Shel Silverstein

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A week ago today marked the anniversary of the passing of American poet, cartoonist, and children’s story writer, Shel Silverstein. I would guess that the majority of us have read at least one of Silverstein’s poems. Remember A Light in the Attic? What about Where the Sidewalk Ends? How many of you were touched by the words in his famous poem, The Giving Tree? In remembrance of Silverstein, one of my student’s wrote a poem of his own about the famous poet, modeled after The Giving Tree. Fitting.

Once there was a poet…

And he loved the little children.

And everyday the children would come,

And the children would listen Continue reading

Operant Conditioning

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In Psychology class we’ve been learning all about the different types of learning, including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. Operant conditioning was our favorite as we combined our learning with a project using continuous, positive reinforcement. Employing operant conditioning with continuous positive reinforcement is probably the best way to teach your pet a new trick and so that is exactly what we tried to do!

Students were given 7 days at home to attempt to teach their pet a new trick. They were not graded based on their success or failure, but rather on whether they employed these learning techniques. I told them I’d give it a try with one of my pets as well. It’s a good thing grades weren’t based on how well the pet did the trick at the end of week because I failed miserably! Laughing! Here is my video showing my attempt at getting one of my dogs to rollover. Continue reading