13 Ways to Make Homework More Meaningful and Engaging. In the first installment of Rick Wormeli’s homework advice, he made the case for take-home assignments that matter for learning and engage student interest.
In Part 2, Rick offers some guiding principles that can help teachers create homework challenges that motivate kids and spark deeper learning in and out of school. These articles are adapted and updated from Rick’s seminal book about teaching in the middle grades, Day One & Beyond: Practical Matters for New Middle Level Teachers. Rick continues to offer great advice about homework, differentiation, assessment and many other topics in workshops and presentations across North America.
Check back in Part 1 for some additional homework resources. by Rick Wormeli I’ve been accumulating guiding principles for creating highly motivating homework assignments for many years — from my own teaching and from the distilled wisdom of others. 1. Three Brain Teasers to Spur Logical Thinking and Collaboration. There are lots of ways to stretch student thinking and get them talking to each other about ideas.
One fun way is through riddles that require inductive reasoning, critical thinking and hopefully some good collaboration around student ideas. The three brain teasers below created by TED-Ed have fun visuals and include an explanation at the end. All the videos also include lesson plan ideas to deepen the conversation and start discussion. In this first video about prisoners’ hats the problem set-up ends at 1:35, so stop the video there if you want kids to work on the problem before learning how to solve it. In this zombie bridge problem the set-up ends at 2:00. The riddle of the 100 green-eyed logicians ends at 1:53. Subscribe in iTunes Don’t miss an episode of Stories Teachers Share. Also available via RSS. Katrina Schwartz. How to Bring ‘More Beautiful’ Questions Back to School. In the age of information, factual answers are easy to find.
Want to know who signed the Declaration of Independence? Google it. Curious about the plot of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel, “The Scarlet Letter”? A quick Internet search will easily jog your memory. But while computers are great at spitting out answers, they aren’t very good at asking questions. Curiosity is baked into the human experience.
“Kids are lighting up their pleasure zones and getting dopamine hits every time they learn something that solves something they were curious about,” Berger said. Luckily, kids are hard-wired for that kind of generative curiosity. There are a lot of understandable reasons why questioning drops off in school. But knowledge can also be the enemy of questioning. Why Even ‘Good’ Schools Benefit From Trying Fresh Ideas. More and more schools are breaking away from traditional school models to try new approaches that educators hope will engage students and stimulate a life-long love of learning.
Often the most adventurous experimenters are in struggling schools where it is obvious that the status quo is failing students. Radical shake-ups at “high-achieving” schools are less common — it’s hard to see the need for change when test scores are high and kids are getting into prestigious colleges. But disengaged and bored students are found even at successful schools; kids are just more adept at jumping through the requisite hoops to achieve what they’ve been told will lead to a good life.
Greenwich High School in Connecticut is one such high-performing school. It is located in an affluent area with 14 percent of its students eligible for free and reduced price lunch. Each quarter will follow a seminar cycle where big questions are discussed, researched, deepened and connected to the real-world. How To Add Rigor To Anything. How To Add Rigor To Any Lesson, Unit, Or Assessment by Terry Heick Rigor is a fundamental piece of any learning experience.
It is also among the most troublesome due to its subjectivity. What does it mean? What are its characteristics? Barbara Blackburn, author of “Rigor is not a 4-Letter Word,” shared 5 “myths” concerning rigor, and they are indicative of the common misconceptions: that difficult, dry, academic, sink-or-swim learning is inherently rigorous. What Meaningful Reflection On Student Work Can Do for Learning.
The following excerpt is from “Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry,” by Larissa Pahomov.
This excerpt is from the chapter entitled “Making Reflection Relevant.” Characteristics of Meaningful Reflection For student reflection to be meaningful, it must be metacognitive, applicable, and shared with others. Let’s look at each of these characteristics in turn. Metacognitive Although it’s something of a buzz word, “metacognition” is a state of mind that can be useful for all the core values presented in this book. When children are first learning to reflect on their work, their educators use simple prompts to get them thinking: Do you like what you made? Of course, there’s a danger of this metacognition turning into a kind of feedback loop: Am I reflecting adequately on my reflection? ➤ The digital connection. Applicable This kind of isolated, after-the-fact reflection dominates our understanding of the process.
. ➤ The digital connection. Shared. What Students Can Learn from Giving TEDx Talks.