For all teachers who say they have only one rule--which might be something like "Respect all people and things" or "Think before you act"--I have this comment: You can't mandate kindness and consideration through rules. You may, however, have some success via doggedly modeling these qualities, over time. You'll have the most success by genuinely liking your students and demonstrating authentic warmth.
Too often school assessments heighten anxiety and hinder learning. New research shows how to reverse the trend
Mel Riddile's insight:
This article is about 'assessment for learning' not assessment of learning!
"Retrieval practice does not use testing as a tool of assessment. Rather it treats tests as occasions for learning, which makes sense only once we recognize that we have misunderstood the nature of testing. We think of tests as a kind of dipstick that we insert into a student's head, an indicator that tells us how high the level of knowledge has risen in there—when in fact, every time a student calls up knowledge from memory, that memory changes. Its mental representation becomes stronger, more stable and more accessible."
Observations on teaching and learning are one of the most important places for principals and teachers to create a partnership, but it doesn't always happen. For principals who want to take the process seriously, there are 4 areas to focus on.
While pay is important, employees place a significant amount of weight on company culture, career advancement opportunities and senior leadership. People want to work somewhere they feel respected and valued. They want to connect to the company’s mission and vision, as well as be kept abreast about progress along the way. Even more so, they want to know how they personally can make an impact and move up the ranks.
It's a sobering statistic: only 34 percent of all fourth grade students read proficiently. Third grade is the turning point in which students who don't reach proficiency by the end of that year are in danger of never catching up to their peers.
Kansas school superintendent Alan Cunningham has been involved with hiring teachers for the past 35 years. In that time, he has never had a harder time filling positions than this year. Qualified applicants
Miami-Dade County Public Schools plan to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year, preferring to keep kids in class and address behavior problems.
School districts around the country have made similar decisions because research and experience shows suspended students often find more trouble outside of school while on suspension. That can mean more neighborhood crime –
NPR (7/29, O'Connor) reported Miami-Dade County Public Schools is planning to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year. The district’s plan is part of a national trend to “keep kids in class and address behavior problems” at school rather than sending kids home during the school day, which can sometimes lead to more trouble.
It's tough for educators to withhold judgment of a student's response, but Thomas Newkirk argues that it could help deepen student understanding.
"So, in this age of high-tech and expensive teaching programs, let me offer up this simple and powerful intervention: the blank turn. It costs us nothing but our attention. It is built on the rock-solid principle that we need talk, and a receptive audience, to build understanding and to know what we know."
Schools all over Indiana are scrambling to find teachers, especially for STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — and special education classes. Superintendents said the applicants just aren’t there. Schools of education around Central Indiana report fewer students choosing to become teachers. “There have been a reduction in enrollments — not only at IUPUI, but in all schools of education across the state and nationally,” said Pat Rogan, Executive Associate Dean of the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI. Numbers from the State Department of Education show the drop in new teachers. Since 2009, the number of new teachers receiving a license has dropped by about 20 percent. Some experts expect the numbers to drop even lower this year. People who have received licenses: 2009-2010: 5,599 2010-2011: 5,902 2011-2012: 5,458 2012-2013: 4,613 2013-2014: 4,565 “This is a looming, significant issue facing our state as well as others moving forward. If we don’t get it remedied, our world class educational system is in real jeopardy,” said J.T. Coopman, executive director of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.
As primary school children bound through the first weeks of their summer holidays, perhaps those lucky enough to go abroad will get the chance to practice ...
Mel Riddile's insight:
"The few studies which have found a small advantage for an early start were in instructed contexts with a large number of teaching hours per week. It seems that young children, as they learn more implicitly than older children, need abundant input and rich interaction to allow their implicit language learning mechanisms to work."
Learning positions can help students become better listeners, and tells teachers when students are ready for active listening. Watch a few aspects of learning positions, and ways to reinforce this tip with students.
From "A Wearable Sensor for Unobtrusive, Long-term Assessment of Electrodermal Activity" (by Poh, M.Z., Swenson, N.C., Picard, R.W. in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol.57, no.5), a chart showing a single student's electrodermal activity over the course of a week. Note the neural flatlining during classtime. As Joi Ito notes, "Note that the activity is higher during sleep than during class." He also adds, "Obviously, this is just one student and doesn't necessarily generalize."
Mindful Wait Time One way to promote engagement and learning is to consciously create pauses throughout the day. We can create a sense of spaciousness in our classroom by slowing down the pace of our speech and punctuating our lessons with silence. Introduced well, this practice can improve classroom discourse.
The speed at which we can process information varies from person to person (Droit-Volet, Meck, & Penney, 2007). Some people process auditory information very quickly, while others tend to have more visual or sensorimotor strengths. In any case, when we have more time to process information, the quality of our thinking and learning improves. Younger children require more time to process than do older children, and adults often forget this as they zoom through content as if they were speaking to other adults. No matter what their ages, when we give our students just a little more time to process information, they learn better.
When I introduce this idea to teachers, I often hear concerns that they will be wasting valuable time doing nothing. It’s important to recognize that during the pauses, you and your students are not “doing nothing.” Your students may be considering several alternatives; they may be mulling a picture over in their mind; they may be making associations, comparisons, and contrasts. They may be trying to drudge up the right word from their vocabulary. When we give them this time, their processing becomes richer, deeper, and more abstract. When you rush through a lesson, you may deliver content more quickly and efficiently, but your students may not absorb the content very well, if at all."...
Terrenda White,an assistant professor of education at the University of Colorado Boulder who has studied urban education and the teacher workforce, says that while recruiting a more diverse teaching force is an important goal, policymakers and school and district leaders also need to think about how to keep them in the classroom.
Must Work To Keep Minority Teachers.
Chalkbeat Colorado (7/29) reported that “close to 90 percent” of Colorado teachers “are white, compared to just 57 percent of the student population.” Professor Terrenda White, who has studied urban education and the teacher workforce, “says that while recruiting a more diverse teaching force is an important goal,” more focus is needed on “how to keep them in the classroom.” White said, “The issue isn’t that we aren’t bringing them into the profession. The issue is that they’re leaving at a higher rate.”
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