English Education Spotlight
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English Education Spotlight
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Free Technology for Teachers: Three Google Sheets Add-ons That Can Help You Get Things Done

Free Technology for Teachers: Three Google Sheets Add-ons That Can Help You Get Things Done | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Google Sheets has a lot of features baked into that can help you organize things and get things done efficiently. Start exploring the Add-...
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Can Schools Change Measures of Success by Focusing on Meaningful Work Instead of Test Scores? | MindShift | KQED News

Can Schools Change Measures of Success by Focusing on Meaningful Work Instead of Test Scores? | MindShift | KQED News | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Can the long-struggling Philadelphia school system change how we measure success by focusing on meaningful work instead of test scores?...
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How Helping Students to Ask Better Questions Can Transform Classrooms | MindShift | KQED News

How Helping Students to Ask Better Questions Can Transform Classrooms | MindShift | KQED News | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
A simple questioning protocol can help teachers provoke thoughtful student questions and deepen classroom engagement.
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The Reading Workshop

The Reading Workshop | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
The Reading Workshop is a place to share ideas and opinions about reading, books, student blogs and success in the language arts classroom.
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Using Character-Based Classroom Management

Using Character-Based Classroom Management | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Character-based classroom management (CBCM) sustains a proactively created positive environment so students can engage in meaningful academic learning, and it also aims to enhance student social and moral growth.
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50 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer Before They Graduate High School

50 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer Before They Graduate High School | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
50 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer Before They Graduate High School by Terry Heick For professional development on ideas like this–or PBL, inquiry, assessment, literacy, and pretty much anything else related to progressive education–Contact Us and ask us how we can help. Usually–when it’s discussed at all–the kinds of questions stakeholders in education believe ‘students should be able to answer’ are academic (content-based), or practical (life skills). Academic questions might include: How can I use reading strategies to make sense of a text? What is the scientific process? How can I calculate the area of a square or the probability that I’m going to draw a red ball out of this bag versus green? How do governments function? ‘Life skill-based’ questions might include: How do I apply for a job? How can I create a resume and cover letter that reflects what an employer is looking for? How do I know how much of what medicine I should take, when? How do I open a bank account? How can I create and sustain a balanced budget? What should I do if I feel like I’m being bullied or threatened? All of these, to varying degrees, are useful questions for students to be able to answer. They key is priority and personalization. What’s most important for that student in that place what that past and that future? Public education is not designed to even begin answering that kind of question. This is, in part, because education is standardized and built to ‘scale,’ whereas the value of such standardization is limited for most students. So I came up with some questions that, in a perfect world, a student would be able to answer before graduating high school. A lot of these questions are abstract and open-ended and counter to what is generally taught in schools. And, of course, this is all subjective. Every parent alive would likely come up with a different list (a great start to homeschooling, if that’s your thing). But after 13+ years and hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more) invested in that child and their ‘knowledge set,’ it’d be great if they could at least begin to create a credible response that makes sense to them. 50 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer Before They Graduate High School 1. What are people ‘for’? What should a person ‘do’? What is my life philosophy about people and work and knowledge and relationships? 2. Who and ‘where’ am I? Who do I depend on, who depends on me, and how should each inform by values, behaviors, and affections? What are my physical, digital, and emotional interdependences? 3. What do I know, and what can and should I do with what I know? What are the limits of what I know/my knowledge, and how can those limits inform my behaviors? 4. What do I love? How has that changed over the course of my life so far? What contributes to love and affection? What are its causes and effects? How should love guide my life–and how should it not? 5. What kinds of questions should I be asking on a daily basis—of myself and the people and world around me? Where can I find reliable sources of information to answer my questions? 6. What kinds of conversations should I be having with whom, and how? What does it mean to truly to listen to someone, and how should that impact my conversations with them? What are the strengths and weaknesses of certain forms of communication and technology? A conversation versus texting versus a phone call versus a threaded social-media-based debate? 7. When am I at my best? My most creative? Where is my genius? What are the patterns in the kinds of things I tend to be interested in and curious about and is there anything I should ‘take away’ from those patterns? What are my habits, and what are the results of those habits? What are the habits of the person I want to be, and how can I adjust accordingly? 8. What do I ‘believe’? Where do my beliefs come from? How do my beliefs frame and influence what I believe I ‘see,’ and vice-versa? What do I tend to pay attention to and notice on a daily basis? What are the effects of that focus? Should it be refined? How will I know? What are my thinking ‘blind spots’? Cognitive biases, cultural biases, tendencies towards confirmation bias, etc? 9. What’s the difference between a fact and an opinion? Why are they easy to get confused? Why is it important to know the difference? 10. How can I discuss something with someone I disagree with? How can I disagree with someone while learning from them? How can I ‘make a point without making an enemy’? How can I separate a person from an idea? Are there times when that is easier/more difficult? 11. What is the relationship between my thinking, my beliefs, and my behavior (e.g., my work/career, what I read, my priorities, who I hang out with, etc.)? 12. What sorts of thinking and information should go into a decision? Where should I tolerate uncertainty and where should I try to insist on ‘being sure’? 13. What are logical fallacies and thinking traps, and how can and should I avoid them to do better work, have healthier relationships, and create a sense of well-being so that I can define contentment and happiness for myself as I grow older? 14. What influences me, and how can and should I control those influences to my advantage? 15. How do I apologize to someone? How do I know when to do so–and what words and tone and medium to use? 16. What’s possible–for me in my life? What can I dream? Imagine? What should I read, watch, and create? What can I learn from watching others–looking ‘out’? And what can I learn from looking within? How can the two work together? 17. Where do my morals come from? If I have a clear ‘ethical system,’ what is it and what are its influences? And if I don’t, why not? What do I risk/gain by not having one that is at least somewhat defined? What do I risk/gain if I do? 18. What is the difference between learning and education, and how should each serve me in my life? 19. When should I lead and when should I follow? When should I talk and when should I listen? 20. What role can creativity play in my life? Innovation? Disruptive thinking? 21. What are my priorities, and how do my choices and behaviors reflect/not reflect those priorities? 22. How do I define ‘success’? What, if anything, has been holding me back from success (or even more success than I’ve already experienced), and how should I respond? 23. What is the best way to research something? What’s the difference between ‘research’ and ‘Googling’? 24. What is the relationship between a thought, a belief, and behavior? What does each affect each? 25. How can I decide if something is true or false? 26. What are my goals? How can I categorize those goals? And in light of those goals, what’s the best way to spend the next five years of my life? How have my goals changed over the last five years and why? 27. How can I learn something from everyone I meet? 28. What is the difference between you ‘work,’ a ‘job,’ and a ‘career’? What’s the best way to perform a ‘job search’? How do most people go about this, and how can I do better? 29. How do I respond to challenging situations? How can I reframe my thinking in certain situations, and to what effect? 30. What are my sources of stability, and how can I serve and protect them–and use them to grow? 31. What seems to make me happy? And how do I distinguish between contentment, joy, and happiness? 32. How does timing affect living? 33. Who in my life do I owe what, and why? How should I respond as a result? What am I accountable for? And to whom? What does the world need from me? What do I need from the world? 34. What should I read and why? 35. What role can art, music, and theater play in my life? 36. How can I be more aware of my ‘self’ so that I have a clear and accurate view? What I believe and do? My values? My shortcomings–those I should accept, and those I should work to improve? 37. What lessons can I take from my parents/immediate family as I prepare for ‘the real world’? 38. Whom do I consider inspirational/heroic and why? What effect might this have on my ambitions and potential? 39. Where have I succeeded/struggled academically and why? 40. What’s the problem with the word ‘smart’? 41. What is the relationship between knowledge and critical thinking? 42. How can I understand different ‘situations’ in my life, and how I can use knowledge and critical thinking together to do so? 43. What is the value of another person’s opinion? Does it change depending on what that ‘opinion’ is about–if it’s about me versus a political issue versus how to raise children or buy the ‘right’ house, etc? 44. What are the most important things I’ve learned in school? What can I do with those things that I’ve learned? 45. What/which concepts and ideas have I not learned about–or much about–that I should have? What knowledge gaps are most and least important for me in light of who and where I am and where and I want to ‘go’? 46. What/which skills and competencies come naturally for me, which not so much, and how should I respond? 47. What is a digital footprint and how can I analyze and revise mine to align with who I believe I am and want to be? 48. How can I stay safe–online and offline–by using my ability to think, adapt, and communicate? 49. What is the difference between learning math and science and history versus thinking like a mathematician, scientist, and historian? What can I learn from these differences? 50. What effect do I want to have on the world, and where should I start? *previously published at TeachThought.com
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Design Thinking: Solving the Most Wicked Problems in Education

Design Thinking: Solving the Most Wicked Problems in Education | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
On this episode of ASCD Learn Teach Lead Radio Alyssa Gallagher and Kami Thordarson, propose Design Thinking as an effective approach to finding solutions and offer tips for getting started.
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42 Fill-in-the-Blank Prompts For Students To Design Their Own Projects

42 Fill-in-the-Blank Prompts For Students To Design Their Own Projects | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
42 Fill-in-the-Blank Prompts For Students To Design Their Own Projects
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Free Technology for Teachers: Nine Ways to Add Notes to Padlet Walls

Free Technology for Teachers: Nine Ways to Add Notes to Padlet Walls | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
A few weeks ago Padlet added the option to record audio directly in a note. By my count, that marked the ninth way that students ca
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How Freedom Prep's Jasmine Howard Checks for Understanding

How Freedom Prep's Jasmine Howard Checks for Understanding | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
  We’ve spent this past year working with Freedom Prep, a network of 4 high-performing schools in Memphis. The goal  for us is to help them take their program to the next level, and the journey has been a rich one–the team at Freedom Prep is dedicated, smart and insightful and their schools are bright
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Top 10 Revision Strategies

Top 10 Revision Strategies | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Year after the year, the same pressures attend exam revision. Each year teachers try the old favourites, alongside a few new revision strategies to keep our students interested. Happily, we now have a wealth of evidence to support some revision strategies over others as we approach the revision stretch. We know that students are not the most reliable when it comes to judging their own learning, with regular self-testing proving the most effective antidote. We also know that some strategies, like re-reading and using highlighters, are largely ineffective, whereas as quizzing does the trick. We know that a little 'deliberate difficulty' may well prove a good thing for revision, and that 'cramming' is inferior to 'distributed practice' (or spreading revision out over time), when it comes to remembering. We should be careful not outsource an approach to revision to a company promoting the following strategies, or to puff up the confidence of our students. A successful approach to
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Explode a quotation

Explode a quotation | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Jamie Clark originally introduced this idea and it is something we now use at the start of every lesson.  It's a simple idea but has had significant impact on how confident our pupils are becoming in analysing language and structure. Each lesson we take a key quotation from a particular act or stave (dependent on…
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Building Automaticity in Handwriting

Building Automaticity in Handwriting | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
English teachers seem to attract a lot of comments about students’ handwriting. Parents are often keen to discuss it at parents’ evenings, often pushing it as a discussion point over other important areas of their child’s progress. Other subject teachers often feel (sometimes correctly) that handwriting is indicative of literacy levels and sometimes (incorrectly) that…
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Free Technology for Teachers: inkleWriter is Shutting Down - Try These Alternatives for Writing CYA Fiction

Free Technology for Teachers: inkleWriter is Shutting Down - Try These Alternatives for Writing CYA Fiction | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
For years inkleWriter has been one of my go-to recommendations for tools to create choose-your-adventure stories. Unfortunately, this mor...
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What Are Your Students Doing With the Feedback You Provide?

What Are Your Students Doing With the Feedback You Provide? | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
As educators, we provide students with feedback all of the time but how often do students actually take that feedback?
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10 Best Online Study Tools for High School Students - Teachers With Apps

10 Best Online Study Tools for High School Students - Teachers With Apps | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
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Critical Thinking Questions: The Big List for Your Classroom

Critical Thinking Questions: The Big List for Your Classroom | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Over 60 critical thinking questions you can use in your classroom today. Get your students thinking more deeply and more carefully about almost anything.
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Free Technology for Teachers: Five Options for Creating Animated Videos on Your Chromebook

Free Technology for Teachers: Five Options for Creating Animated Videos on Your Chromebook | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Creating animated videos can be a great way for students to explain a science concept, to tell a history story, or to bring to life short ...
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Reciprocal Teaching: Improving Reading Comprehension with Four Powerful Tools

Reciprocal Teaching: Improving Reading Comprehension with Four Powerful Tools | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
This episode of ASCD Learn Teach Lead Radio features Lori Oczkus, author of Reciprocal Teaching at Work: Powerful Strategies and Lessons for Improving Reading Comprehension.
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A Simple Way To Build Rapport With Challenging Students

A Simple Way To Build Rapport With Challenging Students | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Discover a simple way to build rapport with even the most challenging students. It's a strategy very few teachers use but will gently and effectively bring any student into the happy and well-behaved culture of your classroom.
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Telling Stories In Class Like Abraham Lincoln | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

Telling Stories In Class Like Abraham Lincoln | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day… | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
  One of the challenges I face every year in IB Theory of Knowledge classes is getting students to learn about and practice the art of story-telling when they do their Oral Presentations and w…
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Vocabulary: How we Undulate –

Vocabulary: How we Undulate – | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Unfortunately, many of our students do not read at home. When it comes to vocabulary, reading is hugely important. As many other bloggers have previously stated, students who read on a regular basis are likely to be exposed to up to 1.8 million words over the course of the year, compared to approximately only 8,000…
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The Truth About Homework

The Truth About Homework | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
“Most homework teachers set is crap.” Dylan Wiliam, ResearchEd 2014. The subject of homework inspires strong opinions. Teachers, parents and students themselves all have a view on the matter and those views are often diametrically opposed. Dylan Wiliam, back in 2014, shared a very strong opinion that didn’t exactly condemn the evidence and action related to homework to the dustbin, but he poked a gaping hole into our every assumption about homework and its impact. At Huntington School, we battled with the issues and surveyed the best available evidence, from the EEF Toolkit (Secondary and Primary – note the crucial differences here: homework is much more effective with older children), to specific recent studies on homework (this one via Dan Willingham). The IEE ‘Best Evidence in Brief‘ newsletter has done a great job of collating homework research HERE. Certainly, knowing the evidence base can help our decision-making, though it is of course a little more complicated than that. SO
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Evaluative verbs – adding sophistication to analysis

Evaluative verbs – adding sophistication to analysis | English Education Spotlight | Scoop.it
Recently, I wrote an article for TES about how an unexpected number of pupils at my school achieved grade 9s in GCSE English. It was popular and I received lots of feedback. One area that interested many people was the discussion about the evaluative verbs that top students tended to use in their writing. Traditionally,…
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