Monthly Archives: October 2012

Knowing Ourselves Enables us to Teach Others


This has been a foundational concept in my life, and I agree that knowing ourselves: knowing our motivations, preferences, reactions and tendencies, makes us more effective as teachers and more available as human beings.

Knowing Ourselves Enables us to Teach Others

By Rhonda Bondie on October 5th, 2012

“Educators are always on the lookout for new strategies and materials that are the keys to improved learning for all students. However, the action that will likely have the greatest impact on teaching can’t be purchased or taught to teachers by another. After over 20 years of teaching, I believe that the best way to increase my capacity to help others is to learn more about myself. To ensure successful learning, I include these four actions in weekly lesson plans, because knowing ourselves enables us to help others.”


Engaging Students in Math

Want to know one teacher’s formula for engaging students in math? It’s starts with allowing more mistakes + supporting struggle . . . What comes next? Read more:

Engaging Students in Math



Day of the Girl


On October 11, iEARN-USA is pleased to celebrate the inaugural Day of the Girl, a new effort that is:

highlighting, celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about what really matters to us, we can teach other people–grownups, boys, girls all across the world–a new way of thinking about issues like gender stereotypes, discrimination, and opportunity.

Since 1988, iEARN has prioritized girls gaining equal access to educational resources and peers worldwide, regardless of the countries involved. Girls have embraced new technologies, social media, and iEARN’s project-based learning, which encourages girls to take action on global issues. Since the vast majority of the iEARN global community are K-12 educators, and most K-12 classroom educators are women, iEARN is led in most countries by women. These women serve as excellent role-models for girls considering becoming leaders in their schoolsand in their…

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Our Global Education Conference Proposal

Using Data to Make Sense of the World

Link to Global Education Submission

Your Name and Title: Donna Roman, CUSD 304, Matt McGuire, Kingsclear Consolidated Schools, NB, Canada , George Petmezas, CUSD 304, Illinois USA, Ruth Hou, Wen Ya School, Taiwan

Countries from Which You Will Present: USA, Canada, Taiwan

Language in which you will present: English

Target Audience: Elementary Teachers, Administrators

Short Session Description:

An interdisciplinary project using monthly data collection by schools in eight various locations around the world; we discuss topics in relationship to the data to better understand our world.

Full Session Description:

Using location data, (temperature, daylight, precipitation), and topic discussions, (such as: landforms, plants, animals, food, celebrations, jobs and transportation), eight schools from around the world are collaboratively exploring:

1. What contributes to differences around the world and how?

2. How does our judgment of differences contribute to misunderstanding?

3. How can knowing the context of cultural difference help us understand each other better?

4. How does collecting and analyzing data help us understand this?

Website Associated with Your Session

I can’t do That! Sure you can…


As we start the school year and online projects, I’m reminded that incorporating the richness of global collaboration into my curriculum has been a gradual process. The whole process seemed more daunting when I first started, but there are so many people and organizations willing to help make it a real possibility for you and your students. There is no end to the Professional Generosity, a phrase Lucy Gray describes in her TedxTalk, available within the global education community.

In my class last week, after our mixed-class small group meetings, Lisa Parisi instructed both of our classes on fact checking and how to cite sources for their collaborative Google docs. That may not seem unusual, but it was all done on Skype, and  Lisa’s class was in Long Island, New York and we were in Geneva, Illinois. We are working collaboratively on a geography unit called Natural Disasters and Us.  This is a complex project involving research, documenting, writing, communicating online and on Skype, and finally the creation of community prototypes that are designed to withstand specific natural disasters.

Lisa and I are able to spend time in each other’s classrooms to learn together as we co-teach. We can be mentors and advisers to one another. She has influenced my teaching greatly. All that, and I have never actually seen Lisa in person. A couple years ago, I could never have envisioned myself doing such a complicated interdisciplinary unit outside of my own four walls. This didn’t happen overnight. I was able to do this little by little with some amazing help.

My first exposure was a pilot global project, A week in the Life, a Flat Classroom Project, and at that point, I had to ask my then principal , Dr. Barrett, what a Web 2.0 tool was. The Flat Classroom teachers in that project patiently walked me step by step to not only a successful outcome, but a toolbox filled with web 2.0 savvy.  Next came my first iEARN project, the Holiday Card Exchange, involving another group of amazing teachers to learn from and with.  Many of us are still in contact doing projects together and sharing information.  iEARN’s motto is Learning with the world, not just about it… and that is true in every sense.

I cannot stress enough the value these interactions hold. The available growth as educators is nothing short of amazing. Opportunities to learn from teachers all around the world, with varying educational cultures and climates….and with different background knowledge… has added a dimension to my teaching that could be gained no other way.

If I can be the teacher in the first paragraph, so can you. All it takes is a gentle guiding hand to lead the way. You can find that in iEARN or the Flat Classroom, as well as many other wonderful organizations.