Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wrong Message Parents & Teachers Are Sending Our Kids

ASCD 's new initiative is the "Whole Child."  Maybe we should pay more attention to that initiative  because a new study from Harvard University reveals that adults' main messages to children are achievement and happiness but not character education or empathy.  We adults may mean to encourage moral development of children, that's not the message they are hearing.  The author of the study, Richard Weissbourd, said he was surprised by the results.  The study does have some positive statements, however.  Parents are recommended to provide opportunities for caring as part of daily living.  Parents also are recommended to help their children channel negatives feelings.  Talking is not enough.  Teachers in school can also model these behaviors.

Why Kids Care More About Achievement Than Helping Others.  Jessica Lahey.  6.25.14. The Atlantic - Education.,

What Are You Doing for PD This Summer?

Is PD on your agenda this summer?  Like most teachers, we relish time off, yet.....  The teaching profession, like most professions, require people to keep current with issues, strategies, and trends.  When do we do this?  During the school year, after a hectic day at school, weekends which you'd like to spend with family, friends, and relaxation, if possible?  Summer, on the other hand, is a good time to reflect on your past year....what was good and what could use some work.  Elena Aguilar, prominent blogger, read a book called Play by Stuart Brown where he espouses the value of play as a chance to lose ourselves, become more innovative, and a way to bond with other others.  There is plenty of scientific evidence showing that a lack of play in childhood can lead to significant problem behaviors in adulthood.
Read this article and then go outside and play...throw that ball to your kid and jump with joy!
Wonderful article!

Summer Professional Development:  Play! Elena Aguilar. 6.28.14. edutopia

Here's a Lesson From Baseball

Are your students motivated?  Why Not?  In today's world, 'learning to learn' in a school setting may not be all that exciting, but in a sports setting, Yes!  Although the Giants are not my favorite team (And I'm a baseball fan; thank you Brewers for a wonderful season!), here's a lesson we can all learn from.  Teachers:  Use this with your unmotivated students.  They may connect with Tim Lincecum and what he has gone through. (Or if you are a Brewer fan, there are stories here too; your kids will know them if you don't.)

What We Can All Learn from a No-Hitter.  Sherri Devine. 6.26.14. Tch TeachingChannel

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Amazing Listing of Teacher Approved Apps

Just what we were waiting for!  This article, written by tech savvy librarian Katrina Schwartz, includes a most extensive list of apps voted the best by educators across the country.   Katrina has grouped them in different categories so that teachers can best locate an app most suitable for their purposes.  I can't begin to list all the apps but here are the categories...  Search and you shall find!
  • Digital Storytelling and Presentation Tools
  • Video Tools
  • Photo Editing
  • Augmented Reality
  • Reading Engagement
  • English Language Arts
  • Commenting Tools
  • Coding
  • Note taking and Organization
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Social Media
  • Apps for Educators/Librarians
  • Miscellaneous
Apps That Rise to the Top:  Tested and Approved by Teachers.  Katrina Schwartz. 6.11.14.  Mind/Shift

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Key Interventions Teach the Brain to Learn

Young children are not wired at birth with important neuro functional systems.  But with the right kind of interventions done at young age we can change a child's educational future.  It is also true that interventions for high school students can also help them learn better.  The adolescent brain goes through enormous change and because of the brain's plasticity, changes can occur to encourage the health of the brain.  Much is being studied at the present time, but we do know that physical and cognitive exercises are good for the health of our brains, no matter the age.
Interesting article.

Teaching the Brain to Learn.  Greg Thompson.  6.2.14.  theJournal - Transforming Education Through Technology

A Lesson For Teachers and for Parents Too

Can we save our children from struggle?  Should we?  Of course not, though many of today's parents try to remove all such obstacles so their children will always succeed.  (You've heard of those helicopter parents coming to job interviews with their college graduate sons or daughters. Yikes!)  Some teachers show their students what was wrong before they even knew they had made a mistake.
This article tells the author's own story which is rather humorous.  Hope you enjoy it and learn to let the kids struggle a bit.

Struggle is a natural part of learning.  Austin Kassinger.  6.6.14. The Washington Post

Are You a Trainer or an Educator?

Think about the title of this blog entry.Yyou might not be able to tell the difference so easily.  Rather than defining the differences here, you need to read this article first, then answer the question in the title.  Maybe you are a bit of both...let's see.

Education builds character.  Jim Dillon. 6.9.13. SmartBlog on Education.

Deeper Learning - Key to College & Career Success

Read how a small charter high school in an immigrant section of San Francisco promotes deeper learning in preparation for a portfolio defense needed to graduate.  The school offers opportunities for students to practice 21st Century skills, such as critical thinking, working collaboratively and developing a "learning to learn" mindset.  Leon, daughter of immigrant parents from Nicaragua, tells her story, one that is leading her to college, a path she never envisioned.  She and other graduates feel that deeper learning has prepared them better to meet educational and career paths after high school.

Deeper Learning Inspires Dreams of the Stage.  Peter Schurmann. 6.9.14. New America Media - Education

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stategies to Help Those Tough Kids

We remember those tough kids in our classes for quite a few years.  Why?  They probably stretched us to become better teachers.  We learned from them, not only for teaching ideas but to develop better sensitivity to students with significant issues.  This excellent article presents five tips for teaching tough kids.  All are worth spending time with and thinking how best we could use them for our own difficult students.

5 Tips for Teaching the Tough Kids.  Josh Work.  6.11.14.  edutopia

Motivating Lessons Help ELLs

Much has been said about ELL education.  What works is what engages ELLs to practice, practice, and more practice.  This article identifies types of lessons that promote engagement, not boredom nor frustration.  The author, Tamara Sturak, names an online program (Learning Upgrade) that offers a reading and math curriculum that includes, songs, games, and bright colors.   Not mentioned in the article, but which we in Learning Exchange know is true, is the use of Mimio to engage students in the learning process, not only for ELLs but for all students.

Here's how engaging lessons motivate English learners.  Tamara Sturak. 6.10.14. eSchoolNews

A Student Thinks, "If I Could Only....."

Author, Angela Maiers, states that every student is curious about something and is quite passionate about it.  It is up to adults in their lives to allow that passion to flourish....that means we as teachers need to encourage them.  Genius Hour is that regular time during class where students can pursue their dreams and passions.  Who started this idea?  Google, not surprisingly.  Out of that opportunity to explore, Gmail and Google News were born.  This article is so very inspiring that classroom teachers everywhere will want to have their own Genius Hour.

Genius hour: Making time for passion in the classroom.  Angela Maiers. 6.11.14.  SmartBlog on Education.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tips to Reach the Reluctant Learner

In this fascinating article a former student connects with his high school teacher and ends up giving 10 tips to a workshop she was giving, called "Motivating the Reluctant Learner."  All of us can learn something from several of Eddie's 10 tips.  Just Excellent!

How to Reach Reluctant Learners.  Nancy Barile. 5.27.14.  Education Week Teacher.

Instilling Curiosity is Our Job

We teachers need to understand that curiosity is the impetus for students wanting to learn.  In school curiosity is difficult to inspire, but possible by encouraging students to explore in the search to find something new and different. As a result students will be hungry for knowledge. How have you instilled curiosity in your students?  Share your thoughts below in Comments.

How Can Teachers Foster Curiosity?  Erik Shonstrom. 6.4.14. Education Week.