may offer certain limitations such as but not necessarily limited to lack of attention of both students and/or teachers, information overload, disruption when students are working in teams as well as each student’s role in the team. However, though, I truly favor a PBL approach to that of traditional “tell me” teaching approach.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Magazine Cover

Who is the publisher?
Who is the intended audience; what do you (author) hope the audience will do?
What is appealing in the cover?
How are headlines, colors, and font styles and sizes used?
What are two adjectives that could describe how you look on the cover?
What are you trying to communicate?      

Representation, Bias, and Stereotype


For representation I chose a photograph of a political campaign.  The photo tells the audience how the Green Party is proposing free medicine for everyone.  How will they achieve this? Then the ad tells you to turn the page and a picture of the presidential candidate is shown.   Representation plays a huge roll in the sense that what we see is a picture of a sad, worried woman because she can not afford the medicine in contrast to the pharmacist that shows no remorse in denying the woman of her medicins.  This shows only one aspect of how things are. It is depicting a situation that has no context and therefore pushes the reader to believe what they want the audience to believe.


I chose this TV show ad to show stereotype.  The ad shows how a mexican man falls in love with a woman and married a country.  It shows stereotype intentionally.  There are maracas, a donkey piƱata, and a sombrero.  This is already a preconceived idea of what a mexican would look like, or what you would expect from Mexico.  It is obviously a comic show, therefore the audience takes the stereotype and accepts that it is intended for a good laugh and not to offend the audience.


This picture shows bias in the sense that it is portraying both spas and washing dishes as a woman's job/activity.  It is a printed ad found in a woman's magazine therefore the ad is aimed at women.  It is directed towards women but secluding the male sector of the population who wash dishes and who enjoy spas.  I wonder what effect it would have on the consumer/reader if it was a man instead.  :)