Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Personal thinking strategies!

I am taking a Leadership course through HWDSB and in this past class we completed 4di, which is a tool used to see how you think and what strategies you rely on to make decisions.  I found out that I am a warm and cool red.  
My personal strengths included relying on my experience.  I use my past experience to help me make decisions, but I have an open mind to new ideas as well.  I use my gut instincts to help guide me in my decision making but I need to make sure that I combine this with practical logic, which I think I already do!  Where I scored high in yellow is tuning into others feelings.  I can usually read subtle cues that people may be putting out there.  I am some what high in green using my intuitive powers!  Listening to my inner voice and sometimes having aha moments.  I think, deep down inside, I knew some of these strengths of mine.  
The most interesting to me are the areas that I need to work on.  Getting to the crux of the problem is what I need to work on to help me stop going in circles when trying to solve issues.  Digging deep, sorting through all the other stuff and really finding what the problem is and then going ahead to solve that problem.  I also need to work on structuring information.  I need to commit time and effort to organizing items and making sure to follow through with them.  No more procrastinating, I guess this means I may not have a clean house any more!  I also need to work on challenging assumptions.  I need to work on questioning the norm and challenging how things are currently done.  This is the weakness that I personally see in myself.  I think that I am not really a creative person so it may be easier for me to just go along with the regular practice.  This is where I am really going to put a lot of my energy, at first, to try and change my decision and thinking processes.    
I truly enjoyed reading about my strategies and where I need to improve.  I think that this is a valuable tool for schools to use with their staff.  It really helps people to understand each other better and would help when working in teams.  When you understand how you and others structure and organize information, it makes a smoother team.  I dare say that having someone from each colour on a team may make the perfect team because you have different thinkers tackling the same problem.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Canadian Born ESL Students

Building Capacity Series

In this issue of the secretariat the issue of Canadian Born ESL students is discussed.  Our Canadian born ESL students come from a variety of language based homes which range from speaking only their first language to no longer speaking their first language with their parents and other relatives.

This report states that “Canadian-born ELLs are underperforming academically not only in comparison with their English-speaking counterparts but also with more recently arrived immigrant students” (Coelho, 2007; Jang, Dunlop, Wagner, Youn-Hee Kim, Zhimei Gu, in press; Ontario Ministry of Education, 2008).

The article discusses how it may be difficult for some Canadian born students to achieve because they do not have academic words in their vocabulary.

Some of the ways we can help these students are: (Adapted from Coelho, 2007)

  • Give instructions in more than one way – oral, written, and have students repeat instructions to ensure understanding of the task
  • Explicitly teach – sentence structure, double meaning words, academic words (content words and thoughts), idiomatic expressions
  • Use simple vocabulary along with new academic terms to help understanding
  • Allow opportunities for students to practice their learning through the day both orally and written

I hope this helps in understanding how to help our Canadian born ESL students have successful academic careers!
Canadian Born ESL students