Staff Book Club: Whatever It Takes


I was thinking it would be nice to start some discussions for faculty via a summer reading opportunity. As we move forward, it is important to have collegial discussions about pertinent topics related to our ongoing school improvement efforts for all students.

Here is our next book…Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough.

Prompts to consider:

  • How much knowledge and cultural literacy must a person have to serve diverse communities?  Do our schools teach students and staff to not only appreciate diversity but work in diverse locales? (from the discussion questions of the YNPN Book Club)
  • What can be done within the San Marcos community to bring some of the ideas and practices described in the book to SMHS?

Please add your replies to our blog.

Thanks.

Ed.

Book Description (via Amazon): What would it take? That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children’s Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.

Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.

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The potential of 1-to-1 iPads in instruction


Earlier this week, Dovas Zaunius (SMHS English teacher) shared a link he found on the webenglishteacher.com blog about 1-to-1 iPad initiatives. The post describes how the teachers of a middle school are beginning to incorporate iPads into instruction, where each student has an iPad for use during the class period.

There are great descriptions of free and paid iPad apps and how teachers used the apps throughout their lessons.

The post helped me to visualize how students and teachers can use iPads to engage further into content and how the workflow of sharing what the students create with the teacher.

Thanks for sharing the link, Dovas.

Do you have ideas of how to encourage more teachers to utilize iPads in their instruction? Please share in the comments.