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Anna T. Baumgartner
Mainland China
International Education Consultant for Schools in Mainland China
Interests: Virtues Education, Education Reform, Math Education
Recent Activity
Let's face it, your child is going to encounter some school environments that they just don't like. But you can help your child to practice how to "get through it" by giving them a few survival tips. Continue reading
Are you the parent of a child with math anxiety? Picture Source: yel02 and Animal Photos! If you are a parent of a child who has a fear of math, you're probably at your wit's end on what to do. You want to do something to help your child, but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2013 at Sine of the Times
Alaskans are known for their practical, common sense attitude and serious commitment to education at all levels. Now China is partnering with my alma mater, the University of Alaska, for joint teacher training projects! Continue reading
First, I think the main thing we have to do regarding assessments is to get people talking about it, because it's pretty obvious that assessments need to be done on social skills and teamwork at a minimum. Even if we are just talking about basic career preparation skills, our students are going to need advanced communication skills to function in the global society of their future. After all, in just about every field (although, ironically, not including my teaching jobs where I'm always left to myself), it is necessary to function as a team, and success is not possible without good communication and social skills. I'm not sure why this is so difficult for the public/policymakers to accept, because working people should realize how important this is. Maybe the public is just not paying attention to what they all should know is true from their own work experience? Other areas of authentic assessment are also a must, but this one is easy to justify and any fair observer has to agree. By the way, I found myself assessing my own kids and their friends based on the dinnertable conversation. If they can engage each other and the adults in a meaningful discussion while referencing what they are studying in school and current events, then I don't care what grade they got on the last history or English test because authentic assessments are much more meaningful. Second, I have to say the 40 plus educators I follow on Twitter have been an incredible source of knowledge and ideas and I'm very grateful to them for sharing. 30 minutes of tweets every couple of weeks is all I need to keep going, going, going. The Twitter education community makes exciting work of striving to become a better teacher and because they shared with me, I now try to follow their example and pass more ideas on to others. Just wish I could use Twitter to connect more easily with outstanding public school educators in China, too. Unfortunately, it's not available on the mainland.
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2010 on New Slide: Giving Ideas Away at The Tempered Radical
Worried about where the world is heading to? There is a vast, as yet untapped resource on earth that can provide enough energy to bring about the solutions we've all been hoping for. Continue reading
Anna T. Baumgartner is now following CTQ Blogs
Dec 13, 2010
Thank you!! I also have been looking out for hard data to support my gut feeling on monetary awards/fines. It is just so tempting because we teachers love to "make kids happy" and rewards are so much fun to give out. Maybe the following experience will also provide additional reasons to stay away from them, because as you point out, it's difficult or impossible to undo the effects of incentive systems. Last year, one of the math teachers on our team founds some tiny dollar bill stickers and he really wanted to give them out as rewards for achieving learning objectives in math class. I had to admit they were some of the cutest stickers I've seen. :) But during our team meeting, two other factors besides the ones you mentioned helped us stick to our decision to not give out any physical rewards: 1. When kids don't get the monetary or other physical reward from the teacher, they can ask their parents to buy it or something similar for them after school. 2. When students are rewarded for their performance, they expect more of the same kind of rewards the next time, but somehow it is never enough...a kind of addiction. For an alternative to incentive programs, step-by-step goal setting for personal improvement where students chose their own goals and evaluated themselves periodically throughout each semester worked wonderfully for us. Teachers also guided students by pointing out evidence of their progress towards their personal goals from time to time. Their goals and self-reported progress were included on their report cards and sent home to parents. We saw some low-achieving students really turn around, and soon our students were visibly the happiest in the school as well, due to this and other positive changes made by the team. After reading your post, it seems like the reason this had such a profound effect is that it humanized the relationship between student and teacher. I also look forward to any comment you have on Mike's question about grading...I'm now mentoring a teacher in a school where every assignment is graded from the first week of Gr. 1 on up.
Anna T. Baumgartner is now following Drexel University Online
Nov 8, 2010
Yes, your child is a writer! Discovering their writing talent is only a few games/stories away! Check out this list of my recommended games, software, and materials for parents who want to help their preschool through 6th grade child develop their English writing skills. Specially selected for EFL students in mainland China. Continue reading
A list of MUST-HAVE English games, books, software, DVDs and CDs to help your child improve their English reading and writing! Shopping List URL: Continue reading
NextStart Building your Vocabulary TodayOur online flashcard courses are the fastest way to build a working vocabulary in your new language. Each course contains over 2000 flashcards ready for you to use. via What is interesting about this online course is that you, the learner, must decide if you... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 8, 2010 at How to Get Into a Top College
A suggested lesson plan for use by a native English speaking teacher on the first day of school in an English immersion program in Southern China. Includes embedded authentic oral English assessment during prereading/prewriting activities. Continue reading
Check out my most popular blog post on how to write a school vision statement (a.k.a. mission statement) that inspires! Continue reading
A child without a culture is like a tree without roots. Continue reading
A new elementary school program focused on character education in mainland China takes off with its first grade class of twenty students. Continue reading
Anna T. Baumgartner is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010