This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive). Most people can't answer this question. A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it. This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water. This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.
"Higher order thinking goes beyond memorizing and recalling facts and data. It even goes beyond comprehension. Higher-order thinking refers to cognitive processes that involve analytical, critical or creative thinking....
"Because test items must be aligned with learning objectives, you’ll need to include higher-order thinking skills from the start. And yes, these may be better measured through open ended questions, essays and discussions. But if you find yourself needing to use multiple choice tests as a necessity, you can make the best of this situation with these three approaches."
I'm a huge fan of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's artistic aerial photography. This image of Rio de Janeiro and the favela is a striking one. I am also posting this to show the how easy the website justpaste.it is to use. Students with no website creation training can produce sharable materials online. Now this isn't the most professional outlet, but I envision some middle school or high school students producing a class project that can be transformed into something that reaches a bigger audience as it is shared with a broader community.
The above map represents the last time the Republican Party won a presidential election in the United States. As the polls currently are projecting that President Obama will be re-elected, the most critical questions about the voting patterns for both parties are spatial in nature.
Questions to ponder: how are current political patterns changing the map? Which states become the most pivotal for either candidate to be victorious?
Tags: political, regions, spatial, unit 4 political.
One of ASCD's featured new books is "Assignments Matter" by Eleanor Dougherty. This issue of ASCD express provides highlights from the book and a link to a video excerpt featuring Dougherty. -JL
She writes, "Well-crafted assignments hold the potential to make learning and teaching more focused and relevant because in the crafting process teachers must be deliberate and highly aware of the context, content, and charge involved in an assignment."
Australian teacher Jenny Luca provides an unusually lengthy and detailed account of her venture into PBL with fellow teachers and her class. What I find so interesting is the way she weaves together her personal experience with numerous resources that others will find useful. I also enjoyed how Luca discussed using the Future Work Skills diagram (above) with her students as a springboard for timely reflection. -JL
"What’s been incredibly encouraging is the spoken feedback I’m getting from students. I’ve heard some say they are enjoying the challenge of thinking, of directing their own learning, of working with people they don’t normally mix with. One student stayed back after class to tell me how much she was enjoying learning this way and that she’d never thought it would be possible to work like this in an English classroom. Many are excited about their ideas and are genuinely interested in seeing them come to fruition and sharing their artifact with others. Most of them have structured manageable tasks, but some have been ambitious. I’ve made a point of saying to them repeatedly that it’s the collaborative work and process that is important here, and if what they come up with falls short of their plans due to time restraints, it’s still possible to do very well on this task if they have done what is expected from them. As teachers, we decided to weight collaboration most heavily for their assessment and the students know this. They’ve been provided with the assessment breakdown so they know what they are working towards."
The following links are perfect for bookmarking and referring back to if you’re looking to enhance your understanding of the world of education. These links are chosen and maintained by Gutman Library Research Services staff at Harvard GSE.
The main focus of this free website is grammar. You'll find a wide range of resources here including - lessons, PDF revisions sheets, practice exercises and videos. (check out the one where you need to find 10 grammar mistakes in an interview with Rafael Nadal)
The site can be used by students and teachers, and many materials can be used as homework. There is also a nice 'ASK US' section where the authors answer questions asked by email, twitter or facebook.
For years, nothing seemed capable of turning around New Dorp High School’s dismal performance—not firing bad teachers, not flashy education technology, not after-school programs. So, faced with closure, the school’s principal went all-in on a very specific curriculum reform, placing an overwhelming focus on teaching the basics of analytic writing, every day, in virtually every class. What followed was an extraordinary blossoming of student potential, across nearly every subject—one that has made New Dorp a model for educational reform.
"In preparing students for the world outside school, what skills are important to learn? This goes to the heart of the research addressed in the Deeper Learning Report released by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington.
"Simply defined, “deeper learning” is the “process of learning for transfer,” meaning it allows a student to take what’s learned in one situation and apply it to another, explained James Pellegrino, one of the authors of the report. “You can use knowledge in ways that make it useful in new situations,” he said in a recent webinar. “You have procedural knowledge of how, why, and when to apply it to answer questions and solve problems.”
"To deconstruct the definition of deeper learning further, the researchers came up with what they call three domains of competence: cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal. Cognitive refers to reasoning and problem solving; intrapersonal refers to self-management, self-directedness, and conscientiousness; and interpersonal refers to expressing ideas and communicating and working with others."
Although special education began in the 1950s as a movement to win individuals with disabilities a free and quality education, it has today come to embrace the ideal of inclusion, with many students with disabilities being taught in general classrooms alongside their non-disabled peers. Thus, as fully inclusive classrooms become more of a reality, all prospective teachers can benefit from a better understanding of the basics of special education. The number of students receiving special education services is also steadily on the rise, so now is certainly the time to start learning more about the field.
"You can transform your classroom. While there are many approaches to project-based learning, we have had the most success with the model our team developed -- a model called "The Seven Phases of a Project Cycle." Each and every one of our instructional units is designed using these seven phases.
"To begin, ask yourself these questions:
What instructional unit do I want to transform?
What engaging, relevant, real-world problem could students attempt to solve that is related to the concepts and skills in the unit?
What authentic roles can students take on to try solving this problem?
How might students be asked to work collaboratively to try solving this problem?"
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