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Nigel Coutts

The art of modern writing - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Learning to write is one of the fundamental skills we gain from our time at school. Writing is one of the cornerstones of learning and we devote significant time and energy towards its mastery. Skilled writing is a mark of an educated individual and a skill required for academic success. But in the modern world what makes a skilled writer? What has changed about writing and what literary skills should we focus our attention on. 
John Evans

Best Websites for Teaching Math: More Than 50 Resources! - 5 views

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    "We recently sent the call out on our Teacher HELPLINE! for teachers to tell us the best websites for teaching math. And wow, did you all come through! We've gathered all the links and a short description of each math website. The list encompasses grades K-12 and is chock-full of resources, games, freebies, and innovative programs. Not to alarm you, but, we think you're going to want to bookmark it. STAT!

    Without further ado, here it is:"
Nigel Coutts

Creativity is a beautiful, messy chaotic thing - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Creativity is often said to be the key to the future. The essentially human attribute that will ensure our utility in a world dominated by automation. It is said to be an essential ingredient in education but it will not be truly learned unless we provide students with opportunities to dive fully into its waters. 
Nigel Coutts

Growth Mindsets in the Great Outdoors - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    chool camps are a wonderful opportunity to observe how our students handle the challenge of a different learning setting. Away from the norms and familiar settings of the classroom, we see students in a different light. For the students, camps are an exciting and for some frightening challenge. For teachers, they are an outstanding assessment tool that should inform our practices long after camp is over. 
John Evans

Teaching In 2017: A Checklist For 21st Century Teachers - - 4 views

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    "What are the kind of things a 21st century teacher needs to know and be able to do? What about 21st century students? What education technology works, and what is a waste of time? What would a checklist for 21st century teaching look like?

    Does "21st century teaching" even make sense to use as a phrase anymore? If not, do we just say "teaching"? Does that fit our needs to innovate our collective profession to meet a modern circumstance?

    These are among the questions today's teachers have to face daily-in the classroom, mass media, professional development, and more. These conversations can get complex, opinionated, stuffed with rhetoric, and downright overwhelming at times. In response, Sylvia Duckworth has made consistent contributions to this conversation by creating colorful illustrations that communicate many of these ideas in easy-to-skim, easy-on-the-eyes, tempting to pin and share graphics."
Nigel Coutts

Transforming Homework to Home Learning - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    A recent strategy to alter the negative image that homework has built is to re-brand it as "home learning". But is this enough and if we are going to "get it right" what do we need to change besides the name?
John Evans

Understanding Dyslexia and the Reading Brain in Kids | MindShift | KQED News - 1 views

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    "At a recent talk for special education teachers at the Los Angeles Unified School District, child development professor Maryanne Wolf urged educators to say the word dyslexia out loud.

    "Don't ever succumb to the idea that it's going to develop out of something, or that it's a disease," she recalled telling teachers. "Dyslexia is a different brain organization that needs different teaching methods. It is never the fault of the child, but rather the responsibility of us who teach to find methods that work for that child."

    Wolf, who has a dyslexic son, is on a mission to spread the idea of "cerebrodiversity," the idea that our brains are not uniform and we each learn differently. Yet when it comes to school, students with different brains can often have lives filled with frustration and anguish as they, and everyone around them, struggle to figure out what is wrong with them."
Nigel Coutts

Five Great Reads - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    One of the great joys and best strategies for expanding your understanding is to engage with a great book. Fortunately the options available today are immense and electronic options and audio books make access easy and possible wherever you may be. Here is a short list of what I have been reading lately with some brief reflections. 
John Evans

To Boost Higher-Order Thinking, Try Curation | Cult of Pedagogy - 2 views

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    "Higher-level thinking has been a core value of educators for decades. We learned about it in college. We hear about it in PD. We're even evaluated on whether we're cultivating it in our classrooms: Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching, a widely used instrument to measure teacher effectiveness, describes a distinguished teacher as one whose "lesson activities require high-level student thinking" (Domain 3, Component 3c).

    All that aside, most teachers would say they want their students to be thinking on higher levels, that if our teaching kept students at the lowest level of Bloom's Taxonomy-simply recalling information-we wouldn't be doing a very good job as teachers.

    And yet, when it's time to plan the learning experiences that would have our students operating on higher levels, some of us come up short. We may not have a huge arsenal of ready-to-use, high-level tasks to give our students. Instead, we often default to having students identify and define terms, label things, or answer basic recall questions. It's what we know. And we have so much content to cover, many of us might feel that there really isn't time for the higher-level stuff anyway.

    If this sounds anything like you, I have a suggestion: Try a curation assignment."
Nigel Coutts

Understanding the true nature of science - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    As thousands take to the streets as part of a global 'March for Science' it is worth considering the significant role that education has to play. What are the messages we need to send our students about science and what role have schools played in creating the current climate? Now seems like the time to pause and reflect on the place of science in our community and our schools.
Nigel Coutts

Shifting from awareness to action - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    The evidence is mounting and the narrative around education is shifting towards a story centred on long-life skills, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Success in the future seems to be connected closely to one's capacity to innovate, to problem find and to make strategic decisions when confronted by unique situations for which we have not been specifically prepared. 
John Evans

7 Tips for Teaching Students How to Recognize Bias in an Era of Fake News - 1 views

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    "When students are learning about research topics and current events, they must also learn about how perspective and bias may affect the information they are reading. Teaching these lessons explicitly is critical in this era of "fake" news.

    The following tips and activities are designed to help students understand the choices that journalists make that may affect how readers interpret a story."
Nigel Coutts

What do we need to know? - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    I keep circling back to this question of what do we need to know, or to learn. It comes up so often in conversations around education and is closely connected to what we hope to achieve for our students. It is a question whose answer shapes not only what we teach but how we teach and what we assess. It strikes at the heart of how we perceive the role of education in society and the way we answer it reveals much about our personal philosophy of education. 
Nigel Coutts

What messages are we sending about learning? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    How can we take more notice of the culture of our classrooms and what it communicates to learners about the value of thinking? 
John Evans

Five Ways To Shift Teaching Practice So Students Feel Less Math Anxious | MindShift | K... - 2 views

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    "Math has been a traditionally thorny subject in many American schools. Lots of children dislike math and many more adults stopped taking mathematics as soon as they are able, even when they were successful in their classes. At the same time, mathematical thinking is a crucial part of many of the most exciting and growing careers in science, technology, engineering and math, not to mention important for a general understanding of the mathematical world around us. So, what can U.S. math educators do to shift this dynamic?"
John Evans

10 Commandments of Innovative Teaching - The Principal of Change - 0 views

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    "Flash forward eight years and the classrooms look very different in my same school district. In the two years since my district began our 1:1 laptop initiative our classrooms have evolved once more. New technology, new standards, and new content. Throughout this process I have tried my best to stay on top of where education is headed and what are the emerging "next" practices. Now when I talk to teachers in my district and around the country, I try to focus on the key elements of innovative teaching. With technology, standards, and content continually changing…these "innovative commandments" give teachers a starting point regardless of their situation."
Nigel Coutts

Teaching in the 21st Century - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    The consistent message is that we are preparing our students for success in a world very different to that which was the norm only a short time ago. The implications of this change are immense and require a shift in our thinking about what matters most in our classrooms. Such is the pace of change that within any school there will be multiple generations who normalise different perspective on technology and its place in their lives. What becomes clear that the skills we most need within our schools at every level are those which are critical for individuals to be empowered, self-navigating learners. But what does this mean in practical terms?
John Evans

22 Free yet Overlooked Online Teaching Tools for Teachers - 5 views

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    "Here are some of the free yet overlooked tools that the teachers must use for their classes. They have been designed to suit various requirements such as classroom connectors, information providers, language, presentations, productivity etc."
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