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Matt Renwick

Principal: What I've learned about annual standardized testing - The Washington Post - 36 views

  • the Department of Education should not be “a national school board.
    • Matt Renwick
       
      Quote from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
  • to think that first-graders fluently reading would “cure poverty” is not only indefensible, it trivializes the great economic inequities that are the root cause of our nation’s greatest challenge.
  • I have witnessed schools move from progressive practices such as inclusion, to the grouping of special education students with ELLs and other struggling learners into “double period” classes where they are drilled to pass the test.
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  • There is now minimal support from the research community for the use of annual test scores in teacher evaluations, often referred to as VAM.
  • When teachers begin losing their jobs based on test scores, how easy will it be to attract excellent teachers to schools with high degrees of student mobility and/or truancy? Who will want to teach English language learners with interrupted education, or students with emotional disabilities that make their performance on tests unpredictable?
Drew Rosenshine

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead? : NPR Ed : NPR - 49 views

  • they need to have a "growth mindset" — the belief that success comes from effort — and not a "fixed mindset" — the notion that people succeed because they are born with a "gift" of intelligence or talent.
  • ducators say they see it all the time: Kids with fixed mindsets who think they just don't have the "gift" don't bother applying themselves. Conversely, kids with fixed mindsets who were always told they were "gifted" and skated through school tend to crumble when they hit their first challenge; rather than risk looking like a loser, they just quit.
  • We don't use the word 'gifted' — ever," Giamportone says. "In our school, you will never hear it." " 'Smart' is like a curse," adds social studies teacher June Davenport.
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  • Instead, the school is plastered with signs and handmade posters promoting a "growth mindset."
  • The focus is always more on putting out effort than on getting the right answers. Teachers have been trained to change the way they see students, and how they speak to them.
  • praise students for their focus and determination.
  • "If I was an outsider and I was hearing this conversation, I might think that this was some kind of hippie-dippy love fest," concedes the teacher, Nathan Cearley. "But what you see is actually a more rigorous and risky learning environment."
  • In three years, Cearley says, he's seen kids grow less afraid of making mistakes, and more willing to ask for help. Test scores at Lenox have jumped 10 to 15 points.
  • The number of schools using Brainology is expected to double this year, from 500 to 1,000.
  • A limited intervention, she says, if not consistently reinforced in and out of school, can only have limited results. "We don't know whether we've had any effect — the jury's out," says Duckworth. "It just seems to me extremely implausible that that's going to permanently and impressively change a child."
  • "Grit as a goal seems to be multiply flawed and very disturbing," says education writer Alfie Kohn. For starters, he says, "the benefits of failure are vastly overstated, and the assumption that kids will pick themselves up and try even harder next time, darn it — that's wishful thinking."
  • if there's a problem with how kids are learning, the onus should be on schools to get better at how they teach — not on kids to get better at enduring more of the same.
    • Drew Rosenshine
       
      Yes, but once again this is not an either/or situation.
  • I don't think people can become truly gritty and great at things they don't love," Duckworth says. "So when we try to develop grit in kids, we also need to find and help them cultivate their passions. That's as much a part of the equation here as the hard work and the persistence."
  • But now, three years into the growth-mindset training at Lenox Academy, Blaze says, she believes "you can teach old dogs new tricks."
  • Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?
  • After years of focusing on the theory known as "multiple intelligences" and trying to teach kids in their own style, Hoerr says he's now pulling kids out of their comfort zones intentionally.
Roland Gesthuizen

Dan Pink: How Teachers Can Sell Love of Learning to Students | MindShift - 108 views

  • educators are sellers of ideas
  • Games have the potential to make math more relevant or engaging, Pink said, but if they lead to standardized thinking about getting to the one right answer, that can be problematic
  • If the only aim of a game is for points and badges, the game has little benefit for the player. For a game to be compelling and a good source of learning, it should be capable of providing rapid, robust, regular, and meaningful feedback.
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  • Students who are driven by external rewards (grades, trophies), will be fare worse than those who are self-directed, motivated by freedom, challenge, and purpose
  • When students assessed themselves, they held themselves to a higher standard. This changed the way he looked at the kids.
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    "Jobs in education, Pink said in a recent interview, are all about moving other people, changing their behavior, like getting kids to pay attention in class; getting teens to understand they need to look at their future and to therefore study harder. At the center of all this persuasion is selling: educators are sellers of ideas. "
Misha Miller

Using Groups Effectively: 10 Principles » Edurati Review - 50 views

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    "Conversation is key . Sawyer succinctly explains this principle: "Conversation leads to flow, and flow leads to creativity." When having students work in groups, consider what will spark rich conversation. The original researcher on flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, found that rich conversation precedes and ignites flow more than any other activity.1 Tasks that require (or force) interaction lead to richer collaborative conceptualization. Set a clear but open-ended goal . Groups produce the richest ideas when they have a goal that will focus their interaction but also has fluid enough boundaries to allow for creativity. This is a challenge we often overlook. As challenges, we often have an idea of what a group's final product should look like (or sound like, or…). If we put students into groups to produce a predetermined outcome, we prevent creative thinking from finding an entry point. Try not announcing time limits. As challenges we often use a time limit as a "motivator" that we hope will keep group work focused. In reality, this may be a major detractor from quality group work. Deadlines, according to Sawyer, tend to impede flow and produce lower quality results. Groups produce their best work in low-pressure situations. Without a need to "keep one eye on the clock," the group's focus can be fully given to the task. Do not appoint a group "leader." In research studies, supervisors, or group leaders, tend to subvert flow unless they participate as an equal, listening and allowing the group's thoughts and decisions to guide the interaction. Keep it small. Groups with the minimum number of members that are needed to accomplish a task are more efficient and effective. Consider weaving together individual and group work. For additive tasks-tasks in whicha group is expectedtoproduce a list, adding one idea to another-research suggests that better results develop
Jennie Snyder

Why Kids Need Schools to Change | MindShift - 118 views

  • The current structure of the school day is obsolete, most would agree. Created during the Industrial Age, the assembly line system we have in place now has little relevance to what we know kids actually need to thrive
  • Yet therein lies the paradox. It’s exactly during these uncertain times when people must be willing to try new things, to be more open, curious and experimental, she said. In education, although there are great new models of learning and schooling, they are the exceptions, and the progressive movement has not gained much momentum.
  • “One thing we know for sure is that kids learn better when teachers are invested and paying attention and showing they care,” she said. “The biggest impact you’ll have as a teachers is the relationship you establish with your student.”
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  • The five criteria that Challenge Success brings to schools attempts to modernize the obsolete system in place today: scheduling, project based learning, alternative assessment, climate of care, and parent education.
  • Research shows that kids do better in classes where teachers know their names and say hello to them, and when they have their own advocates or advisers at school.
Jennie Snyder

Kick Start Your Blogging | EduBlogs Blog Blogs - 91 views

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    Great, free pd opportunity to learn about personal blogging. Includes beginner tasks as well as advanced tasks.
Jennie Snyder

How Blogging and Tweeting Reinvigorated my Passion for Teaching | Canadian Education Association (CEA) - 84 views

  • The worst thing that anyone can do is to get stuck in a rut. This is especially true ifyou are a teacher! This teacher is the beginning of a teacher that I have made for myself (and for any other teachers): try something new!
  • Change is necessary. Clean out your binders and see your classroom with a new set of eyes. Who knows what we’ve been missing.
  • There was no way to anticipate the extent to which blogging and tweeting would change my understanding of education, but these simple steps allowed me to enhance my practice and provide a richer learning environment for my students. Reaching beyond our classroom walls has meant so much for our school, and we’ve been rewarded with learning experiences worth remembering. 
Sarah Scholl

Activity 4: Writing comments - What you need to know | Edublogs blog blogs - 88 views

  • Teaching quality commenting skills
  • If commenting skills are not taught and constantly reinforced, students will limit their comments to things like “I like your blog!” or “2KM is cool!”. While enthusiasm is high with these sorts of comments, students are not developing their literacy skills or having meaningful interactions with other members of the blogging community. Conversations in the comment section of a blog are such rich and meaningful learning experiences for students. Conversations begin with high quality comments.
  • Check out improvements in student literacy skills through commenting here.
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  • How to teach quality commenting Kathleen teaches commenting skills through: Modelling and composing comments together with students on the interactive whiteboard. Teaching students about the “letter” format and editing process during writing lessons. Giving examples of a poor/high quality comments and having students vote whether the comment should be accepted or rejected. Example of a Sorting blog comments activity devised for our students here. Having students read and comment on a post on our blog as part of a literacy rotation on the computer each week. Taking students to the ICT room once a week to work on composing a quality comment with a partner. Emailing parents and encouraging them to write comments on the blog with their child.
  • Activities for developing student commenting skills
  • own or facilitate a collaborative discussion with students to create together (you could include this video as part of the process). Develop a quality comment evaluation guide.  Refer to Linda Yollis’s Learning how to comment. Write a blog post about commenting and what you define as a quality comment. Have your students practise leaving a “quality” comment on the post.
  • Create a commenting guideline poster (see poster example below) – develop your
  • “quality” comment on the post.
  • Create a commenting guideline for your blog.  Here’s an example.
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    some good tips on helping students learn how to make appropriate comments on blogs
Jennie Snyder

Blogging With Students | EduBlogs Blog Blogs - 79 views

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    wonderful guidance from edublogger editor Sue Waters
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    Clear, step by step process for starting a classroom blog.
Jennie Snyder

The Myth About Computer-Based Reading Software? - Finding Common Ground - Education Week - 30 views

  • Dr. Allington made the comment that he would ban computers from an instructional role and that they didn't have a significant effect on teaching students to read.
  • The second-year study included four reading software products for first grade, Destination Reading (Riverdeep 2008), the Waterford Early Reading Program (Pearson School 2008), Headsprout (Headsprout 2008), and Plato Focus (Plato Learning Corporation 2008).
  • students need a more balanced program
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  • There is nothing more important to the reading process than a teacher who can provide high quality reading instruction to students.
  • llow students to choose books that they like AND can read.
  • Every child reads something he or she chooses
  • hat reading instruction needs to be 90-120 minutes which includes a large percentage of time being engaged in reading.
  • must be engaged in reading every day, and it must be authentic and meaningful.
  • Students need to spend time reading texts that are not too challenging.
  • But too often, struggling readers get interventions that focus on basic skills in isolation, rather than on reading connected text for meaning."
Nancy Bollingberg

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) - From Tom on Edudemic | Leading Change in Changing Times - 166 views

  • technology needs to be — above everything else — in the service of learning. Administrators who fail to articulate the connection between iPads and learning often hamper their iPad initiative.
    • Nancy Bollingberg
       
      Why Ipads
  • put the iPads in the hands of teachers who understand that active learners learn best
  • Focusing on iPad-versus.-laptop comparisons stifles the ability to see how the iPad facilitates student-centered learning
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  • Simply handing a teacher an iPad in advance won’t serve to address these teachers when the school year starts
  • Teachers need instruction on how to incorporate the devices into the learning process, which is quite different than trying out a few apps
  • School administrators should be explaining to their constituents that the iPad supports essential skill areas — complex communication, new media literacy, creativity, and self-directed learning. Instead of focusing on the convenience of ebooks, they should instead be emphasizing the incredibly immersive and active learning environment the iPad engenders and the unprecedented opportunities to develop personalized, student-centered learning. They should highlight some of the beneficial consumption, curation, and creativity activities the iPad facilitates — as well as the student empowerment it inspires.
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    "While we've witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we're struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives. We're sharing these common challenges with you, so your school doesn't have to make them. "
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    "While we've witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we're struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives. We're sharing these common challenges with you, so your school doesn't have to make them. "
Roland Gesthuizen

How Can Teachers Create a Learner-Centered Environment? - Leading From the Classroom - Education Week Teacher - 118 views

  • publishers will need to collaborate more with teachers to be able to create more relevant and meaningful products to support teachers
  • Paper doesn't cut it. A learner centered environment requires technology.
  • Will the public demand this cultural shift in teaching and learning?
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    "The Alliance for Excellent Education recently released Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learner-Centered Environment Powered By Digital Learning. The report advocates that a culture shift to a learner centered classroom environment is needed to prepare students to meet the challenges and demands of a global economy"
Steve Ransom

The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 5 views

  • Richard Rothstein
  • In truth, this conventional view relies upon imaginary facts.
  • Let me repeat: black elementary school students today have better math skills than white students did only twenty years ago.
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  • As a result, we’ve wasted 15 years avoiding incremental improvement, and instead trying to upend a reasonably successful school system.
  • But the reason it hasn’t narrowed is that your profession has done too good a job — you’ve improved white children’s performance as well, so the score gap persists, but at a higher level for all.
  • Policymakers, pundits, and politicians ignore these gains; they conclude that you, educators, have been incompetent because the test score gap hasn’t much narrowed.
  • If you believe public education deserves greater support, as I do, you will have to boast about your accomplishments, because voters are more likely to aid a successful institution than a collapsing one.
  • Because education has become so politicized, with policy made by those with preconceptions of failure and little understanding of the educational process, you are entering a field that has become obsessed with evaluating only results that are easy to measure, rather than those that are most important. But as Albert Einstein once said, not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
  • equally important educational goals — citizenship, character, appreciation of the arts and music, physical fitness and health, and knowledge of history, the sciences, and literature.
  • If you have high expectations, your students can succeed regardless of parents’ economic circumstances. That is nonsense.
  • health insurance; children are less likely to get routine and preventive care that middle class children take for granted
  • If they can’t see because they don’t get glasses to correct vision difficulties, high expectations can’t teach them to read.
  • In short, underemployment of parents is not only an economic crisis — it is an educational crisis. You cannot ignore it and be good educators.
  • To be good educators, you must step up your activity not only in the classroom, but as citizens. You must speak up in the public arena, challenging those policymakers who will accuse you only of making excuses when you speak the truth that children who are hungry, mobile, and stressed, cannot learn as easily as those who are comfortable.
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    An important read for anyone who truly wants to understand what's really important in education and the false reform strategies of our current (and past) administration.
alexis alexander

Week 5: Adding images and attribution : Challenge Yourself to Challenge - 80 views

  •  
    a great resource for teachers teaching students about copyright and the web
Mark Gleeson

Writing Prodigy or not, this is also about expectations, support and technology - 77 views

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    In this blog post, the story of Adora Svitak, the now 14 year old literacy prodigy is discussed in light of how her experiences growing up could be applied to developing every child's writing skills. The blog post blogs how we teach writing, how parents and blogs need to both support the learning of and expect more from children and how we need to develop good learning habits. 
Chad Evans

Response: Advice From The "Book Whisperer," Ed Week Readers & Me About Teaching Reading - Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo - Education Week Teacher - 0 views

    • Chad Evans
       
      Highlighting text is really easy with Diigo. And adding a sticky note is very simple is well. It can be made private or shared with groups of people who are working with the same document
  • Other ways I encourage these kinds of discussions includes having students choose their own groupings and books for independent book "clubs" and using the Web as a vehicle to create audio and/or video "book trailers."
    • Chad Evans
       
      From a technology end, our kids are beginning to do more and more with tools like voicethread, animoto, imovie, etc. Digital storytelling is a great way for students to be creative, share insights and show what they know and can do. 
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  • One facet of our reading instruction that cannot be overlooked is the importance of teacher readers in building a classroom reading community. According to Morrison, Jacobs, and Swinyard (1999), "perhaps the most influential teacher behavior to influence students' literacy development is personal reading, both in and out of school."
    • Chad Evans
       
      I wonder how open ALL teachers are about what they are reading? How much conversation do teachers as a whole have about what they are reading? 
  • If we don't read, why should our students?
  • Share your reading life with your students. Show your students what reading adds to your life. If you are reading a nonfiction book at the moment, tell them what you are learning. Pass the children's books you are reading to them when you are done. Describe the funny, sad, or interesting moments in the books you read. When you read something challenging, talk with your students about how you work through difficult text. It will surprise them that you find reading hard at times, too, but choose to read, anyway.
  • Many students in today's world do not read books outside of school. When they do read, it is text-messages, web pages or homework assignments. For students who did not grow up in homes with books, with adults who read and who read to them, this time to read in school is both necessary and pleasurable. Many of my students need catch-up time when it comes to "hours-in" reading. The 10 minutes at the beginning of each period that I allow my juniors each day equals hours of reading across the months of the school year. My most dedicated readers begin books in the classroom, finish them at home, and return to the classroom/school library to check out new books.
    • Chad Evans
       
      This is an important distinction in that I believe (and research indicates) that our kids ARE reading more than ever before. But it comes in non-traditional forms. We must acknowledge that web based reading is still reading, but it differs. Research also indicates that when kids read digitally, they read in a different pattern. In traditional reading, they read in a z pattern down a page. Digital reading is more of an F pattern,indicating skim and scan. 
Bochi 23

Extreme Makeover: Teacher Edition - 136 views

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    What are the symbols for the teaching profession? Is it time to rebrand teaching? A NYC design firm takes on the challenge.
Elizabeth Huck

Teacher Teacher - 71 views

  • Teacher Teacher Teacher! 30 Day Free Professional Development Topics change with each Teacher Collaborate with educators from all over the globe
Karen Balnis

Another Look at the Weaknesses of Online Learning - Innovations - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 86 views

shared by Karen Balnis on 28 Jul 11 - No Cached
  • have been lucky enough to have taught the full range of our freshman / sophmore undergraduate offerings as both an onsite and online instructor. While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:1. While in the onsite classroom you have the opportunity to think on your feet and challenge and be experiential on your feet to reactions to the students who speak, in the online classroom, you are able to meet *every* class member and challenge their minds and ideas. The students who would normally be lost in a classroom of 35-40 are met and developed each day or week at their level and pushed to consider ideas they might not have considered. 2. I am able to reach the entire class through multimedia exhibits in each of the weekly units - journal articles, non-copyrighted film clips (and many from our university's purchased collection under an agreement for both onsite classroom and online classroom use), photography, art, patents, etc, that the students would not see - or would otherwise ignore - in an onsite classroom. We incorporate this information into our discussions and make it part of the larger whole of history.3. Each student and I - on the phone during office hours or in e-mail - discuss the creation of their term papers - and discuss midterm and final "anxiety" issues - and as they are used to the online format, and regular communication with me through the discussion boards, they respond much more readily than onsite students, whom I have found I have to pressure to talk to me. 4. I am able to accommodate students from around the country - and around the world. I have had enrolled in my class students from Japan, Indonesia, India, England - and many other countries. As a result, I have set up a *very* specific Skype address *only* for use of my students. They are required to set up the time and day with me ahead of time and I need to approve that request, but for them (and for some of my students scattered all over the state and US), the face time is invaluable in helping them feel "connected" - and I am more than happy to offer it. 5. As the software upgrades, the possibilities of what I can offer become more and more amazing, and the ease of use for both me - and for the students -  becomes astronomically better. Many have never known the software, so they don't notice it - but those who have taken online courses before cheer it on. Software does not achieve backwards. As very few of these issues are met by the onsite classroom, I am leaning more and more toward the online classroom as the better mode of instruction. Yes, there are times I *really* miss the onsite opportunities, but then I think of the above distinctions and realize that yes, I am where I should be, and virtually *ALL* the students are getting far more for their money than they would get in an onsite classroom. This is the wave of the future, and it holds such amazing promise. Already I think we are seeing clear and fruitful results, and if academics receive effective - and continuing - instruction and support from the very beginning, I cannot imagine why one would ever go back. The only reason I can think of *not* doing this is if the instructor has his or her *own* fear of computers. Beyond that - please, please jump on the bandwagon, swallow your fears, and learn how to do this with vigor. I don't think you will ever be sorry.PhD2BinUS
  • have been lucky enough to have taught the full range of our freshman / sophmore undergraduate offerings as both an onsite and online instructor. While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:
  • While I have thoroughly enjoyed both formats - and very much so - I must admit that my experiences online have been *much* more positive than onsite instruction. Let me try and elucidate:
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    I am a graduate student at Sam Houston State University and before I started grad school I never had taken an online course before. My opinion then was that online courses were a joke and you couldn't learn from taking a course online. Now my opinion has done a complete 180. The teachers post numerous youtube videos and other helpful tools for each assignment so that anyone can successfully complete the assignment no matter what their technology skill level is. I do not see much difference between online and face-to-face now because of the way the instructors teach the courses.
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