Our guest blogger, Joann Wasik, is a regular columnist at TheGateway.org
Each May, the nation celebrates National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
"Regular physical exercise is vital to student learning. Studies show that students are able to concentrate better and stay focused for longer periods of time when they’ve participated in exercise. Exposure to endurance-type of exercise, such as running or skipping, appears to be the most effective, with test subjects’ scores all increasing by a wide margin after such exercise." Get that exercise in!
Last June, I wrote Seven Ways to Go From On-Task to Engaged, which turned out to be one of the most popular topics of the year. In it I spoke about the possibility that students could technically be on-task but...
"While time on task is important, as is focus and attention, true engagement in learning involves more than external behaviors as measured by time on-task. True engagement involves the mind, the body, and the soul."
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."
There's no doubt that many of the top careers of the future will involve science, technology, engineering and math. So, what are you doing to integrate STEM into your everyday classroom activities?
"Have your students calculate their own scores … as well as averages, percentages and more … on each of their assignments or integrate concepts like measurement, mass and finance into your science and art classes." Ummm, YES!
Reading is the basis for any type of education. It is an important skill that a person needs to master in order to grow and develop in life. Reading not only helps with gaining knowledge, but also strengthens your command over the language.
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner.
Angelika Thompson's fourth-grade students at Fishers Elementary School will have to balance their bodies along with their studies when they start the new school year on Aug. 15.
"A study at the Mayo Clinic supports chairless classrooms, saying that exercise balls improve students' posture and muscle strength. Students also can burn off excess energy. And their concentration may improve."
I definitely support this idea and would love to use it in my classroom if it works as well as they claim and I could get the funding...
Gone are the days when planning and thinking were done mainly by pen and paper.Technology have made it pretty much easier to think in different other ways. Free mind mapping , brainstorming and concept mapping applications are ubiquitous online and more and more teachers are using them . The 21st century education is based , on a large part of it, on the visual output.
The benefits of graphic organizers in education
- Teachers can use graphic organizers to engage visual learners and help them organize their thoughts
- Graphic organizers help students make powerful connections between ideas and concepts
- They help students develop their convergent thinking by providing a framework for the development of new ideas through analysis, reflection and display.
- They also help students promote their divergent thinking by using such techniques as brianstorming to generate ideas.
- They can be used for developing vocabulary skills and improve reading, writing and communication skills.
- Students can easily learn new concepts and think in new novel ways using graphic organizers
- They help students focus on connections rather than words
- Finally , graphic organizers can help both teachers and students develop creative and critical thinking skills.
Recess is a valuable component of a child's time in school, a time when students can collect themselves, recharge their batteries, and challenge themselves in a different setting.
"The decision to limit or eliminate the unstructured play afforded by a recess period may detract from students' ability to focus on the very subjects we use to measure success. Several thoughtful researchers have proved that creative thought, which is a large part of recess and play, can be viewed as an important aspect of problem-solving."
Studies suggest that coeducational classrooms are an ideal setting to dispel gender biases and teach boys and girls to get along.
"Even if boys and girls don’t learn differently, classroom demographics can change how students learn, according to research by Erin E. Pahlke, an assistant research professor of social and family dynamics at Arizona State University in Tempe. Ms. Pahlke analyzed the achievement of more than 21,000 pupils in the federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, and found that as the percentage of girls in a kindergarten or 1st grade classroom increased, the reading and math achievement of both boys and girls at the end of 1st grade rose, too. Moreover, boys and girls in classes near sex parity had better self-control than those of either sex in a class in which they were the dominant majority, 80 percent or more."
Definitely something to keep in mind. I like the opposite gender partners every Monday idea.
Music teacher Kevin Mixon offers tips on adopting a classroom-management style that reinforces learning goals and expectations instead of simply punishing bad behavior.
"You can still incorporate classroom-management levers that are tied directly to learning goals and that reinforce expectations, rather than simply punishing so-called "bad" behavior. In doing so, you can foster inclusiveness rather than divisive competition in the classroom."
Reteach and Enrich: How to Make Time for Every Student...
"Reteach and Enrich" is a very interesting idea. Students get taught a topic one week, they are given a formative assessment at the end of the week to determine whether they go to reteach or enrich, teachers select either r or e and students go to that class the following week.