Teacher Advocate

A place for educators and parents to share ideas –

Reasons for Concern Regarding Boys and School!

Untitled-1 Hello!

My name is Linda Marie Gilliam, and this is my first attempt at blogging on my own website that I feel so passionate about!  I am not exactly “tech savy”, but with help from my partner, now this site http://www.teacheradvocate.com  is up and running! Yahooooo….

In addition, if you click on the above “SOS Save Our Students”, you will read more of my concerns and suggestions!

Soon I will have my book available in bookstores, libraries and online in many countries called , “The 7 Steps to Help Boys Love School:  Teaching to their Passion for Less Frustration!”  My book will be published by Rowman & Littlefield Educational Department this spring, and I can hardly contain my excitement! Pre-ordering is available now!   http://www.roman.com  Also available all over the world at “WOW HD BOOKS”… Barnes & Noble and Amazon. You can also order from Target and Walmart.

Please watch for it around April 28TH, 2015.

In my wildest dreams I never thought I would write a book, but after seeing what was happening in our educational system year after year…the book evolved. Hopefully many teachers, parents, caregivers, principals, coaches, librarians, and administrators will read my book and pass it along to others. Over the course of my 40 years in the field of education, teaching children, helping teachers, counseling parents, and giving presentations at various workshops, my concern became larger and larger. In addition, by teaching as the Literacy Specialist, I learned many new strategies with struggling boys, and girls. Exceptional children benefit as well!

I’ve discovered that the most significant reason for children not liking school….boys in particular….is the lack of the Educational System finding a successful template. Secondly, boys learn differently than girls and develop slower when it comes to Literacy. Brain studies and so much research has been done over many years, showing that girls and boys learn at different rates and in different ways.  If our policy makers do not heed the warning that boys need more activity in their learning, and all children must have lessons presented at their developmental level….and not just presented to them according to their current age…we will lose more and more students who have the potential to succeed. These children need to be reached in their earliest years of schooling, before the lack of interest in coming to school, “snowballs” out of control.

Numerous studies have proven this fact over and over, yet classes and learning are taught the same way to all. Girls like sitting and listening for long periods of time; while many boys feel tortured. Boys need more “hands on activities”, with movement and exploration, for their learning to flourish. Medication may be necessary for some with ADHD, but it is not the answer for boys who are just “acting like boys.” Far too many boys are “labeled” early, if they cannot conform to a structured classroom.

In my opinion, we as educators and parents need to encourage children to discover their own strengths through finding a child’s true passion, or interest; no matter what it might be and early on. Those interests will change, but then so must our teaching My heart goes out to those children “lost” in the shuffle of so many schools trying to “shove children through the educational mill” of reading, writing, and math, only hoping they will do well on an upcoming mandated test. “One Size Will NEVER Fit All”, and our currently crowded curriculum leaves little time for much creativity by teachers or students.

There is no time for learning foreign languages, or any other subject not directly tied to the Common Core Standards… or required tests given. It is obvious that little has changed over the century to solve so many problems prevalent in our schools today. To further substantiate this, we have heard of how a number of our best known Nobel Prize Winners and other well known men, truly hated school. Many of them even thought school was boring, confining, prison-like, and frustrating, at very best! Consequently, a large number of brilliant men dropped out of school, choosing home schooling and learning on their own.

The time is now, if we want to close the widening educational gap between boys and girls, as well as the increasing gap when compared to other countries in the areas of reading, writing, math and science. My theory is that if we do not change our “Antiquated School System” soon, children’s frustration will lead to the serious epidemic of aggressive behaviors and a general feeling of failure found mainly in boys. We may be doomed to the mediocrity our country will accomplish in the future, not to mention what it is doing to our society as a whole. School shootings and stabbings, bullying, fighting, gang activities, bomb threats, and even suicides are constantly in the news, much to our dismay. To even think so many schools are now eliminating RECESS, to give more time for “teaching” Common Core Standards is truly ludicrous! 

Please Contact me: lgilliam@teacheradvocate.com  if you believe as I do, or have a comment.

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1st Grader

All about your 1ST GRADER
Wrong grade? 1ST GRADE essentials March issue

Fabulous facts You may have noticed that your first grader isn’t reading only fictional stories this year. Under the Common Core Standards, greater emphasis is being placed on reading nonfiction, even in the earliest grades. By the end of first grade, your child should understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction books and be spending about equal time reading each. If you think nonfiction has to be dry or dull, think again. Whether your child loves trains, animals, heroic historical figures, medieval knights, or rocks, the library is full of nonfiction books on topics they’ll be excited about.

Read more about the nonfiction revolution and check out these nonfiction book lists for first graders: history books and science and nature books.

Learn more Do you think this information will influence your opinions or behavior?
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3rd Grade

All about your 3rd GRADER Wrong grade? 3rd GRADE essentials June issue

A sense of self You’ve probably observed that your rising fourth grader has become a more fully developed person this year. As your child’s brain develops the ability to think more rationally and logically, they are hard at work forming a sense of self. They’re acquiring hobbies and interests, categorizing their likes and dislikes, and beginning to define themselves as distinct people, separate from their family and friends. As a result, they may be sensitive and overdramatic, and their emotions might shift quickly, from angry to affectionate, from confident to hypercritical, from self-assured to self-loathing. It’s important to help your child develop the vocabulary to identify and communicate what they are feeling as they continue to define themselves as a unique person.

To play our Feelings Words Game, watch these short videos with your child. Watch videos Do you think this information will influence your opinions or behavior?
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Happy Earth Day!

Apr 22, 2020 View Online  Presented by Happy Earth Day! Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and now includes events in more than 193 countries. This year, Earth Day is going digital. Click here to learn how you can advocate for a better world, all without leaving home.  “Quote of the Day” “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” – John Ruskin Picture of the Day   Madeleine Boyce / InspireMore Happy Earth Day! What will you do to thank Mother Nature today?  Inspiring Headlines Medical Detection Dogs Able to Sniff 750 People an Hour Could Help Identify Coronavirus Cases, Researchers Say This experimental project is still in its early days, but researchers say if sniffer dogs are able to detect coronavirus, this “could revolutionize our response to COVID-19.”  17 People Who Got Dolled Up to Take Out the Trash in Quarantine Tired of PJs? It seems our only excuse to go out these days is to take out the trash, so why not dress up for the occasion? These 17 people are dressed to impress.  Mom asks Reddit to Send Cards for Son’s 2nd Birthday When Sofia Wicker realized her son wouldn’t get a birthday party due to coronavirus, she took to Reddit asking for cards to make the day special. She was overwhelmed by the response!  Former Convict Donates Stimulus Check to Unemployed An essential worker in Virgina, an HVAC repairman, felt his stimulus check would be more vital to a person who lost their income. So, he donated all $1,200 to a total stranger in need.  Jon Bon Jovi Surprises Kindergarten Class with Songs Using Their Lyrics A kindergarten class in Palm Beach, Florida, got an exciting surprise when Jon Bon Jovi crashed their Zoom call! The lesson that day was on writing, and Bon Jovi helped the kids learn by putting their stories to music.  Don’t Miss This   Loki the Therapy Rottweiller / Facebook  Meet “Dogtor Loki,” the Therapy Pup Delivering Care Packages to Hospital Workers Before COVID-19, Loki the Rottweiler served as a therapy dog at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s teaching hospital. Now, Loki isn’t able to make therapy visits, but she’s still making a difference.
Loki’s owner, medical student Caroline Benzel, noticed medical staff were starting to get “rashes and irritation” on their faces from wearing protective masks all day. She started putting together care packages with lotion, Gold Bond powder, ChapStick, and more to make “hero healing kits” for ICU nurses.   She and Loki have been able to distribute more than 1,400 kits, and fans of “Dogtor Loki” are donating to help them put together even more. Caroline says this is “just the beginning!”   Click here for more of the story.  A MESSAGE FROM UNITED BY BLUE  Caring for the Earth Every Day    United by Blue  Today is Earth Day, but United by Blue is doing their part for Mother Nature every day.
Ocean pollution is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and United by Blue is dedicated to making a tangible difference. Not only are all of their products ethically made, for every item purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Since their inaugural community cleanup after their first sale in 2010, United by Blue has removed 3,000,000 pounds of trash with the help of 15,000 volunteers.
Learn more about United by Blue and shop everything from T-shirts to travel bags and reusable straw kits. Plus, from now until Friday at midnight, Morning Smile readers get an exclusive 30% off United by Blue products with code SMILE30. Shop here to help them turn the tide!  Even in the midst of a pandemic, these doctors are fighting boldly against a mysterious disease to save a baby’s life. Learn more and support their cause here. One Last Smile That’s it for today! We leave you with this video of a very cute puppy. Have a great Wednesday!    Lexie Spradley / Facebook  There’s never been a better time to share some good news. Invite your friends to sign up for Morning Smile here.     4+ million fans and growing! Join the movement.  Did a friend forward you this email? Sign up here.   Daily updates too much? Update your preferences or unsubscribe here.   Advertise | Feedback | Shop | Submit a Story   Copyright © 2020 InspireMore. All rights reserved.  302 N. Market St. #200, Dallas, TX 75202  
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Kids stay Connected/

How to help kids stay connected when school is closed

Remote playdates, group chats and screenshares: Here are a few ways kids can practice distant socializing instead of social distancing.

by: Charity Ferreira | April 3, 2020

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How to help kids stay connected when school is closed

Remember when you worried that being connected to social media 24/7 was distracting your kid from their homework? That communicating solely in emojis and acronyms during their formative years would stunt your child’s ability to form deep and meaningful relationships? As schools around the country scramble to support at-home learning and families struggle with caring for school-age kids at home for who knows how long, worries about our kids being too connected already seem like a quaint relic of that long-ago time Before Coronavirus.

“Ironically, the same technologies we often blame for tearing apart our social fabric might be our best chance, now, of keeping it together,” says Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki. While staying apart to halt the spread of COVID-19 is necessary, the term ‘social distancing’ sends the wrong message, Zaki says. “We should think of this time as ‘physical distancing,’ to emphasize that we can remain socially connected even while being apart.” That’s important for kids because when schools close and kids are cut off from mundane daily interactions with their peers, academic ground isn’t the only thing they stand to lose.

“They’re missing the space to co-create, to learn from each other, to try things out,” says Marín Trujillo, community engagement coordinator for West Contra Costa Unified School District in Richmond, CA.

Trujillo says there’s been a real demand in his district, particularly among middle and high school students, for digital spaces where kids can just hang out together. It may come across as boredom or loneliness he says, but kids are missing out on an important aspect of their development—the chance to understand themselves in relation to others and to try out new things. “We see this with teenagers, who are developing their personalities — Am I this? Am I that? Can I be two things at once? — all of these things develop through social engagement in unsupervised space.”

While older kids likely won’t need your encouragement to stay in touch with their friends, here are a few ideas for keeping kids of all ages socially connected as long as in-person interactions are off-limits.

It’s the little pings that count.

For younger kids who aren’t yet glued to a device of their own, small points of contact, such as a FaceTime call or Google Hangout with a classmate while doing independent work or an art playdate, can help keep them from feeling isolated. If you’re feeling it yourself, consider organizing a group session with a few other parents and kids where the adults take turns reading to the group.

“We got nine families on a single conference call where each kid shared something for show and tell, the meals they’ve been eating, ways to pass the time, and at the end each mom read a book of their child’s choosing. It was so nice watching the kids connect and I realized it wasn’t just for them, it was for us, too,” Los Angeles preschool mom Emily Schuman posted on Instagram.

Make something out of nothing.

To mimic what kids get from real-life group interactions, I like kid-led sessions where there’s an activity to accomplish or a problem to be solved. My teenager got 6 friends together in a Zoom meeting to record an audio book. They could all see each other as they worked out how to divvy up roles and laugh about flubbed lines. Zoom is used by many schools and universities for meetings and classes. It’s also good for hanging out with a friend while doing an independent activity (baking cookies, cleaning their room, eating lunch) or doing nothing at all. Parents should be aware that the recent popularity of the platform has led to widespread abuse; make sure your child knows never to share a meeting link on social media, and not to join a group meeting unless it’s made up only of people they know and trust.

Good in groups.

If your child is in middle school or older, it’s a pretty safe bet they know more than we do about staying virtually connected. But being physically estranged may make them shyer than usual. If it seems like they could use a little nudge, you could always suggest a group FaceTime. (If you need a tutorial on how to group-FaceTime, there’s one here.)

You can do your part by looking more benignly than usual on group chats while class is in session or while homework is being done, because those interactions are more important than ever right now. “On Instagram, my hive has a big group chat where we talk about our assignments and how bored we are,” one high school student told me. Being more relaxed about the amount of time your tween or teen spends chatting, of course, does not mean relaxing your family’s rules for safe and responsible digital interactions.

Do something remotely enriching.

Be on the lookout for notice from coaches, choir directors, or band teachers that practices or rehearsals have moved to Facebook Live or Zoom. While these adult-facilitated sessions might not include much kid-to-kid interaction, they’re a shared experience your child can roll their eyes about in a group chat later.

Play well with others.

Anecdotal reports from a small sample of middle schoolers suggests that playing video games on a shared server is still one of the most popular ways for kids to hang out together. You know, just like before the lockdown. If your kid isn’t into video games, or if you’re looking for a multigenerational family activity, you could make a puzzle with your own photo at I’m a puzzle and then share the link on the platform of your choice so the group can assemble it together. Or play charades or pictionary using a random word generator. And while sleepovers are verboten, kids can simulate one by using Netflix Party, an extension for the Chrome browser that lets friends in different locations watch Netflix together.

You may need to experiment with a few experiences to get your children to adapt to the idea of distant socializing. Ask your children what they miss and what ideas they have for replacing those interactions. Please share your (and your kids’) ideas in the comments below! We’ll all likely come out of this strange time with lots of new ways to engage with friends far and near

About the author

Charity Ferreira Charity Ferreira is a senior editor at GreatSchools and the mom of a middle schooler.

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