But the standards actually do mean that teachers need to teach students to read harder texts than in the past. Just teaching level N books well won’t be sufficient. Kids’ reading is now being tested on texts at those higher levels--that’s part of the reason why reading scores dropped so much this year. If kids spend all their time reading easy texts, don’t be surprised if they struggle when immersed in more complicated language and ideas.
It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own. Alexander Pope One of the difficulties inherent in challenging teachers’ judgments is that when those judgements appear to be contradicted teachers sometimes say, “Well, it works for me and my students.” This is hard to challenge.
A new CAP report highlights six districts that are using teacher leadership and labor-management collaboration to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards.
"This report describes districts throughout the country that have taken collaborative approaches between management and unions to ensure that teachers have significant voice and leadership in implementation of the Common Core. In many cases, these collaborative approaches are not new. Districts and unions across the country—many of them profiled in this report—have been working together to involve teachers in meaningful ways for decades, but these systems have taken on new importance with the rollout of the Common Core."
Leadership is essential to success, so make sure you know who the personalities. Admin remember this when working with staff and staff remember it when working with students. Relationships and empowerment go a long way to investment and happy school community is one that is willing to innovate.
Teachers who promote reflective classrooms ensure that students are fully engaged in the process of making meaning. They organize instruction so that students are the producers, not just the consumers, of knowledge. To best guide children in the habits of reflection, these teachers approach their role as that of "facilitator of meaning making."
In the role of facilitator, the teacher acts as an intermediary between the learner and the learning, guiding each student to approach the learning activity in a strategic way. The teacher helps each student monitor individual progress, construct meaning from the content learned and from the process of learning it, and apply the learnings to other contexts and settings. Learning becomes a continual process of engaging the mind that transforms the mind.
The year-end cumulative examination used in many classrooms suggests a natural experiment; what if students took the same exam a second time, say, a year later? Many experiments have relied on this basic structure, with the second exam composed of different questions than the first but testing the same concepts. The upshot? There’s less forgetting than you might think. - See more at: http://www.aft.org/ae/fall2015/willingham#.dpuf
Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing: Demonizing teachers. It's the "reformers" doing the most harm
But Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute dug out perhaps the worst numbers in the report. With September’s data in, we can see how many teachers went back to school this year. And Gould finds that the tremendous gap that opened up when local budgets crashed during the recession has not come close to being filled.
At the peak, we had 8.1 million public K-12 education teachers and staff in July 2008. Seven years later, we have far less, 7.8 million, despite a larger population of students that need to be served. According to EPI, the local public education shortfall, accounting for additional student enrollment, is 410,000 jobs.
This means that classrooms built for 25 or 30 students now have 35 or 40 in them. It means that kids don’t get the same level of personalized instruction, or in some cases any attention at all. It means that programs like art and music have to be excised, or extracurricular activities, simply because there are no resources available to staff them.
Obviously the main culprit of this tremendous and damaging shortfall in student learning is austerity budgeting around the country. Most funding for public schools comes from the states, and they have not rebounded to pre-recession funding levels, nor have they made education enough of a priority to keep up. Though teaching children is routinely stated as our nation’s most important priority in political campaigns, we treat it in the exact opposite manner in budget documents.
Used correctly, tests can help students achieve three crucial aims:
supporting student recall (tests force students to pull information from their own heads, enhancing retention);enhancing their awareness of their own mental processes (in the process of being tested and getting feedback, students fine-tune their sense of what they know and don’t know);nurturing the noncognitive skills students develop from facing challenges (tests represent a kind of controlled adversity, an ideal arena for honing skills like resilience and perseverance).
Via Mel Riddile
The first brain-to-brain telepathy-like communication between two participants via the Internet has been performed by University of Washington researchers. The experiment used a question-and-answer game. The goal is for the “inquirer” to determine which object the “respondent” is looking at from a list of possible objects. The inquirer sends a question (e.g., “Does it fly?) to the respondent, who answers “yes” or “no” by mentally focusing on one of two flashing LED lights attached to the monitor. The respondent is wearing an electroencephalography (EEG) helmet.
By focusing on the “yes” light, the EEG device generates send a signal to the inquirer via the Internet to activate a magnetic coil positioned behind the inquirer’s head, which stimulates the visual cortex and causes the inquirer to see a flash of light (known as a “phosphene”). A “no” signal works the same way, but is not strong enough to activate the coil.
The experiment, detailed today in an open access paper in PLoS ONE, is the first to show that two brains can be directly linked to allow one person to guess what’s on another person’s mind. It is “the most complex brain-to-brain experiment, I think, that’s been done to date in humans,” said lead author Andrea Stocco, an assistant professor of psychology and researcher at UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences.
The experiment was carried out in dark rooms in two UW labs located almost a mile apart and involved five pairs of participants, who played 20 rounds of the question-and-answer game. Each game had eight objects and three questions. The sessions were a random mixture of 10 real games and 10 control games that were structured the same way.*
Participants were able to guess the correct object in 72 percent of the real games, compared with just 18 percent of the control rounds. Incorrect guesses in the real games could be caused by several factors, the most likely being uncertainty about whether a phosphene had appeared.
The study builds on the UW team’s initial experiment in 2013, which was the first to demonstrate a direct brain-to-brain connection between humans. Other scientists have connected the brains of rats and monkeys, and transmitted brain signals from a human to a rat, using electrodes inserted into animals’ brains. In the 2013 experiment, the UW team used noninvasive technology to send a person’s brain signals over the Internet to control the hand motions of another person.
The experiment evolved out of research by co-author Rajesh Rao, a UW professor of computer science and engineering, on brain-computer interfaces that enable people to activate devices with their minds. In 2011, Rao began collaborating with Stocco and Prat to determine how to link two human brains together.
In 2014, the researchers received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation that allowed them to broaden their experiments to decode more complex interactions and brain processes. They are now exploring the possibility of “brain tutoring,” transferring signals directly from healthy brains to ones that are developmentally impaired or impacted by external factors such as a stroke or accident, or simply to transfer knowledge from teacher to pupil. The team is also working on transmitting brain states — for example, sending signals from an alert person to a sleepy one, or from a focused student to one who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
“Imagine having someone with ADHD and a neurotypical student,” Prat said. “When the non-ADHD student is paying attention, the ADHD student’s brain gets put into a state of greater attention automatically.”
“Evolution has spent a colossal amount of time to find ways for us and other animals to take information out of our brains and communicate it to other animals in the forms of behavior, speech and so on,” Stocco said. “But it requires a translation. We can only communicate part of whatever our brain processes. “What we are doing is kind of reversing the process a step at a time by opening up this box and taking signals from the brain and with minimal translation, putting them back in another person’s brain,” he said.
"Szpunar (now an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago) has demonstrated in a number of studies that “interpolated tests”—quiz questions embedded at intervals throughout a videotaped lecture, to which students are required to respond—leads students to better maintain their attention and to take more comprehensive notes, leaving them with improved understanding and recall of the material.
Szpunar and Scachter’s early studies revealed that the tendency to mind-wander during videotaped lectures was common: when prompted to report what they were thinking about, students admitted to not paying attention to the lecture about 40 percent of the time. The researchers experimented with different ways of maintaining students’ focus, and found that the interpolated quizzes worked best:"
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