Pioneer Middle School

The Best Education for Every Student

  • Personality vs. Character

    Posted by Andrew Milton at 2/9/2017 2:00:00 PM

    Personality vs. Character

    I'm not sure I completely agree with all these distinctions (and I'm nearly certain that they meant to switch the the "Validation of Society" entries), but it serves as a good starting point for discussion.

    We will come back to the ideas about how personality and character differ, and how those differences matter.

    BASIS OF COMPARISON

    PERSONALITY

    CHARACTER

    Meaning

    Personality refers to the range of distinctive personal qualities and traits of an individual.

    A character refers to a set of morals and beliefs

    that defines how we treat or behave with others and ourselves.

    Represents

    Who we seem to be?

    Who we actually are?

    Traits

    Personal and physical

    Mental and moral

    What is it?

    It is the identity

    It is a learned behavior

    Nature

    Subjective

    Objective

    Expression

    Outer appearance and behavior of a person.

    Traits of a person that are abstract.

    Change

    May change over time.

    Remains same.

    Validation of Society

    Not required

    Required

    Comments (-1)
  • 2016 Attention and Electronics

    Posted by Andrew Milton at 11/18/2016

    Below are the results of the Brains on Electronics Attention Test I did with more than 100 8th graders.   Much like the last 2 years, the “distracted” scores (increasing electronic/digital activities added to the process) tend toward being lower than the baseline.  But, like last year, the scores improved substantially following the mindfulness exercise (1 minute of intentional calm focus). 

    Two Baseline tests were administered prior to the various distraction tests.  Each “distracted” test was administered twice.  In total, 6 rounds of “distracted” tests were taken by every student.

    With iPods --Students were allowed to listen to their iPods, or personal listening device.  In iPods plus—students had iPods and ‘encouraging’ text messages popped on to the screen periodically. iPods plus video—students had iPods, plus a video, with sound—played on the board at the front of the room; text messages connected to the video popped up periodically (so, three different forms of distraction).

    The test consists of waiting for a prompt that tells you what to watch for on the next screen.  When the next screen comes up, tester must click a box to identify a certain characteristic about the item prompted for in the previous screen.  Tests consisted of 20 items each.  (Go here for the test...)

    All scores reported here are averages for the whole group of testers.  “Score” is determined by a combination of “Time” (in seconds) and “Correct.”

     

    Period 2

                

    Base 1

    Base 2

    With iPods

    With

    iPods 2

    iPods plus

    iPods

     plus 2

    iPods plus

    video

    iPods plus

    video 2

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    17

    18

    17

    18

    17

    18

    17

    17

    18

    Time

    41

    37

    46

    48

    46

    39

    42

    39

    33

    Score

    63

    69

    61

    65

    61

    67

    63

    63

    73

     

     

    Period 3

                

    Base 1

    Base 2

    With iPods

    With

    iPods 2

    iPods plus

    iPods

     plus 2

    iPods plus

    video

    iPods plus

    video 2

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    17

    17

    16

    16

    16

    17

    16

    17

    17

    Time

    46

    42

    42

    43

    49

    51

    47

    46

    39

    Score

    59

    63

    59

    57

    56

    58

    58

    60

    65

     

     

     

    Period 4

                

    Base 1

    Base 2

    With iPods

    With

    iPods 2

    iPods plus

    iPods

     plus 2

    iPods plus

    video

    iPods plus

    video 2

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    17

    17

    17

    17

    17

    17

    16

    17

    18

    Time

    32

    40

    40

    38

    44

    39

    39

    34

    33

    Score

    68

    65

    63

    66

    59

    65

    62

    66

    74

     

     

    Period 5

                

    Base 1

    Base 2

    With iPods

    With

    iPods 2

    iPods plus

    iPods

     plus 2

    iPods plus

    video

    iPods plus

    video 2

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    18

    18

    17

    17

    17

    17

    18

    17

    18

    Time

    44

    41

    44

    46

    63

    48

    49

    43

    38

    Score

    68

    68

    64

    63

    56

    61

    66

    63

    70

     

     

    Period 6

                

    Base 1

    Base 2

    With iPods

    With

    iPods 2

    iPods plus

    iPods

     plus 2

    iPods plus

    video

    iPods plus

    video 2

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    18

    18

    17

    17

    17

    17

    17

    17

    18

    Time

    46

    45

    48

    47

    57

    46

    45

    50

    40

    Score

    63

    65

    59

    61

    54

    58

    60

    61

    66

     

    • ALL Relaxation Scores went up, to the highest level of all tests.
    • iPods Plus (the first test with multiple distractions at the same time) all—except 2nd period, which showed modest decline—showed significant drop off.
    • All “Distracted” scores were lower than the best Baseline score (which was usually the 2nd Baseline—which I take as the more relevant, as 1st is still in “learning” mode)
    Comments (-1)
  • Hypotaxis and Parataxis

    Posted by Andrew Milton at 9/23/2016 9:00:00 AM

    Parataxis--parataxis is when all of your sentences carry the same weight. They usually have very few clauses, and more importantly, none of the clauses are subordinated to one another.

    There were no rooms at the inn. We drove farther until we found a hotel. It was raining heavily and we got soaked on the way to the door. Our socks stank of mildew. We ate dinner there and talked little.

     

    Hypotaxis--Hypotaxis, on the other hand, is when clauses in sentences are subordinated to one another. This makes it clear what we should be focusing on, and therefore also can give an emotional cast to the writing.

     

    Because she didn’t want to go shopping, she decided to go to the park instead. While strolling along a path, she discovered a hidden garden. Inside the garden, while squirrels chattered at her, she rolled delightedly in the grass.

    Comments (-1)
  • 2015 Brains and Electronics Information

    Posted by Andrew Milton at 11/5/2015

    Here are the results of our "Brains on Electronics" Work, including the results of a series of Attention Tests and the results of a Survey on Personal Electronic Usage.  (I'm still collecting--in a separate survey-- Parent Views of these issues.)  

    Is there a disconnection between student views/assumptions about the effects electronics have on their work and their actual performance?

    First, are the results of the Brains on Electronics Attention Test that 103 8th graders took.   Much like last year, the “distracted” scores (increasing electronic/digital activities added to the process) tend toward being lower than the baseline.  But, like last year, the scores improved substantially following the mindfulness exercise (1 minute of intentional calm focus). 

    Two Baseline tests were administered prior to the various distraction tests.  Each “distracted” test was administered twice, except for a couple of instances where only one was taken, for the sake of time.  In total, at least 6 rounds of “distracted” tests were taken by every student.

    With iPods --Students were allowed to listen to their iPods.  In iPods plus—students had iPods and ‘encouraging’ text messages popped on to the screen periodically.  In iPods extra—same as iPods plus, except it was ‘discouraging’ text messages. iPods plus video—students had iPods, plus a video, with sound—played on the board at the front of the room; text messages connected to the video popped up periodically.

    The test consists of waiting for a prompt that tells you what to watch for on the next screen.  When the next screen comes up, tester must click a box to identify a certain characteristic about the item prompted for in the previous screen.  Tests consisted of 20 items each.

    All scores reported here are averages for the whole group of testers.  “Score” is determined by a combination of “Time” (in seconds) and “Correct.”

    I have not done a test of statistical significance comparing all the Baselines, Distracteds and Relaxation scores, but I did run a t-test of significance for Period 2’s BEST DISTRACTED and the AFTER RELAXATION score (in other words, the pair of scores LEAST LIKELY to have a statistically significant difference), and that difference was significant to the .05 level.  Given that the spread between those two scores is about the same as the spread for all the other class’ BEST DISTRACTED and AFTER RELAXATION scores, I suspect the same significance will show up.

    I selected the best Baseline (without electronics or distractions) score—out of 2, and the best of each distracted score (out of 2), as well as the “Relaxation” score. 

     

    Period 2

     

    Initial Baseline

    With iPods

    Ipods plus

    iPods extra

    iPods plus video

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    18

    18

    18

    17

    18

    18

    Time

    44

    43

    46

    46

    41

    32

    Score

    68.5

    67.1

    63.3

    66.8

    64.9

    73.9

     

    Period 3

     

    Initial Baseline

    With iPods

    Ipods plus

    iPods extra

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    17

    17

    16

    17

    17

    Time

    41

    37

    49

    37

    32

    Score

    63.4

    64.8

    52.3

    62.0

    70.5

     

     

    Period 5

     

    Initial Baseline

    With iPods

    Ipods plus

    iPods extra

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    18

    17

    18

    17

    18

    Time

    44

    42

    49

    45

    37

    Score

    64.0

    64.2

    63.1

    65.0

    72

     

     

    Period 6

     

    Initial Baseline

    With iPods

    Ipods plus

    iPods extra

    iPods plus video

    After Relaxation

    Correct

    16

    16

    16

    17

    16

    17

    Time

    36

    36

    43

    38

    38

    30

    Score

    61.7

    61.6

    59.4

    63.2

    58.2

    69.0

     

     

     

    Student Responses (100) and Parent Responses (57) to a Survey on Personal Electronics Usage--

     

    Some interesting differences between students and parents:

    • 27% of Parents but only 12% of Students think electronics DEFINITELY negatively affects students’ work.
    • 15% of Parents but 50% of Students think that allowing students to use their personal electronics in school would cause some or a lot of improvement in student work.
    • 38% of Parents but only 16% of Students Disagree (Somewhat or Strongly) that they—or their student—keep their electronics usage at reasonably healthy level. (To disagree means that usage may be at unhealthy level.)
    • 28% of Parents but only 10% of Students think they—their student—needs to cut back on electronics usage QUITE A BIT.

     

      1.  Students report owning about 5 gadgets* per person, while parents report their children own about 4.

      *   iPod/MP3, Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer, iPad/Tablet, Electronic Reader (Kindle, etc.), Smart Phone, Game Unit (xBox, etc.), etc.

       

      2.                How frequently do you (your child) engage in digital media activities* while also doing school work?

       *  Text, social media, email, taking and/or sending photos or videos, etc.

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      Always

      14.14%

      14

      12.7%

      7

      Usually

      38.38%

      38

      29%

      16

      Sometimes

      34.34%

      34

      38.2%

      21

      Rarely

      10.10%

      10

      7.3%

      4

      Not applicable, I don't do any

      3.03%

      3

      12.8%

      7

       

       

       

      3.       Do you think your (child’s) electronic device usage negatively affects how you(r child) do(es) schoolwork?

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      Definitely

      12.00%

      12

      27.3%

      15

      Probably

      26.00%

      26

      16.3%

      9

      Maybe

      31.00%

      31

      20%

      11

      Probably not

      26.00%

      26

      23.7%

      13

      Definitely not

      5.00%

      5

      12.8%

      7

       

      Parent Comments—

      Electronics are often taken away because of this

      she is self-disciplined to complete her homework upon arriving home, followed by computer and television time

      Electronics distract from getting homework done giving student an opportunity to do something fun instead of what he perceives as boring

      Distracted to a point.

      when he's engaged in homework he's very focused

      Countless times I found my child staying up past her bedtime watching videos on her phone or talking to her friends..

      I think technology is a blessing, but sometimes it can be distracting.

      I think it slows her down stopping for reasons that don't pertain to homework but it Definetly helps too.

      It is as though he is addicted to the devices.

      He needs the internet sometimes but I do think having the phone nearby can be distracting.

      More focus on school work would probably result in better retention on the things she is studying.

      I tend to think that listening to music while doing homework would be distracting, whereas she says it helps her concentrate. My older daughter often does the same thing, and gets excellent grades, so I'm unsure if it's an okay habit or not. It would definitely distract me.

      I think it may take longer to get the homework completed, but doesn't affect the grade, just time spent 

      I think it likely adds a lot of time to her homework. However, I know that she uses the phone to network with schoolmates and collaborate on ideas and issues concerning subject matter.

      More use of social media is correlated to stress levels

      [My son] mostly uses music to focus

      I say maybe because it only affects a bit but not a lot

      She will watch TV ( not a smart TV) at times when she is doing homework.

      It's a distraction.

      he gets distracted by the Internet while doing homework.

      Her focus is not entirely on her work, it is a million other places

      He doesn't get off track, multi tasking is a good thing!

      He normally uses it to ask other students for help or to research questions

      It's a big distraction really.

      Homework may be put off and or forgotten about because of the distraction.

      Computer games I.E. mindcraft take up alot of her internet time

      Using her smart phone distracted her, caused her to take way too long to complete her assignments. This is why she is no longer allowed to use her phone while she has homework due the next day.

      I don't think her brain will be well focused on her homework when music is in the background

      I believe that music helps him concentrate and having the ability to google something on his smartphone while doing homework is helpful.

      It can be a form of motivation for them to continue to work. Our rule is turn it off or put it away if you are making mistakes, not understanding, not completing or misusing electronics. Most of the time it helps them complete thier homework when they use electronic books, check for understanding or want to see a problem using YouTube. Social media should not be used during homework, but I know it happens.

      I think the electronic usage is excessive and causes her to lose focus on homework

      I think it makes her take twice as long to do her work and not do her best work because of that

      When they have unlimited access to video games at home, their grades see to drop.

      gets distracted sometimes

      Only uses to complete work needed to be done online or to type and print assignments

      While listening to music and doing homework, he will sing along, search and change for songs, he gets easily distracted from homework.

      family rule homework first before anything. After homework is completed then they are free to use all electronics before 8pm on weekdays

       

       

      4.       If you(r child) went one school week without using any electronics, what impact do you think that would have on your (child’s) school work?

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      My work would improve a lot

      16.16%

      16

      17.9%

      10

       

      My work would improve some

      33.33%

      33

      37.5%

      21

      No impact

      32.32%

      32

      33.9%

      12

      My work would be somewhat worse

      14.14%

      14

      10.7%

      6

      My work would be a lot worse

      4.04%

      4

      0.0%

      0

       

      Parent Comments—

      Has not has electronics for a while, missing assignments continue 

      Some electronic use is necessary but only if there is no access to games

      He engages with his peers on questions, homework, receives help, and give help with peers. 

      Would be able to get enough sleep which will lead to good concentration

      My student uses the Internet a lot to help with homework 

      She would get it done faster less distraction.

      He would no longer have electronics to distract him from the most important things, such as school work, studying, and being socially engaged face to face.

      I think it may have a slight improvement in grades but would take more than one week to have a lasting effect.

      This would mean no access to teachers' websites or Skyward. It would also mean typing on a real typewriter. That would be a challenge. Also, doing assignments and extra work online would be impossible, like IXL for math, which is a requirement and helps her practice. I believe nowadays, the students are actually being forced to depend on electronics, rather than using them just as a choice.

      As explained above. It just takes more of their time to get the work done. The output would be the same

      I don’t believe the quality would get any better or worse. I suppose there is a chance her work could decline due to the unavailability of the net for research. She has A's in all classes. I think that she would get work done quicker and therefore have more time for family interaction...which I would definately like.

      I think like me music helps Adam focus

      His work would improve because he plays the tablet often

      Uses computer for research and information

      he wouldn't have as many distractions.

      A lot of websites help with understanding a subject better than a book

      No distraction

      Less distraction

      I see a drastic change in kids when they don't use video games. As far as kindle, YouTube or internet I don't think it has the same effect. But the distraction of texts, selfies, etc would definitely put their attention back to school work and keep them out of unnecessary drama.

      Her focus would shift towards school work and away from all of the distractions

      She rarely uses electronics while doing homework unless it is specifically for homework

      I believe that if electronics were taken out of the picture, free time would be used by other other forms of entertainment namely playing outside and reading books. Physical exercise is good for the body and mind. The benefits of reading are countless

      As long as there are no assignments requiring a computer

      I think he would be more focused and able to concentrate more on what he was doing and finish his work faster, instead of taking all evening

      Kahn academy for math explanations and no ixl would hur tin math. Other subjects would probably not be hurt.

      We have family rule regarding homework first then free time up to a certain time during the week.

       

       

      5.       If you(r child) were allowed to use electronic devices during school time, how you do think that would affect your (child’s) work during school?

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      My work would improve a lot

      10.10%

      10

      1.8%

      1

      My work would improve some

      39.39%

      39

      14.3%

      8

      No impact

      27.27%

      27

      21.4%

      12

      My work would be somewhat worse

      19.19%

      19

      42.9%

      24

      My work would be a lot worse

      4.04%

      4

      19.6%

      11

       

       

      6.        Overall, I (your child) keep(s) technology usage at a reasonable and healthy level.

       

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      Strongly Agree

      11.00%

      11

      8.8%

      5

      Agree

      39.00%

      39

      28.1%

      16

      Not Sure

      34.00%

      34

      24.6%

      14

      Disagree

      14.00%

      14

      31.6%

      18

      Strongly Disagree

      2.00%

      2

      7.0%

      4

       

       

      7.        I think I (my child) should cut back my technology usage…

       

      Answer Choices

      Students

      Parents

      Quite a bit

      10.00%

      10

      28.1%

      16

      Some

      32.00%

      32

      36.1%

      21

      A little

      37.00%

      37

      26.3%

      15

      Not at all

      21.00%

      21

      8.8%

      5

       

       

       

      PARENTS ONLY    My child's electronic usage interferes with his/her sleep.

       

      Answer Choices

      Responses

      A lot

      5.26%

      3

      Some

      45.61%

      26

      Not much 

      14.04%

      8

      Not at all

      28.07%

      16

      Not sure

      7.02%

      4

       

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