Modern Learning Environments – the underlying philosophy to success Modern Learning Environments (MLE) are all the talk in educational circles right now. Schools, around the world, are knocking out walls and creating bright stimulating classrooms with multi purpose furniture and giving students access to technology. On the surface it looks fantastic, however I am concerned that without a big pedagogy shift, students will be simply just learning the same way many teachers have been teaching – just in bigger classrooms with new furniture. Strategies for Discussion Over the past 15 years, the field has begun to tackle the problem of providing teachers with guidelines and tools to support the facilitation of productive classroom discussions. Ten strategies for facilitating productive discussions are listed below: Attend to the classroom culture Choose high-level mathematics tasks Anticipate strategies that students might use to solve the tasks and monitor their work Allow student thinking to shape discussions Examine and plan questions Be strategic about "telling" new information Explore incorrect solutions Select and sequence the ideas to be shared in the discussion Use Teacher Discourse Moves to move the mathematics forward Draw connections and summarize the discussion Discussions can provide students with opportunities to learn by talking with their peers and by engaging in argumentation, justification, and reasoning in whole-class discussions. This is available to members of NCTM. Please log in now to view this content.
How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty In the classroom, subjects are often presented as settled and complete. Teachers lecture students on the causes of World War I, say, or the nature of matter, as if no further questioning is needed because all the answers have been found. In turn, students regurgitate what they’ve been told, confident they’ve learned all the facts and unaware of the mysteries that remain unexplored. Without insight into the holes in our knowledge, students mistakenly believe that some subjects are closed. They lose humility and curiosity in the face of this conceit. Literature circles / ELP years 5–8 / Comprehension / Reading / Reviewed resources Many teachers use literature circles as a way of encouraging their students to think and talk about a wide range of literary texts. A literature circle is like a book club for students. Small groups of students read the same text independently and share their interpretations and personal responses with others in the group. The students generate the discussion. Having the students mark parts of the text helps to focus their discussion of a text, for example, where they: found a passage particularly impressive, interesting, or confusing;want to ask the group questions about the plot, characters, or information;want to clarify their thoughts about the theme or meaning of the text;found the language or writing style impressive or memorable;can relate an event or episode in the text to personal experience;can relate the text to other texts on the same topic or theme or by the same author.
Scaffolding Student Skills for Productive Classroom Discussions By Jackie A. Walsh How would you rate the quality of student talk in your classroom? Does it help your kids dig down deeper and learn more? Or do you sometimes feel that it’s not the best investment of class time? Student skills are the means and ends of productive classroom discussions.
3 Brain Basics for the Middle Grades Classroom By Curtis Chandler I may not be a brain expert, but as an educator, I am in the brain business. Like many other teachers out there, I am trying to uncover as much as I can about learning and cognition in order to better understand and serve my students. That’s why I counted myself lucky when I was asked to teach a night class on adolescent development, cognition, and understanding. Not necessarily because I had so much to say on the subject, but because it gave me a chance to thumb through my old Ed Psych notes, read up on the latest research in cognition, and order a stack of new books with the Amazon gift card that has been sitting in my wallet for 2 years.
What's the difference between accuracy and precision? - Matt Anticole Scientists (and engineers) are used to taking measurements and working with numerical data. With numerical data, we can try to identify patterns hidden in nature. With those patterns, we can begin to understand, predict, and perhaps ultimately control the world that surrounds us. Because data is so important to scientists and engineers, sometimes they need to worry about more than just whether they are right or wrong. They have developed what seems like a secret language to help them describe their measurements in more detail. What is the difference between a Number and a Measurement?
How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking Math teachers of older students sometimes struggle to get students to explain their thinking with evidence. It’s hard to get kids in the habit of talking about how they are thinking about a problem when they’ve had many years of instruction that focused on getting the “right answer.” That’s why educators are now trying to get students in the habit of explaining their thinking at a young age.
Report: Teacher-Controlled Video Observations Improve Teacher Assessment Process Report: Teacher-Controlled Video Observations Improve Teacher Assessment Process Teachers who participated in a year-long study comparing video-recorded and in-person classroom observations found the video observation process fairer and more useful overall than in-person observations, according to a new report from the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University. The report, "The Best Foot Forward Project: Substituting Teacher-Collected Video for In-Person Classroom Observations," summarizes the findings of the first year of implementation of the Best Food Forward Project.
The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop I had the great privilege of facilitating a staff workshop on growth mindsets for the teachers and staff at Carlos Rosario International School and more recently at ISTE 2015. Participants were given access to the slide deck in order interact with the slides and resources during the workshop. What follows are the activities along with some of the resources used during the workshop. Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation I was recently in a third grade classroom and was struck by the presence of rules that were posted for how to have a conversation. The poster said, "Each person must contribute to the discussion but take turns talking. Ask each other, 'Would you like to add to my idea?' or 'Can you tell us what you are thinking?'
Why Don’t We Differentiate Professional Development? As I prepare for another afternoon of district-provided professional development activities, I always make sure that I bring plenty of work to do (papers to grade, lesson planning, etc.). This isn't because I have a bad attitude and hate professional development (PD). A great PD event can really energize me to improve my classroom instruction.
A Parent's Guide for Getting Girls Into STEM Careers Edutopia Readers, I'm Dr. Rob Garcia, a former high school dropout turned PhD. As a kid growing up poor in Humboldt County, I had no idea what Engineering was. No one ever took me aside and said, "Engineers create things and get paid a lot of money and have awesome lives." Practical Ways to Develop Students’ Mathematical Reasoning Traditional math class was all about solving problem sets as fast as possible, but increasingly math teachers are slowing down to allow kids the time and space to reason through their answers and explain their thinking to peers. For those who seek a demonstration of that path, take a look at the Teaching Channel video below. Third grade teacher Jen Saul leads a lesson meant to support students’ mathematical problem solving abilities. She works hard to normalize struggle and has students find three different ways to represent the same problem. “They can assure themselves and don’t have to wait for the teacher to come around and say, ‘yeah, you got it.'”