Why 20% Time is Good for Schools Have you ever met an adult who doesn't really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I'm sure that, like me, you have met those people. I've also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being "prepared" for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don't really know what they are passionate about. These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Forced down a curriculum path that we believe is "best for them," they discover it is a path that offers very little choice in subject matter and learning outcomes. Enter 20% time. What 20% time allows students to do is pick their own project and learning outcomes, while still hitting all the standards and skills for their grade level. Students Teachers
11 Bad Teaching Habits That Are Stifling Your Growth 11 Bad Teaching Habits That Are Stifling Your Growth by Saga Briggs, opencolleges.edu.au There’s a certain class of mistakes that all educators can eliminate with conscious effort, and in this post we outline 11 of them. They range from habits of practice to habits of thought, but all of them have one important thing in common: they make your job harder. It sounds easier to lecture to a sea of faces than to get through to thirty individuals. It sounds simpler to make students volunteer the answer than to spark voluntary interest. We all make healthy mistakes, every class period of every day. They really only scratch the surface of a long list of potentially destructive practices. 1. Effective instructional strategies change with time; what you learned in teaching school may no longer be relevant to the students you’re currently dealing with. 2. We all know there’s a difference between giving a presentation and actually teaching. 3. 4. 5. 6. Variety is the spice of the classroom. 7. 8. 9.
Habits of Mind Over the past few weeks I've been thinking about the Habits of Mind as described by Art Costa and Bena Kallick. These habits of mind are the dispositions that a student has towards behaving intelligently when confronted with problems. My question has been, do the PYP Attitudes and the IB Learner Profile also promote these habits of mind? How closely are these linked? Taking Responsible Risks - IB Learner Profile: Risk Taker Of all the attributes of the Learner Profile this one has probably been the most controversial - many have questioned whether this is perhaps a "Western" value. They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. Costa and Kallick write about risk takers as being pioneers, having an urge to go beyond their comfort zone and established limits and live on the edge of their competences. Photo Credit: Why by Silvain Masson, 2009
Resources for Assessment in Project-Based Learning Project-based learning (PBL) demands excellent assessment practices to ensure that all learners are supported in the learning process. With good assessment practices, PBL can create a culture of excellence for all students and ensure deeper learning for all. We’ve compiled some of the best resources from Edutopia and the web to support your use of assessment in PBL, including information about strategies, advice on how to address the demands of standardized tests, and summaries of the research. PBL Assessment Foundations 10 Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning (Edutopia, 2011) This comprehensive guide from Edutopia goes over many best practices for assessment, including authentic products, good feedback, formative assessment, and digital tools. Back to Top PBL and Formative Assessment Practices PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment in PBL (Edutopia, 2015) In another blog post from Matt Weyers, find great tips on using formative assessment within the PBL process to drive student learning.
Building Parent Support for Project-Based Learning When a teacher, school or district tells parents, "We're going to do project-based learning," the response may vary. You're lucky if some say, "Great news! Students need to be taught differently these days!" But a more typical response might be: What's project-based learning? Basically, they're asking for the what, why and how. What Schools and Districts Can Do Rather than begin by explaining what PBL is, start with the "why." Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21, made a good point about this when he spoke at BIE's PBL World conference in June 2013. To help make the case, have parents reflect on their own work. Another argument you could make has to do with student engagement. Technology is also an angle. Now that you've established the need, you can introduce the way to meet it: PBL. Explain what PBL is using concrete examples, not educational jargon. BIE's PBL Toolkit series and other books on PBL describe many different projects. Reassure parents and other community stakeholders that PBL works.
Making Learning Meaningful: 6 Priorities For Whole Learning Making Learning Meaningful: 6 Priorities For Whole Learning by Mark Basnage, Director of Academic and Institutional Technology, Prospect Sierra School Editor’s Note: We recently discovered the Bay Area’s Prospect Sierra School’s interesting learning model that prioritizes 6 ideas for learning in the 21st century. You can find their site at the link above, and their twitter feed here, and their facebook page here. 1. Build and apply content knowledge to think deeply and act as a practitioner of the discipline Disciplinary knowledge could be viewed simply as a body of static facts to be memorized—times tables, historical dates, the conjugations of French verbs, or scientific formulae. Students need to be able to connect the information they learn with how it’s used in the field. What might this look like in a classroom? 2. Experiment and create, while embracing failure as an opportunity for growth in order to design new ideas and solutions 3. Emotional: What motivates me? 4. 5. 6.
The 8 Elements Project-Based Learning Must Have If you’re contemplating using Project-Based Learning or are already trying out the latest craze to hit the modern classroom, you should know about this checklist. It details if you’re actually doing it correctly. For example, does your project focus on significant content, develop 21st century skills, and engage students in in-depth inquirty (just to name a few)? See Also: What Is Project-Based Learning? The checklist is by the PBL masters over at BIE and they’ve outlined 8 different ‘essential elements’ that must be present in a project in order for it to be considered PBL. These elements are actually useful for even more than PBL. What do you think about this PBL Checklist? Via TeachBytes and BIE.org
Poles of Learning, Snappers, and Making the Time - Matt Ives People tend to dichotomise teaching and learning into handy, easy to digest concepts. Student led, good; teacher led, bad. Enquiry learning, good; direct instruction, bad. The reality, of course, is not that simple. At any one moment, in a single day, teachers and learners are on constant bounce between the two. In reality, teaching and learning looks like this: So in saying that, I think the stuff on the left – the direct instruction, the teacher led stuff – can (must!) For too long, teachers have warbled on in front of students, saying the same thing in four different ways. At our place, we call these “Snappers” – bite sized chunks of direct instruction, lasting no longer than six or seven minutes. So you get the teacher-led stuff done quickly, which leaves time for the slower, deeper, more student-directed learning. It is my contention then, that while I talk about the constant bounce between these poles of learning, the balance needs to be tilted to the right.
How To Use Google Drive and Evernote To Create Digital Portfolios The following post is written by Greg Kulowiec & Beth Holland from EdTechTeacher. You can hear them both present at the April 10-12 EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in Atlanta! As iPads proliferate in schools around the world, and students as well as teachers create more and more content, questions about what to do with all of those learning objects have arisen. In other words, how can we curate this content into portfolios for assessment as well as reflection. Portfolio Curation with Google Drive Source: The Verge With recent upgrades to the Google Drive app on the iPad, it is now a viable solution for student portfolios that can be created in their entirety on iPad. The Google Drive app now allows for the creation of Documents, Spreadsheets, and Folders. The video tutorial below explains the process of creating, uploading and sharing within the Google Drive app on an iPad. Using Portfolios to Make Connections with Evernote Evernote provides one possible solution to the challenge.
Teaching Videos Each one of our made-from-scratch videos has been created to help you become a better teacher. We look at instruction and assessment strategies, classroom management, technology, presentation and design. Every effort is made to make each concept clear and simple. Most of our videos contain small, brief advertisements. All of our videos are close-captioned for greater accessibility — just click the CC button at the bottom right of the screen to turn them on. To view each collection, click below: Instruction and Assessment Videos Classroom Management Videos Technology, Presentation, and Design Videos Problem-Solver Videos
QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are just barcodes. There is nothing fancy about them. Just like the grocery store clerk uses barcodes to look up the product and scan the price into the computer, your mobile device or computer can look up QR codes to: take you to a website, read some text, give you a phone number, or generate a text message. QR Codes in the Classroom For the classroom teacher, they are valuable for three reasons: They can save us time.They can save paper.They provide a link to mobile devices that help students do their homework and follow along. This Post. Preparing the Teacher to Use QR Codes The first step of a teaching journey is to embark on learning it yourself. Step 1 Get Your Mobile Device Ready: Download a Free QR Code Reader On my ipod Touch, the fast, free i-Nigma 4 QR code reader is the most robust of the five or six tested. Step 2: Get Your Computer Ready. You are ready. Common QR Code Problems Readers Step 3: The Lesson Start the lesson with a simple statement.