Forum 1 - Getting to Know Each Other's Stories

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Subject:  getting started
Date:  2003-07-06 15:08:40
Message Id:  5804
Welcome to the institute, and to the forum area. Don't think of this as a place for "formal" writing, but rather as a place for conversation ... a place to jot down your thoughts, whatever they are, and find out what other people are thinking. The idea is not to write only when you're "sure" of what you're saying or how to say it, but rather to share thoughts in progress so that others can learn from you and you from them. And not to "judge" what other people say but rather to see what new thoughts they trigger in oneself.

Some people (some students too?) may find this new kind of writing takes a while to get used to. Its worth doing though as a contribution to making of education a shared activity, to which everyone contributes and from which everyone benefits. One learns by doing and from the reactions to what one does of lots of different people, instead of by trying to figure out what the teacher wants and being limited to his/her reaction.

So relax, try it out, and enjoy. Forums like this are one of the ways the internet can help to make a richer, more hands-on, more interactive kind of education.

Name:  Mo
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Institionalized 2003
Date:  2003-07-07 10:02:58
Message Id:  5805
My name is RaMona Adams. I'm here because Paul sent me the literature in the mail. I attended the institute last year and I figured why not try to learn something new about serendip. I was amazed at what I accomplished last year. This year will be no different. Yeah right!

I taught 8th grade science at Turner Middle School. The students and I tried some activities on brain and behavior. The students enjoyed learning about the brain. I would like to continue building lessons that explore the brain.

Name:  Shellie Herdan
Subject:  Myself
Date:  2003-07-07 10:05:10
Message Id:  5806
Who am I?? I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a school counselor at Baldi Middle School, a professional. I am a caring individual who loves to help. I love life and hope to live, learn, love and enjoy.

I am very interested in this Institute this year. I am going to try and get it less wrong this time. I would like to see what makes us tick and what to do about it. I am especially interested in learning about drugs and the brain--all kinds of drugs(legal and not]. I am interested in mental illness and the brain. As a counselor this will be a help.

I am also interested in learning more about computers. Using this notebook today is a new experience for me. I hope to get more new experiences.

Shellie Herdan

Name:  Joyce Theriot
Subject:  Joyce Theriot
Date:  2003-07-07 10:07:37
Message Id:  5808
Initially I began my career in science in research and after 17 years a car accident told me it was time to move on (especially since I could no longer hold my head stationary over a microscope for a long period of time). Working at Penn, I had a number of graduate education courses under my belt that I'd originally taken to help me train Special Olympics coaches. So I decided to take a few more a pick up a Masters in Science Education.
I really enjoyed education! It was a new start that was very interesting to me. One of my professors was a proponent of inquiry-based science education and he had a grant for providing kits to elementary teachers in Chester. My connection with him eventually led me to a position at the Franklin Institute where I continued to provide professional development for science teachers in the Philadelphia SD.
Writing science curriculum at the Franklin and hearing teachers' comments about its usefulness in the classroom made me yearn to have a class of my own. One day the science leader of the district told me about a year-round school that was about to open on Philadelphia so I decided to teach there and begin my education research with a "living lab" full of kids!
Now I'm in West Chester and still writing inquiry-based science curriculum and teaching kids. I'm also a technology mentor. West Chester is great, I'm very happy for the wonderful opportunities that are provided to me.
Name:  John Dalton
Subject:  Introduction
Date:  2003-07-07 10:08:08
Message Id:  5809
Hello! My name is John Dalton. I currently teach at Abraham Lincoln High School. I've been there since 1989. Previously, I taught at Shaw Middle School. I was assigned there in 1969 after one year teaching at Garnet Valley Junior High. I've taught English for thirty-five years and currently serve as Lincoln's Health Academy Coordinator. I took this course once before in 2001 and found the ideas on consciousness very stimulating. As a consequence of my participation, I had my AP English class read Michael Frayn's play, Copenhagen. I found many of Dr. Grobstein's ideas about the nature of science and reality relevant to themes that emerge within this play.
Name:  Anne Dalke
Subject:  'round about
Date:  2003-07-07 10:08:42
Message Id:  5810
I'm a member of the English Department @ Bryn Mawr, where I run the Gender Studies Program. I'm "lurking" (well, I guess if I'm typing/talking here, I'm actually participating) in the Brain and Behavior Institute this morning because I'll be helping to direct the second one, on Exploration and Emergence, which begins in two weeks, and I'm trying to "crib" how to go about setting it up/getting it started. I'm here today so I can "visualize" what it will look like here in two weeks....

I was trained in the study of 19th c. American literature, but my teaching has gone way beyond that....I'm interested in telling my story/inviting others to tell order to learn things about the world that I haven't noticed yet. I'm interested in exploring w/ others ways to set up classrooms so that students want to go exploring, writing stories about what they see and learn, and be willing to revise those stories based on what they learn from others....

'round and round and round about. Getting...somewhere....

Subject:  Academics
Date:  2003-07-07 10:09:40
Message Id:  5811
My name is Sheila Michael and I am a computer science teacher at GWJ YRE Middle School in Phila. I instruct students in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and special education classes in computer applications. The students complete course material using a MAC platform. We use Appleworks 6 programs and many supplemental software packages to provide remediation and enrichment, including word processing, data base, spreadsheet, multimedia presentation and internet concepts to develop computer literate students and open their minds to explore technology and the advances in technology. Through computer science and technology the students are given and equalizer to bridge the gaps in their academic development and physical development. I am very much intersted in the behavior and nuerological activity of the developing adolescent brain. I believe the development of the brain and physical development are directly connect. I want a better understanding of the brain and the environment in which it develops.
Name:  Linda Middleswarth
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  intro 4 linda
Date:  2003-07-07 10:10:31
Message Id:  5812
My name is Linda Middleswarth (students at AMY/NW call me Ms. Midds or Ms. Middlescience). My 34th year of teaching is coming up; most of those years have been fun. My personal favorites are the ones in which I taught kindergarten, science "prep" in elementary and currently my time in middle school as a science teacher previous to but not including this past year. Personally, I love to hike through the woods, travel, read (I finished the new Harry Potter in 3 days)and hang out with my friends.

I have never parented--until recently. Now, after my first half-century on Earth, my brother and his 5 year old twins are living with me and boy has my learning curve shot sky high. I take back all those things I said to my mother regarding how I thought parenting actually worked. If all goes well I will be retiring from the Philadelphia school system in the next 2-7 years.

Name:  Carol. Tyson
Username:  jttyson@
Subject:  I am
Date:  2003-07-07 10:10:56
Message Id:  5813
A teacher at Turner Middle School in Southwest Phila.I am in my fifteenth year of teaching.My currnet Position at the school is as SLCC for the Health and Nutrition Community.At present I am waiting for an appointment as an Ass.Principal within Philadelphia.However,I have really broadened my search to the surrounding suburban areas.Thus far my summer has been exciting and quite busy.I have several interesting experiences planned;including a seminar on starting your own business.
My reasons for taking this seminar are many.Most importantly is my desire to better "reach" the students that I am responsible for each day.I believe that as we continue to"debate"societal differences and Ills,an entire generation is "slipping"away from us all.I believe that each person is responsible for making the planet a better place;for at the very end of our lives we ask "why was I here? what have I done? what was my Purpose?" s.
Name:  Julie Leavitt
Subject:  Intro. Julie L.
Date:  2003-07-07 10:11:04
Message Id:  5814
I'm Julie Leavitt and I teach at AMY NW Middle School In Mt. Airy. This will be my 17th year at AMY, beginning in September. I teach a multidisciplinary course called Expressive Arts. I was originally assigned as a Special Education teacher but throughout the years I have "worn many hats". I've been interested in brain behavior from an educational and personal standpoint for many years. In my classroom, I use activities which allow students to gain knowledge about themselves. I have students explore their particular learning styles, and use "multiple Inteligences" in selecting class projects.

I'm interested in speaking with other Special Ed. people about current thoughts and practices as I have been thrown back into the special ed. arena after a long absence.

Name:  Doris P Daniels
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Doris
Date:  2003-07-07 10:11:25
Message Id:  5815
I hope to learn about how the brain is connected to one's behavior.In,addtion which side of the brain is dominant the left
hemisphere or the right.

I teach seven grade at Beeber middle school

Name:  Miss Geneva E. Tolliferreo, M.
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Who? Why? What?
Date:  2003-07-07 10:12:50
Message Id:  5816

Who? My name is Geneva, a.k.a. Miss T., and I am a Secondary Assistant Principal with the School District of Philadelphia, going into my 5th year as such. I am a former {yearly} participant of this institute, as a Special Education Teacher.

Why? I am here, in part, in appreciation of these forums finally being extended to Educators that have progressed beyond the classroom; namely in-house administrators. I am thankful to the Almighty that folk are beginning to realize we need support, academic and intellectually social, to maintain continual learning and understanding.

What? Dealing with a broader range of staff, students, and school community in a more intense manner, on a daily basis, it is essential to further understand the 'brain' reasons of why people behave the way they do.

Name:  W. Keith Sgrillo
Date:  2003-07-07 10:13:09
Message Id:  5817
My name is William Keith Sgrillo. I go by Keith due to a cooperative arrangement between my parents. You can imagine the problems!

I became a teacher mostly due to the influences of my previous teachers. I find it a very satisfying way to work with and influence young people.

I would expect to gain an understanding of some of the basic phycological processes of children/people and methods of applying thenm in the classroom and other social settings.

Name:  Regina Toscani
Username:  regina
Subject:  Regina Toscani
Date:  2003-07-07 10:13:10
Message Id:  5818
Who am I? Why am I here? It's Monday morning, and already I am supposed to be answering questions? Don't expect too much.

I am Regina Frances Maria Toscani, person, daughter, sister, teacher, student, animal-lover, couch-potato, and many other things. My main role is as a teacher of special needs children at Rush Middle School. I have acted as a teacher in the Phila. School District for the last 16 years.

Why am I here? Well I needed something to do this summer that wouldn't get me into too much trouble. Also I needed my "educational battery" recharged and these "B&B" institutes seem to give me a "jump start" in thinking about my choosen career.

What do I want to learn? Can a teacher indirectly improve the functioning of a student's brain? By this I mean can I help my students to increase their cognitive level by playing music, doing more physical activities, serve healthy foods, etc.? Second, can damange to a person's brain be "undone"?

Subject:  Lois Mackey
Date:  2003-07-07 10:14:25
Message Id:  5819
I am a mother, grandmother,and an elementary educator who works for the Philadelphia School System. It is my desire to discover a scientific way to introduce this topic of "Brain and Behavior "in my classroom with my third grade class.I would like to use it as a health/science lesson. Last year while taking this course for the very first time, I was introduce to some very interesting theroies pertaining to the brain. This topic also, pave the way for my interest in science. It made teaching science a lot more comfortable to teach,and therefore, enjoyable for my second/third grade split class.I look foreward to the interaction with other the educators in attendance for the summer institute for next two weeks, and the project that I would develope to use in my classroom this up coming semester.
Name:  Pamela Burton
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Brain Power
Date:  2003-07-07 10:15:57
Message Id:  5820
My primary interest in the Brain and Behavior Institute is to explore the relationship between humam psychological development and actions.
I'm egar to explore the basic comprehension of how people who suffer from psychological disorders and antisocial characteristics display an interaction between the brain/behavior.

I question what are the various ways the medical/educational communities can join together to assist and improve developments in the brain/behavoir

Name:  Nia Turner
Subject:  Introduction
Date:  2003-07-07 11:23:23
Message Id:  5822
My name is Nia Turner and I will be a junior this fall at Bryn Mawr. I declared a Political Science major this past semester with concentrations in Africana Studies and Sociology. My academic interests are the sociology of the black community and public policy. I am involved in several activities on and off campus such as Self Government Association, Radio, Sisterhood, and Safe Haven After school program. I enjoy planning student activities. Also, I love to read wedding magazines, and thinking about wedding details. I am considering wedding planning as a possible field. I would like to attend law school and graduate school after I graduate from Bryn Mawr. I look forward to working and learning with each of you during the summer institute.
Name:  Linda Slattery
Date:  2003-07-07 22:48:14
Message Id:  5845
I have been reading and trying to understand how certain parts of the brain are responsible for certain functions, feelings, cognition,etc. The fascinating part is that we can learn to reprogram our brain to function differently, or behave differently. I believe as a counselor, I am also a teacher, learning and teaching more satisfying ways to live and feel fullfilled. I think a lot of people feel powerless around the ability to change. Perhaps if they were presented with evidence, or scientific information about the brain, they might believe they can change, and "re-program" their behaviors for increased satisfaction. I think the challenge is helping people (myself included) be the most that they can be, and not live small rigid lives. My interest is in how we can increase our learning and mastery!

These are just some of my thoughts on what I would like to learn in this institute, but I am certainly up for more! Name:  Randal Holly
Subject:  Randal Holly's Introduction
Date:  2003-07-08 09:29:01
Message Id:  5849
July 8, 2003

Hello, my name is Randal Holly. I am a teacher and the current Science Department Head at Thomas Fitzsimons Twin Academies. It is a middle school in north central Philadelphia that is currently experimenting with single gender based education as a means of educating students. I have been working for the Philadelphia School District for a little more than fourteen years. I have worked at several other schools within our district, but have considered Fitzsimons my home. I have been involved in several past Institute offerings, and always look towards the opportunity to visit Bryn Mawr College during the summer months and dialogue with colleagues wrestling with innovating science education at all levels of learning.

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