However, when an entire class moves forward to study new skills and concepts without any individual adjustments in time or support, some students are doomed to fail.
Differentiation means that teachers allow for differing amounts of time and support for individual students in order to help them make forward progress. Not every student needs to end up at the same place bc they may have started at a different beginning.
What Differentiated Instruction Is–And Is Not: The Definition Of Differentiated Instruction
These descriptions are still too vague for many teachers. There needs to be more concrete language put to differentiation.
A Makerspace is not a one-size-fits-all kind of space.
What are teachers already doing? What is already there, and how can we add to and augment it?
Makerspaces in schools should connect to student’s authentic interests, or the experiences children have had.
When students have to spend all their time fulfilling an external agenda, they don’t have a chance to learn how to create their own agenda. Teaching kids only what adults think they need to know can take up all the time kids need to explore what it is that they care about.
But in the process of following their own interests, they’re going to develop a lot of other skills.
School does some things well, but what I love about the library is that when I enter, I set the agenda.
I am excited about Making in schools — it can be really great. But if the agenda for what needs to be Made is coming from outside the Maker, then that could be problematic.
Educators, Perkins says, need to embrace these same insights. They need to start asking themselves what he considers to be one of the most important questions in education: What's worth learning in school?
These days, he says we teach a lot that isn’t going to matter, in a significant way, in students’ lives. There’s also much we aren’t teaching that would be a better return on investment. As a result, as educators, “we have a somewhat quiet crisis of content,” Perkins writes, “quiet not for utter lack of voices but because other concerns in education tend to muffle them.” These other concerns are what he calls rival learning agendas: information, achievement, and expertise.
The information in textbooks is not necessarily what you need or would like to have at your fingertips.” Instead, even though most people would say that education should prepare you for life, much of what is offered in schools doesn’t work in that direction, Perkins says. Educators are “fixated” on building up students’ reservoirs of knowledge, often because we default to what has always been done.
“Conventional curriculum is chained to the bicycle rack,” he says. “It sits solidly in the minds of parents: ‘I learned that. Why aren’t my children learning it?’
Curriculum suffers from something of a crowded garage effect: It generally seems safer and easier to keep the old bicycle around than to throw it out.”
Just as educators are pushing students to build a huge reservoir of knowledge, they are also focused on having students master material, sometimes at the expense of relevance.
Unfortunately, if someone questions whether this expertise serves students well and instead suggests more life-relevant topics, Perkins says the common reaction is: “We’re sacrificing rigor!”
Instead of building during the first 12 years of schooling toward expertise in an advanced topic like calculus that hardly ever comes up in our lives, Perkins says students can instead become “expert amateurs” in something like statistics — a rigorous topic that is also used in daily life. In fact, expert amateurism works great, he says, in most of what we do in our lives
There’s no list of 1,000 things we must know or teach. Perkins says there would be no way to create a definitive list because there are lots of things worth learning at any given time or for a specialized career or even simply because we enjoy learning.
“The fixation on the heap of information in the textbooks is itself part of the problem because the world we are educating learners for is something of a moving target,” he says.
With high-stakes testing, he says, there’s a fixation on “summative” versus “formative” assessment — evaluating students’ mastery of material with exams and final projects (achievements) versus providing ongoing feedback that can improve learning.
Perkins says he’s not surprised that so many people have trouble naming things they learned early on that still have meaning today or that disengaged students are raising their hands, asking why they need to know something.
To prepare a one-size-fits-all (or most) session does everyone a disservice.
the three tools and tactics featured in this post will provide an effective means to gauge the needs of your audience and chart your course to effectively support them.
Before fine-tuning content for a particular session, I start out with a Google Form and a list of suggested topics (e.g. Google for Research, Nearpod, Kahoot, Student Projects with iPad, Workflow with eBackpack) that I perceive to be campus or department needs.
Find out what skills your teachers are bringing to your workshops.
The information gleaned from this survey allows me to carefully craft a personalized learning experience for our attendees by steering clear of familiar apps, providing a deeper focus on a particular skill, or discovering solutions for grouping attendees to achieve optimal collaboration within the day.
As educators, we frown upon one-size-fits-all education and preach personalized learning, yet we still deliver canned in-services and seminars time and time again, never addressing the needs of a specific audience of learners
Mindfulness provides a means of handling distress with intention and nonjudgment via several proposed mechanisms: First, bringing attention to the present-moment experience of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations shifts cognitive focus away from the past (such as a memory of a troubling incident) and the future (such as apprehension of impending trouble), thereby disrupting the connections between automatic cognitive interpretations and patterns of reacting. Second, focus on present-moment internal and external experience broadens attention and allows for suspension of previously practiced patterns of reacting (avoidance or overengagement), sometimes called decentering. Third, the quality of nonjudgment that is essential to mindfulness permits the observation of your experience without judgment or evaluation. The practice of orienting to experience with curiosity and acceptance strengthens tolerance for distress by altering automatic response patterns described previously. When practiced regularly, mindfulness can provide a powerful tool for restoring emotional balance and preventing engagement in harmful behavior.
In essence, it's not the textbook that needs to change -- it's how we deliver content to our students. Additionally, this transition lies in how we design and integrate that delivery system and with what tools we can work.
What skills do you want students to learn and apply?
What content will you deliver, and how does it connect to the desired outcome and align with standards?
How will you check for understanding and challenge students to apply their learning?
How are you transitioning the learning from a passive experience to an active, creative experience?
I mean that we must challenge them to question and use their learning to seek out an answer that cannot simply be Googled
find one or two apps or resources that work best for you, become an expert with them, and focus on student learning rather than app harvesting.
In one independent-study-type course, students set their own learning goals, work collaboratively and seek help from mentors when it’s needed.
He recommends teachers give students the ability to work on long-term projects that meaningfully contribute to the world, helping to provide the motivation for independent learning.
A few schools working with some of the most traumatized and disadvantaged students are finding that practicing mindfulness — centering activities like focused breathing that keep the mind in the here and now — can help students build the focus, decision-making and ability to think ahead that many students lack. One elementary school in Richmond, California, with
in spite of the obvious need for training and support, “principals often receive less professional development than anyone else in a district”(xiii)
“Partnership,”Knight speaks to the importance of developing relationships and building trust between teachers and administrators before engaging in deep conversations about classroom instruction. Staff should have the chance to “discuss, dialogue, and then decide together”(29) about school issues important to everyone.
“Leaders who genuinely win the respect of their staff are those who never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their respect for others”(
He offers specific strategies for school leaders, such as leading professional development, monitoring instruction in the classroom, and mapping out progress of teacher performance.
“No professional can choose to be unprofessional”(93).
He continues the theme of taking a partnership approach when planning, such as asking for ideas and suggestions during leadership meetings. The author also provides specific steps a leader needs to take when preparing staff learning opportunities
At first glance, it appears that deciding what a STEM program should look like is an ongoing conundrum for the K-12 education world.
STEM lessons don’t necessarily teach the specific content in math and science – they may apply content that has already been taught. The key point is whether a STEM program applies math and science concepts to solve an engineering challenge and provide students with opportunities to integrate learning.
Maker projects, however, are not intended to substitute as STEM programs. They frequently accomplish Criteria #2 and #3 and touch on other criteria to some degree. But their goals and focus differ from STEM.
Remember, STEM as originally conceived is intended to get kids up to speed on science and math using an engineering design approach, emphasizing teamwork and real-world problems.
Web-based software that makes learning grammar fun by appealing to each student's interests. Allows teachers to see heat maps of student understanding and the offer lessons based on which concepts are understood and which ones need remediation.
perhaps you're worried that you don't have time to do a long, involved project
Capture the learning. Ask students to document and assess their process, identifying the thinking skills they've used.
Grading creative projects can be difficult, so create a rubric that includes students' process. Have them tell the story of their thought process. And have them write a paragraph about their intent, as this allows those with lesser making skills to explain what they were trying to convey. Grade craftsmanship, because no matter their skill level, sloppy projects detract from the creator's intended message.
Design thinking allows teachers to have control over messy maker projects. You can set distinct time restraints for different steps of the process that will keep everyone on roughly the same timeline.
Asking them to express an idea translated into another medium requires them to know something holistically and more deeply. They must understand both its complexities and its parts. It's the same as knowing something well enough to teach it -- you have to understand it completely, as well as how all the different pieces fit together.
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curiosity puts the brain in a state that allows it to learn and retain any kind of information, like a vortex that sucks in what you are motivated to learn, and also everything around it.
So not only will arousing students' curiosity help them remember lessons that might otherwise go in one ear and out the other, but it can also make the learning experience as pleasurable as ice cream or pocket money
more than 35 years of scientific investigation suggests that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.
our studies show that teaching people to have a “growth mind-set,” which encourages a focus on “process” (consisting of personal effort and effective strategies) rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.
Why do some students give up when they encounter difficulty, whereas others who are no more skilled continue to strive and learn? One answer, I soon discovered, lay in people's beliefs about why they had failed.
These experiments were an early indication that a focus on effort can help resolve helplessness and engender success.
The helpless ones believe that intelligence is a fixed trait: you have only a certain amount, and that's that. I call this a “fixed mind-set.”
The mastery-oriented children, on the other hand, think intelligence is malleable and can be developed through education and hard work. They want to learn above all else.
John Irving, the author of The Cider House Rules, begins with his last sentence:
I write the last line, and then I write the line before that. I find myself writing backwards for a while, until I have a solid sense of how that ending sounds and feels. You have to know what your voice sounds like at the end of the story, because it tells you how to sound when you begin.
That is the crux of lesson planning right there -- endings and beginnings. If we fail to engage students at the start, we may never get them back. If we don't know the end result, we risk moving haphazardly from one activity to the next. Every moment in a lesson plan should tell.
The eight minutes that matter most are the beginning and endings. If a lesson does not start off strong by activating prior knowledge, creating anticipation, or establishing goals, student interest wanes, and you have to do some heavy lifting to get them back. If it fails to check for understanding, you will never know if the lesson's goal was attained.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
CAVE people – Colleagues Against Virtually Everything. Even your fellow educators can be obstacles at times. “That will never work”, they say, or, “We tried that before, it didn’t work”. “Why should we change, we’ve always done it this way?”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.