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. How can teachers do this? What Skilled Teachers Can Think What we think guides how we view the world, including how we view challenging students. 1. Being authoritarian means wielding power unilaterally to control someone, demanding obedience without giving any explanation for why one's orders are important. It's not too much of a stretch to apply this finding to teachers and students. 2. Which mind-set we hold makes a tremendous difference. Teachers aren't superhuman. 3.

Reflect, Refresh, Recharge:Take Time for Yourself—and for Learning I'm no longer in the classroom, yet I still have to remember to take my time eating lunch. Too often, I race through it, thinking I have to pick up students from the cafeteria, return parent phone calls, review test data, and quickly cue up three interactive whiteboard activities for this afternoon's lesson on oxidation. As I concentrate today on having a more leisurely lunch, I slowly chew my food and think relaxed thoughts. As we move into summer vacation this year, let's pause for a moment and imagine the possibilities for recharging our personal and professional batteries. In the midst of all that, however, might there be opportunities to reinvigorate our personal and teacher selves? OPPORTUNITY 1: Reflect and make connections. Responding to myriad constituencies, including our own high expectations for teaching, is stressful. Finding moments to think about how our efforts fit into the larger picture of educating the next generation can create the perspective we need to carry on.

Reflect, Refresh, Recharge:Architects of Summer Although I don't recall school being particularly stressful when I was a child (no high-stakes anything back then), I can readily call up the delicious feeling of summer. It was a spacious time—an opportunity to do nearly anything. As kids, we reinvented ourselves daily. I remember fireflies and kites and sandwiches on the beach and books and pick-up sticks and popsicles from the corner store. I remember sitting in the grass and climbing trees and going to summer camp. We got shoe boxes from our parents and made a string-drawn trolley-like thing from them. After supper, we gathered on the corner, readied our shoe-box trollies for a parade, and walked around the block several times with the seriousness and dignity our work suggested. I can summon the sounds, sights, and smells of those evening parades in a way that evokes a kind of joy and unencumbered tranquility that we should wish for all kids. I like to go back to that summer place in my mind for many reasons. Take Time Away

Seven Bridges of Königsberg Map of Königsberg in Euler's time showing the actual layout of the seven bridges, highlighting the river Pregel and the bridges The Seven Bridges of Königsberg is a historically notable problem in mathematics. Its negative resolution by Leonhard Euler in 1735 laid the foundations of graph theory and prefigured the idea of topology. The city of Königsberg in Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) was set on both sides of the Pregel River, and included two large islands which were connected to each other and the mainland by seven bridges. The problem was to find a walk through the city that would cross each bridge once and only once. Euler's analysis[edit] Since only the connection information is relevant, the shape of pictorial representations of a graph may be distorted in any way, without changing the graph itself. An alternative form of the problem asks for a path that traverses all bridges and also has the same starting and ending point. Euler's work was presented to the St. Variations[edit]

Love2Learn » Blog Archive » The Vitruvian Man – a context for learning Finding a quantity given a percentage (or fraction) is a useful skill yet considered to be an extension topic for year 8. I thought I could give it a go but set the scene, so-to-speak, without the oft-used context of shopping and sales. Enter the Vitruvian Man. Wikipedia has a good image and brief explanation of this drawing by Da Vinci interpreting ideal (hu)man proportions according to Vitruvius. Lesson Activity My ‘hook’ question to the class was “How do forensic scientists figure out the height of victims given minimal data?” I showed and explained the Vitruvian Man. Discussion points How do the actual and calculated height compare? The class really enjoyed the activity and didn’t really mind the ‘maths’ at all. This was a lively lesson with talking and standing up and discussing. Tags: fractions, LessonIdea, motivation, reflection, teaching This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 8:22 pm and is filed under Education.

Math Thinking | Sharing thinking about math from students Imagine you numbered each note of a scale, and then played the mathematical sequences on the notes like they were music. What would 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,… sound like? What would it sound like if you automatically jumped back down an octave every time you passed a multiple of 7? You may find this tool useful for actually listening to the sequence of numbered notes you generate. What would the sequence of square numbers sound like? What would π sound like? Chris Hunter writes on his blog about a student explaining how they would express 0.500 using ten-frames: One student expressed this as 500/1000 and 0.500. Showing 500/1000 or 0.500 using ten-frames Have you seen examples where students come up with innovative ways of representing numbers? Screen-shot from one of the puzzles included in the block game. I wrote this puzzle/game last year with the hope it could be used to help generate some thinking about area, multiplication, and addition. Some specific things which students might model:

Math Thinking | Sharing thinking about math from students Susan Ann Darley: 12 Mind-blowing Benefits of Play -- Including at Work What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives," says Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play. Just watch children stomping their feet in a muddy puddle of water or laughing uncontrollably, often where signs are posted to "Be Quiet." When's the last time you laughed so hard that tears ran down your face or your stomach muscles ached for hours? Unfortunately, somewhere along the way to "growing up" we often exchange play for work and seriousness can become a chronic habit. Not good. Research explains how play shapes our brains, creates competence and stabilizes our emotions. How about playing at work? Play is natural for humans and animals both domesticated and wild. In the parent-child relationship, recognizing a signal of an invitation to play is critical.

Shezza456: Tests don't measure everything...

Related: