The Teenage Brain Is Wired to Learn—So Make Sure Your Students Know It Adolescence is an exciting time as teenagers become increasingly independent, begin to look forward to their lives beyond high school, and undergo many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. In that last category, teenagers can learn to take charge of their developing brains and steer their thinking in positive and productive directions toward future college and career success. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, which functions as the control center for executive functions such as planning, goal setting, decision making, and problem solving, undergoes significant changes during the teenage years. In an NPR interview, Laurence Steinberg, author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence, notes that ages 12 to 25 are a period of extraordinary neuroplasticity.
How To Teach Using Standards Based Instruction If you’re a new teacher or someone looking to get a firmer understanding of what standards based instruction involves (or even is, for that matter) then this visual guide is packed with useful information. It’s quite dense and may take you quite awhile to get through. However, once you do you’ll know how to determine if students are actually learning or if they’re simply reciting. That’s a key differentiation between the different levels of learning. Do students appropriately identify main topics, supply background and supplemental information, as well as add in some connection to other topics?
4 Ways to Reduce Classroom Risk and Reach the Whole Child Intention is everything, especially when educating and nurturing children. Words matter, and specificity with vocabulary determines whether or not adult interactions with kids have the desired impact. One misguided message many teachers instill in their students is that risk-taking is good. On the surface, this may seem like a worthwhile component of social-emotional learning. Yet I reiterate to my students that generally and within reason what one thinks of as risk is not truly risky at all. Especially where school is concerned, the vast majority of “risks” that tend to paralyze children and prevent them from making any academic attempt whatsoever contain no actual danger, undue burden, or extraordinary sacrifice.
Giving a student a zero teaches them a lesson Here is some of the common sense around giving kids zeroes that doesn't make a lot of sense and is far too common. Giving a kid a zero teaches them a lesson. Yes, zeroes do teach lessons, but they are not the lessons you might be thinking. You can get your way with people who are weaker than you are by hurting them. One problem with this strategy is that the more you use power to control someone the less real influence you will have on their lives. As a parent and an educator, the prospect of reducing my influence with my children and students is unacceptable. Schools Often Fail to Educate, Support English-Language Learners - Learning the Language Schools across the United States often provide substandard instruction and social-emotional support to the nation's English-language learners—and fail to properly train the educators who teach them, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds. Noting that limited English proficiency remains a substantial barrier to academic success for millions of children in K-12 schools, the study explores how under-resourced schools and under-prepared educators can hinder efforts to help those students learn and master English. The committee behind the report—consisting of a who's who of experts on language acquisition and educators—also explored the struggles of specific populations of English-learners such as those with disabilities, who are less likely than their native English-speaking peers to be referred to early intervention and special education programs. Here's a link to the full report. For Further Reading on This Topic:
What Does it REALLY Mean to Do Standards-Based Grading? This blog originally ran on CompetencyWorks. I read a lot of clips about how districts are advancing competency education around the country, and it always seems to me that when there are any negative reactions they are in response to new grading practices, usually referred to as standards-based grading. It strikes me that negative reactions pop up when districts either use grading as an entry point (which puts all the focus on the grading and not on why competency education is valuable) or they’ve put some of the pieces of standards-based grading in place but not the entire framework necessary to make it more trustworthy than traditional grading.
Let The River Run: Float On Down Stream A classroom is ever changing like a river, displaying the progress, continuity and outpouring of knowledge. Rapids, falls, meandering, channels, banks, and eventually estuaries and deltas where they expand and release their flow into the sea of learning. Each bend of the lesson causing a course change, each student adding a plethora of personalities and mobility of mind. The flow of a classroom is roaring when these personalities merge from individual tributaries into a channel ever changing the landscape. Every teachers goal is to have the engagement level of their classroom high. Where the ebb and drift of the activity is guiding students to a place of self-awareness and motivation.
Education Week Language matters. It's that simple. What we say and how we say it has a big impact on how students and other stakeholders respond to our choices. Students are always waiting for a variety of cues from their teachers and peers to determine what and how much they are learning. So rather than perpetuate the issues around grading by using the same language we've always used, it's time to be deliberate in the shift as we change our assessment practices. Growth Mindset: Clearing up Some Common Confusions By Eduardo Briceño A growth mindset is the understanding that personal qualities and abilities can change. It leads people to take on challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks, and become more effective learners. As more and more people learn about the growth mindset, which was first discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, we sometimes observe some confusions about it. Recently some critiques have emerged. Of course we invite critical analysis and feedback, as it helps all of us learn and improve, but some of the recent commentary seems to point to misunderstandings of growth mindset research and practice.
A27. Comprehensible Input: What Teachers Can Do - Empowering ELLs Did you get to read about Ayaka’s story in the previous article? It illustrates how Entering ELs can engage in critical thinking activities even though they are completely new to English. In Ayaka’s case, we focused on what we could do to help her learn and ignored all the rest until later. As I worked with Ayaka, I only had two priorities – first develop comprehensible input, then foster engagement. This is teacher speak for: Students can participate if they understand the content and the instructions. My first priority was to help Ayaka comprehend the instructions so that she can engage with the content. Three Things Top Performing Students Know That Their Peers Miss Every class has students who excel and those who don’t. The reasons behind academic performance are myriad, but when Douglas Barton and his team at Elevate Education set out to study and benchmark the most effective practices used by top students in Australia, the U.K., South Africa and the U.S. they found three common practices. The company has used its findings to coach students on the most effective study strategies.