Planning a unit of instruction demands skill and mental exertion -- a fact that is not apparent to parents and legislators who believe that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) tell instructors how and what to teach. Despite...Read More.
Do you wish your students could better understand and critique the images that saturate their waking life? That's the purpose of visual literacy (VL), to explicitly teach a collection of competencies that will help students think through, think about and think with...Read More.
Since the 1990s, I’ve mothballed the lecture -- "where the teacher talks and hopefully the students listen" -- with other scorned practices: popcorn reading, multiple-choice quizzes, test-prep drills,...Read More.
"Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl Albrecht
Understanding Academic Language
Academic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are expected to have internalized by the end of high school and includes...Read More.
On a spring afternoon in the 1990s, I happened upon one of my professors in a campus restroom. The renowned metaphysical sci-fi author caught me eyeing his hands, which trembled as he lathered them with liquid soap. "I get the shakes before every class starts," he explained. "Every class for 30...Read More.
Says Ankur Singh, the writer and director of Listen: The Movie, "They never ask us students what we want from our own education. And since we are the primary stakeholders, that is not OK."Read More.
Education is catastrophically deficient in trust. Pro-accountability education reformers presume that, absent carrots and sticks, classrooms would be overrun with lazy and incapable teachers. Traditional instructors presume that, absent carrots and sticks, classrooms would be overrun...Read More.
Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores. Journal...Read More.
"There is not a writer in our classrooms today who will not be producing something with a digital writing tool in her or his lifetime." -- Troy Hicks
Troy Hicks frequently uses the words "intentional" and "deliberate" to highlight the need for writers to conscientiously think...Read More.
Whole class discussions are, after lecture, the second most frequently used teaching strategy, one mandated by the Common Core State Standards because of its many rewards: increased perspective-taking, understanding, empathy, and...Read More.