Professional Learning for Busy Educators
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Students as leaders - Mark Anderson's Blog

Students as leaders - Mark Anderson's Blog | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Students as leaders - a reflection on digital leaders and students as leaders across the school. Where do we go next? How can we develop student leadership?
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Professional Learning for Busy Educators
Professional learning in a glance (or two)!
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Rewrite the Story You Tell Yourself About Teaching - Jennifer Gonzalez - @CultofPedagogy

Rewrite the Story You Tell Yourself About Teaching - Jennifer Gonzalez - @CultofPedagogy | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Only recently have I figured out how powerful my self-talk can be, how much the stories we tell ourselves about our lives can actually shape them.

I learned this from Angela Watson’s new book, Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day…No Matter What. In the book, Watson provides simple, practical strategies individual teachers can use to make their work less stressful and more enjoyable, without moving to a new district or changing anything that’s required of them.

Number 19 is “Rewrite the Story You Tell Yourself About Teaching.” Picking up where she left off in her 2011 book, Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching, Watson describes how we can actually change the way we experience challenges if we can recognize the stories we tell ourselves, then replace them with new ones.
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How Movement and Exercise Help Kids Learn | MindShift | KQED News

How Movement and Exercise Help Kids Learn | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki was a rising star in the field of memory when she looked around and realized that her lifestyle wasn’t sustainable.

“I was trying to get tenure, and I was doing nothing but work," she says. "I had no friends outside of my lab. I knew I needed to do something. I thought, at least I can go to the gym and try to feel stronger.”

She signed up for the classes that “looked the most fun.” As she expected, her mood and fitness level improved – but she began to notice something else at play. “About a year and a half into that regular exercise routine, I was sitting at my desk writing a grant and this thought went through my mind, ‘Writing is going well!’ I had never had that thought before. Then I realized that all of my work had been going better recently, and the only major change I had made to my life was regularly working out.”

That observation prompted her to explore what exercise was doing to her brain. “My hippocampal memory was clearly better at remembering details and retrieving information."

These days, Suzuki has switched her primary research focus to the cognitive benefits of exercise. She is the author of the book Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better, and gave a popular TED Talk on exercise and the brain.
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The Best Children’s and YA Books of May 2019 - Brightly

The Best Children’s and YA Books of May 2019 - Brightly | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
School’s (almost) out for summer, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to stock up on those summer reading stacks! From picture books great for whiling away road trips to dynamite middle grade chapter books and YA reads both spellbinding and profound, May’s best new book releases are a total treat for readers of all ages.
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Four Research-Based Strategies To Ignite Intrinsic Motivation In Students | MindShift | KQED News

Four Research-Based Strategies To Ignite Intrinsic Motivation In Students | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Kathy Digsby has been teaching elementary school for a long time. She taught kindergarten for many years, then transferred to first grade. And even though she’s approaching sixty and planned to retire soon, part of her doesn’t want to leave the classroom. Recently she’s been mixing it up, injecting choice into as many areas of the classroom as she can to engage her young learners. And it’s exciting.

“I think as teachers we feel like we have to be in control of everything in order for the kids to be okay and for them to learn,” Digsby said. A classic example is the “daily five” stations students rotate through during English Language Arts time. At one table, Digsby usually works on guided reading with a small group. Every 20 minutes, kids rotate between stations where they read to themselves, work on writing, do word work, or practice a skill on the computer. When the timer goes off students rotate, whether they’re done with the task or not.
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Equity in Education: Where to Begin? - Edutopia

Equity in Education: Where to Begin? - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
If we hope for equity in education, we may have to abandon our efforts toward standardization and recognize the individuality of our students.
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The Teachthought Podcast Ep. 164 Drawing Students To Math With Authentic Purpose - TeachThought

The Teachthought Podcast Ep. 164 Drawing Students To Math With Authentic Purpose - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The Teachthought Podcast Ep. 164 Drawing Students To Math With Authentic Purpose

Drew Perkins talks with Michelle Montgomery of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and student Eric Chai of High Technology High School from the champion MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge team.
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Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin: What you should know about vaping and e-cigarettes | TED Talk

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin: What you should know about vaping and e-cigarettes | TED Talk | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
E-cigarettes and vapes have exploded in popularity in the last decade, especially among youth and young adults -- from 2011 to 2015, e-cigarette use among high school students in the US increased by 900 percent. Biobehavioral scientist Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin explains what you're actually inhaling when you vape (hint: it's definitely not water vapor) and explores the disturbing marketing tactics being used to target kids. "Our health, the health of our children and our future generations is far too valuable to let it go up in smoke -- or even in aerosol," she says.
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Spring reading list: 9 books to inspire young girls to know their value - NBC News

Spring reading list: 9 books to inspire young girls to know their value - NBC News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Books are an incredible tool to teach young girls to know their value. Now that spring is here, I’ve got some great picks to share. Whether these books encourage your girls to speak up, introduce them to women and girls who changed the world, or just show them a character that’s like them, I hope they inspire your daughters like they inspired mine.
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12 Solid Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills - Wabisabilearning.com

12 Solid Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills - Wabisabilearning.com | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Here are some interesting ways of teaching critical thinking skills with any of your students, and in any classroom subject.
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Dollar Store Hacks for the Classroom - 117 Brilliant, Teacher-Tested Ideas

Dollar Store Hacks for the Classroom - 117 Brilliant, Teacher-Tested Ideas | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
What’s on a teacher’s list of favorites, besides Target, Amazon Prime, and Starbucks? The dollar store! The dollar store offers so many ways to save on classroom supplies for reading, math, science, and more. Below, check out some of our favorite teacher-tested dollar store hacks for the classroom.

Check out:
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10 Powerful Mindsets Students Need to Change the World

10 Powerful Mindsets Students Need to Change the World | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
It takes a lot of courage to make a change, all the way from personally to globally. Some of us, however, aren’t satisfied with simply exercising more or organizing a charity. These are the ones who make discoveries and forge ideas that alter our entire way of life. Secretly, it may even be the hope we have for our children—to one day take action in a way that changes the world for the better. But what are the mindsets students need to create change on a worldwide scale if they truly want to?

The Persian poet Rumi once spoke of the real place change begins, which is within. He wrote, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

What this means is that the changes our students might wish to affect have more to do with how they think as opposed to the scale of what they actually do. In other words, real change comes from within. Moreover, Rumi also might indirectly suggest here that the accomplishments themselves matter less than what one chooses to do with them. After all, the most sweeping transformations seem to have the humblest beginnings.
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How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking | MindShift | KQED News

How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Math teachers of older students sometimes struggle to get students to explain their thinking with evidence. It's hard to get kids in the habit of talking about how they are thinking about a problem when they've had many years of instruction that focused on getting the "right answer." That's why educators are now trying to get students in the habit of explaining their thinking at a young age. The Teaching Channel captured kindergarten and first grade teachers pushing students to give evidence for their answers in situations where there are several ways to think about a problem.
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The STEM Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls to Persist in Science and Math - Edutopia

The STEM Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls to Persist in Science and Math - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Mathematicians and scientists are socially awkward men who wear glasses—at least, according to children.

In several studies, when children were asked to draw a mathematician or scientist, girls were twice as likely to draw men as they were to draw women, while boys almost universally drew men, often in a lab coat. I decided to try this out at home with my 12-year-old son, who said, “Really anyone can be a mathematician, but this is your average one,” and promptly sketched a man in a checked oxford shirt with a pocket protector.

Persistent, subconscious images of male mathematicians and scientists that start at the earliest ages may be one explanation why girls enter STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—at dramatically lower rates than boys.
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Are You Ready for Neuroeducation? The Tech Edvocate

Are You Ready for Neuroeducation? The Tech Edvocate | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Understanding how we learn has always intrigued educators and psychologists. Pioneers like Dewey, Maslow, and Vygotsky developed some of the first learning theories, but it wasn’t until education joined neuroscience that we’ve made significant advanced in understanding learning.

Researchers now understand that education is a science. Learning as much about how the brain learns and stores information is the next logical step in merging the two fields. The result is neuroeducation, which “serves to apply the scientific method to curricula design and teaching strategies.”

Neuroeducators take into consideration brain physiology and learning. Assuming that the brain has suffered no physical damage, it’s ready to learn, especially when teachers have learned how to use neuroeducation in their classrooms.

To make the most use of neuroeducation in the classroom, teachers can incorporate these critical findings:
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A Powerful Way to End the School Year - Edutopia

A Powerful Way to End the School Year - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Year mapping allows students to see what they’ve learned in your class, and it’s a great resource for your incoming class.
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Digital Text is Changing How Kids Read—Just Not in the Way That You Think | MindShift | KQED News

Digital Text is Changing How Kids Read—Just Not in the Way That You Think | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it

"After his bath each night, Julie Atkinson’s eight-year-old son grabs the iPad and settles into bed for some reading time through kids’ book app Epic! Though Atkinson and her husband were accustomed to reading to him, now their son explores different subjects on his own inside the app’s 25,000 titles, reading biographies, history and fiction all pre-selected for his reading level. Atkinson is impressed with Epic’s quality titles, and likes the recommendation feature that makes the monthly subscription service feel like Netflix.

But Atkinson, who guesses that her family of four in Orinda, California, spends half their reading time with physical books, said that she has noticed a difference between how her son reads paper books and how he reads digitally. He has a tendency to skim more in Epic! “He might be more inclined to flip in Epic!, just flip through and see if he likes a book, skipping around. When it’s a physical book, he’s going to sit and read until he’s tired of reading. But in Epic!, he knows there are so many [books], he will read a little faster.”

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When a Student Hates You - Jennifer Gonzalez @cultofpedagogy

When a Student Hates You - Jennifer Gonzalez @cultofpedagogy | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I share these stories because I suspect you have also had moments you're not proud of, stories you've never told anyone; I want you to know you're not alone.
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The Key To Raising A Happy Child | MindShift | KQED News

The Key To Raising A Happy Child | MindShift | KQED News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
For much of the past half-century, children, adolescents and young adults in the U.S. have been saying they feel as though their lives are increasingly out of their control. At the same time, rates of anxiety and depression have risen steadily.

What's the fix? Feeling in control of your own destiny. Let's call it "agency."

"Agency may be the one most important factor in human happiness and well-being."

So write William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in their new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. Feeling out of control can cause debilitating stress and destroy self-motivation.

Building agency begins with parents, because it has to be cultivated and nurtured in childhood, write Stixrud and Johnson. But many parents find that difficult, since giving kids more control requires parents to give up some of their own.
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7 Smart, Fast Ways to Do Formative Assessment - Edutopia

7 Smart, Fast Ways to Do Formative Assessment - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Formative assessment—discovering what students know while they’re still in the process of learning it—can be tricky. Designing just the right assessment can feel high stakes—for teachers, not students—because we’re using it to figure out what comes next. Are we ready to move on? Do our students need a different path into the concepts? Or, more likely, which students are ready to move on and which need a different path?

When it comes to figuring out what our students really know, we have to look at more than one kind of information. A single data point—no matter how well designed the quiz, presentation, or problem behind it—isn’t enough information to help us plan the next step in our instruction.

Add to that the fact that different learning tasks are best measured in different ways, and we can see why we need a variety of formative assessment tools we can deploy quickly, seamlessly, and in a low-stakes way—all while not creating an unmanageable workload. That’s why it’s important to keep it simple: Formative assessments generally just need to be checked, not graded, as the point is to get a basic read on the progress of individuals, or the class as a whole.
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Teaching while Grieving: How to function while coping with the loss of a loved one - Michelle Arnaud @adventuresmissa

Teaching while Grieving: How to function while coping with the loss of a loved one - Michelle Arnaud @adventuresmissa | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
The week after my dad passed, I decided to come back. Bereavement time was up and I felt that getting back into my classroom would help. I was wrong.

By the third day I was still feeling lost, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I ended taking the last two days of the week off. I came back, what I felt as “refreshed”, the following Monday. Only still feeling lost, overwhelmed, and exhausted. As soon as I walked into the school I immediately met with the principal and told him that I couldn’t continue. I needed more time away to deal with my emotions and to understand the scope of what took place. I could hear words of my dad echoing in my ear – “take care of yourself… if you don’t, you’ll end up sick.” While my dad’s health wasn’t that great, and he knew it; he always made sure that everyone else took better care of themselves. Exactly like me. I make sure that others are always put before me. I could not longer do that. I needed to take care of myself before I ended up lying on the floor unable to move, like Izzy in Grey’s Anatomy.

Those four extra days was what I needed. I processed his death, I cried, I slept (for nearly two whole days), and I remembered the good times. I sat on the couch catching up on missed shows, Netflix, and Days of our Lives. We stress the importance of good mental health to our students, but I wasn’t heeding my own words. I knew that being in the classroom too soon after his death wasn’t making me a good teacher for my students.
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25 Ways Schools Can Promote Literacy And Independent Reading - TeachThought

25 Ways Schools Can Promote Literacy And Independent Reading - TeachThought | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
In the age of the Common Core and its emphasis upon having students take on more challenging text, independent reading and student choice can easily take a back seat to the demands of increased rigor. However, in a balanced literacy program, they remain important.

Motivation and choice play key roles in reading.

And, strong and capable readers are those who read widely and diversely in a wide variety of genres and text types.

In the quest to build capable readers, promoting independent, self-selected reading remains key. Creating ravenous, lifelong readers doesn’t just happen, it takes a schoolwide culture to help reach that goal.
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GwynethJones's curator insight, 14 May, 22:00

"In the age of the Common Core and its emphasis upon having students take on more challenging text, independent reading and student choice can easily take a back seat to the demands of increased rigor. However, in a balanced literacy program, they remain important.

Motivation and choice play key roles in reading.

And, strong and capable readers are those who read widely and diversely in a wide variety of genres and text types.

In the quest to build capable readers, promoting independent, self-selected reading remains key. Creating ravenous, lifelong readers doesn’t just happen, it takes a schoolwide culture to help reach that goal."

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Lifelong Success Starts With Social-Emotional Learning - Edutopia

Lifelong Success Starts With Social-Emotional Learning - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Building a culture of health starts with developing children’s social and academic aptitude from a young age with self-knowledge, empathy, communication skills, collaboration, and growth mindset.
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100 Books Every Teacher Should Read – @ajjuliani

100 Books Every Teacher Should Read – @ajjuliani | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
I am by habit a bibliophile. I read at least 25 pages of a book per day which usually turns in to 40-60 books per year. I’ve written a few books myself, and plan to write more.

But this list is not about me, it’s really about us as an education community. What are we reading? Are we slowly shifting to reading only blogs and short pieces online? I love blogs (case in point of what you are currently reading) but there is something special about the thought, effort, and depth of a book. I hope that we can continue to read books that push our thinking, and share them widely.

This list is a start.
If you are wondering what book to read next, this may or may not help you decide! I’m going to leave the comments open for book recommendations with a short synopsis, and rationale. This list will not be limited by number, and at this point in time is only limited by the number of books I’ve read (and would recommend), so any recommendations are appreciated!
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Creative Annotation Can Improve Students’ Reading Comprehension - Edutopia

Creative Annotation Can Improve Students’ Reading Comprehension - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Annotating texts is not the most exciting tactic for reading comprehension. In my classroom experience, even the mention of the word annotate was met with looks of confusion or boredom. Traditional annotations have been students’ only interactions with the text. When students are asked to underline important parts of the texts, they will usually pick the first line that seems appealing or attempt to highlight the whole page of text with pretty-colored highlighters. Simply underlining the text will not meet the needs of our 21st-century learners.

Annotations are a critical strategy teachers can use to encourage students to interact with a text. They promote a deeper understanding of passages and encourage students to read with a purpose. Teachers can use annotations to emphasize crucial literacy skills like visualization, asking questions, and making inferences.
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This Neuroscientist Wants to Know Your Brain On Art—and How It Improves Learning | EdSurge News

This Neuroscientist Wants to Know Your Brain On Art—and How It Improves Learning | EdSurge News | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
Research around the way humans learn is booming these days. Consider viral brain-based teaching trends and explorations of how the act of teaching shapes kids’ brains.


Mariale Hardiman, vice dean of academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education and and director of Johns Hopkins’ Neuro-Education Initiative.
But studying how the brain learns doesn’t necessarily mean memorizing proteins and brain chemistry. Sometimes it’s about empathy—or in the case of some of the latest research coming out of Johns Hopkins, it’s about understanding how art plays a role in learning.

One person who has closely watched, and even shaped, the coevolution of neurosciences with education is Mariale Hardiman, vice dean of academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. The education professor is also the co-founder and director of Johns Hopkins’ Neuro-Education Initiative, a center that aims to bring together research on learning and neuroscience, teaching and education.

EdSurge sat down with Hardiman recently to learn about the Initiative’ recent findings around how injecting art into lessons across disciplines can boost memory and retention. (This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.)
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Incorporating Play-Based Learning in the Elementary Grades - Edutopia

Incorporating Play-Based Learning in the Elementary Grades - Edutopia | Professional Learning for Busy Educators | Scoop.it
A few years ago, I began shifting to a play-based approach in my kindergarten classroom. Research extolled the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of play and called to mind Friedrich Froebel’s vision of kindergarten as a place where play and learning go hand in hand. 

As I made small changes in my classroom, I began to understand that play is a primary and integral mode through which children make sense of the world, and that it is essential to their development and well-being. In addition, it supports skills like collaboration, communication, and creativity. Offering play can feel challenging when mandated programs and standardized tests are requirements of many school districts, but play-based learning is an effective practice for deepening understanding and engaging children. The key is finding a balance between academic expectations and the developmental needs of young students.
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