Teacher Justin Minkel says a project he launched to get more books into the homes of his students has had a profound effect on their academic progress and connection to reading.
"The ratio of books to children in middle-income neighborhoods is 13 books to one child, while in low-income neighborhoods the ratio is one book to 300 children.
This "book gap" is easier to erase than the more complex barriers involved in poverty. Richard Allington found that giving children 12 books to take home over the summer resulted in gains equal to summer school for lower-income children, and had twice the impact of summer school for the poorest of those children."
Cindi Rigsbee thinks her students' grades should reflect their knowledge rather than behavior, so she gives cheaters and those who are late with assignments a second chance.
"I realized that I really do want grades to reflect what my students know, not what behavioral choices they make. So I began to change my philosophy on assessment."
"I now respond by reassigning the work or re-administering the test by making it different and, if possible, more rigorous. For example, what was at first a multiple-choice quiz may become an essay when I retest the student. Yes, it's more time-consuming than ripping up the original work and giving a zero—but it's worth it to me to actually be able to assess whether or not my students have met my learning goals. I can't determine that if they never do the work."
As you read this, students all over the country are sitting for state standardized exams. Schools spend up to 40% of the year on test prep, so that, shall we say, no child is left behind.
"Imagine a world where the math textbook was replaced with open-ended, thought-provoking opportunities to question the world around us. In these classrooms, students would learn how to think, how to find problems, not just plug in numbers to solve them. What if quizzes measured kids’ ability to question, not answer?"
"Our schools should be producing kids who tinker, make, experiment, collaborate, question, and embrace failure as an opportunity to learn. Our schools must be staffed with passionate teachers who are not just prepared to foster creativity, perseverance, and empathy, but are responsible for ensuring kids develop these skills."
If there’s one thing we know about teaching, it’s that very few people know what it’s like to work with 20 (okay, 35) students, day in and day out, in an attempt to meet a long list of individual and corporate educational goals.
Love it! So funny!!
"The comeback: “I’m not opposed to being paid what I’m worth. The trouble is defining the value of a good teacher by test scores. Unless, of course, you think your SAT score was the ultimate predictor of your worth.”"
Waukesha - Last year, Kim Crosby spent about 80% of her class time teaching math concepts at Waukesha STEM Academy. For the other 20%, she helped students individually.
"Why is memorization and fact-regurgitation so heavily valued when school leaders and employers say they want greater problem-solving and critical thinking skills from graduates?"
"What is clear, at least to Miron, is that research suggests well-executed project-based learning builds higher-level thinking skills in students, and that an engaging teacher - technology or no technology - is essential."
Go project-based learning and technology in the classroom!
"Global collaboration is necessary to show students that they are part of something bigger than them. That the world needs to be protected and that we need to care for all people. You can show them pictures of kids in other countries but why not have them speak to each other? Then the caring can begin."
"The Fantasy Baseball Math Program was a great way to expand Pirates Charities educational programming; the program has a clear connection to baseball, but it also has proven academic outcomes for the kids who participate."
Isn't it amazing how well project based learning works!
Veteran education reporter Lesli Maxwell has worked both inside and outside of major school systems. Join her now as she delves into the educational, policy, and social issues surrounding English-language learners in U.S.
"The bilingual juggles linguistic input and, it appears, automatically pays greater attention to relevant versus irrelevant sounds. Rather than promoting linguistic confusion, bilingualism promotes improved 'inhibitory control,' or the ability to pick out relevant speech sounds and ignore others."
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