Monday, March 31, 2014


I learned that children are our future and need to be taken care of. Regardless of the neighborhood they are from or what race they are. They are all different and brilliant kids who want to be seen as equal no matter where they come from or what they have seen. If the effort is put in while they are young they will become great people who do the same for others. I gained perspective about my own education while growing up and noticed that while better off my school had some of the same problems as P.S. 30 and others. Such as not having enough learning materials for every student, and some teachers who do not hold there positions long. I had witnessed some hire up people in the education system that influenced my school. The big one I remember was the debate over a new track and football field but lose of teachers and learning materials.

I think all of the notes could stand out, because they allow you to see the numbers and other references that make it more than just a story about children. The one the stood out to me was note 215,216 on page 359. It states that New York spends $8,200.00 per pupil with special education at P.S. 30. While only $5,200 is spent on regular classroom students. The same year other schools spent $18,000.00 and $20,000.00 on the schools. It relates to the chapter with Benjamin who is swept under the rug and viewed as a problematic child. Though with more resources could have not been held back. Also the size of the classrooms and differences in money that the local Mott Haven schools get, which is much less than schools in wealthier neighborhoods.   

Amanda's Reflection. Journal 9.

I thought the book was good. The strength and courage that the kids display in this story is amazing. These kids not only have to deal with their surroundings and walk through their neighborhood on guard in case someone shoots someone or someone lurking in the shadows trying to get your money.
       The kids get to go home to either drug dealers, drug addicts, a hard working single parent or grandparent, who may or may be home to greet them or to put food on the table if there is little to no money to but it with. With a lot of these kids one of their parents, sisters, and brothers is in  prison and yet these kids are watching what their siblings did and while they may not completely understand what is happening they are still taking in the little bit of their surroundings and pushing themselves to be better and making something of themselves so that they have a better future.
       I felt that the kids were probably the best part of the story because of how different they are from one another, but they do not let that hinder them while they are around each other. The kids showed us you can put any difference aside and be able to open your heart to any one and make them laugh or just to be there in comfort.

The most interesting facet of the Notes section was within chapter 20  was the use of Ritalin. I remember growing up and hearing about how my younger brother was as suggested to be put on Ritalin because he would loose interest in the class at a drop of an hat. All I knew then was that my parents were completely against the use of the drug. It would make the teacher furious with them because of the little control they had on my brother. On page 268 the big shock was the fact that this drug is dispensed with little supervision and as strong as this drug is it surprises me that the pharmacist would allow such a drug to be dispensed so freely as if it were candy.

Colin- journal 9

Through the jouney with  Kozol in Ordinary Resurections, i was able to develope a great deal of respect. Though I respect Kozol, this is not the respect I am talking about. seeming silly, i have developed the up most respect for the children in this book.

After being walked through thier dayly lives, and seeing what these children deal with every day, ive realized that my life is luxirous. The sad part is they have no choice but to be surrouinded by the drugs, gang violence, the poverty, and disease. then they have to find the will and the determination to make the best of it or to better theirs lives the best they can. then as the book goes on you learn everything about every child, and you can see how innocent these children are.then there is the moving part, thier role models.

some of these children dont even have the strucre at home that they should have. from the drugs to the poverty, the corruption of these childrens parents are a large part of there expected fall into that society. But then there are people like Mther Martha and the teachers at p.s. 30 who love and care about theses children and thier futures. they dont just teach them or watch them for the time that they are there, they get in voloved and help navigate them in the right direction. and in respect it all.

in the notes section, i found the part under Chapter 12, on pages 352 and 353 there was alot of info involving the citys prisons and other things involving poverty stricken people. i also like the note section under chapter 20 on page 363 about the use of ritalin.    

Sam's Journal Nine

After reading the book Ordinary Resurrections there were many things that stuck out in my mind. The One thing that stands out the most is, without the help from a few select individuals in the Mott Haven District, these children would have an even slimmer chance of finishing school and becoming model citizens. The dreams that these normal kids have are kept alive by a few people. These people give guidance and and fight to protect the children. Miss Katrice, Mother Martha, and Miss Rosa are a few of these individuals fighting to give these kids a chance to fulfill their dreams. The majority of the society seems to turn their heads to the consistent problems in Mott Haven and act as if it is a lost cause.
 The Note that stood out the most to me was on pg. 360 (217) Morris High School Statistics. Out of 1,196 students that start school in the ninth grade, only 66 end up receiving diplomas. That statistic shows how the neighborhood these kids live in swallows their dreams. They need more people like the ones mentioned above to help change the culture in the area and help these children succeed.

Journal 9: Reflections on Ordinary Resurrections BreAnna Baer

     I learned something in this book that means a lot to me and that is that there are people, children or not, that have a short end of stick most of the time. The children in Mott Haven have been through a lot, but they still get up everyday and go to school with a smile on their faces. I also gained how society looks down on this neighborhood thinking these children are never going to go anywhere in life besides grow up and be trouble for others around them. I thought growing up my education was okay, there were moments where I thought it was awesome then there were moments I thought it was the most awful education ever, but after reading this book and then comparing it to my experiences I was the lucky one. Education is the most important thing to have and to offer children. Growing up as a child, I was always influenced to get a good education from my parents and somewhat felt it from society, these children have the support from their parents to go but when it comes to society they probably care less. With me saying that, there are many reasons to explain it, they put all the incinerators in that neighborhood, no decent schools. The neighborhood can debate it all the way and nothing will get changed.
      After reviewing the notes section there were many that struck me. I chose one that stands its point when it comes to the education for the children of Mott Haven. Note on chapter 15. "There is a direct connection between uncertified teachers, minority neighborhoods, and schools with low scores" (Jones, 357) "all black and Hispanic neighborhoods, all with 25 to 30 percent uncertified  teachers" (Jones, 357). This just summarizes why the students are not getting an education, and how they are sending uncertified teachers to teach them and not helping the children succeed.

Journal 9 Preston

We just got done reading Ordinary Resurrections by Jonathan Kozol and things that I learned about that meant the most to me while reading this novel was, how religous this book is, I mean it's about life and the kids and amazing people but they talk about God and religon alot in this book and for some reason it stuck with me. Another thing that stuck with me was the amazing people that he is around like, Mother Martha and the kids. He talks and show's us how they live and act they are normal people and he goes and follows them around and is just there. The perspective of my own education that I gained from this was that we need education and great teachers in our lives, to tell us what is right and wrong. I believe that if there is a great teacher at your school then I think the kids will learn alot more and they will focus and want to be there so that is good for teachers and kids and ect.

The note that stood out the most to me was on page 353 and what stood out was the fact that 5,173 kids in that city were being held in detention at one point in their life when they were between the ages of seven and fifteen and that is pretty crazy to see, I like to see the facts and what he means when he talks about this in the chapter. Another note that stood out was on page 344 where he tells us that children in local public schools have the lowest chance of admissions to the city college entrance, and that just shows that they are not giving the kids a chance they might assume that they are trouble makers and all but Kozol is showing us the bright side of these kids and that is great.

Journal 9- Lacie

The thing that I learned was the hope that these children give to the adults. Kozol's parents starting getting worse at the end of the book and his dad at one point thought that Kozol was his brother. Kozol knew he wouldn't be around for long but he would always pray for more years to come with them. I feel that the adults got through life a little easier knowing that they had the kids to make them happy, to brighten up their day. They just wanted to give the children a good eduacation and a good life and they did their very best. If my teachers put in as much effort as the ones in the book then myself and other students i went ot school with would be better off. They didn't take the time ti sit there and explain to us what we didn't understand they just kept lecturing to us to the point we had no idea what was going on. They would then blame us for not knwoing because we "weren't paying attention". No you just dont know how to explain it to us or don't take the time to help us understand. The teacher is a big influence in our education today because we need them to teach us the things we don't already know.

The note that stood out to me in the back of the book was the note that states: "Teenagers who come back to help as tutors. One is the boy described in chapter 16 under the pseudonym of Benjamin. Now doing well at secondary school outside the Bronx, he has become a skillful and empathetic mentor to the younger children." This comes as a huge shock to me because Benjamin was the boy who couldn't sit still and wasn't really on the right path to achieve greatness. Also not many people get to leave the Bronx and he has left and become successful and has not forgotten where he came from because he came back to tutor.

Journal 9 Ashley Corwin

An important factor that I thought should be take out of this book is the care for the children. Kozol tells you the past the children have had and shows you that they still laugh and make the best of things. I gained insight of my own education by knowing more about Mott Haven and the south Bronx. I have watched shows that show crime scenes in the neighborhood, but I never saw the good groups of people such as the staff at St.Ann's or the teachers some of the children had. It shows a person that no matter where they are from, there are good people everywhere. Also this book shows the reader the connection that the adults have with the children.

A note from the back of the book that stood out to me was the note about how Kozol's conversation with the children begin. He says that on some occasions, children ask in advance if we can focus on a subject of immediate concern or one we've talked about before. This note was from chapter ten. In this chapter Kozol explains that in some cases he does not know what the children are going to tell him, and sometimes he has to push the children towards an answer. It depends on the child and their mood on what they are going to tell you. Sometimes kids will randomly come up to him and tell him something he wasn't expecting to hear. The decision is up to the children.

Journal 9

What I learned that means the most to me from this book is just to appreciate the little things that we take for granted. These kids come from a horrible neighborhood and a lot of us take for granted the fact that we're safe every night and don't have to worry about just walking down the street or whatever. We all have the chance to go to college and had good schools, for the most part, to go to. These kids don't have that, but they can go to college it's just a lot more rare and a lot harder for them to get there. For us, it's drilled into our heads from the beginning that we need to go to college.

The note that stood out to me was one from chapter 8 and it talks about how the mothers have protested the medical incinerator, some of the buildings that the children live in and how they are active in the education work now. All this relates back to how the children have asthma and how they don't live in the best conditions. The stereotypes about the mothers not taking any action or being worthless, is proved wrong by this note. Some of the mothers are stepping up, taking action and doing what they think is right for their children, which is great to read about!

Journal 8 Colin Visconti

In chapter 21 " Imaginary Music" I feel the underlining theme was to always find the joy in life no matter what the situation is. I also feel the way Kozol hits on this, is to never grow up all the way and when the time is right let the inner kid out.
As the chapter goes on, the children face a hard situation because they cannot afford the music equipment and things to have a music lesson in Mrs. Gambles class. therefore Mrs. Gamble made up for it by using  imaginary instruments and teaching them the correct technique for certain instruments. though silly, Mrs. Gamble knew how to make it fun and productive.  

In high school I feel that a lot of kids my age and younger than me were always held back because school was too boring and there was not enough interest to keep them busy. there was always something else on there minds and the never wanted to focus on the task at hand. in my opinion that was not entirely their fault. The teachers and instructors could have done a lot to make things more interesting and keep the interests of the students.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Amanda’s response to Chapter 21 “Imaginary Music”. Journal 8.

I felt there was several main themes of the chapter, but the one that I particularly enjoyed is when you become an adult, one should never forget the child side of you, as you never know when it may come in handy.
At the school P.S 28 where the poverty level of the classroom truly shows through the building and the classrooms themselves. A lot of the kids in Mrs. Gamble’s class would not have been able to afford an instrument let alone corresponding music lessons to understand the basics of how to play.  
 Mrs. Gamble provided the very basics of how to hold an imaginary flute properly in order to gain the kids attention to ensure that she had their undivided attention as all the kids in the room had to look at her for the finger placement that she had on her air flute.
It was just to break up the dullness of the lesson and to give the kids a brief reprieve she did a short dance in front of a room of third graders and the principal of the school with no qualms about how she looked. In that moment it was only for the kids to laugh at the same time being focused. I thought that was unique and fun way to bring music into the classroom even if you don’t have the instrument or instruction. Kozol commented about Mrs. Gamble on page 227 “She also showed herself to be a woman who was not too overly “mature,” or too “professional,” to show the happiness she felt at making magic music for the children with a magic, and imaginary flute.”

I would say one of the biggest influence that kept students from learning in high school I felt, was the amount of homework.  Most of the kids from my class were either from single parent homes or they had both parents who were working two jobs to keep everything balanced.
 Unfortunately a lot of kids just did not get the help that they needed as my high school there was not an after school program going on that provided additional help. We had study hall, but 9 times out of ten it was staffed by our gym teacher who was not very proficient in some subjects like math.  The teachers did make homework a large part of our grade in order to ensure we did the homework. So, that left a lot kids in the predicament of having to copy someone else’s work. Which was also problematic in many ways as the kids would leave just left enough time to copy off someone else to turn in the work and not read the assignment given.

While the main responsibility does resided with the student to get the work done.  The teachers and the administration I feel would have to work together in not only making a balance in the homework in order for the kids to have enough time to get their help but to bring back the after school program. I know with budgets cuts that the school board faces every year. The program could a free program hosted by graduated high school students, college students, even retired veterans or retired teachers get together maybe twice a week ( a Saturday meet up would be great) and just be available to high school students during a certain time of the day. For the students have the incentive tie in with community service hours. For the retirees would probably look at as something to do to get out of the house and to stay sharp on their knowledge.

Sam's Journal 8 The Right Attitude

In Chapter 22, Kozol has some reflections on past teaching experiences. He mentions that he has lost some of his fire to engage in intellectual arguments. This loss of motivation is due to the declining health of his parents.
 His father is in a nursing home and suffering from Alzheimer's. While a patient at the nursing home, his father still enjoys playing the part of a doctor. Self diagnoses of his own mental state and a thorough lectures of what is actually happening are part of his daily repertoire. While visiting with his father, Kozol listens as the conversation takes them back to the days of his father going to school. Kozol is intrigued by the experiences that his father was able to enjoy. His father grew up in South Boston. He grew up poor, much like the children from Mott Haven. Still he was able to go to college at Harvard and eventually travel to Europe and meet specialist in psychology. This journey ultimately helped him to make the decision to give up law school against his mothers wishes and further his schooling in the Harvard Medical School.
 Although it was not easy for his father to accomplish these task, it seems even harder for the children of Mott Haven. Kozol explains how he wanted the children he knew to have this opportunity, "I wanted them to have the richness and the thoroughness of education that my father had received, but I also wished they could know some of the freedom and intellectual capaciousness that he had known but which he had to struggle to achieve: the courage he had found to turn his back on expectations and adult determinations and the relentlessness of mind that that could permit him to risk everything by giving up law because his longings drew him all at once in an entirely new direction" ( Kozol 289).  
 To me the theme of the chapter was, the right attitude, and I think that this quote illustrates this theme.

 The biggest influence on keeping kids from learning for me would be lack of interest. If it is not interesting to a young kid, others will probably not be interested either. Making spitballs and joking around with the other kids in class was much more interesting to me than to listen to a boring lecture of protons and neutrons. Siting in the back of the class room with upper class men that had previously failed biology was way more fun than the subject itself. I also think that when you are forced to do something. You do not put forth the same effort that you would if you chose to do something. Let's not forget that you are in the stage of adolescence and for many, being cool is more important than being a strait A student.

Journal 8

I thought the main idea of chapter 21 “Imaginary Music,” was how the children were happy. This then lead to the adults around them having the same happy and childlike feelings. The chapter title “Imaginary Music,” to me felt like a reflection of the new third grade teacher April Gamble. She had taught in one of the best school in New York, and brought some of the skills she had learned back to P.S.  28. This is displayed in the story when the children get out of hand and the teach puts her arm up as to be playing a flute and children follow along. Not only was she able to make the unwanted behavior stop, but she was able to make it fun. She was not afraid to be childlike and enjoy what she was doing with the children. I feel like this theme followed through the whole chapter with adults seeing the children have fun and remembering what it feels like to be a child enjoying themselves. My favorite quote in the chapter was while Jonathan was watching the children play in the sprinkler outside by the garden. He says “They remind me of intoxicated elves.” I can see all of the children happy to be outside and playing in the water running without a care.

In my experience the biggest learning factor that kept was from learning was how I was being taught. I was never able to learn well from a teacher standing in front of me and saying read these pages and do the lesson, and there will be a test on Friday. I also felt like they were not very helpful in teaching the material. Sure, they would answer a question, but I was so hard to retain the information I had read in class and went home and try to study from it. I think this kept me from learning by limiting my time and not having hands on experiences. An example would be if I read the math chapter or science chapter I was assigned in class I then would have a short time to make notes and try to remember what I read for when I went home. All through high school I only had two teachers that would do activities on the material we were supposed to learn. Not only did I not have to sit in silence and stress about if my notes were right, but I did better on the test. I think it is not one person’s fault. The school said we did not have enough money to allow each kid to take a textbook home. I feel even if I was able to have a book not having to instruction on what I was learning was what stopped me from doing my best. I feel that the teachers who do get kids involved and try to make learning fun should keep records of how students do and pass it on. I think almost all students would improve.


Journal 8- Lacie

In chapter 21 "imaginary music" i think the main theme was "create your own happiness or to never give up". It was a hot day in May and the children would run through the sprinkler to get cooled off and then go back into class to learn. "it seems they get almost more fun from this than from more organized exertions that take place at public pools where chlorine and perhaps a hint of adolescent danger fill the air." page 273. These children make their own happiness and that what makes the adults happy. They find happiness watching the little ones. When Mrs. Gamble taught her class with imaginary flutes and they "played along" as if they were blowing into a flute too, teaches the children to never give up. Just because they didn't have actual flutes doesn't mean they couldn't pretend and be just as happy.

The biggest factor from keeping students from learning from my experience was other students. Other students can be a big distraction in certain situations. Maybe the boy you like sits right in front of you and you can't help but to think about him while staring at the back of his head. Or the class clown just played another prank on the teacher and the whole class laughs. Some times you sit there in class and think about other things that you find way more important like your plans this upcoming weekend because the topic you're learning about is so boring you can't focus. Some kids sleep in class because they couldn't sleep the night before. The only way to keep students focused is to have teaching techniques to keep them interested. Play a game that helps you learn as well as being entertaining and fun. Give them breaks to socialize with their friends so that they don't do it while you're teaching. Allow them to work with partners and do not just stand at the front of the class and lecture the entire time. Watch movies and take them on field trips, hands on learning is the best learning, odds are i will learn more. Also the parents have a lot to do with it, make sure your children get a good nights sleep, make them eat before they go to school and help them where help is needed. The main responsibility is within the students themselves because they have to be willing to learn.

Response to Imaginary Music

I think the theme behind this chapter is that you're never to old to play with children or children's games, but there is also a line that you have to remember so they don't lose respect for you. I think this is the theme because in the chapter Kozol talks about how the teachers sometimes join the children in games they are playing, but have to remember that they can't do it all the time or the children will stop viewing them as an authority figure. The teacher Mrs. Gamble does a really good job at balancing this line. The way that really showed she knew how to do this but was in control too was "Then the teacher started humming softly - then she briefly thrilled a melody in her soprano voice - and some of the children started trilling their own voices too, and suddenly I understood: It was an orchestra, and they were the flute section! In their hands were imaginary flutes. Their little fingers played the notes and when the teacher bent her head as if she were so deeply stirred by the echanted music she was hearing that she had to tilt her body in response, the children bent their bodies too." Kozol notices she does a really good job at balancing this line too.

I think the biggest influence on keeping students from learning are the teachers. The teachers are the people that we look to to make learning interesting for us, and if they don't do that a lot of students lose interest quickly. I had a teacher in high school that was a complete monotone for math who always lectured then let us work on homework. It was the same routine everyday and I already struggled in math, so I wouldn't even go to him to ask questions. I would go to another teacher who I liked as a math teacher more for questions. If he would've been more hands on or even spoke in different tones, he probably would've been able to keep my attention better, instead of losing it completely. I like a class where I don't know what I'm going to do exactly every time I walk into the class. I had teachers in high school that did this and I did really well in their class. I think the responsibility for this resides in the teacher and the student. I should've went to him instead of another teacher for help, but he also should've made learning a little more interesting than what he did.

Preston's Journal 8 response

The chapter that I chose was chapter 22, I picked this one because it talks about his career and path that he took in his life and he goes on and talks bout his father and mother being there and having his father becoming a doctor and also having his father be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. And that really hurt Kozol because a direct quote he said in this chapter that stuck out was "I felt a lot of anger at myself for all the opportunities id missed to spend unhurried time with them". That can show his anger towards himself because someday s he wishes that he doesn't spend all of his time with the kids and more time with his parents because he is going to lose them. He talked about his father loosing his memory and not remembering things and you could tell that it was bothering Kozol and it was making him want to leave the kids and go be with his parents. The main theme I thought it was talking about what was take what you have now and go with it, he also talks about career changes and he says do what you want to do and don't let other people tell you what you should do.

An experience factor that was the biggest influence on keeping students from learning was me, I was that kids who never paid attention was always dicking off and getting in trouble. I didn't take school serious. I was always talking and getting kids from not learning. This kept the kids from learning because I was bothering them and interruption the class and getting everybody of the topic. I could tell that people were listening in class and I could start to talk them and get them from from focusing because I was saying jokes and doing things that would get most people yelled at, but I couldn't sit there and learn and to me it was boring i didn't want to be there and I hated it. But I solve the problem because I knew that I was almost done with school and I knew that I wanted to graduate and go to college so I focused in school, I payed attention and learned and by doing that I graduated with a 3.0 GPA and made me realize that school wasn't a joke and that I needed to take it more serious because my future depended on it. I think that teachers should do a better job or get the kids more involved, I know kids that couldn't sit there and just write down notes, they got to be involved get their interest and let them learn things they are interested in.

Journal 8: Chapter 22 "A Rich and Varied Life" BreAnna

       I felt that Chapter 22 was a very important chapter. The main topic of the chapter was the education and the future education for the children. The chapter also touches base of Kozol's past education. my favorite quote from the chapter is when Kozol is speaking of how parents want best life for their children. They want a healthy lifestyle and education for them. "We owe it to these children not to let the doors be closed before they're even old enough to know how many rooms there are, how many other doors there are beyond the one or two that they can see"(292). This quote not only goes for the children in Mott Haven but the children around the globe. Children are valued, they are the next generation that can make a change and maybe correct the mistakes the generation up probably made.
       There are a few factors that influence the learning of others, you have the class clown, or the teacher.  The class clown is the loud one that has to get attention at every moment and has to distract the teacher. Punishments will result in extreme measures and time goes by and wasted. When it comes to the teacher, they may go to quickly in their teachings or will not explain even more when one child is struggling on the topic. I say this from first hand. It was science class in middle school, I would review a topic over and over and could not grasp it so I went to the teacher and I remember being told "We went over it in class more than once, you should understand!" needless to say when it came to the topic on the test my mind was not finding that file to answer those questions. The solution to the problem is everybody, if the teacher does not want to take the time to help their student shame on them. If the parents do not want to look up solutions or call the school to help correct the situation shame on them. The students need to speak up and look somewhere else for the answer, like I should of done. The administrators should be more involved in the classrooms, when the principle came and did those teacher evaluations its not hard to put up a front. They should ask the students how the class is going and how is their teacher this semester. The main responsibility is throughout, I cannot pin point it. It is a system and all the wheels need to turn smoothly for the system to flow.

Ashley's Journal 8 on Chapter 21 response

I would have to say the main purpose of this chapter was the importance of the childrens education. Also another theme was the signifincance of happiness the adults would feel while watching the students. Some times the adults would play with the children, such as letting them push them on the swing. Kozol states " They do not know the satisfaction that we take in watching them. Their only work right now is play. Our only work right now is taking pleasure at the sight of them". I found this quote to be my favorite because it shows that the adults do enoy being around the kids and that it is not a chore to have to watch them. It actually makes the adults feel young again themselves. There were also two teachers in this chapter that had a big part on the childrens education. They would make unique ways to help the children learn. Mrs. Gamble would raise her hands and play an imaginary trumpet to get the childrens attention, while the other teacher would sound very disappointed and sad if the students were talking while he was trying to teach, and they would be silent the rest of the class because they did not want to see him sad.

A big factor that influenced kids in my high school from learning were the class clowns. They would always be doing something when either the teacher was talking, or making noises while the students were trying to do their work. This made it diffecult to focus in class and get the homework done. I would say a way that this could be fixed is to either disipline thos kids and send the to the office every time it happens so they do not think they can get away with their behavior, or having them in classes in which include talking and participation. This way the student can get out some of the energy they may be having. This problem could be centered on parents. The kid may not be able to get their energy out at home, so when they are school they don't know how to handle themselves.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Journal 7: Write a response to this Ted Talk in the Comments section
Bronx educator Stephen Ritz

Use your notes from the film and  responsd to the film:

Requirement: Use one direct quote from the film somewhere in your response.

IDEAS to get your response started:

What struck you the most?

What is well done or effective in this pedagogy?

What might be a weakness of this pedagogy?

How might the students in Mott Haven or at schools like Hobart Elementary in L.A. benefit from this style of teaching?

Did you have hands-on learning in school?  How did it affect you?

What did you learn about food or food production in school?  Is this important?

Etc.  Just share your own ideas and best reflections on the TED talk! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Response to The Hobart Shakespearians

My response to the film was that it made me feel hopeful. It gives children, who have no expectations set for them, goals to work toward and keeps them hardworking. The way Rafe teaches provides so much encouragement for these kids that they begin to see themselves in a different light. They believe they can succeed and do amazing things in their lives.

The two methods I thought were the most effective where choosing books that they can relate to because some of the struggles hit close to home and how when the children were in trouble he didn't just yell at them. He actually talked to them like adults and respected them while he did that.

The direct quote I liked was when Rafe was talking to them on the last day of class and told them "You are fabulous and don't ever let anyone tell you differently". I liked this because it encourages them to keep working hard and to be themselves at the same time. It gives them the confidence to not let what anyone says effect them.

My goal for the end of 2014 is to work harder in college, pull off better grades and not get so overwhelmed. Where I've been out of school for 2 almost 3 years getting back into the habit of things is hard and I've got overwhelmed so I want to do better.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Amanda's response to The Hobart Shakespearians

The ten year old Leon and Any Lee were the two that stuck out to me the most. Leon stuck out to me because she wanted to play Ofelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  I remember reading Hamlet and I knew that while Ofelia is not as central character as Hamlet, she has just as many issues that she has to work through in order to survive in that society. Amy stuck out because she was a Tao Kwon Do Champion and was intrigued by the money system that was instilled within the class to understand how currency moves around in the world and she recognized that this game could be applied to the real world vs just within the classroom.
The two methods pedagogical approaches that seemed the most effective to me where the Discipline and the incorporation of fun days were there was no formal class. The discipline approach was different from when I went to school. Most cases if the teacher caught one of us cheating, they would take the test or paper that was being used and throw it away but not before t informing the entire class of who was cheating and make said person or party write a note to their parents saying what they did and why.  I would have preferred the teacher to have pulled us aside quietly. While there is no shortcuts in life, it’s still humiliating for about a week before it’s forgotten.

At times it’s hard for me to voice my thoughts, so one of my goals for 2014 is to become more proficient with asking questions in subjects that I am not very strong in like math. In most cases I sort of understand it while in class and just think that when I get home it will make even more sense. Which is not the case 98% of time.

Sam's Blog on The Hobart Shakespearians

 This film made me think about many things. The one thing that stood out the most was the teachers idea that he was teaching these children not only for today, but for the rest of their lives. The teacher whose name is Rafe, accomplishes this by setting high expectations for his students and a lot of hard work. Rafe uses the recurring theme, to be nice and work hard. Not only does he preach this, he also practices it. He sets the example for the kids to follow, and eventually all the kids end up following his example. He calls this feat a a numbers game. The few kids that are not initially interested, find themselves alone and want to be apart of the class and fall into line. This achievement of having all of the kids involved, showed me that great thing are possible when a class is functioning as a team. This is when real learning can take place.

  Rafe uses two methods that pedagogy that I found were encouraging. He uses the money system as way of rewarding the children for  their hard work and doing their job. He also uses this system as a way of punishment for not doing their work. I like this method because it goes along with his idea of having influence on the children in the future. This method of showing hard work pays off can stay with these children forever. The other method that that Rafe uses is no tolerance for bad behavior. He has a banner in his class that reads, "There are no shortcuts." He stresses to the children that when they cheat, they are only cheating themselves. This is another life lesson that can go with these children long after they leave his class. However, he does not just preach to these children about right or wrong. Nor does he only reward or punish them for their work. He has fun with the class, he recognizes there potential and even more important, he helps the kids recognize their own potential. As the class leaves at the end of the year, he leaves them with this line, "This is the beginning, not the end." I liked this quote because it shows the kids that they are just starting their journey and to keep the ball rolling.

  My goal for 2014, is to be less selfish with the very limited free time that I have. Between college and working full time, I do not have much quality time with my family. There are many things that I like to do for fun, but my family is much more important. I should spend every second I can manage with them      

The Hobart Shakespearians

The Hobart Shakespearians film made me think about how children learn and what they are capable of when given the right role model or teacher. These children whose first language was not English, and lived in a neighborhood full of violence learned vital life skills and strong educational lessons as well. They were given the proper tools and teachings to be more than a statistic of a bad neighborhood and exceeded everyone’s expectations. The film made me feel inspired that if you find the right ideas and work hard that you can be better than the “average” person people think you are.
I thought that taking to children out into real life activities instead of reading them from books was a big impact. They did not only learn what they needed to, but for most they will remember leaving home and going someplace special to learn about something new. I also thought that playing games with the children helped them learn. It got them excited about getting the answer correct. They were more engaged in the lesson and would probably remember what they had learned better than just reading it. A quote I liked from the film was
“You have to be the person you want the kids to be,”
 Rafe worked hard to keep the kids interested and learning, in return they worked hard as well. This did not only stop at the classroom but also in the way the children behaved in the real world away from school. They were polite and understanding. When they didn’t understand something he took the time no matter how long to make sure that they understood it. Even if they had done something wrong he didn’t embarrass them or punish them in a way that be little them, he simply treated them like adults with respect. They all had picked up this good character trait that he was teaching them, and hopefully carry it throughout their life.

My goal for 2014 is to keep my grades up and have all of my student loans paid off in full by the next fall semester.

jOURNAL 6 The Hobart Shakesperians

In this documentary Film it made me feel a couple of different ways. One way it made me feel was inspired. this film really portrade the hard work that Rafe puts into his class room for his students. He mentioned that he worked four jobs in order to get his students on the trips to Washington D.C to really see what they  were learning outside of the text book. He build the students into caring for their grades and wanting to learn. They were very well educated in the shakespear language and enjoyed reading the books. The students even got emotional while reading. This made me feel almost sad but a mix of happy. They read books that were over people stuggling or having problems which is what the students could relate to. So this made it sad to see them crying while reading a book, but also happy because they love to read and WANT to read the book. This documentary shows compassion for the well being of the students. This film had me think about how my school did not have us reading Shakespear until senior year of high school so this really caused the students to miss out on opportunites in better vocabulary or better understanding language on its own.

Methods that seemed the most effective to would be the money method he had going, and also the musical part of class. The money method was a great idea because this helps the students understand the value of money and how important it is to earn money, while also spending it properly. He lets them know that it is okay to spoil yourself on something(such as the girl buying the guitar) but to also have enough money to pay your rent and other bills. It kind of reflects what it is their parents are doing for them.

Another method is the music. He states that the music helps the children with their mathemathics and also their reading. This is benefital in several ways. The children need to know how to read in order to do school work or live easily. Also Math goes along with science so if they are well in math it will help them with their science classes. Math is a stuggle for me personally and I know that it does cause problems with science such as chemestry. In the film rafe talks about the childrens future and their time in middle school was quickly approaching. He told them that it would be easy to fall into the bad crowd but he tells them one thing and this is "You've got to be strong". He means that they must focus on their education.

A goal that I would like to set for myself is to decide what it is I want to major in. It may not sound like much but it is very important to me to know what it is I for sure want to do so, I can take better steps to finishing my goals and finding myself.

Journal 6 Hobart Shakespeareans.

The documentary film The Hobart Shakespearean was a great documentary. I loved how Rafe was involved with his students and cared on what was happening at home, and how he wanted them to be Americans, if they go through all that work voluntarily ans still keep going they are doing more than what we Americans do today, we have gotten so lazy, we Americans just think we can do everything and not try. I feel that if we Americans had to work to become one we would be so much better, we should take these children as examples they have self-discipline to learn and become all they can be. I am not perfect, I am not saying that I deserve the American title, yes I was born and raised here but sometimes I am not interested in learning as those children were, I am attending college to make better of myself and the past couple days something slapped me in the face, I need to do better, and watching those children (10 years old) if they can do that why can't I as an adult? I am going to do way better in school so I can achieve my status as surgeon and help others medically so they can live their life more fully.

The teaching style of Rafe is that he is involved with his students, and feels that their education mean everything to them, he isn't teaching them because it's not just his job but also that he cares. Rafe also includes in his teachings a broad category of topics to teach his students, the money system, music, and arts & literature, so they are not going to class learning the same thing everyday, its always something new for these kids which keep them interested. I believe that its not just what goes on at home to keep the children in school its what goes on in the classroom also, if the teacher is a great character to be around and wanting you to improve that is what makes you wake up and smile about going to class.

When it comes to the goal in 2014 I want to do better in college, it might be simple for other people but for me its difficult for me, obstacles get in the way, work wears me down. There are people out there that do so much more, if they can do it, so can I! So my actual goal is to work my butt off to get where I need to, I want to graduate from college, and be the first Baer to actually do it, I want to make the money so I can travel and help out organizations that are in need society can be great we just have to help each other out, in the future I am going to encourage my children and my grandchildren to do the same, and learn that you have to work for what you want!

Hobart Shakespearians- Colin Visconti

At the beginning of the video, I really didnt know what to expect. The first thing I noticed right out of the gate was the percentage of minority race Hobart consisted of. There were a large amount of Asian and Latino children in Mr. Rafe's class which made me think that he was a specialist for kids with troubled lives. Though this though is not far from the truth i was still in shock how powerfully moving Mr. Rafe's teaching style was.

As the video went on, it never failed to surprise me with the success Mr. Rafe was able to achieve with the children. with his bizarre style, drive and passion he was able to make the lives of these children to take an enormous turn for the better.  in the end, the most respectful factor about Mr. Rafe is his loyalty to his job and the kids. Instead of going for the many opportunities for money and fame he stays with his promise and passion, helping the kids.

My personal goal that the video inspired me with is to find the same amount of passion in what i do for a living  as Mr. Rafe does.

Preston's Hobart Shakespearians

The documentary that we watched was about a teacher named Rafe who really got involved and taught his students the way that he wanted. He changed the way they looked at school, making them read novels that I read in High school. It made me think that we should put these kind of schools in elementary schools and show the kids what they can really do. A thing that really stuck in my head was that the kids got really emotional when they read the books and also when the last day of school came, it really showed that the kids loved his class and wanted to stay and they really enjoyed it.

The two methods that seemed the most effective to me was when he would take the kids to different places, he would travel with them and show them what they were learning about and to me that is great because in my old high school we never went and did stuff like that and so he making show what they are learning by letting them experience everything and really see it beside looking at it in a book. The second was that he really got into it with the students, he made the lessons fun and it helped them the kids out because he would never give up on them if they didn't get something, he would keep trying to get them to understand it even if it took him 500 times he would keep trying, and a quote that showed this was  when he was talking to Alan at the end and he said "never let a teacher tell you what you can't do" and that really stuck with me because he is right never bring a kid down always build them up.

A challenge that I will set for 2014 is to make the deans list by the end of the semester of school, I think it would be really cool to make it on the deans list and it would make people proud to see that I made it. And by making the deans list it will help me later on in the future when i'm looking for a teacher job after school and if I make it on the deans list it would really help me out getting a job. I would be very proud if I make it on the deans list because I have never been good at school so I think that would be a great goal for 2014!

Journal 6. Hobart Shakespearians- Lacie

This documentary film was very touching! My childhood was nothing like those children's. Many of them didn't speak English at first where it was my first language. They said they seen violence and drugs and alcohol on a daily basis and I didn't. I feel like i lived a sheltered life compared to them. It struck me the most when the kids got so emotional when reading Huck Finn because they were so involved and understood what was going on. When i was that young i never got involved with something like that, i would never cry during a book especially in class because where i came from you'd get made fun of for it. I love how they can be who they are and the rest of the class thinks its how it should be.

I think one of the best approach was when the teacher took the class to Washington D.C to learn about the History instead of learning it from the book. The book was coming to life for the kids and it helps them get a better understanding of what happened when they can see it in person. It's more fun to learn that way when you're actually having fun. Luckily for me i got to go there when i was in the 8th grade when we started learning about it but unlike the kids i didn't take it seriously and looking back on it i wish i would've been more like them, eager to learn! Another good approach was when Rafe took the children who were copying to the side and explain to them what they did wrong in a rational manor. This helps because the children don't feel humiliated in front of the entire class and they will be more likely to not do it again.

One of the children said that they loved the fake money system at school because it helps them get ready for the real world money system and i think it's great that Rafe does that because it really teaches them how everyday auctions and how money works!

My goal for 2014 is to really put effort into the classes I'm taking. Little work won't do me any good, i need to step it up. Last semester i totally failed at my classes. I stopped going to class and when i was there i didn't pay attention. My grades really reflected it and it put me at bad academic standing. My parents pay for my schooling out of pocket and i really feel like I've let them down.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

chapter 16. journal 5. Lacie Benedict

The event that took me by surprise in this chapter was when Benjamin found the poem. Kozol asked him to read it out loud to him and the poem to me explained Ben's behavior from the beginning of the chapter and poem to the end of the chapter and poem. The poem was him. A lion in a zoo, Ben in his school. Shut up in a cage, Shut up in the classroom. lives a life of smothered rage, can't sit still and runs around the room.

The most important character is Benjamin because Kozol really talks about him the most in the chapter. Although he talks about the other kids, Benjamin stands out the most to me. He was held back and he could be held back again, he doesn't listen or try to learn but then he finds the poem and it's like a game changer because he changes his ways. He has a new mindset to learn and to move on into the 5th grade.

Kozol talks about class sizes and how they have an effect on the students. On page 215, middle paragraph, it states "Most damaging of all the factors that are truly in society's direct control, at least in my belief, is the large size of classes here, especially for kids who have so many worries on their minds and so much natural desire to receive a big share of the adoration and attention of a grown-up. This paragraph sums up what's happening in the book because at St. Ann's has so many classes that have more than enough students in them and each student needs attention. With so many students it's hard for the grown ups or teachers to give them all enough attention but they manage and they do it so well. the Suburban schools wouldn't know what to do with that many students.