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Jim Tiffin Jr

Building A Tinkering Mindset In Young Students Through Making | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • the physical space for tinkering matters much less than the mental space that you create for young makers.
  • To be effective tinkerers, students need to achieve a state of mind in which they are primed to play and make joyful discoveries.
  • telling a group of little kids that it’s okay to make mistakes is not an effective way to deliver your message. The droning voice of the teachers in the Peanuts cartoons springs to mind! To get kids to internalize your message and truly take it to heart, you have to show them in a wide variety of ways what you really mean.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Like the pHail Boards and the FailUp Zone.
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  • Barney Saltzberg’s Beautiful Oops. This short book features mistakes repackaged as something awesome! For example, a torn piece of paper becomes the smile on an alligator. Young children respond to the simplicity of the “mistakes” and the delightful revelation of the reworked mistake into something beautiful and surprising.
  • Modeling that it really is okay to make mistakes is vital.
  • I let students see me flustered and then (hopefully) recovering. I invite them to help me diagnose what went wrong, which they LOVE.
  • Taking public risks and making public mistakes not only helps normalize mistake making, it inspires enthusiasm for collectively problem-solving and collaborating.
  • Posting quotations about or pictures of mistakes can go a long way toward reminding kids that you’re serious about the value of mistakes.
  • Failure and discovery are so closely linked, so connected and interrelated, that it is very hard to distinguish between them, especially when failure leads directly to discovery and vice versa.
  • To help students understand the messy process of creation, I ask students to track their progress during any project (much more about this in chapter 6). Tracking a project’s progress helps illuminate the many mistakes along the way.
  • Peer-to-peer sharing also opens the door for collaboration and collective problem-solving when a student is unsure of how to move past an obstacle.
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    Article summarizing ways to encourages students to think of mistakes as learning opportunities.
Meghan Cureton

Why A School's Master Schedule Is A Powerful Enabler of Change | MindShift | KQED News - 2 views

  • He and a team of teachers set out to try to reconfigure how this big high school could structurally put student relationships with teachers at the center, and value mastery of content above all else.
  • ‘If we don’t match our minutes to our mission, [teachers are] not going to shift.’
  • biggest obstacles to instructional changes of the sort Smith and his team were trying to engineer was the school schedule itself.
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  • Our schedule is a function of what we’re trying to create
  • It’s sloppy, but hell, life is sloppy
  • They started with ninth grade
  • Changing is hard and when people get tired they will want to return to the status quo.
  • many schools start a school transformation project with energy and vigor, but when leaders run into outside pressures from the district or can’t pick their way through the complex system they run out of momentum.
  • That’s why it’s important not to toss away good teaching practices just because they’ve been around for years.
  • He doesn’t want it to become orderly because that’s not the natural state of human systems.
  • Individual success stories of students are what help keep him going.
Jim Tiffin Jr

Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play In Kindergarten | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name. They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
  • With many parents and educators overwhelmed by the amount of academics required for kindergartners — and the testing requirements at that age  — it’s no surprise that the forest kindergarten, and the passion for bringing more free play to young children during the school day, is catching on stateside.
  • “So much of what is going on and the kind of play they do, symbolic play, is really pre-reading,” Molomot said. “It’s a very important foundation for reading.
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  • Donnery notices that the gross motor skills of many of her kindergartners are underdeveloped, noting that usually means that fine motor skills are also lacking. “Developing those gross motor skills is just critical, can impact so much of later learning,” she said.
  • Scenes of rosy-faced children building forts in the snow are presented in sharp contrast to the academic (and mostly indoor) kindergarten in New Haven, Connecticut, where a normal day is packed full of orderly activities: morning meeting, readers’ workshop, writers’ workshop, a special activity (like art, gym, and music), lunch and recess, storytime, “choice” (a fancy word for play), math centers, then closing meeting.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      I would like to see this movie.
  • You’d be surprised at the importance of play.
  • lacking in the attention needed to learn, with more than 10 percent of the school population diagnosed with some kind of attention disorder.
  • occupational therapist Angela Hanscom opined in the Washington Post that there’s good reason our kids are so fidgety: more and more students come to class without having enough core strength and balance to hold their bodies still long enough to learn.
  • “In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      But this has to be more than just a wiggle stool or yoga ball... HMW get greater movement into Kindergarten? (and it need not just be in the Kindergarten classroom)
  • A recent study by psychologists at the University of Colorado shows an even stronger reason for free play: children who experienced more undirected free play showed signs of stronger executive function, a strong predictor of success in school. “The more time that children spent in less-structured activities,” wrote researchers, “the better their self-directed executive functioning.”
  • Reading and recess are important enough that we need to do both.
  • While this kind of adult-led movement is a far cry from the nearly unstructured free play of a forest kindergarten, it does serve the school’s purpose of high academic standards for their kindergartners, in hopes this prepares them for future academic success.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Note that it says "hope"...
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    Article contrasting two different approaches to Kindergarten - one outdoor-based and one indoor-based. Full of links to the research regarding the claims made in the article. Additionally, more language around executive function, and its importance for students, is used.
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