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Student Ownership

Hike Back to School: 10 Life Lessons from the Trail. About the time I was posting final grades last spring, and going through the stored papers and projects that marked the school year, I felt tired. Not just that normal end-of-the-year tired, but really tired. Like “I hadn’t taken a deep breath in too many years” kind of tired. And honestly, it scared me. I wondered if this is what the singed corners of burnout felt like. Kind people often remind me to “take care of yourself.” But it’s tough in this profession, where in the giving of oneself seems to be the premise of commitment and dedication. I worried that if I paused, I might not regain my pace. Eight weeks later, I found myself in the Rocky Mountains on a solo hiking trip.

Use your map, follow the trail, but remember all the detours. Don’t forget to look up. Don’t confuse the path with your purpose. Drink your water. Remember the small is not insignificant. Find a good rock. We’re in the space of in-between. Be mindful of what you carry. Pay attention. You’re never really alone. What Are The Habits Of Mind?

What Are The Habits Of Mind? By TeachThought Staff Editor’s Note: This post has been updated from a 2012 post. Problem-based learning and project-based learning provide a rich opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge, expand their repertoire of technical skills, and enhance their appreciation of thinking tools, processes and strategies. It is not enough, however, to understand concepts and principles and to solve that one problem, as challenging as it might be.

The essential outcome is to develop and expand the dispositions of skillful problem solvers who can apply their learnings to an ever-expanding array of challenges not only in commonly taught subjects in school, but also in their communities, in their world and in their lives. While we are interested in how many answers individuals know, we are even more interested in how they behave when they don’t know—when they are confronted with life’s problems the answers to which are not immediately known.

What Are Habits of Mind? 1. Education builds character SmartBlogs. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”– Albert Schweitzer My daughter has the ideal work location. It’s not because it is in a warm climate (it’s not) or that her office is so nice (it is). It is because she lives just a little over a mile from her apartment. She can walk back and forth to work every day, so 30 minutes per day of exercise is a part of her daily routine.

No need for her to join a gym or buy home exercise equipment — she just has to walk to work everyday and then back home. This built-in or integrated approach to meeting basic needs can be applied to our schools, which is why I think that character education and social emotional programs would not be necessary if we were truly educating students instead of training them. Our traditional approach to schools was based on a factory model where workers had to be “trained” to perform actions and repeat them in the same way and at the same time. 25 Things Successful Educators Do Differently : InformED. Why Do I Teach? The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. As I wind up another semester of teaching at Notre Dame, I’ve been thinking about what I’m actually accomplishing in the classroom. The standard view is that teaching imparts knowledge, either knowing how (skills) or knowing that (information).

Tests seem important because they measure the knowledge students have gained from a course. But how well would most of us do on the tests we aced even just a few years ago? Discuss the causes of the Thirty Years War. Mary is 20 years old, which is twice the age Ann was when Mary was the age Ann is now: how old is Ann? How do Shakespeare’s early comedies differ from his late romances? Knowledge, when it comes, flares up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.

The same is true of the much more sophisticated knowledge of our adulthood. What’s the value of such encounters? SXSWedu Snapshot: What's changing in education? SmartBlogs. Shut Up and Teach by Nevin Jenkins on Prezi. What does it mean to be learned? A few mornings ago, while writing code, I was following from the corner of my eye a TED video, Ze Frank’s “Web Playroom” — a series of strange and poignant stories about people making meaningful connections “… up in that weird, dense (Internet).” I was paying only partial attention until he said, “And this is it, right? To feel and be felt.” I hurriedly grabbed a pen and wrote the line down on a piece of paper, because it struck me as one of those short and rhythmic phrases that holds untold layers of meaning.

A few seconds later, my mind skipped a few rails, as is my nature, to the question: “What meaning might there be here for education?” Then, I jotted beneath the lines, … this is it, right? To learn and be learned. When most of us think about schools and classrooms, we see students learning — that is to say, students being taught. In truth, our children are quite at home with this kind of investment-based learning. 1. 2. 3. 4. David Warlick (@dwarlick) is a 35-year educator. 10 Expectations of schools.

3 Important Trends That We Should Focus On in Schools. Are textbooks an obstacle to learning? SmartBlogs. In “We Don’t Need No Stink’n Textbooks,” Tom Whitby convincingly argues that textbooks are as obstructive to learning as they are ubiquitous in American classrooms. He suggests that most teachers’ inability to emerge from their comfort zones — of which textbooks are an essential component — hinders them from utilizing the incomparably better resources available throughout the Internet.

Whitby is certainly correct: Textbooks are an obstacle to learning, and teachers rely on them extensively nonetheless. However, moving beyond textbooks requires a more penetrating solution than curating the Internet under the guise of a digital textbook as suggested in the article. The reliance on textbooks runs deeper than habit; it’s a product of intellectual laziness.

To truly move beyond these textbooks, teachers must be forced to confront the fundamental question of our craft, which Whitby mentions at the beginning of his article: “What should we teach?” Five Things That Changed At My School When We Adopted A Competency-Based Model. “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” This ancient Chinese proverb sums up my view on why just three years ago it was time for my school, Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, NH, to stop “talking” about making the change to a competency-based grading and reporting model and why it was time to start “doing it.” With a leap of faith in support of the latest educational research from authors Colby, Marzano, O’Connor, Reeves, Stiggins, and Wormeli, our school community “jumped into the deep end of the pool” of high school redesign. Looking back on this now, I firmly believe it was the best thing we could have done.

As you might expect, our leap of faith into the deep end of the pool didn’t happen without some advanced strategic planning and groundwork. Last year, we developed a blueprint to help us become a premiere high school in New Hampshire. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 10 simple ideas for transforming your teaching this school year SmartBlogs. Many of us will face new learners as another semester of classes begin. For some of us, this can be a frightening and stressful experience. It should be. We have an enormous responsibility as educators to inspire our students to be continuous learners, explore their curiosities and search for solutions to problems that need to be solved.

We have the responsibility to inspire our learners to immerse themselves in the beauty of learning whether it is for their own passions, curiosities or self-discovery. Unfortunately, the system isn’t exactly cut out to support students in exploration. Students are taught that only one answer is correct and if that one answer isn’t given, then the road stops there for learning. I have often been a new teacher in my career.

Then I began to grow some confidence and maybe I was also a little fed up. I want to give you permission. Ask a question that has many answers or no answer at all.Give your students the reins for one class period. Minds of Our Own. Students Who Challenge Us:Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, and Do. Among the many challenges teachers face, often the most difficult is how to engage students who seem unreachable, who resist learning activities, or who disrupt them for others. This is also one of the challenges that skilled teachers have some control over. In my nine years of teaching high school, I've found that one of the best approaches to engaging challenging students is to develop their intrinsic motivation.

The root of intrinsic is the Latin intrinsecus, a combination of two words meaning within and alongside. It's likely that our students are intrinsically motivated—just motivated to follow their own interests, not to do what we want them to do. Teachers' challenge is to work alongside our students, to know their interests and goals, and to develop trusting relationships that help students connect their learning to their goals in a way that motivates from within. How can teachers do this? What Skilled Teachers Can Think 1. 2. Which mind-set we hold makes a tremendous difference. Helping Parents Score on the Homework Front.

Why I Gave Up Flipped Instruction. A little over a year ago I wrote a post about the flipped classroom, why I loved it, and how I used it. I have to admit, the flip wasn’t the same economic and political entity then that it is now. And in some ways, I think that matters. Here’s the thing. When I recently re-read the post, I didn’t disagree with anything I’d said. Yet my brief love affair with the flip has ended. When I wrote that post, I imagined the flip as a stepping stone to a fully realized inquiry/PBL classroom. What is the flip? The flipped classroom essentially reverses traditional teaching. When I first encountered the flip, it seemed like a viable way to help deal with the large and sometimes burdensome amount of content included in my senior Biology & Chemistry curricula. My flipped experiments I first encountered the flip in a blog post. My students loved the idea of trying something that very few other students were doing.

We began to shift What was my role? The flip faded away The flip is gone for good No. 9 ways common core will change classroom practice Harvard Ed Letter. Volume 28, Number 4July/August 2012 By ROBERT ROTHMAN Nine Ways the Common Core Will Change Classroom Practice, continued Nine Ways the Common Core Will Change Classroom Practice In a recent survey, William Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor of education at Michigan State University, found some good news and bad news for supporters of the Common Core State Standards.

The good news was that the vast majority of teachers have read the Standards and nearly all like them. The bad news was that about 80 percent of mathematics teachers said the Standards were “pretty much the same” as their current state standards. Those teachers might want to take a closer look. In Mathematics 1. This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Growth Mindset to Overcome Failure. Fast Failure for Learning. Making Friends With Failure. No one likes failure, the F-word, no matter how you sugarcoat it. But failure is a part of life. Sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes you don't get what you want. Stuff happens.

Using the F-Word in School There is a major disconnect between schools and the real world on the notion of failure. Failure is hard for everyone, but interestingly, it's particularly hard for high-achieving students. We need to give our children more opportunities to build a relationship with failure. One cure for the fear of failure is to rebrand it. Rebranding Failure Schools have this failure-thing, the F-word, all wrong. We have to take the classroom back and make it a sacred space where asking questions is OK. This is ironic, since children are innately risk-takers. We need to teach children great stories of failure. To succeed, we must make friends with failure. Now, get out there and fail! FAIL ure. Failure Is Mandatory: Creating A Culture Of Innovation. The following post is written by Tom Daccord and Justin Reich of EdTechTeacher .

Join EdTechTeacher at the iPad Summit in Atlanta on April 10-12. Progressive school administrators understand that teachers need room to explore and experiment to uncover ways to use technology effectively in the service of learning. These administrators recognize that initial tech integration forays may fall short, or even fail, but they realize that experiences gleaned help build institutional knowledge of best practices. Ultimately, enhanced community-wide knowledge and understanding of tech integration practices reduces fears and uncertainties — at both an individual and school-wide level — and provides a foundation for growth.

A common trait of successful education technology programs is a culture of innovation where administrators understand that increasing institutional growth means that failure …. is mandatory. Strategy #1 – Remove the Fear of Failure Strategy #2 – Create Skunkworks. Growth Mindset Strategies. Back to School: Why Letting Your Kids Struggle Helps Them Succeed. The back-to-school season is upon us, and once again, parents across the country have loaded their kids’ backpacks up with snack packs and school supplies. It’s a good moment to reflect on what else we should be giving our kids as they head off to school. American parents are feeling particularly anxious about that question this year. The educational process feels more than ever like a race, one that starts in pre-preschool and doesn’t end until your child is admitted to the perfect college. There is a lot of advice out there on how best to help our kids thrive, but after surveying the research, I believe that most parents are more worried than they need to be about their children’s grades, test scores and IQ.

And what we don’t think about enough is how to help our children build their character — how to help them develop skills like perseverance, grit, optimism, conscientiousness, and self-control, which together arguably do more to determine success than S.A.T. scores or I.Q. Perseverance and Grit. In every country in the world, we elevate those who endure, especially against overwhelming odds. We exalt politician William Wilberforce, who led a challenging campaign to end all slavery in the British empire. We lift up Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani girl who fought for education rights for women.

After being shot by the Taliban last year, she is now back in action and continues her fight for education. We find nobility in those who battle cancer, survive horrific war conditions, prevail over poverty, and stand up to bullies. Because they persevered despite their challenges, these people (and Balto) are examples for the next generation. In May 2013, Angela Lee Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania delivered a TED Talks on the power of grit in the classroom. For the empirical evidence of answers to that question, many turn to Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s work with fixed intelligence vs. growth mindset.

Promoting Tenacity Interpersonal Strategies.