A lot of the time, a reluctant student will just do the bare minimum. They go to class, listen, quietly do the work (or maybe not so quietly!), and then slip out without a word (after the bell rings, of course). Whether they are shy, not interested in the class, or a “Chatty Cathy” who doesn’t seem to understand the word “respect”, they just don’t seem to care. You can’t engage them in class discussions, and you don’t know what to do anymore. So, why don’t you try and incorporate them into the lesson for the day?
When I was reading The Crucible with my class, I decided to play a game for my “hook” one day. I had a couple of my reluctant students come with me into the hall, and I said “hey, could you guys please help me with part of the lesson today? It will be really fun.” I could tell that they immediately perked up at the idea of being singled out to help. It made them feel important. It made them feel trusted, and it let them have fun. After all, how much magic was felt in my reluctant students through a tricky game of “Black Magic”?
Across the country, education leaders are adding their voices to the call to address the issue of overtesting in schools. Numerous studies, such as the one released by the Council of the Great City Schools over the weekend, have shown that too often, districts lack a coherent assessment strategy and administer too many tests that are not useful or of high quality.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vast majority of states now require that teachers be evaluated, at least in part, on student test scores - up sharply from six years ago. And in many states, those performance reviews could lead to a pink slip.
"In several recent pieces (for example, see here and here), Annie Murphy Paul has described the current scientific consensus around testing—and it’s a far cry from the narrative that testing hinders learning. (Full disclosure: Paul recently moderated a panel co-hosted by Deans for Impact). According to researchers, tests aid retrieval, transfer, and deep learning when students receive prompt feedback and have opportunities to analyze their item-level responses. Might standardized assessments in K-12 also be designed to aid learning?"
Ninety-three percent of teachers say that the prospect of making a difference in students' lives played a critical role in attracting them to the profession, according to a new United Kingdom-based survey.
Mel Riddile's insight:
More than half of the teachers surveyed said they have considered leaving the profession in the last six months, with 76 percent of those identifying the high workload as a main concern. Forty-three percent said being unhappy with the quality of their school's leadership or management and insufficient pay were significant factors. Teachers also considered leaving because of poor student behavior, not receiving enough support, and disliking the culture of schools. For some, other opportunities came up, and others said they just didn't plan on being a teacher for their whole career.
"The strongest model for schools is one in which principals are creative, innovative instructional leaders. They find opportunities for their teachers to lead. They support teachers in their growth and create a safe space for adults to take risks in their learning. As we look at what builds a great school, we need to look at the principal. Who is at the helm? What vision have they set for their communities? How have they developed an environment that fosters learning and creativity?"
We just celebrated open house night at our high school and, as usual, the principal announced that this night was not a night to chat with parents about how their students were doing in our classes. We were supposed to describe our course and provide a syllabus for the visiting parents.
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