It might have been the banana piano. Or perhaps the bongos, made from lemons that students had plucked from the citrus tree at school. Elizabeth Little, who teaches middle school math and science, doesn’t know exactly which of the hands-on projects she introduced to her remedial math class turned the class around. But by the end of the school year, all her math students, not just those needing extra support, were clamoring for more math.
Join us in our next ThingLink Creative Challenge to investigate, create and share interactive images that explore the hidden side of the things we use everyday by deconstructing products and analysing them.
We are pleased to announce the Product Deconstruction Challenge, a creative challenge designed by Ed Charlwood. Ed is the Head of Design and Director of Digital Learning at an Independent school in West London.
There is obviously no one-size-fits-all answer for all the dilemmas that first-time STEM educators are facing this fall. If I could sit down for a few minutes and share some basic things with all the folks out there who are under the gun, I think these are the six points I would make:
Jim Lerman's insight:
Excellent links and suggestions for STEM teaching/learning, regardless of how much experience a teacher has under her or his belt. Definitely worth a look. Don't miss the link to "Real World STEM Problems."
For at least a decade now, the driving force behind education reform has been data. We talk about collecting data, analyzing data, and making data-driven decisions. All of this data can certainly be useful, helping us notice patterns we might not have seen without aggregating our numbers in some way, looking for gaps and dips and spikes, allowing us to figure out where we are strong and where we need help. In terms of certain academic behaviors, we can quantify student learning to some extent and improve our practice as a result.
And yet, we know this is not enough. We know our students bring with them so many other kinds of data. So many other factors contribute to academic success: the atmosphere in their homes, the demands of their out-of-school school schedule, the physical concerns that distract them, the passions and obsessions that consume them. These things are much harder to measure, so we don’t even try, focusing instead on the things we can convert to numbers.
So here they are: 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging. If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, this is your lucky day.
I’ve separated the strategies into three groups. The first batch contains the higher-prep strategies, formats that require teachers to do some planning or gathering of materials ahead of time. Next come the low-prep strategies, which can be used on the fly when you have a few extra minutes or just want your students to get more active. Note that these are not strict categories; it’s certainly possible to simplify or add more meat to any of these structures and still make them work. The last group is the ongoing strategies. These are smaller techniques that can be integrated with other instructional strategies and don’t really stand alone. For each strategy, you’ll find a list of other names it sometimes goes by, a description of its basic structure, and an explanation of variations that exist, if any. To watch each strategy in action, click on its name and a new window will open with a video that demonstrates it.
"Jay Silver is the Founder/CEO of JoyLabz/Makey Makey and was the first ever Maker Research Scientist at Intel. Jay's MIT PhD topic was World as Construction Kit. He made many creative platforms such as Drawdio and Makey Makey. Jay has been a speaker at many TED events, exhibited artwork internationally, and been named a Top 100 Inspirational World Changer by DELL. He sits on the board of directors of Maker Ed, "
If you are having students take notes in a Google Doc, in particular if those notes require diagrams, consider providing the students with a Google Doc that contains graphic organizers. I am not advocating for fill in the blank type notes where the students fill in a word from the notes being projected. Instead, provide a structured Google Document that contains graphic organizers to save students time from having to draw the charts. Provide students the tools they will need for taking the notes.
These are project options and ideas for students working in our "Maker Studio." In STEM class students alternate working in the Maker Studio and learning in our STEM "Learning Lab." Maker Studio projects are also available for students in our after-school Maker's Club.
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