Blogs on All Grades

Blogs on All GradesRSS
Elena AguilarOctober 10, 2013

In my last post I suggested that equitable schools are those that contribute to happiness in children. Now I'd like to offer some suggestions for actions that school leaders and teachers can take in order to cultivate happier schools.

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Judy Willis MDOctober 9, 2013

This series of blogs is to support you and your students during the transition period that will come with the CCSS. As the new testing and teaching styles promote more student independence, student-constructed learning and project-based learning, students will benefit from a powerful boost to their growing neural networks of executive functions.

However, for students and educators accustomed to more structured plans and teacher- or curriculum-directed learning, the decision-making and uncertainty can increase the amygdala’s stress level and inhibit flow to the prefrontal cortex where those networks of executive function are developing. This blog series will offer suggestions to ease the stress of transition, helping students persevere to reach the intrinsic pleasure that awaits them through meaningful choice and challenges in the classroom.

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Ainissa RamirezOctober 9, 2013

Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."1 His message is even more profound if you read the rest of the passage, "For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world . . . "2 These words are even truer today than when he first said them in 1929. It wasn't so long ago that many people said, "Knowledge is power." But in this age of Big Data, that is no longer true. What we do with that knowledge is more important. Our new mantra should be, "Imagination is power."

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Robert RosenbergerOctober 7, 2013

A conversation is emerging over the potential for dictation technologies -- devices that translate voice into text -- to improve classroom learning. For example, it has been suggested that dictation technologies can be used to enhance reading instruction support, assist students with dyslexia, and make the chore of providing student feedback less cumbersome.

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Andrew MillerOctober 4, 2013

Authenticity -- we know it works! There is research to support the value of authentic reading and writing. When students are engaged in real-world problems, scenarios and challenges, they find relevance in the work and become engaged in learning important skills and content. In addition, while students may or may not do stuff for Mr. Miller, they are more likely to engage when there is a real-world audience looking at their work, giving them feedback, and helping them improve. This is just one critical part of project-based learning. However, maybe you aren't ready for fully authentic projects. Where are some good places to start taking the authenticity up a notch in your classroom?

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Dr. Richard CurwinOctober 4, 2013

I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:

Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule. It's respect for everyone.
Me: Do you allow hitting?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow swearing at the teacher?
Answer: No.
Me: Do you allow cell phones in class?
Answer: No.
Me: Again, how many rules do you have?
Answer: (laughing) One, I think.

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Judy Willis MDOctober 2, 2013

Public high school students in large U.S. cities are more likely to drop out than ever before. Almost 80 percent of the students report that the main problem is boredom. When asked what bores them most, the most frequent responses were that the course material is neither interesting nor relevant to their lives.

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Jennifer CooperSeptember 30, 2013

Makerspaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering.

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Oh dear: our long-bemoaned short attention spans are dwindling into nothingness. That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about Vine, Twitter's app that allows users to make and share six-second videos. What can possibly be said in six seconds of video that's worth watching? You'll have to answer that for yourselves, but after a bit of digging, I've been pleasantly surprised by the creativity that such limitations can enable.

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Rebecca AlberSeptember 27, 2013

What is new and different in the Common Core? When it comes to the writing standards, a heavy emphasis on audience for one thing, and this is very good news. The "audience" for student writing was once the lone teacher sitting after school with her cup of coffee, a red pen, and a stack of essays or other writing projects. And sadly, she might have been the only one, besides the student writers, that ever read them!

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