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Engagement & Instruction

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One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Variety in Learning. By Jonathan Wai When you want to improve your physical health, you don’t have to eat one specific type of food or exercise in a specific way. Rather, you need an appropriate mix of healthy foods and exercise — no one thing is required. Different types of exercise and foods are in some sense interchangeable. What matters is that you get the appropriate dose. Could this common idea from health translate into the world of education? Consider the cases of two hypothetical students, Suzie and Greg. In a research collaboration with David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, and James Steiger, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, we conceptualized education as a dose concept.

Although this research was on academically advanced students, the concept of educational dose could be applied to all students, because one size does not fit all—each person needs to be educated at the level and in a way that is tailored for them. But just access to computers and the internet might not be enough.

Tech Tool: Engagement

Inquiry. Tech Tools: Instruction. The Trouble With Bright Girls. 20 Tips to Help De-escalate Interactions With Anxious or Defiant Students. Students’ behavior is a form of communication and when it’s negative it almost always stems from an underlying cause. There are many reasons kids might be acting out, which makes it difficult for a teacher in a crowded classroom to figure out the root cause. But even if there was time and space to do so, most teachers receive very little training in behavior during their credentialing programs. On average, teacher training programs mandate zero to one classes on behavior and zero to one courses on mental health.

Teacher training programs mostly assume that kids in public schools will be “typical,” but that assumption can handicap teachers when they get into real classrooms. A National Institute of Health study found that 25.1 percent of kids 13-18 in the US have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Minahan is usually called into schools to help with the most challenging behavior. Anxiety is a huge barrier to learning and very difficult for educators to identify.

Engagement & Equity

Strategies to Build Intrinsic Motivation. "The fox leapt high to grasp the grapes, but the delicious-looking fruit remained just out of reach of his snapping jaws. After a few attempts the fox gave up and said to himself, 'These grapes are sour, and if I had some I would not eat them.' The fox changes his attitude to fit his behavior. " - Aesop’s Fables There is a general misconception that our beliefs are the cause of our actions. Often it is the other way around. Just like the fox, people will tell themselves a story to justify their actions. This helps to protect their ego during failure or indicate why they committed a certain action. Punishment, Rewards, and Commitment The issue with classroom management policies in most institutions is that it operates on a carrot-and-stick model. The goal of self-persuasion is to create cognitive dissonance in the mind of the one being persuaded.

Punishment In 1965, Jonathan Freedman conducted a study in which he presented preschoolers with an attractive, desired, "Forbidden Toy. " Rewards 1. 6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life. Editor's note: This piece is co-authored by Ellie Cowen and Megan Nee, a second-grade teacher at Brophy Elementary in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Imagine that you're a student. Your class has just learned something new. Your teacher asks for someone to share his or her strategy for the problem that you've just solved. You're beginning to feel as though you understand the new concept, and you have a strategy that you could share, but something is holding you back. You're worried that your ideas aren't good enough to be voiced. Later, you're working in a group with your friends. The Power of Nonverbals One of the greatest challenges in teaching a classroom of diverse learners is determining what students are thinking and how they are feeling about the concepts being introduced or processed. In many classrooms, students use nonverbals to communicate certain thoughts when teachers introduce hand signals for bathroom breaks, "quiet" signals, and silent cheers.

"Me, too! " "I can paraphrase. "