The BrainEarlier this school year I was inspired by one of my BrainSMART classes to create a lesson on metacognition. I did a post about the lesson here:metacognition lesson. In that lesson, students twisted pipe cleaners together to represent related concepts and subjects. Next the pipe cleaners were connected to show how information connects in the brain. It became our class brain! Our brain has continued to grow all year. Students love it!
Cheryl Frose's insight:
Another variation of the class brain activity. Awesome variation for older students!
Digital storytelling is a powerful way to engage students in the writing process. Whether they are telling stories from a summer vacation or writing a persuasive essay on a community issue, technology tools can help motivate reluctant writers. Students can use their writing, audio recordings, video creations, illustrations, and images to create a digital storytelling product that demonstrates their understanding of a concept.
A team of historians have been trying to solve some historical "cold cases" -- old crimes in which the guilty ones walked, and even more insidious crimes where a whole village may have been complicit. There are other mysteries too, about unusual cases from the Viking age to the Klondike Gold Rush.
In what ways might questioning techniques improve student learning? What kinds of questions enable educators to tap into different parts of the cognitive domain? How can questions engage students when their attention begins to wander? Many questions at the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – particularly knowledge and comprehension – are closed-ended questions. Higher order reasoning, such as synthesis and evaluation, is stimulated through the use of open-ended questions. Asking an open-ended question is a way to elicit discussion, brainstorm solutions to a problem, or create opportunities for thinking outside the box. The highest-order open-ended questions engage students in dynamic thinking and learning, where they must synthesize information, analyze ideas, and draw their own conclusions, preparing them for the larger community, where few issues are black-and-white. Adolescents need to become critical thinkers, find their own voice, and be recognized for having opinions that matter.
Welcome to Wonderopolis®, a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Brought to life by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), our Wonders of the Day® will help you find learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs.
Wonder is for everyone. It can happen anywhere and at anytime. Connecting the learning we do in our schools, our homes, and our communities, Wonderopolis walks the line between formal and informal education. Each day, we pose an intriguing question and explore it in a variety of ways. Our approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings.
Games can be fun and addicting. Well-designed educational games can make the act of learning just as fun and addicting. Here are some teacher-tested games to engage your learners and get them craving more. Parents may like these for holiday enrichment too.
Infographics are a visual representation of data. When students create infographics, they are using information, visual, and technology literacies. This page includes links to help you develop formative or summative assessments that have students creating infographics to showcase their mastery of knowledge.
If there’s been a single educational buzzword with traction over the past few years, “student-centered learning” certainly tops the charts. From the TED stage to experimental classrooms, an increasing number of thought leaders, schools and teachers are advocating a handover of the learning experience to the students who must do the learning.
Most of the strategies described (here) have been developed and tested by teachers in Princeton, Madison and elsewhere. They are offered as practical, effective activities that help shift the focus of classrooms from teacher orchestrated mastery and memory of information to student processing of information to create understanding and improve problem-solving.
As one of the primary goals of education is to develop autonomous but interdependent thinkers, students deserve frequent opportunities to shape and direct classroom inquiry. To fuel this inquiry, it is also essential that we validate the importance of curiosity in the process of learning. While curiosity may have killed the cat, there is no reason for us to kill curiosity.
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