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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Ideas About Teaching & Learning

By Derrick Brown (Email) (follow on Twitter @dbrowndbrown)

This is called a Wordle! Learn More ...
  1. Reach - THEN teach. Three dimensions of knowledge are necessary in order to effectively teach students, and not just subjects: knowledge of self, knowledge of others, and content knowledge - in that order.
  1. Build healthy relationships. Solid, healthy teacher-student relationships (and relationships between colleagues) should progress through four stages - acceptance, affirmation, accountability, and authority - in that order.
  1. To teach is to learn twice. The best teachers are lifelong learners, which makes them students even in their own classes. They are the foremost student in their class.
  1. Use skills of pedagogy and andragogy. We teach young people with childlike levels of maturity who have adult levels of exposure, expectations, and attitude. Be mindful of that, and discern when to teach, train, correct, guide, confront, etc.
  1. Speak the language of your subject. Mastering language is the key to mastering any and all content, so developing literacy is a key component of any sound teaching approach. In Rethinking The Future, Alvin Toffler states that "… The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
  1. Ignorance can be educated if it can be tolerated. Arrogance can neither be tolerated nor propagated. Both traits are clearly separated by self-awareness - an ignorant man knows that he does not know; an arrogant man does not.
  1. Awareness may be more important to learning than knowledge. Why, oh why can't Johnny read? Probably because the brother's name is Khalid …

Please share your thoughts on these "Big Ideas" and best practices by leaving comments below. Email us or follow us on Twitter @dbrowndbrown to submit your own "Big Ideas" and best practices!
Copyright © 2012 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.
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Wordles ("Word Clouds")

A new artistic effect: Wordles!

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.


Here's my first Wordle ...

And here's my first Wordle-inspired piece!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear Tessa (My Baby Sister)

Dear Tessa,

I am the president of your fan club. Being your big brother, protector, and covering is a job I have always taken quite seriously.

We were separated by 10 years in age, and by many miles after our parents' divorce, but we are forever connected by our old souls and kindred spirits.

I was so proud to watch you marry Kevin, and was so happy to see your bridal rose in full bloom! You were beautiful and peaceful!

You are one of those people I met on the way to heaven with whom always I felt comfortable asking for (and giving) directions.

You are also one of those special people who possess the rare ability to do what you said you would do.

My brother-in-law Kevin is a blessed and fortunate man, and I know he will cover and protect you now.

Know, though, that your big bro is always here, and is ready to love on some nieces and nephews!



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Big Ideas About Math Education

(Presented at the 52nd Georgia Mathematics Conference (October 2011))
By Derrick Brown (Email) (@dbrowndbrown) (Download as PDF)

These "Big Ideas" provide a concrete, conceptual, strategic framework for improving math skills by building language skills ...

1. Math is the study of patterns ...

· Arithmetic studies patterns of numbers.
· Algebra studies patterns of variable numbers.
· Geometry studies patterns of shapes.
· Logic studies patterns of thought.
· Calculus studies patterns of motion, change, and space.
· Statistics studies patterns of data.
· Probability studies patterns of chance.
· Linguistics studies patterns of language.
· Topology studies patterns of position.

2. Students must learn to do math, and must then learn what math does.

3. Language (how we use words and sounds to communicate) and discourse (verbal expression in speech and writing) are more important than vocabulary (knowledge of words).

4. Language mastery is the key to content mastery.

5. Language mastery is the key to self-expression - which develops self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-discipline.

6. Content mastery is predicated upon using self-expression to build self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-discipline.

7. Divergent thinking (seeing multiple solutions to a problem) inspires creativity (the process of having original ideas), which adds value to society.

Please share your thoughts on these "Big Ideas" by leaving comments below. Email us to submit your own "Big Ideas" and best practices!
Copyright © 2012 Derrick Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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