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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 12 views

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    "What Makes a Great Teacher? Image credit: Veronika Lukasova Also in our Special Report: National: "How America Can Rise Again" Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily. But securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke. Video: "One Nation, On Edge" James Fallows talks to Atlantic editor James Bennet about a uniquely American tradition-cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths. Interactive Graphic: "The State of the Union Is ..." ... thrifty, overextended, admired, twitchy, filthy, and clean: the nation in numbers. By Rachael Brown Chart: "The Happiness Index" Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier. By Justin Miller On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math. One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor's math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked. The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so. Video: Four teachers in Four different classrooms demonstrate methods that work (Courtesy of Teach for America's video archive, available in February at teachingasleadership.org) At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools-not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it's worth noting, not a very hard one). After a year in Mr. Taylo
Vicki Davis

Cell phones in the classroom - O'Reilly Radar - 4 views

  • uring the 2007-2008 school year, Wireless Reach began funding Project K-Nect, a pilot Project in rural North Carolina where high school students received supplemental algebra Project sets on smartphones (the phones were provided by the Project). The outcomes are promising -- classes using the smartphones have consistently achieved significantly higher proficiency rates on their end of course exams.
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    If you think that cell phones can't improve math scores -- check again - read this report about a pilot where algebra problems were sent to smartphones. (So much for "leaving your homework at school.) "During the 2007-2008 school year, Wireless Reach began funding problem K-Nect, a pilot problem in rural North Carolina where high school students received supplemental algebra problem sets on smartphones (the phones were provided by the problem). The outcomes are promising -- classes using the smartphones have consistently achieved significantly higher proficiency rates on their end of course exams. So what's so different about delivering problem sets on a cell phone instead of a textbook? The first obvious answer is that the cell phone version is multi-media. The problem K-Nect problem sets begin with a Flash video visually demonstrating the problem -- you could theorize that this context prepares the student to understand the subsequent text-problem problem better. You could also theorize that watching a Flash animation is more engaging (or just plain fun) and so more likely to keep students' attention."
David Wetzel

Solving Weaknesses in Math Education using Project Project Learning - 16 views

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    A framework is provided for making connections between everyday math problem and solving real world math problems. Connections are made regarding problem problem learning for teachers new to the process, along with recommendations for teachers who are veterans of problem problem learning.
David Wetzel

Project Project Learning Viewed Through a Digital Lens - 15 views

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    Often we search for meaningful ways to integrate digital technology in project project learning activities given to our students. We also would like our students to develop a thorough understanding of the concepts underlying the work - after all this is the purpose of the project. Giving students the opportunity to complete and present their project through a digital lens has one great advantage - student engagement. This in turn causes students to develop a more in depth understanding of concepts.
David Wetzel

Project Project Activities in Math and Science - 23 views

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    A project-project approach to science and math activities is enjoyable for every student and teacher involved. Fun activities, supported by making connections with concepts promote learning. Over the past decade an increasing number of studies have shown the positive impact of project-project learning on student achievement.
David Wetzel

Project Project Learning - Math Activities - 24 views

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    Project-Project learning or Project-Project Learning (PBL) is one of the best teaching strategies for engaging students in realistic learning activities. Students are not only interested, they are also learning math in the process. Why? Because their minds are engaged, critical thinking is taking place!
Vicki Davis

ASCD - 0 views

  • first 60 seconds of your presentation is
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How many of us emphasize the first 60 seconds of a presentation students give?
  • Summers and other leaders from various companies were not necessarily complaining about young people's poor grammar, punctuation, or spelling—the things we spend so much time teaching and testing in our schools
  • the complaints I heard most frequently were about fuzzy thinking and young people not knowing how to write with a real voice.
  • ...35 more annotations...
  • Employees in the 21st century have to manage an astronomical amount of information daily.
  • There is so much information available that it is almost too much, and if people aren't prepared to process the information effectively it almost freezes them in their steps.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Buidling a PLN using an RSS Reader is ESSENTIAL to managing information. THis is part of what I teach and do and so important!
  • rapidly the information is changing.
  • half-life of knowledge in the humanities is 10 years, and in math and science, it's only two or three years
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Personal learning networks and RSS readers ARE a HUGE issue here. We need to be customing portals and helping students manage information.
  • “People who've learned to ask great questions and have learned to be inquisitive are the ones who move the fastest in our environment because they solve the biggest problems in ways that have the most impact on innovation.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      How do we reward students who question teachers -- not their authority but WHAT They are teaching? Do we reward students who question? Who inquire? Who theorize? Or do we spit them out and punish them? I don't know... I'm questioning.
  • want unique products and services:
  • developing young people's capacities for imagination, creativity, and empathy will be increasingly important for maintaining the United States' competitive advantage in the future.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      IN a typical year, how often are your students asked to invent something from scratch?
  • The three look at one another blankly, and the student who has been doing all the speaking looks at me and shrugs.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      When teachers tell students WHY withouth making them investigate, then we are denying them a learning opportunity. STOP BEING THE SAGE ON THE STAGE!.
  • The test contains 80 multiple-choice questions related to the functions and branches of the federal government.
  • Let me tell you how to answer this one
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Drill and test is what we've made. Mindless robots is what we'll reap. What are we doing?
  • reading from her notes,
  • Each group will try to develop at least two different ways to solve this problem. After all the groups have finished, I'll randomly choose someone from each group who will write one of your proofs on the board, and I'll ask that person to explain the process your group used.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Every time I do a team project, the "random selection" is part of it. Randomly select -- classtools.net has a random name generator -- great tool - and it adds randomness to it.
  • a lesson in which students are learning a number of the seven survival skills while also mastering academic content?
  • students are given a complex, multi-step problem that is different from any they've seen in the past
  • how the group solved the problem, each student in every group is held accountable.
  • ncreasingly, there is only one curriculum: test prep. Of the hundreds of classes that I've observed in recent years, fewer than 1 in 20 were engaged in instruction designed to teach students to think instead of merely drilling for the test.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Not in my class, but in many classes - yes. I wonder how I'd teach differently if someone made me have a master "test" for my students at the end of the year. I'd be teaching to the test b/c I"m a type "A" driven to succeed kind of person. Beware what you measure lest that determine how you grow.
  • . It is working with colleagues to ensure that all students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers, and citizens.
  • I have yet to talk to a recent graduate, college teacher, community leader, or business leader who said that not knowing enough academic content was a problem.
  • critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration.
  • seven survival skills every day, at every grade level, and in every class.
  • College and Work Readiness Assessment (www.cae.org)—that measure students' analytic-reasoning, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Would like to look more at this test, however, also doing massive global collaborative projects requiring higher order thinking is something that is helpful, I think.
  • 2. Collaboration and Leadership
  • 3. Agility and Adaptability
  • Today's students need to master seven survival skills to thrive in the new world of work.
  • 4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • 6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • 7. Curiosity and Imagination
  • I conducted research beginning with conversations with several hundred business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education leaders. With a clearer picture of the skills young people need, I then set out to learn whether U.S. schools are teaching and testing the skills that matter most.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Background on the research done by Tony Wagner.
  • “First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can't teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      This is a great aspect of project project learning. Although when we allow students to have individual research topics, some teachers are frustrated because they cannot "can" their approach (especially tough if the class sizes are TOO LARGE,) students in this environment CAN and MUST ask individualized questions. This is TOUGH to do as the students who haven't developed critical thinking skills, whether because their parents have done their tough work for them (like writing their papers) or teachers have always given answers because they couldn't stand to see the student struggle -- sometimes tough love means the teacher DOESN'T give the child the answer -- as long as they are encouraged just enough to keep them going.
  • “I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with other
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Last Saturday, my son met Bill Curry, a football coach and player that he respects. Just before meeting him, my husband reviewed with my son how to meet people. HE told my son, "Look the man in his eyes and let him know your hand is there!" After shaking his hand, as Mr. Curry was signing my son's book, he said, "That is quite a handshake, son, someone has taught you well." Yes -- shaking hands and looking a person in the eye are important and must be taught. This is an essential thing to come from parents AND teachers -- I teach this with my juniors and seniors when we write resumes.
  • how to engage customers
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Engagi ng customers requires that a person stops thinking about their own selfish needs and looks at things through the eyes of the customer!!! The classic issue in marketing is that people think they are marketing to themselves. This happens over and over. Role playing, virtual worlds, and many other experiences can give people a chance to look at things through the eyes of others. I see this happen on the Ning of our projects all the time.
  • the world of work has changed profoundly.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      Work has changed, school hasn't. In fact, I would argue that schools are more industrial age than ever with testing and manufacturing of common knowledge (which is often outdated by the time the test is given) at an all time high. Let them create!
  • Over and over, executives told me that the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions. As one senior executive from Dell said, “Yesterday's answers won't solve today's problems.”
    • Vicki Davis
       
      We give students our critical questions -- how often do we let them ask the questions.
  • I say to my employees, if you try five things and get all five of them right, you may be failing. If you try 10 things, and get eight of them right, you're a hero. You'll never be blamed for failing to reach a stretch goal, but you will be blamed for not trying.
    • Vicki Davis
       
      If our students get eight out of 10 right, they are a low "B" student. Do we have projects where students can experiement and fail without "ruining their lives." Can they venture out and try new, risky things?
  • risk aversion
    • Vicki Davis
       
      He says risk aversion is a problem in companies -- YES it is. Although upper management SAYS they want people willing to take risks -- from my experience in the corporate world, what they SAY and what they REWARD are two different things, just ask a wall street broker who took a risky investment and lost money.
Vicki Davis

Susan Silverman's Lucky Ladybugs project going on for elementary - 0 views

  • A Collaborative Internet Project for K-5 Students
  • Essential Question: Why are ladybugs considered to be good luck?
  • This project will demonstrate lesson plans designed following principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and examples of student work resulting from the lessons.  As teachers we should ask ourselves if there are any barriers to our students’ learning.  We should look for ways to present information and assess learning in non-text-project formats. 
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  • Based on brain research and new media, the UDL framework proposes that educators design lessons with three basic kinds of flexibility: 1. Multiple formats and media are used to present information.
  • Examples: Illustrations, pictures, diagrams, video or audio clips, and descriptions 2.   Teachers use multiple strategies to engage and motivate students. 3.   Students demonstrate learning through multiple performance and product formats.
  • UDL calls for three goals to consider in designing lessons: 1.  Recognition goals: these focus on specific content that ask a student to identify who, what, where, and when. 2.  Strategic goals: these focus on a specific process or medium that asks a student to learn how to do something using problem solving and critical think skills. 3. Affective goals: these focus on a particular value or emotional outcome. Do students enjoy, and appreciate learning about the topic? Does it connect to prior knowledge and experience? Are students allowed to select and discover new knowledge?
  • Resources you might want to use: Scholastic Keys, Kid Pix, Inspiration and Kidspiration, digital camera (still and video), recording narration/music, United Streaming.  Let your imagination go!
  • This project begins on March 15, 2007.  Materials need to be e-mailed by May 31, 2008.
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    A great way to get started with technology is to join in an exciting project. this project by Susan Silverman was designed using the principles of Universal Design for Learning. I've heard her present and she is a pro. (Along with my friend Jennifer Wagner.)
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    Susan Silverman creates excellent projects for global collaboration among elementary students.
David Wetzel

6 Online Project Project Learning Resources for Science and Math - 16 views

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    When students are engaged in learning science or math which is personal to them (real world problem solving), they become more engaged in the learning process. problem problem learning situations in science and math increase opportunity for students to internalize and make connections.
David Wetzel

See How Easily You can Create a Project Project Learning Activity - 23 views

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    Project Project Learning is an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a Project and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the science or math classroom.
David Wetzel

Three Project Project Learning Resources: Free Online Resources for Student Collaboration and Project Solving - 20 views

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    Project Project learning using all or any of the three online resources offers a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world Projects and challenges.
David Wetzel

Algebraic Thinking Through Problem Solving: Exploring Problems That are Not Limited to Single Solution Answers - 9 views

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    For students to make connections in algebraic thinking in problem solving situations, it is important they learn to use algebra symbolism to represent known and unknown information. To this end they must express problem solving situations as linear, quadratic, or exponential models. This way of thinking also requires students to model, represent, analyze, and generalize contextualized problems in a variety of problem solving situations as they begin to think algebraically.
Vicki Davis

White House Science Fair - The Washington Post - 2 views

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    Photo =gallery from the science fair at the White House. Science teachers should peruse these. I wish every student had to do a science fair project and we'd elevate project project activities to the "status" of doing well on an SAT or other test. I think these require a  lot more higher order thinking and project solving. "President Obama hosts the White House Science Fair to celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. He met students in the East Garden of the White House, and they explained their science projects and experiments to him. Marvin Joseph / The Washington Post"
David Wetzel

Project Project Learning in Mathematics: Learning Activities in Math Designed to Extend Concept Awareness | Suite101.com - 21 views

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    Six math projects that integrate real-world math projects are presented as a teaching strategy for helping students develop a greater understanding of math.
David Wetzel

Saving the Sports Complex Algebra Project - 6 views

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    An algebra project focusing on a theme which interests students is more likely to engage them in the project, so lets take a look at sports. Many students participate in sports at some level, whether as part of a school team or a community team. For the most part these same students do not understand the costs involved to host the sport. Also, they do not understand how much money is needed to ensure a profitable season so the sport can continue from year to year.
Vicki Davis

Xerox stepping into grading school papers - 1 views

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    Grading handwritten answers by students as a feature of a copier? Producing data analytics as a result. IF this works, it will not only sell more copiers, but also make handwritten work more of a commodity. Maybe if a computer can quickly grade the easy stuff, teachers can spend more time assessing project project learning and other work that computers cannot do. This won't help me much - except when I teach binary numbers and memory conversion which do require me to check work (I never do multiple choice.) I could see how math teachers would be thrilled. "Xerox later this year plans to roll out Ignite, a software and web-project service that turns the numerous copiers/scanners/printers it has in schools across the United States into paper-grading machines. Unlike such staples of the educational system as Scantron, which uses special forms where students choose an answer and fill in the corresponding bubble, Ignite will grade work where the answers are written in by the students, such as the numeric answer to a math project. Ignite takes right and wrong answers and turns them into web-accessible data for teachers with reports that say whether a student or groups of students are consistently having more trouble with certain kinds of math projects. Those reports can be used by teachers to tailor what they're teaching - such as by identifying what group of students needs more help with a certain topic - or given to students so they know where they should focus their studying. It also opens the door to specific tests or homework assignments for specific students becoming more the norm, each tailored to academic strengths and weaknesses."
David Wetzel

Project Project Learning in Mathematics: Learning Activities in Math Designed to Extend Concept Awareness - 13 views

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    Six math projects that integrate real-world math projects are presented as a teaching strategy for helping students develop a greater understanding of math.
Vicki Davis

Virtual Participants for Flat Classroom Conference 2013 Japan - Sign up Here - 0 views

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    The Flat Classroom conference is coming up March 7-10. We have an option for receiving credit (if you're international) and also for full participation. Virtual participants are an important part of our face to face conference as we seek to create experiences that flatten the conference as we collaborate in a problem-problem environment. You'll have a team and work with them to create a problem that can be brought to the world problem upon principles that WORK. Click on this link to learn more about how you can participate in the conference remotely FOR FREE. ;-) We want you.
David Wetzel

7 Real Time Data Online Science Investigations: Project-Project Learning Designed to Develop Quantitative Skills - 15 views

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    Students learn how to conduct science investigations in the same manner as scientists, as they learn to analyze sets of online real time data to solve problems.
David Warlick

Reggio Emilia approach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 4 views

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning; Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing; Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
    • David Warlick
       
      This is all very familiar yet rarely expressed so succinctly.
  • In the Reggio approach, the teacher is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor.
  • Teacher autonomy is evident in the absence of teacher manuals, curriculum guides, or achievement tests
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  • integration of each classroom with the rest of the school, and the school with the surrounding community
  • children can best create meaning and make sense of their world through environments which support "complex, varied, sustained, and changing relationships between people, the world of experience, ideas and the many ways of expressing ideas."
  • In each classroom there are studio spaces in the form of a large, centrally located atelier and a smaller mini-atelier, and clearly designated spaces for large- and small-group activities.
    • David Warlick
       
      A workshop or studio especially for an artist, designer or fashion house.
  • Reggio teachers place a high value on their ability to improvise and respond to children's predisposition to enjoy the unexpected.
  • Regardless of their origins, successful projects are those that generate a sufficient amount of interest and uncertainty to provoke children's creative thinking and project-solving and are open to different avenues of exploration
  • teachers in Reggio Emilia assert the importance of being confused as a contributor to learning; thus a major teaching strategy is purposely to allow mistakes to happen, or to begin a project with no clear sense of where it might end.
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    The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children are forming who they are as an individual. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
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