Blogs on Primary (K-2)

Blogs on Primary (K-2)RSS
John LarmerJuly 7, 2011

In today's world of standards, testing, scripted literacy models, and the use of strictly-followed commercial programs for teaching math, many teachers and principals in elementary schools do not think project-based learning is possible.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsJuly 5, 2011

Editor's note: See the full archive of the five-week boot camp.

Welcome to the first week of New Teacher Boot Camp! If you would like to participate, please register: New Teacher Boot Camp Registration. Registration will be open until July 15, 2011 at 5 PM Pacific.

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John LarmerJuly 1, 2011

Many teachers and administrators -- not to mention the general public -- might have the wrong impression of PBL. Maybe they have stereotypical views of what a "project" is, or they've seen poor examples of it in the past. Or they can't imagine how it could fit in today's landscape of standards and testing ("Oh yeah, we did that in the 90's, but things were different then.")

Here are some common misconceptions and how you could respond with a "fact check" if you're trying to explain or defend PBL.

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Mary Beth HertzJune 25, 2011

If you're like most teachers, you look forward to the summer when you can reflect on the past year and begin compiling ideas and resources for next year. One question to ask yourself is how will you compile all of the links, articles and ideas so that they are easily accessible to both you and your students.

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Elena AguilarJune 22, 2011

At the end of a school year, there are so many measurements which could indicate that a teacher was "effective" -- graduation rates, grades, test scores -- quantifiable and ostensibly objective. Whether a teacher was effective must definitely be measured by how much his/her students' learning increased over a period of time, but it can not be the only measurement.

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Thom MarkhamJune 21, 2011

Today's guest blogger is Thom Markham, a psychologist, educator, and president of Global Redesigns, an international consulting organization focused on project-based learning, social-emotional learning, youth development, and 21st-century school design.

An unfortunate legacy of the cognitive model that dominates education is the belief that everything important in life takes place from the neck up. This belief is the primary reason that many teachers struggle with project-based learning (PBL). At its best, PBL taps into intangibles that make learning effortless and engaging: Drive, passion, purpose, and peak performance. But peak performance doesn't start with a standardized curriculum.

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Mary Beth HertzJune 16, 2011

Of all the initiatives a school can begin, integrating technology may require the most professional development. This is partly because of the equipment, hardware, and software involved and partly because of the shift that a teacher must make in his or her teaching style, technique, and planning process in order to effectively use technology in the classroom.

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Eric BrunsellJune 14, 2011

A few weeks ago, I introduced the Edutopia Summer Professional Development Series' Web Tools Collective. Over the next two months, you will have the ability to participate in a collective -- an informal group of "like-minded" individuals learning together -- to explore a variety of web tools and how they can be applied to the classroom.

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Mary Beth HertzMay 25, 2011

It's that time of year. You look up at your calendar and begin counting down to the last days of school. You might even have little numbers in the corner of the boxes indicating how many days are left in the year or until graduation.

Likewise, your students are on the edge of their seats. Maybe the weather has been getting nicer and nicer, or maybe students are in a hubbub about the upcoming dance or graduation or their summer vacation.

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Rosemary OwensMay 19, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Rosemary Owens, assistant principal for curriculum at Freedom High School and Tampa FL.

 

Tampa's Freedom High School was transformed by a student-led initiative beginning in the summer of 2009. A rising senior, Blake O'Connor, and I had the privilege of attending the Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF) on a scholarship from the Bezos Family Foundation. The AIF is an annual gathering of big thinkers from all areas of society, from the arts to science to religion, culture, economics, and politics. Each year, the festival challenges participants to tackle some of the more pressing issues of our times, and figure out ways to replicate solutions.   

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