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Pondering education, technology, and making a difference

Pondering education, technology, and making a difference

http://shelleywright.wordpress.com/

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Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy Teacher Shelley Wright is on leave from her classroom, working with teachers in a half-dozen high schools to promote inquiry and connected learning. I think the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrong. Hear me out. I know this statement sounds heretical in the realms of education, but I think this is something we should rethink, especially since it is so widely taught to pre-service teachers. I agree that the taxonomy accurately classifies various types of cognitive thinking skills. It certainly identifies the different levels of complexity. :Roll up your sleeves and get messy “Reading” Sebastien Wiertz Close reading is one of the “strategies du jour”. From the Common Core State Standards in ELA: Life in a Inquiry Driven, Technology-Embedded, Connected Classroom: English I teach in an inquiry, project-based, technology embedded classroom. A mouthful, I know. So what does that mean?

Pedagogy vs. Andragogy Over this last year I have been fortunate to have been sent to many education conferences on behalf of SmartBrief in pursuit of content and guest bloggers for SmartBlog on Education. It is a dream job for a retired educator and an education blogger. The intent is to always keep the educator’s voice on SmartBlog authentic and relevant. In that capacity, I have attended and conducted a multitude of workshops on various education topics. Since I am no longer in the classroom, and have no need to apply what I learn about current teaching methods in a classroom setting, I often attend these workshops as an observer, or even a critical observer in some cases.

Academic Sponge Activities To put your rough days into perspective, here is a teaching story that is equal parts nightmare and exemplar, adapted from Alan Newland's personal account in The Guardian. When he was a first-year teacher in Hackney and Totenham, Newland found his sixth graders to be challenging to the extreme. Before their Thursday swim lesson at a local aquatic center, he repeatedly warned his kids not to jump into the pool before the swim instructor arrived. But before he could undress in the locker room, six students were screaming, giggling, and frolicking in the pool.

Do Your Tasks REQUIRE Learning? This week, I was fortunate enough to be asked to represent my school district and attend Harvard University to take part in the Instructional Rounds Program presented by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. And now, as I sit on the plane on the way home (via Chicago and Calgary…groan) reflecting on the week, my mind is in a state of both mental exhaustion and tremendous intellectual stimulation in every recollection. The program was incredibly intense: there was no figurative dipping of the toe in the IR pool, but rather an intellectual shove off of a rocky cliff into a frothing ocean with your individual educational values feeling like a set of water wings there to save you. Why Sleeping May Be More Important Than Studying Getty Getting enough sleep is an under-valued but crucial part of learning. Contrary to students’ belief that staying up all night to cram for an exam will lead to higher scores, truth is, the need for a good night’s rest is even more important than finishing homework or studying for a test. A recent study in the journal Child Development showed that sacrificing sleep in order to study will actually backfire. The study followed 535 Los Angeles high school students for 14 days, tracking how long they slept, as well as how well they understood material being taught in class and how they performed on a test, quiz, or homework. “Although the researchers expected that extra hours of studying that ate into sleep time might create problems in terms of students’ understanding of what they were taught in class, they were surprised to find that diminishing sleep in order to study was actually associated with doing more poorly on a test, quiz, or homework,” Science Daily wrote.

Using Voice Comments with Google Docs for End of the Year Projects by @CTuckerEnglish I had a “just in time” professional development moment thanks to Jennifer Roberts and her video titled “Docs Voice Comments.” I wanted to share it with other educators as I know many of us are planning end of the year projects, assignments, and written pieces. These culminating assignments are incredibly time consuming to grade. I also wonder how many of my students carefully read the comments I make on these pieces since they get them back just as the school year ends and summer break begins. Lastly, these end of the year projects are finished products, so covering them with comments or editing directly on them may not be the most effective way to provide feedback.

"Can't I Just Choose My Own Topic?" So many times as an English and history teacher, I've rushed students through the first step of the research process: choosing a topic. Then we can move on to the real work -- or so I've always thought. Recently, however, students in my eighth grade history class started a project on American reformers in which the guiding question was: "What leads someone to step up and take action?" 9 YouTube Tips and Tricks for Teachers Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates and/or follow me on Twitter. Info on how to contact me is on the About page. Thanks for visiting! First female to win math's top prize describes her 2 brainstorming strategies Iranian-born Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford University has become the first woman to win the top award in mathematics, the Field’s Medal. The award, often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics, is given every four years to up to four scholars and has been around since 1936. Mirzakhani was awarded the prize for her work in complex geometry and navigation within spaces. Mirzakhani said she isn’t taking any interviews after the announcement.

A class blog… quick, easy and effective. Earlier this year I started a class blog with my students. Before that I used to create a monthly newsletter for the class and sent a .pdf version of it to the parents via e-mail. We included what we did in the past month, what we were about to do in the following month and posted picures in the center. This was fun, the parent but took a pretty long time (avg. around 3 hours) at the end of each month… time that I usually didn’t have so I did it late at night at home. Here’s an example of one of our newsletters:

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