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Rethinking Homework

Rethinking Homework
January/February 2007 Rethinking Homework By Alfie Kohn After spending most of the day in school, children are typically given additional assignments to be completed at home. This is a rather curious fact when you stop to think about it, but not as curious as the fact that few people ever stop to think about it. It becomes even more curious, for that matter, in light of three other facts: 1. 2. 3. It’s not as though most teachers decide now and then that a certain lesson really ought to continue after school is over because meaningful learning is so likely to result from such an assignment that it warrants the intrusion on family time. I’ve heard from countless people across the country about the frustration they feel over homework. What parents and teachers need is support from administrators who are willing to challenge the conventional wisdom. So what’s a thoughtful principal to do? 1. 2. 3. Quantity, however, is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Mind-reading program translates brain activity into words | Science Scientists have picked up fragments of people's thoughts by decoding the brain activity caused by words that they hear. The remarkable feat has given researchers fresh insight into how the brain processes language, and raises the tantalising prospect of devices that can return speech to the speechless. Though in its infancy, the work paves the way for brain implants that could monitor a person's thoughts and speak words and sentences as they imagine them. Such devices could transform the lives of thousands of people who lose the ability to speak as a result of a stroke or other medical conditions. Experiments on 15 patients in the US showed that a computer could decipher their brain activity and play back words they heard, though at times the words were difficult to recognise. "Potentially, the technique could be used to develop an implantable prosthetic device to aid speaking, and for some patients that would be wonderful. Scientist Brian Pasley enrolled 15 patients to take part.

Homework Main objectives and reasons for homework The basic objectives of assigning homework to students are the same as schooling in general: to increase the knowledge and improve the abilities and skills of the students.[1] However, opponents of homework cite homework as rote, or grind work, designed to take up children's time, without offering tangible benefit.[2] Homework may be designed to reinforce what students have already learned,[3] prepare them for upcoming (or complex or difficult) lessons, extend what they know by having them apply it to new situations, or to integrate their abilities by applying many different skills to a single task. Homework also provides an opportunity for parents to participate in their children's education. Amount of homework required Many schools exceed these recommendations or do not considered assigned reading in the time limit worthwhile.[6] Homework resources Internet homework resources Computers are often used to complete homework assignments. Tutoring See also

15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Abraham Lincoln“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain Assuming the public school system hasn’t crushed your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. Here are some tips for installing the habit of lifelong learning:1) Always have a book. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. We all have to-do lists. Start spending more time with people who think. Albert Einstein once said, “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. You learn what you teach. Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

Monday Morning Inspiration – My Post for Brad Patterson’s (@brad5patterson) Blog Challenge Some books from my collection A few weeks ago, Brad Patterson, a fantastic person and educator located in France, and a person I am honoured to call a friend, posted a blog challenge on his blog A Journée in Language – Brad asked us to say which quote defines our teaching style. In the comments section, there is a huge number of amazing and inspiring quotes! I mentioned one that I (still) cannot remember who said it or if it was exactly said that way: A good teacher is always a learner. I was going to write about that one. This morning though, as I was getting ready for class, drinking my coffee and checking out Twitter, I found this by Chris McCullough in Red Deer, Alberta: The best part of my job is that it has inspired me to always be a learner… #teaching #abed It hit me! From social media: numerous are the posts and articles that mention Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to name but a few media that have greatly assisted educators worldwide to connect and learn from each other. Like this:

Conversations Show #13 - 2008 10 19 Printer-friendly version Send by email 65:23 minutes (29.93 MB) MP3 Stereo 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR) Homework was the topic of Conversation this week. Maria and Lisa were joined by Linda Nitsche and Lee Kolbert and lots of folks in the chatroom. Many opinions were expressed about the purpose and reasons for giving homework. Chat Log 11:34:03mariak: we are streaming 11:34:05loonyhiker: i had to refresh and i can hear now 11:34:11mariak: ettt a 11:34:16lparisi: edtechtalk a 11:34:17minhaaj: did you get the link for the pictures i uploaded from abu dhabi ? 11:34:23minhaaj: Hey maria 11:34:26jsmith: back 11:34:33Sarah S: Heard you there for a second . . . but not anymore? 11:34:38sheila: Yes, thanks so much! 11:34:41lparisi: Can you hear us now? 11:34:42minhaaj: :) 11:34:46DaveC: I'm hearing it fine in windows media, open url 11:34:48Maureen/bcdtech: no 11:34:56jsmith: yes, you are back, bit of an echo 11:34:56wsigele: ok now I have it 11:35:00Sarah S: Yep. 11:35:00jsmith: yes

10 Great Classroom Icebreakers 1. Self-Portrait. Have your students draw themselves. After they have done this, collect the papers and hang them up for the whole class to see. Now have students try to guess who the artists was for each picture. 2. At the beginning of the year, write a short letter about yourself as the teacher. 3. Give each student an index card. 4. Have the students get into a circle. 5. Pass around a sheet of paper and some pens. 6. Call out any month of the year and have all students born in that month come up to the front of the room. 7. Have the students draw pictures about what they like to do, what their favorite foods are, and what is their favorite subject in school. 8. Don't forget about this old time favorite part of class. 9. Have students write three things about themselves on a piece of paper. 10. Line up the students in two lines facing each other.

The Pocket Rocket the homework myth "Parents take note: this is a stinging jeremiad against the assignment of homework, which the author, a prominent educator, convincingly argues is a wasteful, unimaginative, and pedagogically bankrupt practice that initiates kids into a soul-sucking rat race long before their time." --Atlantic Monthly "The Homework Myth should be required reading for every teacher, principal, and school district head in the country. . . . Kohn cites plenty of research to back up his thesis. None of it shows the slightest connection between homework and independent thinking. Kohn argues that homework is a burden to children, and, not surprisingly, their parents. . . . --Boston Globe "Alfie Kohn . . . has made a convincing case against homework . . . . --Kappa Delta Pi Record "Kohn takes many of the things we assume about homework and shreds them, showing over and over how little research there is to back up all the accepted theories. . . . --San Diego Union Tribune --Our Schools / Our Selves

Educational games iPad Apps for Autistic Students Apps on portable devices such as the Apple iPad can help non-verbal children to communicate basic needs. Intuitive apps that employ colorful images and sounds can also hold a child's attention long enough to learn and offer effective tools to build vocabulary and reinforce word knowledge. The following iPad apps are designed to augment self-expression among children with autism spectrum disorders and other cognitive impairments. Becoming more comfortable with language may also encourage more safe social interaction among family members and classmates. 1. Autism Xpress Apple iTunes Store Autism Xpress is a free app that encourages people with autism to recognize and express emotions. 2. Grace is a picture exchange system designed to encourage independent social interaction among people with autism. 3. iConverse iConverse is designed for children with autistic and other communicative disabilities who have not yet mastered basic speech. 4. 5.

Overscheduled children and adolescents Public release date: 31-Mar-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Sarah 202-289-7905Society for Research in Child Development Popular books and media reports have perpetuated the belief that children and adolescents are overscheduled in their extracurricular activities, and that this can disrupt how families function and undermine young people's opportunities for success. Between 70 and 83 percent of American children and teens say they take part in at least one extracurricular activity. Some studies have shown that youths who take part in extracurriculars at high levels don't do as well academically and psychologically. The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) will host a symposium during its Biennial Meeting that tackles questions about the effects of extracurricular activities on children and adolescents. Researchers: Andrea D. [ Print | E-mail AAAS and EurekAlert!

WATCH: 6 Insanely Popular TED Talks to Make 2014 the Best Year of Your Life | TEDTalks Posted: Updated: To kick off the new year, TEDWeekends is proud to present a compilation of six insanely popular TED talks from the past year. These talks inspired a tremendous amount of engagement from our community, and each one provides valuable insight that will help you get the most out of life in 2014. We thought this would be the perfect way to say "Thank You" to our thoughtful, curious and inspired readers and bloggers who have helped make this program such a success. Angela Lee Duckworth: This will be the key to your success this year Alexander Tsiaras: This will make you appreciate the wonder of life this year Amy Cuddy: This is why your body language will matter this year David Pogue: This is how to save time and make room for what really matters this year David Gallo: This will force you to explore more this year Jane McGonigal: This will help you play more.. and change the world this year Ideas are not set in stone.

How Do You Know When You’re Expert Enough? This is a guest post by Dan Johnson of Right Brain Rockstar. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. ~ Unknown But ‘well’ is such a subjective term. How do we know how well we need to do things? We may strive for expertise, but how do we know when we have achieved it? Do we need someone to give us a certificate or a medal before we can consider ourselves an expert? First things first – What is an Expert? The Oxford dictionary defines an expert as a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area. Ok, but again, how knowledgeable do we need to be to be considered very knowledgeable? Expert Enough to Do What? As stated in the Expert Enough Manifesto, expertise is relative. Obviously if you want to be a doctor, then you need to complete a long course of study, pass your exams to a high level and gain several years experience on the job before you can be considered a medical expert and allowed to treat patients on your own. Constant Improvement image