Tools for metacognition Metacognition is an important part of intentional learning, since it involves actively thinking about what you know, what you don’t know, and how you can get better at knowing and applying what you know. A mantra for metacognition State the learning problem with some specificity: identify what you want to know and what you want to do with that knowledgeChoose strategies to solve the learning problem—draw upon your own prior knowledge and the knowledge of othersObserve how you used the strategies—keep a learning journal or blogEvaluate the results: What worked? What didn’t work?Rinse and repeat: Apply successful strategies to new learning problems By definition, metacognition involves individual commitment and reflection. How you as an instructor can help Be a role model Think aloud to show your approach to solving problems. Baby steps Help learners appreciate that they’ll grow to be better learners. A “So what? Metacognition and motivation Of course learners still need to be motivated.
5 Tools to Help Students Learn How to Learn Helping students learn how to learn: That’s what most educators strive for, and that’s the goal of inquiry learning. That skill transfers to other academic subject areas and even to the workplace where employers have consistently said that they want creative, innovative and adaptive thinkers. Inquiry learning is an integrated approach that includes kinds of learning: content, literacy, information literacy, learning how to learn, and social or collaborative skills. “We want students thinking about their thinking,” said Leslie Maniotes a teacher effectiveness coach in the Denver Public Schools and one of the authors of Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. “When they are able to see where they came from and where they got to it is very powerful for them.” A good example is a long term research project. During the process, students will go through different stages of emotions. [RELATED READING: Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning]
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. 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. With 20% time, we can solve one society’s biggest problems by giving students a purpose for learning and a conduit for their passions and interests. Students Teachers Parents
Ten Takeaway Tips for Teaching Critical Thinking Suggestions from educators at KIPP King Collegiate High School on how to help develop and assess critical-thinking skills in your students. Ideally, teaching kids how to think critically becomes an integral part of your approach, no matter what subject you teach. But if you're just getting started, here are some concrete ways you can begin leveraging your students' critical-thinking skills in the classroom and beyond. 1. Questions, questions, questions. Questioning is at the heart of critical thinking, so you want to create an environment where intellectual curiosity is fostered and questions are encouraged. In the beginning stages, you may be doing most of the asking to show your students the types of questions that will lead to higher-level thinking and understanding. 2. Pose a provocative question to build an argument around and help your students break it down. 3. 4. 5. Lively discussions usually involve some degree of differing perspectives. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Eight Ways of Looking at Intelligence Big Ideas In “Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird,” poet Wallace Stevens takes something familiar—an ordinary black bird—and by looking at it from many different perspectives, makes us think about it in new ways. With apologies to Stevens, we’re going to take the same premise, but change the subject by considering eight ways of looking at intelligence—eight perspectives provided by the science of learning. A few words about that term: The science of learning is a relatively new discipline born of an agglomeration of fields: cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience. Its project is to apply the methods of science to human endeavors—teaching and learning—that have for centuries been mostly treated as an art. As with anything to do with our idiosyncratic and unpredictable species, there is still a lot of art involved in teaching and learning. 1. Situations can be internal or external. On one level this is obvious, but on another it is quite radical. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Terrific Mini Guide to Help Stude... December 26, 2014 Questioning is the key to critical thinking and through questions students get to explore the deep layers of meanings that would otherwise go unnoticed. Of course not all questions have this analytical ability. For instance, closed questions tend to limit the thinking choices available for students. The same with questions that promote factual recalling. In today's post, I am sharing with you this mini guide created by Foundation of Critical Thinking which you can use with your students to help them better comprehend and apply critical thinking in their learning. I learned about this great resource from a post shared by Education to Save The World. Image credit: Foundation of Critical Thinking
5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students My first year teaching a literacy coach came to observe my classroom. After the students left, she commented on how I asked the whole class a question, would wait just a few seconds, and then answer it myself. "It's cute," she added. So that day, I learned about wait/think time. Many would agree that for inquiry to be alive and well in a classroom that, amongst other things, the teacher needs to be expert at asking strategic questions, and not only asking well-designed ones, but ones that will also lead students to questions of their own. Keeping It Simple I also learned over the years that asking straightforward, simply-worded questions can be just as effective as those intricate ones. #1. This question interrupts us from telling too much. #2. After students share what they think, this follow-up question pushes them to provide reasoning for their thinking. #3. #4. This question can inspire students to extend their thinking and share further evidence for their ideas. #5.
10 ways to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning 1. Don’t make all the decisions Allow choice. Encourage students to make decisions about how they learn best. Create opportunities for them to pursue their own interests and practise skills in a variety of ways. Cater for different learning styles. 2. Ask open-ended questions, with plenty of possible answers which lead to further questions. 3. Minimise standing out front and talking at them. 4. Talk about your own learning. 5. Get your students to write down what they learned, whether they enjoyed a particular learning experience, what helped their learning, what hindered their learning and what might help them next time. 6. Record student thinking and track development over time. 7. Help students to define goals for their learning. 8. If you know exactly where the lesson is leading and what you want the kids to think, then you‘re controlling the learning. 9. Make sure you and your students know the reason for every learning experience. 10. I know there are lots more ways. Like this:
Why Walking Is Great For Your Creativity Let’s face it, sometimes those brilliant ideas just don’t come easily. Whether we’re writing a paper, a book, or just trying to come up with an original birthday gift, we’ve all been stuck waiting for inspiration to find us. Finding a solution to these creative blocks is no easy task, but a group of researchers at Standford University set out to do just that. To figure out how to get our creative juices flowing, researchers first considered data showing that exercise prevents cognitive decline. Next, they focused on more short-term mental improvement, and the long-held idea that walking increases creativity. Their experiments are fascinating, and may be exceedingly practical in application. To start, the scientists tested creativity before and after walking on a treadmill. To see if these effects decreased with subsequent walking, they tested people who walked multiple times. Next, the researchers wanted to see if walking outside was more powerful than indoors. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Teaching Questioning Skills to Arm Students for Learning - Work in Progress In the earliest part of my career, I wrote full procedural lesson plans that spelled out to the letter the questions I would ask AND the answers I considered correct. When the students didn't provide the proscribed answer, I asked helper questions until I elicited the appropriate response. Man, did I have it wrong! This is the battle we fight. It demands our full attention. Children are born curious; they have a hunger to learn and a thirst for understanding. Current educational institutions systematically rob curiosity from children, training them to seek one answer, the "right" one. Unfortunately, while on their predictable adventure to the right of truth, kids often lose interest in the passions that once propelled them. One way we change the level of engagement in our classroom is stop doing all of the asking. Here are some tips for teaching students how to ask good questions: First ask students what they really want to know or find out.
Resiliency and Grit, Not Failure At ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, Microsoft gave away over 10,000 Microsoft Surface Tablets to participants. Basically anyone that was at the conference that wanted one was going to get one for free with their registration. The majority of people that came to the conference had no idea that this was happening and I would say very few (if any) people signed up to go to ISTE to get the Surface. I chose not to get one. I chose not to take a free tablet/computer with my registration to ISTE. From what I heard before the conference, the device was not that great, would crash often, and was not as intuitive as other devices. As participants unpacked their devices, played with them, what they had told me was basically what I had heard in the reviews before. Here’s the thing…if Apple gave away an iPad at ISTE, I would have taken it in a second. Embrace Failure? This is not about Apple vs. Every time I hear things like this, I get worked up. Failure or something else? Language is important