Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Can We Stimulate a Child's Curiosity?

So often school is about hard work, getting assignments done, and acquiring knowledge.  But curious students fare better in careers and life than hard workers.  Read this article about the research behind curiosity.  The author, Marilyn Price-Mitchell offers 10 ways to stimulate a student's curiosity.  We can all be alert to these signals and active steps.
Share your ideas about how you have encouraged curiosity in your students in the Comments section below.

Curiosity:  The Force Within a Hungry Mind. Marilyn Price-Mitchell  2.17.15. edutopia

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ever Have Students Lead Parent Conferences?

This is an idea that some schools have adopted and it has paid off handsomely.  Read how one Decatur, Illinois school describes their parent conference experience.  Students lead their conferences and keep a notebook of their progress.  Beforehand, they practice with fellow students.  Very interesting!

Dennis students have hand in teacher-parent conferences.  2.13.15.  Valerie Wells.

How to Help Your Students Collaborate

Collaboration and communication are essential skills in the world beyond school.  Teachers often have difficulty teaching students how to collaborate.  Many times some students do all the work while others slack off.  Paul Curtis, Director District Development at New Tech Network, is adamant about meaningful student experiences that allow them to succeed in their chosen life after school.  He models and discusses his "Group Contract" where students commit to certain tasks.  It will take time for students to collaborate effectively but the structure is in place.

Easing the Pain of Student Collaboration.  Paul Curtis.  2.17.15 (originally published 3.26.14). Tch Teaching Channel

How to Teach Social Media Use for School

Social media is all around us.  We use it.  Families use it and so do our students, in school and on their own time.  But do our students understand their role and what it takes to be responsible social media users?
This is an important article, one that you should not miss.  Read how Mary Beth Hertz, a technology teacher in Philadelphia, uses this theme throughout her course working with kids so that they understand how to use social media responsibly, ethically, and safely.  Please share your reflections after reading the article.

Social Media at School:  Teaching Safety on the Virtual Playground.  Mary Beth Hertz.  2.13.15.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Learning Math Facts Isn't About Memorization & Drill

We all have had students who have had difficulty learning basic math facts and that has caused them untold difficulties and anxiety about math in general.  Would you be surprised to learn that some important mathematicians aren't good either? One example is the famous French mathematician, Laurent Schwartz, who said he felt stupid in school and was one of the slowest math thinkers in his class.
Researchers have changed the concept of math fluency and it isn't about speed and timed tests. Read how students should go about solving math problems and enjoy it!  Not to be missed.

Students most effectively learn math working on problems that they enjoy, not drills or exercises.  Clifton B. Parker.  01.30.15.  PHYS.ORG