The Power of Quiet~ Changing Perspectives and Opening Minds I have learned many things from being a parent. Some things I expected to learn, like how to make the best macaroni and cheese or how to do laundry, read a book and cook dinner all at once. These are the things parents expect to learn in the throws of parenthood, these are the easy parts. Fortunately, parenting runs deeper, parenting teaches us about sacrifices, differences and perspectives. Our daughters are perfect replicas of my husband and me. My perspective (or lack there of) on the power of quiet became evident one day when my daughters and I were shopping and I saw some cozy bean bag chairs. I bought the ONE chair and I created that cozy spot for ONE in our classroom and guess what? In my quest to understand and appreciate the power of this alone time and the power of quiet I started to listen more carefully to those around me and that's when I found the resource that changed my perspective on the power of quiet. Transforming My Teaching~ Mary Lee's post- Last Week's Ted Talk
5 Things Students Expect From Their Teachers (This is Part One in a two-part series about the expectations of learning relationships. Please check out Part Two: "5 Things Learners Expect From Their Educators.") As the summer is winding down, we’ve begun mapping out the first few weeks of classes in September and also sketching out our goals for the new school year. Teachers want their students to be responsible and curious. If we gave students a choice about which classes to attend each day, would they choose our subject? The partnership between student and teacher relies on expectations. What do students expect from their teachers? 1. Students yearn to feel inspired by what they are learning. 2. Students, especially middle schoolers, will always look at their teachers with a charitable disdain for their patently uncool status. 3. The most common complaint from students of any age is, "That's not fair!" 4. The most critical element in creating a successful learning community is the mood of the class. 5.
What Students Really Need to Hear | affectiveliving It’s 4 a.m. I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep. But, I can’t. This is what students really need to hear: First, you need to know right now that I care about you. Here’s the thing: I lose sleep because of you. Before I tell you why, you should understand the truth about school. The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a forgotten locker combination, to obnoxious peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away. It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school. But, you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you will face great adversities. Some of you quit by skipping class on your free education. As long as you are in my life, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you. – C.
Two Letters That All Students Should Receive Details on voting for this post in the 2013 Edublog Awards can be found below the post. It’s already back-to-school time in many parts of the U.S. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be publishing, or re-publishing, much of my back-to-school content to help you start the new school year right. Today, I feature two “Dear Student” letters that I wish all students, of all ages, everywhere would receive from their teachers. The letters were written by Arin Kress, a self-described “5th grade teacher in Ohio who is constantly learning.” The first letter encourages students to think about what their genius is. Dear 5th graders, Hi! I know that sounds odd – but please keep reading. I’ve thought about challenging you.I’ve thought about embracing your differences.I’ve thought about your strengths.I’ve thought about your weaknesses. And I have a secret that I can’t keep in for another few weeks. You Are All Geniuses. Shhh! Ms. Today I learned what it means to matter. So here’s your first assignment. P.S.
12 Funny Videos About Teaching and Learning | Dr. Travis Burns, Ed.D. The following videos are great resources for school administrators to use during faculty/staff development meetings to promote laughter or encourage reflection on school practices related to teaching and learning. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do! Follow on Twitter @Dr_TravisBurns 1. The Importance of Objectivity in Grading Practices 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Like this: Like Loading... Replacing Teachers with Emotion Image credit: iStockphoto Teachers mean well. By teachers, I mean you. You mean well. After all, you're here, aren't you -- looking for resources to become a better teacher or administrator? That part's simple: it's emotion that makes them tick. Emotion in Children The need to belong, the desire to be understood, the instinct to understand -- these are all universal human emotions that do not fade with time, vary across generations, or stop just because you've got algebra to teach. But in western education -- being the purveyors of both ambition and science that we are -- we've tried a more analytical route, attempting to decode how learning happens (and the human genome as well, not ironically). While every multiple choice question has a distractor -- an answer to tempt the responder to choose the answer that's nearly right -- it might be that assessment itself is the distractor, because few experiences are as cognitively arresting as a rigorous academic exam. It supersedes learning.
Thank God I wasn’t college material I remember when I first learned that I was destined to be a failure. I think it was ninth grade, or maybe tenth, and I was sitting in afterschool detention. I’d been sentenced to hard time for being late to class, even though I had a valid excuse. See, I was only late because I hated school with a burning passion. It had been ten years of public school up to that point and it wasn’t getting better. So there I was in detention. I told her that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my life, but maybe I could be a writer. That’s when she dropped the bombshell: “Well, that sounds like an amazing goal, Matt. Dagger. I have to go to college to do the one thing I’m kind of halfway good at doing? And I have to get a DEGREE in CREATIVITY? I guess not. I was distraught. I don’t think I ever mentioned my writing goal to anyone again. That was about 13 years ago. This is my story. Something has to change. Total student debt has gone up by 275 percent in the last decade.
Eberopolis: Assessing Student Work Having just temporarily recovered from working on report cards, I thought I'd share a little about a technique I use for grading student work. Rather than standard letter or number grades, we grade our students on a scale of 1-4. We have specific rubrics for our standards, but they're generally designed like this: A "one" means that even with additional support and scaffolds, the student is not yet successful with the task.A "two" means that the student can do the task with support.A "three" means the student can complete the task accurately, consistently, and independently.A "four" means the student shows a level of understanding that exceeds expectations for fourth grade. At the beginning of the year, I introduce this using the terms "novice," "apprentice," "practitioner," and "expert." (Forgive the faded, gross-looking green marker. We use this poster to talk about the meaning of each term, and I'll regularly have students hold up 1-4 fingers to self-assess at the end of a lesson.
And Then I Met A Teacher He met a teacher, and it changed everything. Jim Wengo was fresh out of high school when he started working at the local butcher shop. But his high school agriculture teacher, John Krivokapish, had other plans for him. When he heard of an area college work study program for those who could score well on a civil service exam, Mr. Krivokapish walked into the butcher store and told Jim’s boss he needed to borrow him for a couple of hours. Removing the blood stained apron, Jim followed his teacher to the local college where he took an exam on the spot. He kept working as a butcher while he finished his degree. Dennis Queen had a difficult relationship with his father. After a four year tour of duty, Dennis returned home. These are both true stories told to me by men who have personally inspired me by their examples. Four years ago, we started a program at my school called Mentor 180. She met a teacher and a mentor, and it changed everything.
Public Critique During our monthly TLCs at Temple Moor we have recently been focussing on student ownership of learning – alongside this the Learning Team have been working hard on designing and implementing a creative, realistic and purposeful assessment policy for the whole school and faculties. For me the term assessment or marking can lead to a confused message – we need to focus on feedback, specifically the quality of feedback given either by teachers or by students to each other. Peer assessment is obviously an important part of feedback and as Black and William (2009) stated one of the five major strategies for effective assessment for learning is “activating students as the owners of their own learning”. …the usual comment – does the missing “it” also show that students don’t put a great deal of time and effort into their comments for each other? Public Critique A huge thank you to Darren Mead and Neal Watkin for showing me the way on this. Be KindBe SpecificBe Helpful Like this: Like Loading...
Why Some Kids Try Harder and Some Kids Give Up | Tracy Cutchlow My toddler struggled to buckle the straps on her high chair. "Almost," she muttered as she tried again and again. "Almost," I agreed, trying not to hover. The way I praised her effort took a little effort on my part. Stanford researcher Carol Dweck has been studying motivation and perseverance since the 1960s. Those with a fixed mindset, who believe their successes are a result of their innate talent or smartsThose with a growth mindset, who believe their successes are a result of their hard work Fixed mindset: 'If you have to work hard, you don't have ability.' Kids with a fixed mindset believe that you are stuck with however much intelligence you're born with. Growth mindset: 'The more you challenge yourself, the smarter you become.' What creates these beliefs in our kids? The research In one study, Dweck gathered up fifth graders, randomly divided them in two groups, and had them work on problems from an IQ test. "Wow, that's a really good score. "Wow, that's a really good score.