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Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
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Formative Assessment Works

by Mel Riddile


Formative assessment or assessment for learning is a proven strategy to improve student achievement.

Mel Riddile's insight:

“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they're currently doing.

• Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics.

• Because formative assessment has been shown to improve students' in-class learning, many educators have adopted it in the hope that it will also raise their students' performances on accountability tests.

• The expanded use of formative assessment is supported not only by instructional logic but also by the conclusions of a well-conceived and skillfully implemented meta-analysis by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.” (Popham, 2008)After synthesizing over 250 publications, Black and Wiliam, concluded that formative assessment is perhaps the most effective educational practice when it comes to improving academic achievement. In addition, formative assessment has a disproportionately beneficial impact on low‐achieving students. http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/The-Impact-of-Formative-Assessment-and-Learning-Intentions-on-Student-Achievement.pdfIn 

 

In 2009, John Hattie published a meta-meta-analysis of education research called Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. In that study, Hattie found that formative assessment, when done correctly, had the highest effect size on student learning compared with other classroom strategies.

 

In recent years, neuroscientists have reported that retrieval practice—recalling and applying previously learning—had a huge impact (as much as 50%) on student retention of learned content. Combining retrieval practice and formative assessment can significantly reduce forgetting and increase retention of lesson content.

 

Each school’s instructional framework provides teachers with numerous opportunities to use formative assessments in the beginning and ending of a lesson as well as when engaging students and during student practice in the body of the lesson. Teachers use formative assessment to see if the students have mastered the content of the lesson—did they get it?

 

Note that mastery means that the students can demonstrate both that they ‘know’ the content and that they can apply what they learned to future or past learning.

 

Formative Assessment in the Beginning and Ending of the Lesson

 

• Purposeful Learning – The expectation that all activities be purposeful means that teachers always have something to check on or assess for understanding.

• Focusing (Beginning) – Ask students to demonstrate mastery of the previous lesson through bell ringer, do now, or warm up.

• Knowing the Lesson’s Purpose (Beginning) – Ask students to repeat the learning target or essential question in their own words

• Ask students to predict (“prediction effect”) the “why” of the learning target/essential question (Beginning).

• Use a closure activity or ‘exit ticket’ that asks more than comprehension level, regurgitation questions. Ask students to both recall (retrieval practice) and apply what they learned to future or past learning (Ending).

• Purposeful reading, writing, and discussion - Reflection of some kind that addresses learning using evidence from the lesson that connects the learning to something else (Ending).

 

Formative Assessment in the Body of the Lesson (Practicing and Engagement)

 

• Connection activities that ask students to link new learning to older learning• Visualization activities where students draw some concept that has been learned

• Question design - ask kids to write their own questions with different levels of Bloom's involved

• Game play where appropriate can be a great tool as well• Blog writing as a reflective or questioning tool

• Mentor activities that ask the student to create something original using the learning as a model

• Problem solving activities where students apply skills to arrive at a solutionIf students can complete any or all of the above, then we know they have demonstrated proficiency on some level. As we seek to move kids to mastery, we need to be acutely aware of their progress.


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LET Team's curator insight, March 19, 2016 6:44 PM

“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they're currently doing.


• Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics.


• Because formative assessment has been shown to improve students' in-class learning, many educators have adopted it in the hope that it will also raise their students' performances on accountability tests.


• The expanded use of formative assessment is supported not only by instructional logic but also by the conclusions of a well-conceived and skillfully implemented meta-analysis by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.” (Popham, 2008)After synthesizing over 250 publications, Black and Wiliam, concluded that formative assessment is perhaps the most effective educational practice when it comes to improving academic achievement. In addition, formative assessment has a disproportionately beneficial impact on low‐achieving students. http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/The-Impact-of-Formative-Assessment-and-Learning-Intentions-on-Student-Achievement.pdfIn 


 


In 2009, John Hattie published a meta-meta-analysis of education research called Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. In that study, Hattie found that formative assessment, when done correctly, had the highest effect size on student learning compared with other classroom strategies.


 


In recent years, neuroscientists have reported that retrieval practice—recalling and applying previously learning—had a huge impact (as much as 50%) on student retention of learned content. Combining retrieval practice and formative assessment can significantly reduce forgetting and increase retention of lesson content.


 


Each school’s instructional framework provides teachers with numerous opportunities to use formative assessments in the beginning and ending of a lesson as well as when engaging students and during student practice in the body of the lesson. Teachers use formative assessment to see if the students have mastered the content of the lesson—did they get it?


 


Note that mastery means that the students can demonstrate both that they ‘know’ the content and that they can apply what they learned to future or past learning.


 


Formative Assessment in the Beginning and Ending of the Lesson


 


• Purposeful Learning – The expectation that all activities be purposeful means that teachers always have something to check on or assess for understanding.


• Focusing (Beginning) – Ask students to demonstrate mastery of the previous lesson through bell ringer, do now, or warm up.


• Knowing the Lesson’s Purpose (Beginning) – Ask students to repeat the learning target or essential question in their own words


• Ask students to predict (“prediction effect”) the “why” of the learning target/essential question (Beginning).


• Use a closure activity or ‘exit ticket’ that asks more than comprehension level, regurgitation questions. Ask students to both recall (retrieval practice) and apply what they learned to future or past learning (Ending).


• Purposeful reading, writing, and discussion - Reflection of some kind that addresses learning using evidence from the lesson that connects the learning to something else (Ending).


 


Formative Assessment in the Body of the Lesson (Practicing and Engagement)


 


• Connection activities that ask students to link new learning to older learning• Visualization activities where students draw some concept that has been learned


• Question design - ask kids to write their own questions with different levels of Bloom's involved


• Game play where appropriate can be a great tool as well• Blog writing as a reflective or questioning tool


• Mentor activities that ask the student to create something original using the learning as a model


• Problem solving activities where students apply skills to arrive at a solutionIf students can complete any or all of the above, then we know they have demonstrated proficiency on some level. As we seek to move kids to mastery, we need to be acutely aware of their progress.


Andy Fetchik's curator insight, March 21, 2016 11:34 AM

“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they're currently doing.

• Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics.

• Because formative assessment has been shown to improve students' in-class learning, many educators have adopted it in the hope that it will also raise their students' performances on accountability tests.

• The expanded use of formative assessment is supported not only by instructional logic but also by the conclusions of a well-conceived and skillfully implemented meta-analysis by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.” (Popham, 2008)After synthesizing over 250 publications, Black and Wiliam, concluded that formative assessment is perhaps the most effective educational practice when it comes to improving academic achievement. In addition, formative assessment has a disproportionately beneficial impact on low‐achieving students. http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/The-Impact-of-Formative-Assessment-and-Learning-Intentions-on-Student-Achievement.pdfIn ;


In 2009, John Hattie published a meta-meta-analysis of education research called Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. In that study, Hattie found that formative assessment, when done correctly, had the highest effect size on student learning compared with other classroom strategies.


In recent years, neuroscientists have reported that retrieval practice—recalling and applying previously learning—had a huge impact (as much as 50%) on student retention of learned content. Combining retrieval practice and formative assessment can significantly reduce forgetting and increase retention of lesson content.


Each school’s instructional framework provides teachers with numerous opportunities to use formative assessments in the beginning and ending of a lesson as well as when engaging students and during student practice in the body of the lesson. Teachers use formative assessment to see if the students have mastered the content of the lesson—did they get it?


Note that mastery means that the students can demonstrate both that they ‘know’ the content and that they can apply what they learned to future or past learning.


Formative Assessment in the Beginning and Ending of the Lesson


• Purposeful Learning – The expectation that all activities be purposeful means that teachers always have something to check on or assess for understanding.

• Focusing (Beginning) – Ask students to demonstrate mastery of the previous lesson through bell ringer, do now, or warm up.

• Knowing the Lesson’s Purpose (Beginning) – Ask students to repeat the learning target or essential question in their own words

• Ask students to predict (“prediction effect”) the “why” of the learning target/essential question (Beginning).

• Use a closure activity or ‘exit ticket’ that asks more than comprehension level, regurgitation questions. Ask students to both recall (retrieval practice) and apply what they learned to future or past learning (Ending).

• Purposeful reading, writing, and discussion - Reflection of some kind that addresses learning using evidence from the lesson that connects the learning to something else (Ending).


Formative Assessment in the Body of the Lesson (Practicing and Engagement)


• Connection activities that ask students to link new learning to older learning• Visualization activities where students draw some concept that has been learned

• Question design - ask kids to write their own questions with different levels of Bloom's involved

• Game play where appropriate can be a great tool as well• Blog writing as a reflective or questioning tool

• Mentor activities that ask the student to create something original using the learning as a model

• Problem solving activities where students apply skills to arrive at a solutionIf students can complete any or all of the above, then we know they have demonstrated proficiency on some level. As we seek to move kids to mastery, we need to be acutely aware of their progress.


K.I.R.M. God is Business " From Day One"'s curator insight, April 24, 2017 6:20 AM

Lord God bless these words and their messengers allow it to be understood by man in the manner that is benefitual and for the good purpose of those that read it and bless them even the more that has is or will share it. Lord God have mercy reveal all those things that need be in Jesus name. Amen


 

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Achievement gaps between haves and have-nots are unchanged over last 50 years

Achievement gaps between haves and have-nots are unchanged over last 50 years | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
An ambitious, important new piece of analysis by scholars Eric Hanushek (an economist) and Paul Peterson (a political scientist), plus Laura Talpey and Ludger Woessmann, concludes that “gaps in achievement between the haves and have-nots are mostly unchanged over the past half century” and that “steady gains in student achievement at the eighth grade level have not translated into gains at the end of high school.”
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Schools Grapple With Student Depression as Data Show Problem Worsening

Schools Grapple With Student Depression as Data Show Problem Worsening | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Rates of mental-health incidents among teens and young adults have arced upward over the last decade while they’ve remained relatively unchanged for older adults, a new analysis finds.
The findings confirm what many educators say has long been evident in their classrooms. Teachers and principals must be more versed in the warning signs of serious issues like mood disorders, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts so that they can better serve students in crisis, they say.
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The Instructional Leader's Most Difficult Job

When we hear the term instructional leader, all sorts of positive, exciting images flood our brains. Throughout my career, I've met and supported thousands of school administrators who are thrilled at the idea of emphasizing instruction, leading professional development that impacts what happens in classrooms, and lifting the heart of our work—teaching and learning.
What's shocking is how disparate our responses are to the other side of instructional leadership: handling concerns with a teacher's performance. What's the best course of action when a teacher struggles in the classroom? Why, oh why, can't all teachers just use the strategies we've discussed and learned about? Disruptions to the teacher-quality element can truly interfere with our equilibrium as instructional leaders.
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Overcoming the Principle of Least Effort

Overcoming the Principle of Least Effort | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
We shouldn’t fault children for conserving mental energy (and even daydreaming in class enables information processing). However, when we reward Jane Doe for submitting all her classwork and ignore her minimal effort, we reinforce compliant mediocrity.

In order to rewrite the minimum standards in-class playbook, every classroom should include some System 1 work but also System 2, in the form of high-intensity in-class activities (HIICA) to encourage deep learning.
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Learnability is the most important skill

Learnability (the desire and capability to develop in-demand skills) makes you indispensable
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. — Alvin Toffler
When was the last time you read something from an unusual perspective in your industry?
When have you taken the time to wrap your head around a new industry?
Change is constant in today’s workplace.
To keep up, you need to keep learning. Learning drives adaptability.
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Vocabulary: how to teach tier 2 words

Vocabulary: how to teach tier 2 words | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
1. Example/non-example

When discussing the adjective ‘sleek’, a teacher might share a range of nouns in turn, asking pupils to answer ‘smooth man’ if sleek is an appropriate descriptor and saying nothing if it isn’t. So, for example, the teacher might share this list: a porcupine, a duck, a tree, a car.

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Teachers who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes

Teachers who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
On average, all students performed more poorly in STEM courses taught by faculty who endorsed more fixed (versus growth) mindset beliefs (B = 0.08, P = 0.011). However, consistent with stereotype threat and the cues hypothesis, fixed faculty mindset beliefs were more strongly associated with lower course performance among Black, Latino, and Native American (URM) students (B = 0.12, P = 0.001) than among White and Asian students (non-URM; B = 0.08, P = 0.010; group × faculty mindset interaction: B = 0.04, P = 0.041; Fig. 1
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Why is it important to build up others at work? Leaders Grow Leaders!

Why is it important to build up others at work? Leaders Grow Leaders! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
It’s up to people who hold positions of privilege to be active allies to those with less access, and to take responsibility for making changes that will help others be successful. Active allies utilize their credibility to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive, and find ways to make their privilege work for others.

And wielding privilege as an ally doesn’t have to be hard. I’ve seen allies at all levels take action with simple, everyday efforts that made a difference—often a big one!
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Want Students to Attend School Every Day? Make Sure They Feel Safe on the Way

Want Students to Attend School Every Day? Make Sure They Feel Safe on the Way | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The researchers found that as violent crime increased in areas where students walked or waited for a bus, their attendance dropped. A doubling of the incidents of violent crime was associated with 6 percent higher student absenteeism—roughly an additional day missed for each student per year. Julia Burdick-Will, lead author of the study, noted that because the number of individual crimes is relatively low at any given bus stop, it's not that hard for students to face a sudden doubling of violent incidents during the school year. 
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Do Leaders Really Need to Be Content Experts?

Do Leaders Really Need to Be Content Experts? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Research shows that instructional leadership has a positive impact on student learning. For example, in Hattie's synthesis of meta-analysis (2009. 2012), which includes over 420 studies on school leadership, he found that instructional leadership was the most impactful way to lead a school (as opposed to transformational leadership, management, etc.) because it helps put a focus on learning. Hattie is far from the only researcher who has come to this finding, which is the direct result of his ability to synthesize over 420 studies on leadership. 
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Scores Were Lower Taking Exams on Computers

Scores Were Lower Taking Exams on Computers | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Massachusetts students who took state exams online in 2015 scored significantly worse than their peers who took the same exams on paper, according to a new study by the American Institutes for Research.

The so-called "mode effect" was particularly pronounced in English/language arts, where the discrepancy amounted to nearly a full year of learning, AIR found. Lower-performing students, special education students, and English language learners suffered particularly sharp penalties when they took the ELA exams online.

In both ELA and math, however, the negative effects of taking the exams online diminished considerably during the second year of testing.
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"Trying to build relationships without teaching is a dead end street." - Doug Lemov

"Trying to build relationships without teaching is a dead end street." - Doug Lemov | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
You’ve probably seen some version of this aphorism if you work in education:   They Don’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care   It’s s often given a sort of hallowed stature-it’s a truism & should shape our every decision in the classroom.   Maybe that’s why it’s attribute
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The Key to Effective Classroom Management

The Key to Effective Classroom Management | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
“Strong teacher-student relationships have long been considered a foundational aspect of a positive school experience,” explains Clayton Cook, the lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Minnesota. When those relationships are damaged, student well-being may be affected, leading to academic and behavioral problems.

In the study, teachers used an approach called Establish-Maintain-Restore to build positive interactions with students—a total of 220 in fourth and fifth grade—and boost their sense of belonging. (A follow-up study with middle school teachers used the same strategies, with similar results.) Relationship-building was broken down into three phases: the first meeting, maintenance throughout the school year, and points when a relationship may suffer damage, with useful strategies for each phase.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Instructional Framework

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Scaffold Reflection for Deeper Metacognition and Better Feedback

Scaffold Reflection for Deeper Metacognition and Better Feedback | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The more I thought about how to be intentional with reflection and the more I reflected on the reflecting students were sharing, I was able to codify a practice that we implemented across classrooms in my old school starting with our 6th graders and ending with our seniors.

By scaffolding the process with a series of questions that really helped students consider their own learning, they could start thinking about more than what they liked or didn't like and more about what they knew and could do. They began to articulate learning in a clear and methodical way. And the more we did it, the better I could give them feedback and address the system of how we reflect.

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Depression and Suicide Rates Are Rising Sharply in Young Americans, New Report Says

Depression and Suicide Rates Are Rising Sharply in Young Americans, New Report Says | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Since the late 2000s, the mental health of teens and young adults in the U.S. has declined dramatically. That’s the broad conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression among kids ages 14 to 17 increased by more than 60%, the study found. The increases were nearly as steep among those ages 12 to 13 (47%) and 18 to 21 (46%), and rates roughly doubled among those ages 20 to 21. In 2017—the latest year for which federal data are available—more than one in eight Americans ages 12 to 25 experienced a major depressive episode, the study found.
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Transferring Ownership of Writing to Students

Transferring Ownership of Writing to Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Putting students in the driver’s seat includes having them assess their writing, which also eases the teacher’s grading load.
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Drawing the line: helping students navigate the world of social media

Drawing the line: helping students navigate the world of social media | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Students at Bethel Middle were recently put through the paces of an hour-long social media etiquette and internet safety training.

The heavy subject matter was uncomfortable at times, including cautionary tales of nude photos or stories of teen suicide over social media harassment. Students shifted awkwardly in their seats and tried to avoid eye contact.

But in the end, it was a relief to hear frank and honest talk about the omnipresent force that rules teen’s social lives.
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What It Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work

What It Takes to Make Co-Teaching Work | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Co-teaching, in which a special educator and a general educator share the responsibility of instructing and assessing students, has long been a standby in inclusion classrooms, which encompass both general education students and those with disabilities.
When done well, co-teaching should enable students with disabilities to receive the general education curriculum and special services that they need in the same setting, said Sara Cook, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who researches special education.
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Teachers Are Not Completely Confident in Their 'Instructional Leader'

Teachers Are Not Completely Confident in Their 'Instructional Leader' | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
What Is Instructional Leadership?
If we truly want to be impactful in our roles as principals, then we have to focus on trying our best to find slices of time in our day to focus on instructional leadership. That may be 45 minutes to one hour per day to allow us to get into classrooms. We also have to understand that there are four main areas of instructional leadership. Those areas are instructional strategies, student engagement, content knowledge (not expertise), and collective efficacy. 

In a recent study I did involving the four areas of instructional leadership, respondents ranked collective efficacy as the #1 priority, instructional strategies as #2, student engagement as #3 and content knowledge as #4 (DeWitt. 2019). If leaders do not spend some time in their day focusing on those four, or one of those four, they are at risk of losing credibility in their role. That loss of credibility will make it very difficult to provide effective feedback during teacher observations or walk-throughs. Yes, that means that not only do we need to find one hour in the day, we also have to make sure that we do everything possible to make that one hour impactful for teachers, staff, and students. 
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To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself

To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Teams are complex systems of individuals with different preferences, skills, experiences, perspectives, and habits. The odds of improving that complex system in a meaningful and sustainable way are higher if every team member — including the leader — learns to master these three foundational capabilities: internal self-awareness, external self-awareness, and personal accountability.
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Students' Bad Behavior Is Rising in the Early Grades. Teachers, Pricipals, and District Administrators Have Different Takes

Students' Bad Behavior Is Rising in the Early Grades. Teachers, Pricipals, and District Administrators Have Different Takes | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
One of the most glaring findings from the study was that at the district level people would say 'We are doing PBIS; we are doing SEL'... " said Pete Talbot, the managing director of K-12 research at EAB. "The question is, 'What is the consistency with which it's being implemented from school to school within a district, and within the school? What's the degree of fidelity down to the classroom level?'.... I think that's one of the biggest areas for improvement for districts. It's not enough to simply do a one-time training or allow schools to go their own way."
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Early Readers May Struggle More With a Noisy Classroom

Early Readers May Struggle More With a Noisy Classroom | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Early reading instruction in the United States focuses heavily on teaching students phonics. These results seem to suggest that students may have a more difficult time distinguishing phonemes and following speech or instructions as classroom noise rises, and highlights the importance of quiet classrooms while children are learning to recognize language, said Marc Vander Ghinst, the lead author and a researcher at a developmental neuroscience center at the Free University of Brussels, in Belgium. 

"The more teachers take time to do a correct pronunciation, the better the student understands," he said. "Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that this also brings a better speech representation in the brain. My advice would be: Take the time to do a correct pronunciation, and try to do it in a calm atmosphere."
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GCSEs: how to make the learning stick | Tes News

GCSEs: how to make the learning stick | Tes News | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Sometimes, research can promise much and deliver teachers little. It all looks good on paper, but try it out and it is more cataclysmic than a catalyst.

But some papers change the way you teach forever, and, for me, none have done that as comprehensively as Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology (Dunlosky et al, 2013).
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Using Questioning to enhance Understanding and biuld Relationships

Using Questioning to enhance Understanding and biuld Relationships | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
High school ELA teacher Monica Baines explains how she uses questioning as a means for discovery and as a way to assess and build her students' understanding. Monica explains how she uses connecting questions, and follow-up questions when working with students. Through questioning, Monica is able to differentiate and assess her students' progress.
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Want to improve students' study strategies? Do this first.

Want to improve students' study strategies? Do this first. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
How often do students come to you and exclaim, "But I studied for hours!" How can we help students improve their study habits? Before you give them strategies, there's one thing you have to do first: have a conversation. Here are our three must-ask questions to get started.
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