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Jill Bergeron

Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs | Edutopia - 0 views

  • a Professional Learning Community is "a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students."
  • A PLC is made up of "a school's professional staff members who continuously seek to find answers through inquiry and act on their learning to improve student learning.
  • Teachers who work in more supportive environments become more effective at raising student achievement on standardized tests over time than do teachers who work in less supportive environments.
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  • a PLC is typically: Face to face High accountability Comprised of colleagues from a face-to-face or daily environment Comprised of peers with similar professional responsibilities
  • Torrey Trust defines the PLN (PDF) as "a system of interpersonal connections and resources that support informal learning.
  • according to multiple, peer reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success . . . the further . . . you go towards a closed network, the more you repeatedly hear the same ideas, which reaffirm what you already believe. The further you go towards an open network, the more you're exposed to new ideas
  • PLNs are typically: Online and open More informal Open to a free flow of ideas Often welcoming to newcomers
  • PLNs' weaknesses are: Teachers get excited about an idea but meet resistance in their local school. Teachers have no way to share and discuss ideas with their local school. Some educators use their PLN inconsistently and have no accountability to keep learning. PLNs can be overwhelming because it seems like too much, or users can't focus. Authentic conversations can become dominated by a few loud voices. Some hashtag founders exhibit territorial behavior that limits conversation. Trolls and spammers can derail hashtag conversations.
  • "Blend" your school's PLC by creating an online space for it. Make this a simple place to share resources and ideas gleaned from participants' PLNs. Many teachers don't collaborate online because it's just one more thing to do. Make it simple to share. Give the less social-media-savvy educators simple options such as an email subscription to a few blogs.
  • Encourage educators to share ideas. Set specific goals. You can't be everywhere and do everything. Focus can achieve incredible results if you're all searching your PLNs for new ideas to tackle a troubling issue in your PLC
  • 5. Link the online and face-to-face worlds. Administrators and others should mention the online spaces in staff meetings. Likewise, an online reflection of something said at the PLC helps show continuity. Educators should see both the online and face-to-face spaces as substantial parts of their PLC.
    This article gives the benefits and weaknesses of PLNs and PLCs.
Gayle Cole

Chris Lehmann's Keynote at #140edu 2012 « 140 Character Conference - 0 views

  • When I was in high school I hated biology. Funny that I became the Principal of a science high school. But I hated biology for one simple reason: I am a horrendous artist. Every lab report that I did looked like I had dissected an amoeba.
  • But my best friend, who sat next to me, was an amazing artist. And I’m a pretty good writer. You know, I look back and I think, you know, if you had you only let us collaborate, we could have done some really amazing work, even without some of the tools that we have at our disposal today, we could have done great stuff.
  • we are beginning to realize that power of collaboration. People really do talk about the idea of collaboration being the 21st century ‘silver bullet.’ I think people have been collaborating for a really long time. I think we’re only now getting good at it in schools—at least in some schools.
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  • This is going to be SLA’s seventh year. In those seven years I’ve had seven superintendents. [Laughter, applause.]
  • And what is driving all of the decisions right now in cities all over this country? It’s this question: ‘How good are your test scores?’
  • For example, in this state [New York], the state-wide English Language Arts Regents exam was a high-stakes test for students and for teachers. It determined students promotion. It determined whether or not teachers would keep their jobs. It determined whether or not schools would stay open. There was question about a talking pineapple. And again, Adam referenced this earlier. But again, the amazing thing was that they claimed that they took it from this children’s author. They interviewed the children’s author. He said they got it wrong!
  • do you know who made the test? Anybody? Pearson. Not educators. Not state officials. Not the way that it used to be, when at least these tests were designed by people who did not have a financial stake in the game. Instead, this test was designed by a company that was deeply, deeply concerned that it be financially profitable.
  • educators have more stuff thrown at them than they’ve ever had to think about before. I am the child of a lifelong teacher and a union lawyer, so all of these ideas are incredibly derivative and I take them from my parents
  • we wonder why so many teachers push back as we say, ‘Oh and by the way, you’ve got to learn Twitter and Edmodo and this and that and the other and all of these tools.
  • powerful question: Is school relevant? And behind that is the question that many of us as teachers are asking: Am I relevant?
  • t if you ask her, ‘Who are you?’ the first thing she says isn’t ‘Oh, I’m a publicist.’ But if you ask a teacher, ‘Who are you?’ they are going to say, ‘I am a teacher.’ Who we are is wrapped up deeply in what we do and what do is under attack and changing rapidly, and that uncertainty is very difficult to deal with.
  • Johnny Learned to Read. Johnny went to the Store. Johnny went to the Park. Johnny killed himself because learning was boring! [Laughter.]
  • I respect what Deven Black said about the idea of ‘get out of school before the school kills the joy of creativity and kills that joy of learning that you have’ I also believe that school can be amazing places of learning. Schools can teach us how to learn, more than any fact or figure that we can get in a classroom. What schools should teach us is how learn, that metacognitive practice of figuring out, ‘How do I learn best? How do I make sense of our world?’ And when I do that, schools can help us learn to live.
  • Spanish 4 class at Science Leadership Academy. Now, what the kids had to do was to write an essay about hwo they were. Identity is a frequent theme at SLA. The essay was of two parts: One, what was visible about them and, two, what was invisible about them.
  • Schools can help us learn to live.
  • The incredibly reflective moment they were going through was, ‘How could we have prevented this as teachers? What are we doing wrong, that these are the students we are creating? These are the citizens we are creating?’
  • I think that when you are told the whole purpose you are learning this stuff is so you can work for somebody someday and that you can be part of the global economy. I think that’s an isolating feeling. I don’t think that builds community or gets us where we need to go.
  • we need to start talking about ‘the global citizen.’ We need to start talking about community
  • We would instead make sure that every child had a deep and powerful understanding of statistics before they left formal education
  • We’re creating a profoundly innumerate society and solving problems that we face today are going to need people who understand numbers.
  • but school belongs to our best, most powerful democratic instincts as a society. And what we are seeing right now, is a lot of people saying that schools need to be just like business.
  • If not that corporate model, then what model?
  • there’s a profound difference between these two statements: ‘I care about kids, and I care for kids.
  • We need to stop saying, ‘I teach math. I teach English. I teach art.’ We need to start saying, ‘I teach kids.’ And then we build systems and structures that reflect that.
  • we’ve got to understand that an inquiry-driven education is the most powerful way to learn
  • By the way, there is one questions that every teacher should ask a bazillion times a day that they don’t know the answer to. That question is, ‘What do you think?’
  • Want to see a really amazing thing with a group of kids? Read a book with them freshman year. Have them write their reflections on the book. Read it with them again in their senior year. See what the book holds for them now. Teach them that ideas and answers can change. And that that’s good.
  • It’s called the Dialogic Curriculum. It’s by a woman named Patricia L. Stock.
  • This isn’t just about talking. What I see in a lot of classrooms when I visit schools is people talking and listening—but not really. I see in a lot of classrooms debate, where kids are listening for the thing they can disagree with. So that way they can make their point. Right? We’ve all had that experience where the teacher says, ‘Wait a second, I’ll get back to your comment in a minute.’ Three or four more kids have said the thing and the kid says the exact same thing that they were going to say four questions ago, because they didn’t listen to the four things that the other kids said. We need to teach kids that we can argue and we can discuss to learn.
  • Teach kids to build their ideas off of others. Teach them not just to disagree, but run a classroom where no one is allowed to talk until they first express their idea, before they first echo back what they’ve heard from someone else. What did I learn from what you just said? ‘Well, I understand that you just said this, and I thought that this was really interesting. And where I found disagreement or disharmony was here.’ But first I’ve got to acknowledge the things that you said. First I’ve got to acknowledge that you said that with which I can find common cause. Teach kids to build, not just tear down.
  • What they’re selling to us as personalized learning is, ‘everybody does the exact same content, only at your own pace.’ That’s not personal!
  • If someone shows up and says, ‘We’ve got a great new personalized learning system. You put the kids on the computer and they all go at their own pace.’ Say to them, ‘That’s not personal. When do they get to do the things they care about?’
  • This is two of our students competing in a kinetic sculpture contest. Think about that. And what’s cool about it is that they built this device in their engineering classroom. Our kids in our engineering classrooms have built a solar water heater, and Engineers Without Borders took the actual thing that the kids built, shipped it to Sierra Leone, where what our kids built is now being used to heat water in order to sterilize instruments in a hospital for amputee victims. Our kids have built flow-process biodiesel generators, and they have then released the designs to anyone who wanted to use them, under a Creative Commons license. What we found out was that students in Central and South America built what are kids designed and are using it to take their schools ‘off the grid’ by powering their own schools.
  • Ask powerful questions. Seek out answers. Build real stuff. That’s inquiry-driven project-based learning.
  • world
  • What we are really trying to do is help our kids change the
  • Project-based learning is when the kids own head, heart and hands—when the work that they do, that matters to them, is the most important thing in a classroom—is the highest form of work that gets done. That’s true project-based learning.
  • In every single class at SLA, for all four years that they are there, every quarter has what we call a benchmark project in each class that that allows every child to build something that serves as the signpost of their learning every single quarter.
  • nquiry—what are the questions we can ask; Research—how do we find the answers to those questions; Collaboration—how do we work together to make those answers deeper, better and richer; Presentation—how do we share what we’ve learned; and Reflection—
  • You must build systems and structures to allow kids to do real stuff, and then get out of their way. By the way, once they have, you’ve got to let them share it.
  • You can share stuff in the physical world, you can share stuff in the virtual world, but kids have got to understand that they can be expert voices in the world. Create the space for them to do it. You don’t have to tell them how.
  • She said, ‘I just expose them to a whole bunch of different ideas and then said, go learn the stuff you need to learn.’
  • you have to share what you know
  • Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann) is the founding Principal of the Science Leadership Academy (SLA)
  • honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work in education reform. In June 2010, Chris was named as one of the “30 Most Influential People in EdTech”
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • “While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing, when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade.”
  • Behaviors like these undermine leaders’ effectiveness by depressing the performance of those around them, and are ultimately self-defeating.
  • power puts us in something like a manic state, making us feel expansive, energized, omnipotent, hungry for rewards, and immune to risk – which opens us up to rash, rude, and unethical actions.” But it turns out that simply being aware of those feelings – “Hey, I’m feeling as if I should rule the world right now” – and monitoring impulses to behave inappropriately helps keep those behaviors in check.
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  • When Keltner works with up-and-coming executives, he counsels them to remember and repeat the virtuous behaviors that helped them rise in the first place and develop three essential practices: empathy, gratitude, and generosity.
  • To practice empathy: -   Ask a question or two in every interaction, showing genuine interest in the subject. -   Paraphrase important points made by others. -   Listen with gusto, orienting your body and eyes toward the person speaking and verbally showing interest and engagement. -   When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t jump right to judgment and advice but say something like, “That’s really tough” or “I’m sorry.” -   Before a meeting, take a moment to think about the person you’ll be with and what’s happening in his or her life.
  • The alternative mindset is that people can grow professionally and managers can change the way people perform through effective coaching, management, and intrinsic rewards like personal development and making a difference.
  • “From Silicon Valley to New York, and in offices across the world, firms are replacing annual reviews with frequent, informal check-ins between managers and employees.”
  • One observer called the traditional performance evaluation a “rite of corporate kabuki” that restricted creativity, generated mountains of paperwork, and served no real purpose. It was also an incentive to put off bad news until the end of the year, at which point both manager and employee may have forgotten what the problem was.
  • There’s one more reason: once-a-year reviews focus on past performance rather than encouraging current work and grooming talent for the future.
  • To practice gratitude: -   Make thoughtful thank-yous a part of how you communicate with others. -   Send colleagues specific and timely e-mails or notes of appreciation for a job well done. -   Publicly acknowledge the value that each person contributes to the team, including support staff. -   Use the right kind of touch – pats on the back, fist bumps, high-fives – to celebrate success. • To practice generosity: -   Seek opportunities to spend a little one-on-one time with people you lead. -   Delegate some important and high-profile responsibilities. -   Give praise generously. -   Share the limelight – give credit to all who contribute to the success of your team and your organization.
  • employees, especially recent college graduates, learn faster from frequent, detailed feedback from mentors and superiors. Second, companies realized they needed to be agile to survive and thrive in the competitive, ever-changing marketplace and real-time performance monitoring and feedback led to more rapid adaptations. And third, managers saw that teamwork was key to innovation and productivity and moving from forced annual ranking to frequent individual accountability was more conducive to teamwork and better results.
  • Studies of the workplace show that the time employees spend helping others is as important to their evaluations and chances of promotion as how they do their jobs. And Grant’s own research on “givers” (who enjoy helping others) and “takers” (who are focused on coming out ahead) shows that givers consistently achieve better results.
  • on the most difficult part of his exams – the multiple choice section – if a student was unsure of an question, he or she wrote down the name of another student who might know the answer – like asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” If the classmate had it right, they both earned points; one person’s success also benefited a classmate. Grant reports that this made a big difference – more students joined study groups, the groups pooled their knowledge, and the class’s average score went up 2 percentage points compared to the previous year. Why? Because one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else, and that’s what was going on in the groups.
  • There was something else going on in the lifeline idea: transactive memory, or knowing who knows best and taking advantage of their knowledge. It’s easier to get help if you know where to look.
  • In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, Ellen Boucher (Amherst College) says the “pressure of perfection” is causing lots of stress for students in their teens and twenties, contributing to the rising suicide rate in this age bracket.
  • The burden of multiple obligations can seem insurmountable.”
  • Sociologists have shown that students from less-privileged backgrounds often have trouble understanding the unwritten rules of college life – the so-called hidden curriculum… [A]sking a professor for an extension doesn’t always come naturally. It might not even occur to them as an option.”
  • all students can elect to take a two-day grace period on any paper, with no questions asked.
  • “Since changing my policy, I’ve seen higher-quality work, less anxiety, and fewer cases of burnout.
  • Rebrand. A more inviting name for these perennial meetings is “progress conferences.” This is more positive and doesn’t seem to exclude foster parents and guardians.
  • Finesse the childcare issue. “To pay a babysitter to watch your three younger siblings so a parent can attend a conference is not going to happen,” says Ohio high-school teacher Allison Ricket. She invites parents to bring along other children and provides crayons and paper in an area at the back of her classroom where they can entertain themselves during conferences.
  • Accommodate. Some parents need an interpreter (children shouldn’t be asked to translate) and support with disabilities.
  • Change the dynamic. It makes a difference if a teacher sits side by side with family members and doesn’t hold a clipboard or pad of paper; open hands suggest an open mind.
  • Involve students. Progress conferences are much more helpful when students are at the table reporting on their progress, challenges, and goals. Advisory group meetings focus on preparing students to lead parent conferences and lobby their parents to attend.
  • • Listen. “Parents usually come in having an idea of what they want to talk about, so I like to be open and ready for whatever they need,” says Ricket. Although she has students’ grades and portfolios on hand, she lets parents go first and is careful to empathize with any concerns they have.
  • “mathematics is better taught when everyone shares in consistent language, symbols and notation, models and schema, and rules that support developing learners. The idea behind this comprehensive agreement is not unlike a schoolwide behavior management policy – whereby children hear the same phrases, share identical expectations, and experience practices that are common and consistent year after year across classrooms and throughout the school.”
  • Language – Moving from less conceptual language – borrowing, carrying, reducing fractions, the “Ring around the Rosie” property – to more mathematically appropriate language – regrouping, simplifying fractions to the lowest terms.
  • Symbols and notation – For example, writing fractions with a slanted bar 3/8 may confuse students who think the bar is the numeral 1 and think it’s 318.
  • Models and schema
  • Number lines or graphics should be consistent through the grades, for example, a graphic showing two parts next to one whole.
  • Rules
  • “This unified approach is particularly helpful for students who struggle,” conclude Karp, Bush, and Dougherty, “as it provides a recognizable component to new content. Additionally, all learners in a school can make connections among ideas in a unified and collaborative culture that promotes stronger learning in mathematics.”
    "Online Resources for Teaching About the Presidential Campaign             In this article in Education Week, Madeline Will shares five free classroom resources for teaching and discussing this year's election: -   Letters to the Next President 2.0 - Students' letters to the 45th president will be published by PBS member station KQED and the National Writing Project. -   Teaching Tolerance Election 2016 Resources - These include a civility contract, civic activities, and PD webinars. -   iCivics - Materials on the basics of democracy, with an interactive digital game in which students manage their own presidential campaign. -   C-Span Classroom - Primary sources with historical and contemporary video clips and related discussion questions, handouts, and activity ideas. -   Join the Debates - Curriculum materials for collaborative discussions on issues in the campaign and debates.   "Educators Grapple with Election 2016" by Madeline Will in Education Week, September 14, 2016 (Vol. 36, #4, p. 1, 12-13), "
Jill Bergeron

School Retool - Big Idea - 0 views

    Project-based learning ideas and tools for teachers and admin. This page includes big picture ideas and pointed advice for success.
Jill Bergeron

How to Use the New Version of Padlet - 1 views

    Richard Byrne offers five ideas on how to use Padlet for sharing student work and ideas.
Jill Bergeron

Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility.
  • They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective. When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial and lack reasoned justification.
  • Dimensions of Critical Evaluation
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  • Relevance: the information's level of importance to a particular reading purpose or explicitly stated need for that information Accuracy: the extent to which information contains factual and updated details that can be verified by consulting alternative and/or primary sources Bias/Perspective: the position or slant toward which an author shapes information Reliability: the information's level of trustworthiness based on information about the author and the publishing body
  • Verify and refute online information Investigate author credentials Detect bias and stance Negotiate multiple perspectives
  • Cross-checking claims between multiple sources (see Figure 2) can help adolescents: Recognize ideas they might otherwise ignore Weigh the usefulness (and reliability) of these ideas against what they previously believed to be true Consider that new ideas may actually be more accurate than their original thinking
  • To that end, I will close with a list of strategies to use or adapt to fit your students’ needs as they refine their ability to think critically while conducting online research: Is this site relevant to my needs and purpose? What is the purpose of this site? Who created the information at this site, and what is this person's level of expertise? When was the information at this site updated? Where can I go to check the accuracy of this information? Why did this person or group put this information on the Internet? Does the website present only one side of the issue, or are multiple perspectives provided? How are information and/or images at this site shaped by the author's stance? Is there anyone who might be offended or hurt by the information at this site? How can I connect these ideas to my own questions and interpretations?
Jill Bergeron

Educator Innovator | Educator Innovator - 0 views

    Ideas on different ways to view making through the lens of the humanities. Projects Ideas in here though many would need to be adapted for Chandler.
Jill Bergeron

The Backchannel: Giving Every Student a Voice in the Blended Mobile Classroom | Edutopia - 0 views

  • A backchannel (3) -- a digital conversation that runs concurrently with a face-to-face activity -- provides students with an outlet to engage in conversation.
  • TodaysMeet (4) would have let teachers create private chat rooms so that students could ask questions or leave comments during class. A Padlet (5) wall might have fueled students to share their ideas as text, images, videos, and links posted to a digital bulletin board. The open response questions available in a student response system like Socrative (6) or InfuseLearning (7) could have become discussion prompts to give each student an opportunity to share his or her ideas before engaging in class discussion.
  • To inspire questioning and wondering, Meghan Zigmond (10) put her first grade students in groups and allowed them to use a Padlet wall (11) to capture their questions as they read Douglas Florian's Comets, Stars, The Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings
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  • They create a blended environment where teachers and students engage in both physical and online conversations so that learning is no longer confined to a single means of communication or even an arbitrary class period. Backchannels don't replace class discussions -- they extend them.
  • She used Socrative to capture her fifth graders' questions and answers throughout the presentation, giving them an immediate channel for their thoughts.
  • The backchannel gave every student an opportunity to express his or her views and to listen to voices that otherwise may not have been heard.
  • A backchannel creates ubiquitous opportunities (18). In a blended environment, students and teachers can communicate through multiple modalities, allow their thoughts to develop over time, and engage in authentic learning.
    This article provides three good tech tools for teachers who want to try a back channel chat and nearly a half dozen ideas for incorporating this type of technology into the curriculum. There are even suggestions for how to use it with students as young as 6 years old.
Jill Bergeron

Time - The finite resource - 0 views

  • As time is such a valuable resource its allocation to particular aspects of teaching and learning signifies their value. If we give time to content and memorisation of facts, we signal to our students that this is what we value. Likewise, if we remind our students that time is short and work must be completed quickly we should not be surprised when our students see tasks as work to be done rather than learning to be mastered. A more effective distribution of our time will see students being given time to think deeply and truly engage with the problems they are asked to solve.
  • The importance of these soft-skills including important aspects of socio-emotional learning, creativity and even critical thinking are often not given the time they deserve.
  • Ritchhart (2015) quotes research that reveals the power of wait time and thinking time with the quality and quantity of student thinking increasing by 300% to 700% when additional time is given to thinking within class discussion. Wait time or thinking time combined with strategies such as those from ‘Making Thinking Visible’ signify to students that what is wanted is not a speedy response but a well considered one. Wait time and thinking time according to Ritchhart combat the habit many students develop of guessing what the teacher wants as a response.
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  • Self-determination Theory (SDT) as described by Ryan & Deci (2000) and as discussed in Daniel Pink’s (2009) work on motivation reveals three drives that help us engage and maintain enthusiasm. Autonomy or a sense of control is a part of this triad and although we may not be able to decide which tasks we complete or not we can probably determine the order they are approached. Scheduling tasks which give us a boost of energy early in the day might help us move through the challenging middle period while finishing with a task we enjoy can be a positive ending. Putting off the tasks we enjoy least, those which offer the leas rewards until the end of the day is a recipe for disaster.
  • The other two drives identified by SDT are purpose and mastery. These too are linked to time and shape our perception of a task as a positive or negative experience. The perceived purpose of a task, the degree to which a task is important to us, the intrinsic enjoyment that a task has play an important part in how we value the time we spend on it. If a task is closely connected to our core purposes it is likely to be valued and time spent on is hardly noticed.
  • Within SDT the desire to master a task is the third drive. Mastery in most instances takes time and situations which prevent us from achieving mastery can lead to negative feelings. Being realistic with our mastery goals and recognising that true mastery is only achieved after significant time may reduce feeling of anxiety when confronted by situations where mastery is the goal but success is difficult to achieve.
  • His time management matrix shows a correlation between a task's perceived importance and its urgency with tasks deemed important but not-urgent being the ones which allow us to produce our best work. This concept is similar to the idea of wait time or thinking time and the ideas are linked together in Ritchhart’s writing.
  • Collaborative planning, reflection, problem identification and solution are areas that demand our best thinking but are not always given the time they demand. What this reveals is that the problem many schools face is not one of quantity of time but rather allocation of time.
  • By talking about how we use time, where we need more time, how we may better distribute our use of time to signal importance and provide opportunities for students and teachers to achieve their best with the time they have we begin to move things forward. Being open to new solutions, breaking with tradition and valuing time as we value money are steps towards a better model for time management in schools, one that has benefits for all.
    This blog post shares how the amount of time we give students to think and answer questions can have a great impact on the quality of response we receive. By giving students wait time and thinking time, the quantity and quality of student thinking increased by 300-700%.
Jill Bergeron

How Listening and Sharing Help Shape Collaborative Learning Experiences | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • In school, getting people to share can be difficult. Learners may be diffident, or they may not have good strategies for sharing. Children often do not know how to offer constructive criticism or build on an idea. It can be helpful to give templates for sharing, such as two likes and a wish, where the “wish” is a constructive criticism or a building idea.
    • Jill Bergeron
      Template for young children to follow when giving feedback.
  • when students collaborate on class assignments, they learn the material better (we provide examples below). Ideally, small group work can yield both better abilities to cooperate and better learning of the content.
  • listening and sharing as cooperative techniques can alleviate frustration and, more importantly, allow group learning to surpass what would be possible by a single student (Slavin, 1995).
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  • Visual attention provides an index of what people are thinking about.
Jill Bergeron

Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities | Edutopia - 0 views

  • In aiming for full engagement, it is essential that students perceive activities as being meaningful. Research has shown that if students do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, they might not engage in a satisfactory way, or may even disengage entirely in response (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004).
  • highlighting the value of an assigned activity in personally relevant ways.
  • When students work effectively with others, their engagement may be amplified as a result (Wentzel, 2009), mostly due to experiencing a sense of connection to others during the activities (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
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  • When teachers relinquish control (without losing power) to the students, rather than promoting compliance with directives and commands, student engagement levels are likely to increase as a result (Reeve, Jang, Carrell, Jeon, & Barch, 2004). Autonomy support can be implemented by: Welcoming students' opinions and ideas into the flow of the activity Using informational, non-controlling language with students Giving students the time they need to understand and absorb an activity by themselves
  • Researchers have found that effectively performing an activity can positively impact subsequent engagement (Schunk & Mullen, 2012). To strengthen students' sense of competence in learning activities, the assigned activities could: Be only slightly beyond students' current levels of proficiency Make students demonstrate understanding throughout the activity Show peer coping models (i.e. students who struggle but eventually succeed at the activity) and peer mastery models (i.e. students who try and succeed at the activity) Include feedback that helps students to make progress
  • Teacher modeling is one effective method (i.e. the teacher shows how collaboration is done), while avoiding homogeneous groups and grouping by ability, fostering individual accountability by assigning different roles, and evaluating both the student and the group performance also support collaborative learning.
  • High-quality teacher-student relationships are another critical factor in determining student engagement, especially in the case of difficult students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (Fredricks, 2014). When students form close and caring relationships with their teachers, they are fulfilling their developmental need for a connection with others and a sense of belonging in society (Scales, 1991). Teacher-student relationships can be facilitated by: Caring about students' social and emotional needs Displaying positive attitudes and enthusiasm Increasing one-on-one time with students Treating students fairly Avoiding deception or promise-breaking
  • When students pursue an activity because they want to learn and understand (i.e. mastery orientations), rather than merely obtain a good grade, look smart, please their parents, or outperform peers (i.e. performance orientations), their engagement is more likely to be full and thorough (Anderman & Patrick, 2012).
    This article offers six ways to think about student engagement and several ideas for how to increase it.
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • 1. True grit 2. Successfully educating boys: what works 3. Teacher-student mediation in action 4. How to work with an opinionated colleague (who is wrong) 5. Should schools continue to teach cursive handwriting? 6. Do students’ appearance and grooming affect achievement? 7. Key elements of an effective open house 8. I wish my teacher knew…
  • A lot of what we take to be toughness of the past was really just callousness.
  • There was a greater tendency in years gone by to wall off emotions, to put on a thick skin – for some men to be stone-like and uncommunicative and for some women to be brittle, brassy, and untouchable. And then many people turned to alcohol to help them feel anything at all.”
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  • A more helpful way to think of toughness is resilience, says Brooks. “The people we admire for being resilient are not hard; they are ardent. They have a fervent commitment to some cause, some ideal, or some relationship. That higher yearning enables them to withstand setbacks, pain, and betrayal.
  • strategies that build connections with boys.
  • “In every school I have visited, social competition and hierarchy, bullying and maltreatment, peer policing, and the marginalization of less-preferred types of boys characterize cultures that even wonderfully committed faculty and staff cannot control.”
  • These teachers report that, “contrary to the stereotypes of young men as diffident, disruptive, or dangerous, most boys care deeply about being successful and simply long for instructors… capable of connecting personally with them and believing in them, even when they may not believe in themselves and struggle with behavior, effort, or attention problems… Relationship is the very medium through which successful teaching and learning is performed with boys.”
  • If people today are less tough or resilient, Brooks concludes, it may be because they lack purpose. “If you really want people to be tough,” he says, “make them idealistic for some cause, make them tender for some other person, make them committed to some worldview that puts today’s temporary pain in the context of a larger hope
  • Accommodate a measure of opposition.
  • Maintain high standards.
  • Respond to a student’s personal interest or talent.
  • Share a common interest.
  • Acknowledge a common characteristic.
  • Change should be collective.
  • Be willing to reveal vulnerability.
  • “Mediation provides teacher and student with ways to listen and understand each other’s perspectives, restore goodwill, and develop positive plans to move forward,” she says. “The process boosts social, problem-solving and communication skills – all of which are important for students’ resourcefulness should problems arise in the future.”
  • the characteristics of an ideal academic team: -   There is frequent, easy communication. -   Assessment is an integral part of the culture. -   Changes are identified and readily implemented. -   New ideas are frequently discussed. -   Limitations in professional knowledge and skills are recognized and addressed. -   Professional development is seen as essential and it happens regularly. -   Improvement is continuous.
  • Don’t just tell them they’re wrong.
  • People with incorrect beliefs can become even more entrenched when presented with facts that contradict their beliefs. To change people, you have to reach their hearts, and you can do that only by building relationships.
  • Evidence alone won’t work.
  • Demonstrate mastery of subject matter.
  • If you want to effectively address forces that resist positive change, you need to genuinely listen first.”
  • Be indirect. Use suggestive rather than declarative language. Let your colleagues come to their own conclusion and, better yet, think it’s their own idea.
  • Have one-to-one conversations.
  • Identify your allies.
  • Listen
  • Identify the mission.
  • Choose your battles.
  • Focus on your personal goals.
  • Be patient, hopeful, and persistent.
  • If change happens, expect things to get worse before they get better.
  • “Research suggests that individuals are prone to automatically make assessments about the competence and social status of others based on features of their physical appearance. These features may include facial cues, ethnicity, clothes, and body language… [I]ndividuals are likely to base their impression of others on limited information and then fill in the rest accordingly.”
  • “Children described by teachers more negatively in terms of their appearance had worse academic adjustment… Students described by teachers as appearing poorly dressed, tired, sleepy, or hungry were rated by teachers as being less competent academically, less engaged, and as having a poorer relationship with these teachers.
  • “These results suggest that some students may be experiencing difficulties in school because they appear inadequately physically prepared for the classroom,”
  • As a staff, if we said, ‘Here’s our first chance to engage parents,’ then surely open houses… would be a much warmer, much more collaborative event and linked to learning.”
  • Consider having a general orientation for parents before the beginning of school – more of a mini-fair, with fun activities and a chance to get to know school staff. This is distinct from the open house in mid-September, which is more academically focused. -   Encourage teachers to make a positive phone call to each family early in the year so that calls on behavior problems are not the first time parents hear from the school.
  •   Give parents and guardians name tags and a chance to socialize with family members of other students.
  • Have students be leaders of the open house at the classroom level: students prepare a PowerPoint presentation on what they are learning and what the plan is going forward.
  • Include actual learning activities for parents.
  • The bottom line: family members should leave the open house excited about the school year, clear about three or four things their child will know by the end of the year, and feeling part of a team that will help students accomplish those key learnings.
    "In This Issue: 1. True grit 2. Successfully educating boys: what works 3. Teacher-student mediation in action 4. How to work with an opinionated colleague (who is wrong) 5. Should schools continue to teach cursive handwriting? 6. Do students' appearance and grooming affect achievement? 7. Key elements of an effective open house 8. I wish my teacher knew…"
Jill Bergeron

An Inside Look at an Award-Winning Maker Program | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Making matters. And design thinking matters to makers.
  • Eleven students, including four who had just graduated eighth grade, would spend the weekend explaining how design thinking drove our program’s work and their learning. Kids used student-built prototypes to explain how they employed design thinking to solve problems and make the world a better place.
  • We set up stations where Faire attendees got to experience prototyping for themselves, tackling design challenges based on the Extraordinaires Design Studio and expertly explained by our kids.
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  • students would work with JeffDESIGN over the summer to learn valuable lessons about what it takes to get an idea from concept to production in the real world.
  • We have adopted the free and fabulous EPICS—Engineering Projects In Community Service—as the heart and soul of our program this year.
  • I love that the EPICS framework is just that—a framework. It provides a flexible structure I can modify as necessary to suit our processes and needs.
  • When we are done, we’ll have a powerful, document-driven, human-centered methodology to guide our work in design.
  • The new school year has gotten off to a good start. We’re creating an entirely new understanding of design thinking in Digital Shop, an amalgam of our shared past experiences and the practices of some of the world’s best design thinking practitioners. It’s ridiculously hard work, alternatively frustrating and exhilarating, but totally worth it.
    This article gives a good idea of how to scaffold a maker program and it is chock full of resources we can use to support those initiatives.
Jill Bergeron

Evaluating Project-Based Learning | Edutopia - 0 views

  • There are many dimensions of student achievement that we need to evaluate in PBL. The end product is certainly important, but if we focus only on that, the meaningful learning that happens throughout the process can be lost as students feel pressure to do whatever it takes to "make the grade."
  • In other words, we want to acknowledge not only what they learned, but how they came to learn it so that they can use these processes in the future.
  • Establish target goals early to provide purpose for the project, while also establishing expectations of the result: What is the problem to solve or the product to create? What kinds of subject area content need to be included or addressed in the project? What expectations do you have for the final product's presentation, publishing, or performance? What kinds of collaborative behaviors must be demonstrated by students throughout the process? Feedback and corrections should happen frequently to keep students on track, improve their work, and set them up for success in the final product. Waiting too long to give feedback may result in work that is too far gone to be fixed or improved.
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  • evaluations should have four dimensions: Self Peer Teacher Audience
  • oral and written feedback is more personal and specific.
  • Self-evaluation is an especially important piece of the summative evaluation because it taps into higher-level thinking and awareness of the material, process, and final product.
  • Peer evaluations are unique to collaborative projects, and I find that they facilitate a better collaborative process because the teacher considers the student experience. We can use this information to modify the workflow for the next project and hold students accountable for their work (effort, constructive contributions to the team, etc.).
  • allow for audience feedback to evaluate that project's levels of success. Public critiques (such as comments on blog posts) and class discussion help provide wider perspective and may even carry more meaning for the student than teacher feedback.
  • Find a combination of both public and private evaluations that you feel is right for your students or the project.
  • Critique Sandwich A negative comment about a problem or flaw is presented between positive comments about something done well. "I Like That. . ." Require feedback that includes answers to all of these statements: I like that. . . I wonder if. . . Best next steps might be. . .
  • Rose/Thorn/Bud This critique also addresses the good (rose) and the bad (thorn), but also the potential (bud) for what may be a good idea but needs work.
    There are a few good ideas in here about how to offer feedback to students during a PBL unit.
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • A principal remembers how she built trust 2. Giving and receiving feedback with grace and skill 3. A Georgia district works to improve classroom observations 4. Douglas Reeves takes on five myths about grading 5. Enlisting students to comment helpfully on each others’ work 6. Unintended consequences from New York City’s discipline policies 7. The minefield that girls and young women must traverse 8. Thomas Friedman on what the new era portends for young people 9. Short item: An online social-emotional survey
  • “When schools dig in on the underlying reasons why kids violate norms, rather than reflexively and automatically punishing and sending kids away, outcomes can change quickly and dramatically. It’s especially important for everyone in a school to dig deep to decrease head-to-head conflict and understand behaviors that are often quickly labeled insubordination or disrespect.”
  • “Trust happens through thousands of small, purposeful interactions over time,” says Sarah Fiarman in this article in Principal. “[L]eaders earn trust when they keep promises, respond when teachers ask for help, and have difficult conversations with adults to ensure high-quality teaching for everyone.” Integral to all this is listening well, speaking wisely, and acknowledging one’s own biases.
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  • “This requires slowing down, checking to be sure we understand correctly, and sharing back what we hear.”
  • Meeting anger or frustration with genuine, compassionate interest builds trust.
  • Changing course based on input is a sign of integrity, not weakness.”
  • A key value she worked to communicated was about listening to dissent and changing course if necessary.
  • Fiarman found that making quick visits to classrooms every day communicated respect and made her far more knowledgeable about instruction.
  • it engenders trust when your boss can speak to the specifics of your work.”
  • for practice to be an effective tool for improvement, students need to be pushing the limits of current performance and getting continuous feedback – very difficult to orchestrate for 30 students working in their bedrooms. Second, as soon as teachers give grades for practice work, the incentive is for students to play it safe and not push into challenging or unknown territory.
  • Here are their ideas on making feedback less threatening and more productive:             • Separate coaching from evaluation.
  • “Coaching sessions should include no rubric scoring or other evaluations,”
  • Be thoughtful about receiving criticism. “The person getting the feedback has the power to decide whether it’s on target, fair, or helpful,” say the authors, “and to decide whether to use the feedback or dismiss it.”
  • When feedback rubs you the wrong way, it’s also important to dig deeper to understand what’s really going.
  • Be noisy about the importance of improving your school’s feedback culture – for students, for teachers, for parents, and for yourself.”
  • In this article in All Things PLC, consultant/author Douglas Reeves confronts these widely espoused misconceptions about grading:
  • if grades were effective motivators, homework completion, classroom engagement, and overall diligence would be sky-high. Not so!
  • “Asking such questions helps me counteract my unconscious bias,” says Fiarman. “Recognizing the pervasiveness of bias is an important first step. Acknowledging that I might make mistakes because of this bias – then actively working to counter it – builds trust.”
  • the only feedback that matters is that the work was finished on time and correctly.
  • it’s unfair and demotivating for students to have their final grade pulled down for practice work.
  • Myth #3: Grades drive future performance. True, there’s a correlation between good grades and college success, and between poor grades and dropping out of school, but Reeves questions whether grades cause success and failure.
  • While it is possible that intelligence and work ethic forge the path from kindergarten to Ivy League and Wall Street, it is also possible that zip code, tutors, and connections – all artifacts of family socioeconomic status – are the underlying causes.”
  • Teachers giving zeros for missed assignments and refusing to accept late work lets students off the hook – and starts a spiral of doom with their final grades.
  • Averaging grades through a semester punishes students for early failures versus rewarding them for using early problems to improve final performance.
  • “Rather than using the last two months of the semester to build momentum and finish strong,” says Reeves, “because of a punitive grading system, they are doomed to failure well before the semester is over. There is nothing left for them to do except cut class, be disruptive, or ultimately, quit school.”
  • “grading policies are matters of equity, with disparate impacts on students, particularly based on ethnicity and gender. Boys and minority males receive lower grades just as they are more likely to be more severely disciplined for an infraction. Girls receive higher grades for the same level of proficiency. If racial and gender disparities of this sort took place in any other area of public life, the consequences would be swift and sure.”
  • Instead, he suggests replacing each statement of fact – Punishment deters unwanted behavior – with a testable hypothesis – If I penalize students for late, incomplete, and absent homework, then student achievement will improve – and conducting real-time experiments within the school.
  • He’s found that non-evaluative comments are “easy to receive, easy to give, and easy to act on.”
  • Teaching sentence stems can be helpful: I’m not sure I understand the opening of this piece… I’m not sure why you did this; can you explain it more?
  • Be specific.
  • Prior to peer feedback, the teacher should introduce a rubric and lead the class in a group critique of an exemplar paper, focusing on suggestions that will make a difference.
  • The teacher might also display samples of feedback statements and have students break into groups and rank them from helpful to unhelpful, taking note of sentence starters and phrases they can use in their own feedback conversations.
  • Be timely. One of the greatest advantages of well-orchestrated peer feedback is that students can get comments on their work immediately, rather than waiting days, perhaps weeks, for the teacher to wade through piles of papers.
  • “Unfortunately,” Eden concludes, “by second-guessing teachers’ judgments about how to maintain order, policymakers and district administrators are likely harming the education of many millions of well-behaved students in an effort to help the misbehaving few.”
  • “[T]hey are encouraged more than ever to present themselves as ‘sexy’ – not about being attractive or beautiful, but a very narrow, commercialized idea of sexy. What’s particularly complicated is they’re sold that idea [of sexiness] as being a source of personal power. There is a complete disconnect between that image of sexiness and an understanding of their bodies, their own wants, needs, desires, and limits, what those might be, having those respected.”
  • young women “are almost conditioned, starting in middle school, to have their bodies publicly commented on by young men, [and] they don’t think they have any power to really stop it.” In schools, she says, the “everyday chipping away of girls’ self-worth by reducing them to their bodies is completely ignored.”
  • We tend to silo conversations about sex as if it is not about the same values of compassion, kindness, respect, mutuality, and caring that we want our children to embody in every other aspect of their lives.”
  • The Internet – “Unfortunately,” says Orenstein, “the first thing kids Google is porn. The average age that kids today are exposed to porn, either intentionally or not, is 11. We have to ask what it means that kids are learning about sex from that realm before they’ve even had their first kiss and how that’s shaping them, their attitudes toward sexuality, and their expectations of sex.” Parents and schools need to explicitly teach kids to apply a critical lens to what they’re seeing, and shape values that will help them safely and wisely navigate this very challenging era.
  • “If you want to be a lifelong employee anywhere today, you have to be a lifelong learner.” He quotes education-to-work expert Heather McGowan: “Stop asking a young person WHAT you want to be when you grow up. It freezes their identity into a job that may not be there. Ask them HOW you want to be when you grow up. Having an agile learning mind-set will be the new skill set of the 21st century.”
Jill Bergeron

The Marshall Memo Admin - Issues - 0 views

  • students who have four years of art score 91 points higher on the SAT than students who don’t.
    • Jill Bergeron
      This seems correlational.
  • Danny Gregory applauds the arguments made for the importance of art and music in schools: they improve motor, spatial, and language skills; they enhance peer collaboration; they strengthen ties to the community; they keep at-risk students in school and improve their chances of ultimately graduating from college; and
  • In middle school, the majority start to lose their passion for making stuff and instead learn the price of making mistakes.
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  • In short, every child starts out with a natural interest in art, but for most it is slowly drained away until all that’s left is a handful of teens in eyeliner and black clothing whose parents worry they’ll never move out of the basement.”
  • As of 2015, only 26.2 percent of African-American students have access to art classes.
  • Gregory has a startling suggestion: take the “art” out of art education and replace it with creativity education. Why? Because creativity is something that almost everyone agrees is vital to success.
  • Solving problems, using tools, collaborating, expressing our ideas clearly, being entrepreneurial and resourceful – these are the skills that matter in the 21st century, post-corporate labor market. Instead of being defensive about art, instead of talking about culture and self-expression, we have to focus on the power of creativity and the skills required to develop it. A great artist is also a problem solver, a presenter, an entrepreneur, a fabricator, and more.”
  • We need to make sure that the kids of today (who will need to be the creative problem solvers of tomorrow) realize their creative potential and have the tools to use it.
  • A total of 21 percent of students said they had been bullied in the following ways: 13 percent made fun of, called names, or insulted; 12 percent subject of rumors; 5 percent pushed, shoved, tripped, or spat on; 4 percent threatened with harm; 5 percent purposefully excluded from activities; 2.5 percent told to do things they didn’t want to do; and 2 percent had their property purposefully destroyed. Girls reported more online harassment (16 percent) than boys (6 percent). These were the locations where students said the bullying occurred: -   42 percent in hallways or stairwells (similar for boys and girls); -   34 percent in classrooms (perhaps mainly during entry, transitions, and exit); -   22 percent in cafeterias; -   19 percent outside on school grounds; -   12 percent online or by text; -   10 percent on school buses; -   9 percent in bathrooms/locker rooms.
  • hallways and stairwells, taken together, are nearly twice as likely to be the source of the problem as the cafeteria, playground, or buses and bathrooms. Supervision and vigilance in those fluid spaces between classes is likely to benefit vulnerable students disproportionately.”
  • dance, gesture, and other forms of movement can improve motivation, engagement, and learning.
  • students in classrooms that integrated movement were “significantly more excited by, engaged in, and focused on the lessons” than they were with conventional teaching methods.
  • Dancing to memorize information
  • Moving among stations
  • Applying movement to assessments
  • Forming lines, rows, or other groupings – Each student gets a card with a punctuation mark or a word and students silently arrange themselves to form a complete sentence.
  • Representing terms or ideas with actions – After reading a book about emotions, students stand and act out furious, satisfied, courageous, and other words.
  • – The teacher gives each group of students sets of fraction cards and they take turns moving to another group in search of equivalent fractions, bringing possible matches back to their group to see if they’re correct.
  • – To test knowledge of synonyms and antonyms, pairs of students jump straight up and down three times, then choose to land on either their right or left foot; if both land on the same foot, they must come up with synonyms for a word on the board; if they land on opposite feet, they must name antonyms.
  • – Doing a dance skip-counting numbers (5, 10, 15, 20…) to the “Macarena.”
  • Many teachers assigned tasks with complex instructions and procedures, but little higher-level thinking was required of students
  • How many of these do schools teach? Just three, say the authors, even in schools where students get high state test scores: application, recall, and (sometimes) analysis.
  • a synthesis of the skills they believe adults need for successful lives: Cognitive skills: -   Recall -   Application -   Analysis -   Evaluation -   Creative thinking Interpersonal skills: -   Communication -   Cooperation -   Empathy -   Trust building -   Service orientation -   Conflict resolution -   Negotiation -   Responsibility -   Assertiveness -   Advocacy Intrapersonal skills: -   Flexibility -   Adaptability -   Appreciation of diversity -   Valuing learning -   Cultural appreciation -   Curiosity -   Forethought -   Self-regulation -   Self-monitoring -   Self-evaluation
  • Most teachers presented students with complex content, but the tasks students were asked to perform were simple recall and application
  • interpersonal and intrapersonal skills almost never showed up.
  • These exceptional instructors created “a harmonious environment,” say the researchers, “demonstrating an understanding that doing so is a prerequisite to academic learning.”
  • It was the teacher, not the subject. This level of intellectual and affective demand cropped up in different subjects, grades, and classes with different student achievement levels. The variable was the teacher.
  • In a 10th-grade honors humanities class, for example, students were asked to invent questions to guide their study of Western imperialism in China (having just finished a unit on the colonization of Africa). Guided by the teacher, students brainstormed possible questions, decided which were most important, and edited questions until the questions were intellectually stimulating and open-ended.
  • These outliers managed to weave rigorous instruction of content across the cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal domains, putting to rest the notion that content- and skill-focused instruction precludes higher-order thinking – and vice-versa.
  • Teachers adapted their teaching to the moment.
  • to teach a deep and broad range of skills while also addressing disciplinary knowledge – requires intelligence and years of practice.”
  • Instruction was tied to complex assessments. Often designed by the teachers themselves, these checks for understanding stood in contrast to the test-prep oriented assessments in other classrooms.
  • Teachers built strong relationships with students.
  • First, Nehring, Charner-Laird, and Szczesiul suggest that schools need complex, high-level assessments to make all classrooms accountable for teaching the full range of adult skills. Second, “excellence requires highly skilled teachers with finely tuned radar and improvisational ability.” And third, “good teaching is about caring relationships, a parental affection that gives and receives, that honors the fundamentally human nature of our work as educators.
  • Thomas Guskey (University of Kentucky) stresses the importance of professional development starting with clear outcomes.
  • “In education, getting better generally means having a more positive influence on the learning of our students and helping more students learn well,” says Guskey. “Knowing our destination provides the basis for determining the effectiveness of our efforts.”
  • Polly details the 5E approach, in which students spend most of a lesson exploring mathematical tasks with limited support from the teacher, and some students get individual or small-group support: -   Engage – The class is given a math task or activity. -   Explore – Students have time to work on the task with their partner or a small group, with the teacher giving only instructions and circulating, sometimes posing questions to support students’ exploration. -   Explain – The class comes together to discuss the problem and how different students solved it. The teacher facilitates the discussion, perhaps choosing a main focus based on what was observed during the work time, and provides direct instruction as needed. -   Elaborate/extend – For the rest of the class, the teacher gets students working on activities, math games, and small-group activities that deepen understanding of the concept and zeros in on students who seem confused or off track. -   Evaluate – Students solve a final task or participate in a discussion of concepts, allowing the teacher to assess learning and plan for future lessons.
  • “Looking beyond the intended goals to the broader array of possible outcomes is an important aspect of evaluation and vital to judging effectiveness,”
  • What sparks robust discussions in PLCs is looking at variations in students’ responses to individual items on common assessments and writing prompts.
  • “The primary purpose of this collaborative data analysis,” says Guskey, “is to guide these teachers’ professional learning experiences so they can improve the quality of their instruction and help all students learn well.”
  • One additional cautionary note: PLCs tend to jump into “debating new ideas, techniques, innovations, programs, and instructional issues,” says Guskey. “While these are important issues, we must remember that they are means to an important end that must be determined first. Our journey always begins by deciding our destination… Ninety percent of essential questions in any evaluation are addressed in the planning process, before the journey begins.”
  • “When a teacher models and provides direct instruction at the start of a lesson, it rarely enables students to explore mathematical tasks or engage in productive struggle,” says Drew Polly (University of North Carolina/Charlotte) in this article in Teaching Children Mathematics.
  • researchers have found that if students grapple with a task before the teacher explains and models it (and receive appropriate follow-up), they’re more engaged and learn better.
  • What student learning outcomes do we aim to accomplish? -   What evidence will tell us if we met the goal? (ideally more than one source of data) -   What unintended consequences might occur, positive or negative?
  • “[T]he size of a person’s vocabulary is one of the strongest predictors of his or her reading comprehension,” say Tanya Wright (Michigan State University/East Lansing) and Gina Cervetti ((University of Michigan/Ann Arbor) in this article in Reading Research Quarterly.
  • Students who enter school knowing fewer words are likely to continue with relatively small vocabularies and struggle with text comprehension throughout school. Students who start with larger vocabularies, on the other hand, have broader general knowledge, need to spend less time accessing memory of words (which frees up working memory to grasp the meaning of a text), read and enjoy their reading more, and build stronger vocabularies – a reciprocal relationship that tends to widen the achievement gap.
  • Teaching word meanings almost always improved comprehension of texts containing the words taught. • Teaching word meanings doesn’t seem to improve comprehension of texts that don’t contain the target words.             • Instruction involving students in some active processing was more effective than dictionary and definition work at improving comprehension of texts containing the words taught. One caveat: researchers don’t know how much active processing is enough.             • Teaching one or two strategies (e.g., context clues or morphology) for solving word meanings doesn’t seem to improve generalized reading comprehension.
Gayle Cole

Simon Haughton's Blog: Edmodo - 0 views

    Some outstanding ideas on using Edmodo - share with fourth and fifth grades
Gayle Cole

The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con | Edutopia - 0 views

  • on ASCD (3)'s page for the newly released book, Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (4), by flipped classroom pioneers Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann, "In this model of instruction, students watch recorded lectures for homework and complete their assignments, labs, and tests in class."
  • the model is a mixture of direct instruction and constructivism, that it makes it easier for students who may have missed class to keep up because they can watch the videos at any time.
  • NOT "a synonym for online videos. When most people hear about the flipped class all they think about are the videos. It is the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important."
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  • Brian at ISTE, and it was great to hear him express his thoughts about the model in more than 140 characters. He also runs the #flipclass chat (8) on Twitter every Monday night, which is a great chance to learn more about the model.
  • the idea is not that KA will replace the teacher or replace the content as a whole. From my experience with KA, the content is taught in only one way. Good instruction, especially for math concepts, requires that ideas be presented in a number of ways. In addition, not all math is solving equations. One of the hardest parts about teaching math is making sure that students are not blindly solving equations without really understanding what they are doing with the numbers.
  • They also point to the ability for students to catch up on missed lessons easily through the use of video and online course tools like Edmodo (12) or Moodle (13).
  • "This won't work with my students." This continues to be an argument made by a lot of rural and urban teachers. Our students just don't have the access required for the model to really work. I've had people tell me, "They can use the public library." To which I explain that there are usually three computers available and there is usually a 30-minute limit per user
  • if everyone starts flipping their classrooms, students will end up sitting in front of a screen for hours every night as they watch the required videos. And as many teachers can tell you, not everyone learns best through a screen.
  • John Dewey described at the turn of the 20th century: learning that is centered around the student, not the teacher; learning that allows students to show their mastery of content they way they prefer. These are not new concepts. I am often brought back to the question: "Are we doing things differently or doing different things? (15)"
  • why should we care so much about the flipped classroom model? The primary reason is because it is forcing teachers to reflect on their practice and rethink how they reach their kids. It is inspiring teachers to change the way they've always done things, and it is motivating them to bring technology into their classrooms through the use of video and virtual classrooms like Edmodo and similar tools
  • "In this model of instruction, students watch recorded lectures for homework and complete their assignments, labs, and tests in class."
  • the flipped classroom is NOT "a synonym for online videos.
  • It is the interaction and the meaningful learning activities that occur during the face-to-face time that is most important."
  • a mixture of direct instruction and constructivism, that it makes it easier for students who may have missed class to keep up because they can watch the videos at any time.
  • the model is not about the videos, but about the learning
  • For students to be successful on their own, videos used in the flipped classroom model must include a variety of approaches in the same way a face-to-face lesson would, and they must also have good sound and image quality so that students can follow along easily. These videos must also match the curriculum, standards and the labs or activities the students will complete in class.
  • flipped classroom has truly individualized learning for students. Teachers describe how students can now move at their own pace, how they can review what they need when they need to, and how the teacher is then freed up to work one-on-one with students on the content they most need support with.
  • t if everyone starts flipping their classrooms, students will end up sitting in front of a screen for hours every night as they watch the required videos. And as many teachers can tell you, not everyone learns best through a screen.
  • what John Dewey described at the turn of the 20th century: learning that is centered around the student, not the teacher; learning that allows students to show their mastery of content they way they prefer. These are not new concepts. I am often brought back to the question: "Are we doing things differently or doing different things? (15)
  • As long as learning remains the focus,
  • there is hope that some of Dewey's philosophies will again permeate our schools
    One of the clearest and most valuable takes I've seen on Flipped Instruction. I will share this with educators.
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