Deeper Learning: A Collaborative Classroom Is Key What's ideal when it comes to collaboration in our classrooms? Here's one coveted scenario: several children gathered at a table engaged in a high-level task, discussing, possibly debating an issue, making shared decisions, and designing a product that demonstrates all this deeper learning. As teachers, we'd love to see this right out the gate, but this sort of sophisticated teamwork takes scaffolding. In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens -- it's one of the 4 Cs, after all. So how do we begin this scaffolded journey? Establish Group Agreements Deciding on group norms, or agreements, right at the get go will give each student a voice and provide accountability for all. Accountability is an important factor in group working agreements. Teach Them How to Listen Good listeners are both rare and valued in our culture. Save The Last Word is a great activity that allows students to practice listening.
Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society About the Course This is a course aimed at making you a better designer. The course marries theory and practice, as both are valuable in improving design performance. Lectures and readings will lay out the fundamental concepts that underpin design as a human activity. Student Testimonials from Earlier Sessions of the Course:"An amazing course - a joy to take. "When I signed up for this course I didn't know what to expect; the experience was so good and rewarding. See examples of student projects: here Recommended Background No specific background is required. Suggested Readings To get a feel for the style of the instructor and the material in the course, this book is a good place to start: Ulrich, K.T. 2010. The free digital book is available at Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. Other highly recommended reading is the textbook: Product Design and Development by Karl T. The PDF, found here, contains detailed instructions on how to purchase the text. Course Format
ESL Discussions Creating good ESL discussions in your class is a skill like any other. Sometimes discussions fail before they've really started. The reason is usually because the discussion task is not clear, too hard for the students, or doesn't exist at all. My earliest attempts at teaching English conversation were like this. The lesson I learnt is that a suitable task is needed. Here are some ideas for encouraging ESL discussions in the classroom. ESL Discussions - Activities Persuade your partner that your favorite color, animal or film is better, more important etc. Interpreting pictures Find pictures which show a situation which is dramatic and is open to different interpretations. Character studies For ESL discussions this activity works best with pictures of people you know, or know something about. The students can be asked to make notes on personal details of the person in the picture. Predicting Future Results What would happen if demand for water in the world was double the supply?
Made With Paper | FiftyThree Larry Ferlazzo, Teacher (This article was originally published in the September, 2006 issue of "Language Magazine" under the title "Building Cathedrals in the ESL Classroom.") By Larry Ferlazzo In a previous article for “Language Magazine” I talked about specific tactics that ESL teachers could implement in their classrooms using community organizing methodology. The four I described – building relationships, building on prior knowledge, identifying what students want to learn, and learning by doing -- can all be effectively used on their own. However, their effectiveness can be magnified immeasurably if they and other organizing techniques are used in the broader context of what I would call the “organizing cycle” of planning, action, and reflection. A man went by a construction site and encountered a bricklayer working. Strategic planning thinks in terms of several moves ahead, while tactical planning thinks about one move ahead. 1) What are we assuming students know? We can teach and enforce the “Iron Rule.”
Creativity – the challenge of defining, developing and assessing it Apr 11 Thanks to Education Week‘s blog for drawing my attention to this work on Creativity. Creativity is defined as one of the four 4Cs of Learning and Innovation in 21st Century learning. This OECD Creativity working paper is an interesting start in working out how we can define, develop and assess this wide ranging ‘skill’ we call Creativity. It aims to break down Creativity into 5 main dispositions and then divides these dispositions into 3 sub-habits ( following is an excerpt from the working paper that briefly outlines these : The Five Creative Dispositions ModelThe five dispositions on which we decided to focus were arrived at after careful weighing up of the pros and cons of existing lists of creative dispositions in the light of our criteria. On first glance, I didn’t get the tool but then I found this part of the paper, which explains the purpose of the segments. Here is a Scribd version of the paper in full for you to view in its entirety. OECD Creativity Working Paper
Digital and Information Literacy Framework What is digital literacy and how is it different from information literacy? Digital literacy includes the ability to find and use information (otherwise known as information literacy) but goes beyond this to encompass communication, collaboration and teamwork, social awareness in the digital environment, understanding of e-safety and creation of new information. Both digital and information literacy are underpinned by critical thinking and evaluation. What does the DIL framework cover and how is it structured? For the purposes of the DIL framework, digital literacy refers to the skills, competences, and dispositions of OU students using digital technologies to achieve personal, study, and work-related goals. This website allows you to view the Framework in different ways. View all allows you to view the entire Framework. The Framework is divided into five competence areas, which can be viewed individually: What is the DIL Framework for and who is it aimed at? Reflecting on skills Contact us
Creating Products to Show and Share Learning My students produced a lot of media, including podcasts. Before my students scripted and recorded a podcast, they would listen to several sample episodes and critique them. We would make a list of what was really good about the episode and what could be improved. I reminded students of the items on these lists periodically as they worked on their own episodes. Yes, you can tell students what makes a great production. Because students might have some harsh criticism of sample projects, I made sure those samples were not by students at our school. Padlet can help capture students’ observations about example media. Padlet Tip: In a wall’s Settings, click Privacy and turn on Moderation so that nothing is posted without your approval. Some questions that help guide a discussion about sample productions: What did you notice? That last question above is a good one for students to ask themselves about their own projects. What’s better than samples from the web?