Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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Professional Learning for Busy Educators
Professional learning in a glance (or two)!
Curated by John Evans
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7 must-read books on work and productivity, from Dan Pink | Ideas.TED.com

7 must-read books on work and productivity, from Dan Pink | Ideas.TED.com | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
In 1962, Princeton psychologist Sam Glucksberg performed an experiment based on the classic candle problem test. He presented two groups with the same task, but with different rewards: One would receive monetary rewards based on speed, while the other was told only to complete the task as quickly as possible. The results were counterintuitive. The latter group performed the task on average three and a half times faster than the first. Why?

As career analyst Dan Pink (Watch: The puzzle of motivation) has learned, traditional motivators like money can be far less effective than intrinsic motivators like autonomy, mastery and purpose. Indeed, productivity itself is a mystery we still struggle to unravel. Below, find seven must-reads (and a playlist) that look closely at how work works, provided by Pink for his TED Talk.
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Literacy Tools That Bring Equity and Energy to the Classroom—and Unlock Career Doors | EdSurge News

"Reading was easy for Dr. Doug Fisher when he was growing up in San Diego, but it wasn’t for everybody. “I had friends who were illiterate,” he says. “They just pretended they could read, and the teachers pretended, and they graduated.” As a freshman at San Diego State University, Fisher wrote his first English comp paper on illiteracy in America. “Somehow, that seed was there for a really long time.”

Literacy can change your life.

Fast forward: after teaching public health and earning a doctorate in education, Fisher co-founded San Diego’s Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMC). The school gives students meaningful vocational experiences—shadowing and working with healthcare professionals or even firefighting professions—while earning a high school degree, community college credentials or vocational certificates. Yet no matter how hands-on the program, literacy remains fundamental. “Literacy can change your life,” Fisher says. “It is one of our best antidotes to poverty.”"

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For the sake of kids, embrace math - The Conversation

For the sake of kids, embrace math - The Conversation | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Mathematics is causing headaches in schools across Canada, Australia and many other parts of the world. Teachers in both Canada and Australia feel neither competent nor confident in math and, frankly, they are the first to admit it.

As researchers, educators and authors who have advised globally about best practices for improving learning and achievement, we have had opportunities to notice common trends and obstacles, and notable gains, in math education.

Up close, we’ve heard from teachers in Ontario, Canada, and in Australia and we’ve considered how people can best collaborate to protect and grow students’ love of learning.

We’ve seen that some math improvement efforts get bogged down by fears of the unknown. Others get an initial spark but soon lose energy.

Let’s start with the bad news.
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4 Skills and Traits Great Schools Teach That Will Always be Essential – George Couros

4 Skills and Traits Great Schools Teach That Will Always be Essential – George Couros | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Most educators are aware of the “Four C’s” (Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication) and their importance in schools for ensuring the development of today’s skills in our students (I appreciate Will Richardson’s contention that “curiosity” should be the fifth “C” and is more important than the others).  But there are other essential skills and traits that many schools teach, either through learning in the classroom or by providing extra-curricular activities, which are not as widely acknowledged, but are extremely important.

From my experience being a part of schools and visiting, I have noticed that great schools teach these essentials that are timeless: 
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10 Stories of Innovative Educators – Inspired Ideas – Medium

10 Stories of Innovative Educators – Inspired Ideas – Medium | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
In order to serve a classroom of students with diverse needs, backgrounds, and interests, educators have become strikingly innovative in their work — particularly as technology advancements make their way into the classroom. To celebrate their innovation, and to share the creativity and strategic thinking with more teachers, we’ve gathered ten stories of innovative educators. These teachers, all bloggers through the Art of Teaching Project, have creatively leveraged available resources, space, and time to meet student needs.

Dive into their stories and get inspired to innovate.
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3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent & Convergent Thought -Teach Thought

3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent & Convergent Thought -Teach Thought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"... Further, it’s not a huge leap to say that the ability and tendency to think critically and carefully and creatively supersedes content knowledge in importance, but that’s a discussion for another day. In general, it is our position that critical thinking is of huge importance for students, and as such is a big part of our content and mission at TeachThought.

In pursuit, the sketch note above from Sylvia Duckworth is a nice addition to that index of content. Sylvia has consistently done a great job converting ideas into simple visuals–on our 12 Rules Of Great Teaching, for example."


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How Teachers Designed a School Centered On Caring Relationships | MindShift | KQED News

How Teachers Designed a School Centered On Caring Relationships | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Roberto Vega has taught at schools all over Los Angeles, but when he came to Social Justice Humanitas Academy he knew he’d found something special. Everything about how the school is structured and run is done with the best interests of students in mind. He liked it so much he decided to pull his son out of a popular high school located on a college campus and send him to Humanitas.

“I brought him here for 11th grade and immediately my wife noticed a difference,” Vega said. “She goes, 'You know it's weird, he doesn't want to wear his hoodie anymore.' He just seemed happier. He really came out of his shell. He got to showcase himself a lot more in the AP classes. He really did thrive here.”
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Destress The Classroom: Bringing Mindfulness To Students And Teachers

Destress The Classroom: Bringing Mindfulness To Students And Teachers | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Walk into any busy classroom and you may feel like you’ve entered a tornado. Kids talking, teachers trying to get through content while navigating different requests, and the inevitable interruptions. When trying to manage the chaos, sometimes the most helpful thing is to just slow down. Instead of turning to quick fixes, many teachers are using mindfulness as a way for students to reset. Mindfulness restores a sense of calm in the classroom by helping students develop inner peace.
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The Adventures of Library Girl: Genrefying Your Collection Without Changing Call Numbers

The Adventures of Library Girl: Genrefying Your Collection Without Changing Call Numbers | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
This image perfectly sums up why I am a fan of genrefying library collections and why I have gone through the process in two libraries.
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Big White Wall - Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Big White Wall - Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Service | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

Big White Wall is an online mental health and wellbeing service offering self-help programs, creative outlets and a community that cares. When you're dealing with everyday stressors or major life events, we'll help you get through it.

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40 Benefits Of Owning Pets - Infographic

40 Benefits Of Owning Pets - Infographic | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
40 Benefits Of Owning Pets Who doesn't love a furry friend? Or maybe a water-bound friend? The possibilities are endless! What's your reason to have an animal companion?

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Music training speeds up brain development in children

Music training speeds up brain development in children | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Observing a pianist at a recital – converting musical notations into precisely timed finger movements on a piano – can be a powerful emotional experience.

As a researcher of neuroscience and a pianist myself, I understand that the mastering of this skill not only takes practice, but also requires complex coordination of many different brain regions.

Brain regions – that are responsible for our hearing, sight and movement abilities – engage in an amazing symphony to produce music. It takes coordinating both hands and communicating emotionally with other players and listeners to produce the magical effect. The combination of such demands is likely to influence brain structures and their functions.

In our lab, we want to understand whether music training during childhood
improves brain functions for processing sound more generally. These functions
are important for the development of language and reading skills.
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Justin Harrison's curator insight, November 11, 10:39 PM
I find this article very enlightening because it explains the skills that a child will learn just by learning how to play piano. It helps develop the coordinations in different brain regions that are responsible for hearing, sight, and movement. For a child this could potentially speed up their development as they grow. This website is reliable because of it being an organization to help the equality of education. It could be a reputable site for education professionals but not so much for music or audio professionals.
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Four Teaching Moves That Promote A Growth Mindset In All Readers | MindShift | KQED News

Four Teaching Moves That Promote A Growth Mindset In All Readers | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Reading can be a very fraught topic for parents, teachers and students. Strong reading skills are essential for accessing later curriculum, so teachers put a lot of emphasis on it early. But the pressure and angst of getting students reading on schedule can sap the joy out of an activity that many young children love. At its heart, reading is a way to access stories, which in turn make readers wonder about the world. In the race to get kids reading, it can be easy to treat reading like a procedure, instead of the complicated experience that it is.

In her ten years of teaching, Courtney Rejent has had many students pass through her classes who claimed they hated reading, but rather than forcing them to read books they hate or making them fill out reading logs to show they read at home, Rejent has taken to heart an approach to reading that is much more relationship-based. Her sixth grade classroom runs on a reader's and writer's workshop model, which means students are doing the majority of their reading and writing in class, where Rejent can help them.
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70 Elementary & Middle Schools Worth Visiting - Getting Smart

70 Elementary & Middle Schools Worth Visiting - Getting Smart | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Here at Getting Smart, we believe school visits are the best form of professional learning. Based on a couple thousand school visits, and with help from colleagues and readers, we’ve compiled a list of elementary and middle schools that can give educators a better sense of what’s possible. This list includes schools that achieve extraordinary results for underserved communities, create powerful learning experiences, and/or have innovative school models.
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The Future Of Learning? Well, It's Personal : NPR

The Future Of Learning? Well, It's Personal : NPR | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
If you do a Google image search for "classroom," you'll mostly see one familiar scene: rows or groups of desks, with a spot at the front of the room for the teacher.

One teacher, many students: It's basically the definition of school as we know it, going back to the earliest days of the Republic. "We couldn't afford to have an individual teacher for every student, so we developed a way of teaching large groups," as John Pane, an education researcher at the RAND Corporation, puts it.

Pane is among a wave of education watchers getting excited by the idea that technology may finally offer a solution to the historic constraints of one-to-many teaching.

It's called personalized learning: What if each student had something like a private tutor, and more power over what and how they learned?
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The Power of Teacher-to-Teacher Observations: A Formative Assessment Field Trip

The Power of Teacher-to-Teacher Observations: A Formative Assessment Field Trip | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"A group of teachers set out on an adventure (aka field trip!) to conduct classroom observations and to seek out answers to some of their key questions about formative assessment. What better way to learn than a field trip? Here were some of their guiding questions:

       * What does formative assessment practice look like in action?

       * What are ways that teachers learn formative assessment?
       * Where do they get stuck?
       * What does day-by-day, minute-by-minute assessment look like in action?
     * How do teachers begin their learning in formative assessment?
      * What systems or structures best support teachers to learn formative assessment?

 

Teachers and leaders from the Austin ISD (all of whom are participating in the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation How I Know initiative) team visited Summit View Elementary School in Sunnyside, Tucson to explore these questions – both to deepen their understanding of formative assessment generally, and also to inform their own learning goals as they enter their second year of the How I Know formative assessment pilot."

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Control Alt Achieve: 8 Ambient Sound Websites to Help Students Focus

Control Alt Achieve: 8 Ambient Sound Websites to Help Students Focus | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
What helps you focus when reading, writing, or getting work done? Do you need a totally silent room, or does some amount of ambient noise help you? For some people, students included, having sound in the background can actually help them focus better. This could include music, nature sounds, or just white noise.

Although loud noise can be distracting, moderate-level sounds have been shown to help some people in several ways:

One study found that natural ambient sounds can help people concentrate on what they are working on and improve their mood.
Another study concluded that a moderate level of noise can help promote abstract thinking and higher creativity.
Ambient sounds can also help drown out potentially distracting noises (such as office conversations, phone calls, and other noises where I work). This is something that could be very helpful for students in a busy classroom setting.
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deniseroberts's curator insight, November 15, 9:14 AM
I particularly love these sound sites for professional development purposes as well as in the classroom. 
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Top 5 Unbiased World News Websites Free From Censorship - MakeUseOf

Top 5 Unbiased World News Websites Free From Censorship - MakeUseOf | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Is there no place for the reader to turn for unbiased news? These popular news websites are free from censorship.
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Victor Ventura's curator insight, November 9, 10:27 AM
For professional and personal use.
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One 15-Minute Workout Can Facilitate Optimal Brain States - Psychology Today

One 15-Minute Workout Can Facilitate Optimal Brain States - Psychology Today | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
For the first time, a new study from McGill University reports that a single fifteen-minute bout of cardiovascular exercise can optimize brain connectivity and efficiency. More specifically, the researchers found that 15 minutes of aerobic exercise on a stationary bicycle immediately after practicing a complex visuomotor skill created an optimal brain state for long-term memory consolidation of the task. The findings of this study were recently published in the journal NeuroImage. 
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How to Engage Your Students With the 12-Minute Rule and Quizzes They’re Meant to Fail | EdSurge News

Quick: In which Asian country is it customary to touch the elbow of your right arm with the fingers of your left hand when you are passing an object to another person?

His unique resume—well-traveled background, engineer’s mind, one-time musical theatre performer’s flair—contribute to well-crafted and entertaining classes.
Stumped? So are most of the students taking the cultural competency quiz Professor John Branch gives out near the beginning of his MBA-level International Marketing class at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The average student gets just two of the ten questions right. But failure is the whole point of the exercise. “I’ve set the quiz so that it’s incredibly challenging,” says Branch. “And that is one of the learning objectives: that we know very little about other places.” He adds that, “the students get a kind of cognitive, emotional kick in the arse; they realize they’re not as smart as they think they are, especially when it comes to cultural competence.”
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100 Subitizing Slides & 10 Challenge Patterns – Steve Wyborney's Blog: I'm on a Learning Mission.

100 Subitizing Slides & 10 Challenge Patterns – Steve Wyborney's Blog: I'm on a Learning Mission. | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
With a click, a pattern of dots appears on your screen.  Instantly your students tell how many.  They don’t count the dots.  Instead they simply know the total at a glance.

Subitizing – when a person looks at a small set of objects and instantly detects the total without counting.  It’s a powerful process and a truly remarkable one.

I have a new resource for you.  100 Subitizing Slides & 10 Challenge Patterns.
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Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults

Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Instead of surrendering their power to the person who insults them, students should learn why some words are triggers and how to master their own reactions.
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Metacognition: Pupils and staff alike should learn how they think - TES

Metacognition: Pupils and staff alike should learn how they think - TES | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
These days, new ideas about “best practice” in the classroom are published every day. It is an indication that educators are increasingly taking ownership of their own destiny, and with social media making the sharing of ideas so easy, teachers have constant instant access to new and exciting suggestions from around the world.

Though this is exciting, there is an associated danger. The ideas badged as “best practice” are, more often than not, untested in any reliable way. This means that teachers could be implementing practices that do not impact positively. Worse still, they could be having a negative impact on learning.

Perhaps rather than “best practice”, we need to consider “effective practice”. Thankfully, we now have access to a body of research that helps us know what sits in the area of effective practice: the work of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is hugely accessible and allows teachers to see what works, and how much it costs.

Similarly, the work of John Hattie, from the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, helps us get to grips with what he terms “visible learning” – aspects of teaching that can be seen to makes a difference.

Both the EEF and Hattie cite the development of metacognition in our students as a highly effective approach to securing progress over time. Metacognition is not an instantly easy word to understand – people sometimes glaze over. But in my experience, once it is explained, people “get it", and “want it”. It is a powerful concept that can make a significant difference to our students.
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When We Listen to Students - Edutopia

When We Listen to Students - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
As you are beginning to think about returning to school, I have a suggestion that can drastically impact your year (and it's simple): brainstorm questions to ask your students. 

The kids right in front of us often have the most useful information within them -- information that can help us reach and teach them, help us engage them, and that can help us have a fantastic year together.
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A Principal's Reflections: Meaningful Learning Begins and Ends with the Opportunities We Create

A Principal's Reflections: Meaningful Learning Begins and Ends with the Opportunities We Create | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Learning hasn’t really changed, but the conditions that impact and influence it has. In Learning Transformed my co-author Tom Murray and I detailed eight keys backed by research and evidence that can facilitate a transformation of practice that will result in improved outcomes and better experiences for kids.  For change to occur, it is essential to continually evaluate where we are at in the process to eventually get to where we want to be, and our learners need us to be.  Ownership and empowerment result when meaningful opportunities are created for kids to explore, interact, design, and create in real-world contexts. How well are we developing critical competencies in our learners as depicted below?
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