Annie, who has a new book -- Brilliant: The New Science of Smart -- coming out this year, is one of the few writers who eschews headline-grabbing oversimplifications of the research and focuses on respecting and articulating the evidence. Daniel Willingham, who has carefully debunked the learning styles myth (linked above), is another.
America faces a tough challenge. Educating students in poverty requires considerably more time than the traditional school calendar offers. But there’s hope. Expanded time and learning schools are meeting the needs of kids in high poverty schools. These students are getting 2.2 more years of learning across their K-12 education. That’s why we need of …
"We are in the midst of testing season—a season that seems to get longer each year. Yet this year, the testing tension is exacerbated by a growing movement to opt kids out of tests.
The opt-out movement comes as no surprise. It is a natural consequence of the testing mania No Child Left Behind introduced in 2002. “Give a test” became the answer to just about every question. When a principal at an NASSP conference expressed concern to then- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings about how high-stakes reading and math tests were forcing out the arts, Spellings shared the concern, adding that, “Yes, we need to find a way to test the arts as well.”
Web series teaches students about homebuilding and math Scholastic and TV host Ty Pennington are working together to help students connect math with real-world careers through their new webisode series, Math@Work: Math Meets Homebuilding. The 15-minute videos, available at no charge on Scholastic's site, feature Pennington showing student builders how to apply math to projects such as installing solar panels and building a walkway for a home.
Many schools across the country just completed their last major break of the year, which means it is one mad dash to the finish line. It is a time when teachers and students alike begin to look forward to beach chairs, backyard bbqs, and hitting snooze on the alarm. As much promise as all this forward thinking holds, it can take one’s eye off the ball and wreak havoc on a classroom culture.
A seminal study on the early word gap between the children of college graduates and high school dropouts has led to more nuanced findings about language development.
Mel Riddile's insight:
The researchers found that, on average, children from professional families heard more than 2,150 words an hour. Those in working-class families heard about 1,250 words. Children in families on welfare heard little more than 600 words an hour.
"It's not just the word gap; it's what you use language for," said Barbara T. Bowman, a child-development professor and co-founder of the Chicago-based Erikson Institute.
Children of professionals also heard twice as many unique words, and twice as many "encouraging" versus "discouraging" conversations ("What did you think of that?" versus "Don't touch that," for example.) By the end of the study, more than 85 percent of the vocabulary, conversational patterns, and language complexity of the 3-year-olds had come from their families, and children of professionals had vocabularies more than twice as large as peers in families receiving welfare.
children with an "enriched language environment" hear about 20,000 words a day—22 million words by age 3—while disadvantaged children hear half as many or fewer.
But if recent studies shrunk the word gap from the Hart and Risley study, they also magnified the importance of parent-child conversations.
"Conversational turns are vastly more important than the number of words a child is exposed to," Ms. Gilkerson said.
Note to teachers: Purposeful classroom discussion is critical to acquisition of vocabulary.
These findings not only demonstrate enhanced declarative memory when individuals have perceived control over their learning but also support a novel mechanism by which these enhancements emerge. Furthermore, they demonstrate a novel context in which mesolimbic and declarative memory systems interact.
American students spend too much time taking and preparing for standardized testing, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday, and states need to place a limit on the number of hours spent on tests.
Duncan Stresses Need For Testing, But Calls For Less.
The Beaver County (PA) Times (4/23) reports that Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaking Tuesday at the Education Writers Association conference in Chicago, said he “wants to see less testing in schools...but defended the importance of standardized tests.” Duncan said that states must “draw a line in the sand” regarding the number of testing days, and the paper quotes him saying, “In many places, I think there is too much testing. We should be challenging states to set a cap, to set a limit.”
This video series follows 10 principals in four metropolitan areas through their workdays, showing how they use five practices of effective school leadership to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms. The practices, described in The School Principal as Leader, are based on more than a decade of Wallace-supported research to identify what successful principals do. The five-video series, produced by WNET, New York City’s PBS affiliate, is also available on the PBS LearningMedia website.
1 Silence patterns may give clues to interventions that you should try.
2 Not all silences are created equal because some are productive (time for reflection or time to think about sources of confusion) and others are not.
3 Social anxiety, self-image, and culture are factors in whether or not students verbally participate in class discussion
4 When teachers answer their own questions (in response to the silence), the students learn to wait (be silent) and allow the teacher to answer future questions.
5 Tthere are multiple wait times to consider when posing questions for student discussions (one wait time is the time period between the question and the response, another wait time is the time period after the student response and the teacher’s reaction).
Educator Larry Ferlazzo details how to make reading and writing relevant to students lives in order to motivate them.
"I would suggest that teachers explicitly connecting what is being taught in school to student goals—by pointing it out themselves or by drawing it out of students (which, as Chapter 1 pointed out, appears to have less damaging potential)—can have a place in class, but also has to be kept in its place. In my experience, we will get fewer “Why are we learning this?” questions in learning environments that promote autonomy, competence, relatedness, or are connected to student interest."
Children reproduce the character of their schools and the society around them.
"If we want to make our schools more effective, we have to redirect our energy and focus on ensuring that they are supportive settings. “You can do it, you belong, and your efforts will pay off,” must be the message and reality conveyed to all students in every classroom."
California students have a greater chance of succeeding in high school if their school collaborates closely with their middle school before the students even enter 9th grade, according to a new report.
“Aligning curriculum and increasing communication between middle grades and high school staff about curriculum and instructional strategies” is key, according to the report issued by the Comprehensive Education Center at WestEd. “Communication with teachers at feeder schools about incoming students also appears to be an important component of a successful transition plan.”
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