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Sanford Aranoff

I am an adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics at Rider University, active as a substitute teacher and mentor in high schools, and a retired professor of physics from Rutgers University. I have taken extensive notes from my experiences and given them to my protégés. Recently I collected them into a book. I suggest that your library purchase the book for the benefit of students, parents, and teachers.

I just wrote a book, "Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better". This is available on amazon.com, ISBN 978-1-4196-7435-8. May I suggest that you order a copy for the library? The readers will be very pleased!

The reviews are superb. Students, teachers, and professors who have looked at the book give it the highest rating.

Typical comments that I hear are things like this: "Hi, Dr. Aranoff!" said a girl, "I got a 100 on the test! I am so happy! Thank you so much!"

I also wrote a paper in Gifted Education Press Quarterly:
http://www.GiftedEdPress.com/GEPQWINTER2008.pdf

Here are some comments:

"We really enjoyed the latest GEPQ and especially liked the article by Sanford Aranoff. He took a very practical approach on an eyeball to eyeball level. A lot of this really needed saying. He showed a keen awareness of the trends towards anti-scientific education that are out there. We made a hard copy of this article and will send it on to the heads of the science and math departments at Loyola Academy with the intention of their distributing it to department chairs in the Jesuit Secondary Education Association."

Jim Cottrell

The importance of having a network to bounce ideas off of is critical to change. Lets say a teacher has 30 students and four computers. The teacher knows how to use the various read/write Websites, which is the easy part. The trick is figuring out what will work as a scaffolding, so students can showcase what they have learned using technology. Also, figuring out how to get students to function as small learning groups and keeping them learning while rotating to and away from the computers would be no small task. To successfully do the above in a timely manner would take more than one creative mind. The support of others would also keep the teacher going when things don't work out. Most blog posts are about the easy stuff and don't contain ideas about creating scaffolding to direct learning using technology, developing student's group learning skills, or how to manage the access of a large number of students to a little bit of technology. Teacher's need to talk over the nuts and bolts of what works, as well as the big ideas that occur in most blogs and PD. Romantic ideas like teaching children under a tree are simple compared to the complexity of using group learning with a limited about of access to technology.

Kelly Christopherson

Jim, exactly right. It is about the conversations that take place about how to use the tools. There will be all kinds of student arrangements that require people to think about and discuss along with all kinds of information and tools that teachers will want to share and explore.
I've had a number of people comment on the students under a tree. Regardless of what the situation, teachers do not have to face what they are doing alone. We have the ability to reach out and to others in a new and exciting way. I'm not sure too many teachers would find themselves and a group of students under a tree to be very simple. In fact, I know that they'd rather tackle a room of students with only a few computers rather than a class under that tree while others would welcome the tree situation any day.
Most blog posts are about the easy stuff and don't contain ideas about creating scaffolding to direct learning using technology, developing student's group learning skills, or how to manage the access of a large number of students to a little bit of technology. Some might agree with this. However, I've seen several that do tackle this very thing. It's looking to find those who are doing these different things. I find that "how to's" work better on a wiki than on a blog and that is where I look for how teachers are doing things. Something like my wiki www.adminplc.pbwiki.com focuses on supervision. It has resources and ideas for various types of teacher supervision where administrators can discuss, if they want, more resources or whatever dealing with this topic. It's helping people find these types of things where networking pays off.
Thanks for the comment and suggestion.

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