Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Over: Under Construction


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your support of the "Secondary Farm" blog. We are currently transitioning from summer schedule back to school schedule, which means undergoing some changes. The mission will stay the same, but the content should improve, starting next week. Also, this may be the last cow picture we'll post. And, because of that, we'd like to point out the reason (in case you never caught on), that there is a "dairy farm" pun in the title, thus the cattle.

See you Monday. In the meantime, see what you can learn,

- Farmers

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Viewing: What Makes Students WANT to do Work?


One great video here and one mediocre one, each with a similar theme. The theme is, "people investing in their work", which is applicable to humans everywhere, but especially in an educational setting. As you watch Dan Ariely (kind of a favorite of mine, check out his books), think about what his research results say about homework, busy work, or homework that piles up and is put in the "they'll never know if I just throw this away" file. Also, take note of how easy it is to keep people motivated.
Summary: When the finished product is something that will be used or viewed by others, people are more likely to invest in the process. 

This second video is extra credit. The message is essentially the same as Ariely's IKEA effect, though he does say more. There are three reasons I personally like the Steve Joordan video though: 1. He plays guitar even though he's not that good. 2. Accent. 3. He is a university professor giving a Ted Talk but he still takes the time to answer and defend himself in the comments section of his own tedtalk. Not only have I never seen this before, but also his comments are actually good summaries of the whole talk. You could just read those if you want. Either way, check it out and see what you learn.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tips for Communicating with Parents

Parents can be awesome supporters or nightmarish critics or something in between. This article I'm sharing here by Ben Stern I found a twitter a while back. It may make most sense to elementary teachers, but has lots of useful stuff for teachers of all levels, even if you don't have trouble with parents. He also features a lot of useful apps and programs to help you along the way.

click here: A Teacher's Guide to Communicating with Parents. 

Another great read on the topic of parents, coming from Rock Star teacher, Ron Clark (a movie was made about him). This is just a good article, the kind that one teacher at my school recommended "can we just print a bunch of these and hand them out at parent-teacher conferences?"

click here: What teachers really want to tell parents

Read it all, see what you can learn.