Tamara Fisher is a K-12 gifted education specialist for a school district located on an Indian reservation in northwestern Montana and past president of the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education.
Wes Freyer's awesome interactive resource for product-based learning.
Great examples how one can use 21st Century tools in the classroom while every part is well described with "Definition", *Workflow", *Tools", "Workshop Description"... This is how it should be, take it as a very good practice example!
A new Council on Foreign Relations report spelled out the need for more science, history and foreign languages in U.S. schools -- and linked education to national security interests.
JEFFREY BROWN: It's by now a familiar warning: Our public schools are not adequately educating our children.
A new report put out by the Council on Foreign Relations frames the risk in a global context, impacting both our economic and military might -- among its recommendations, expanding a core curriculum in school districts across the country beyond an emphasis on reading and math to include more science, technology, history, and foreign languages, offer students more choice and competition to public schools, and launch a national security readiness audit to raise awareness and hold schools accountable.
The 30-member task force was headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein.
"Pixntell is an iPad app for quickly creating simple narrated photostories. To create a story using Pixntell all that you need to do is start a new project, select some images, place them in order, and then start talking about each of your pictures. You control the timing for each image. If you want to talk about your first picture for twenty seconds, your second picture for just three seconds, and your third picture for fifteen seconds, you can do that. When your project is complete you can upload it directly to YouTube, share it on Facebook, or send to friends via email."
Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Follow Rick and AEI's Education Program on Twitter http://twitter.com/AEIeducation.
"We came across this cool little app for dissecting frogs without the blood and guts. The virtual frog dissection biology app is a great alternative or supplement to traditional frog dissections in biology classrooms. It features dissection tools like pins, markers, scissors, scalpels and forceps, and has detailed labels and information on frog classification and their life-cycle. It also has a quiz section and works on iPads, desktops, laptops, netbooks and interactive whiteboards."
The United States has gained ground against countries that are top performers in the 2011 PIRLS, or Progress in International Reading Literacy Skills, improving to far above the international average, the latest results show.
Debra Podurgiel Wilson's insight:
Finally some good new in American public education....
Resiliency, grit, and self-efficacy are among the so-called "soft skills" increasingly being viewed as vital for college success. (love the reference to self-soothing... almost like sleep training for big kids)
"In today's post, we are highlighting some very useful iPad apps that can complete the work you do on your laptop and netbook. These presentation apps will allow you to take your presenting experience wherever you go."
"Creative writing is something students get to learn by the frequency of practice, the more they practice the better they become.Some students develop a negative attitude towards writing because they were never been shown the real joy they can get in engaging in such an act. The traditional way of teaching writing is no longer working. We can not provide a pen and blank paper and expect our students to produce solid pieces of writing. This is a process of commitment, students need to feel connected to the writing task they are immersed in, they need to love it and to love it they need to see why they need to write after all."
"......For as long as he could remember, Jimmy had a hard time in school. For him, school was one disappointment after another. Although initial standardized test scores showed Jimmy had an aptitude for learning, his daily performance indicated otherwise. At school, Jimmy felt a whittling down and chipping away at his identity and self-esteem. He attended school, but he had given up. At-risk students like Jimmy come in all shapes and forms. They tend not to fit in at school. Some are withdrawn and quiet, and others are disruptive or rebellious. Academically, they often perform below their expected grade level (National Mentoring Partnership, 2007). Many are truant and come from homes with high mobility rates and lower socioeconomic status; some must work more than 20 hours each week to support their families (Hammond, Linton, Smink, & Drew, 2007). How can teachers support students like Jimmy? One clue is to examine the practices of teachers who are effective with such students. One of the authors, James Riegert (2009), interviewed, observed, and conducted a focus group with six high school teachers who were nominated by multiple colleagues and peers across 26 school districts in a midwestern U.S. city for their success in working with at-risk students. The teaching experience of these six teachers ranged from 10 to 35 years. Although these six teachers worked exclusively with at-risk students, mostly in alternative settings, they had much to say that could apply in a regular classroom. To create classrooms that engage all learners, these six teachers focused on five interrelated practices:
1. Create Bonds
A major part of teaching is building relationships. Teachers must intentionally establish and maintain bonds with students as students progress through their coursework. But at-risk students often are not easy to bond with. Many withdraw from their teachers or challenge teacher rules and expectations…...
2. Persevere Through Difficulties
When creating relationships with students, these teachers don't take no for an answer. They repeatedly and persistently exert the energy and strength necessary to create and sustain challenging relationships. They are determined, and they persevere. As Becky explained, "I do everything in my power to stay patient and hang on to kids……."
3. Differentiate and Be Flexible
As educators, we chose teaching because of our passion for students and our subject area. The challenge is to connect the curriculum with students' interests and passions. One way to begin is by selecting instructional strategies that respond to students' needs rather than beginning with strategies that are tied to curriculum (Tomlinson & Javius, 2012)……
4. Make Curriculum Relevant
The work of a teacher is to provide students with clear objectives, guidelines, and feedback and to support their next steps in growth (Tomlinson & Jarvis, 2012). If that task is not complex enough, students, especially at-risk students, will want to understand how the material they are learning is relevant to their lives.....
5. Start Fresh Daily
All of these teachers provided their students with fresh starts every day. "Teachers need to look at these kids knowing that every day is a new day. You cannot … harbor anger toward them," said Bohdan. Donna stressed the need to suspend judgment and not jump to hasty conclusions: "You cannot be judgmental. You just cannot do it, because if you are, they won't take any chances with you...."
"There are a number of apps that are being released that give us direct and instant access to real time data to events and happenings around the world. These apps allow the students in the classroom to have the same data and information that authorities, scientists and researcher have. This is important form the students point of view as it makes the learning more real."