Monday, March 28, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/29/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/25/2016

  • tags: student centered student-centered

    • A student-centered classroom allows students to be an integral part of the assessment development process.
    • A student-centered classroom focuses on finding solutions to real-world problems.
    • A student-centered classroom is not about what the teacher is doing or what the teacher has done; it's about what the students are doing and what the students can do in the future.
    • A student-centered classroom embraces the notion that there are multiple ways to accomplish an individual task.
    • A student-centered classroom firmly believes that there is a partnership and a strong level of trust between educators and students.
  • "Chrome Music Lab is a collection of experiments that let anyone, at any age, explore how music works. They're collaborations between musicians and coders, all built with the freely available Web Audio API."

    tags: coding music chrome google

  • Blended learning classes with a global competency component to them.

    tags: STEM STEAM

  • This article looks at a group of post-college students who used 21st century skills to win a global challenge to meet poverty head-on through early childhood education.

    tags: Edutopia 21st century skills 21stcenturylearning resilience grit

    • a key readiness factor: knowing how to learn.
    • If you believe in what you're doing," he adds, "working out your problems is the only option."
    • Resilience turns out to be another key readiness factor for tackling hard problems.
    • "There's no better trait for entrepreneurs," says Scobbie. "You need to get past failures quickly. Entrepreneurs fail fast and learn from mistakes." A sense of humor helped the team over rough spots. "You need to be with a team where the laughs outnumber the angry outbursts."

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/23/2016

  • Lists of websites for all different aspects of education.

    tags: websites math diy maker coding programming Spanish English language music

    • “So often we use assessment in schools to inform students of their progress and attainment. Of course this is important, but it is more critical to use this information to inform teachers about their impact on students. Using assessments as feedback for teachers is powerful. And this power is truly maximized when the assessments are timely, informative, and related to what teachers are actually teaching.”
    • “More and more people seem to agree that digital learning in K-12 classrooms works best when it is used with the oversight of a teacher.”


    • Maximize love and manage stress. “Showing affection and patience at every opportunity helps children build confidence to explore the world on their own,”
    • Talk, sing, and point. “Talking and singing to infants and toddlers stimulates their brains and develops their skills,”
    • say Ferguson, Howard, and Walsh. “Pointing helps them connect words to the associated objects.”
    • Teach counting, grouping, and comparing with everyday objects. “Having fun with numbers, names, shapes, and patterns is how children learn to understand their world,” they say. “And it prepares them to learn and love math.”
    • Let children explore through free movement and play. “Curiosity is a child’s built-in engine for learning,”
    • Read and discuss stories. “Whether made-up or factual, the people, places and events of stories are the building blocks for our children’s imagination and much of their learning later in life,”
    • African-American and Hispanic students in the treatment group saw one-point improvements in GPA.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->These students had improved scores in end-of-the-year math (but not ELA) tests compared to the control group.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->White and Asian students in the treatment group did not register improvements in either of those areas.

    • The researchers attribute these results to the fact that the four writing exercises successfully counteracted stereotype threat among the black and Hispanic students, which raised their academic achievement.
    • Our findings show that self-affirmation can substantially narrow the residual achievement gap that cannot be explained by demographic characteristics or prior achievement, and this is the portion of the achievement gap implicated by stereotype threat.
    • Students need to practice the right things with the teacher circulating to do another check for understanding. For maximum impact, practice sessions should be spaced over time.
    • feedback provides your students with a tangible understanding of what they did well, of where they are at, and of how they can improve
    • The basic idea of mastery learning is to keep the learning goal constant while giving students different amounts of time (with feedback) to master it.
    • “You should only ask groups to do tasks that all group members can do successfully,”
    • Each group member should also be personally responsible for one step of the task.
    • Students need direct, explicit instruction in reading, writing, and math skills, followed by guided practice and feedback so they can use the skills independently.
    • it’s getting students to think about their options, look at how well strategies are working, and be aware of their own skills and knowledge with respect to worthy learning goals.
    • Be a close reader yourself.
    • modeling close reading with students
    • Model it first. When students are novices with close reading, use a document camera to show them step by step how to analyze specific portions of a text and annotate, thinking aloud as you do so.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->Teach students to look for the evidence.

    • Teach “stretch texts.”
    • Always set a purpose for reading. Have students read a passage once and then pose a specific challenge for their second reading.
    • Differentiate. If a text is above some students’ reading level, they can still think about it in different ways and read “between the lines” by hearing it read aloud or working with a classmate.
    • Go beyond simple comprehension questions, asking students to dig deeper for big ideas, how the reading relates to other texts students have read, and how they might learn more about the topic.
    • Have students come up with questions about a passage and then sort them by those that can be answered with a few words versus those that are worthy of close reading and further explanation.
    • <!--[endif]-->Let them make mistakes. Students will misinterpret, and it’s important to use those errors positively to model the process of using evidence and arguing a point.
    • “When you begin to let students’ questions and ideas about the text take the lead, you’ll find your class will be much more invested in the reading.”
    • the traditional teacher-evaluation process is extremely weak at changing teaching practice and improving student achievement. Their hypothesis is that video evaluation will be much more robust.
    • They also found that less-proficient teachers submitted videos that were representative of their weaknesses.
    • Teachers who recorded their lessons were more critical of their own performance than teachers in the control group, especially with respect to time management and checking on student mastery during instruction.
    • Teachers in the treatment group were quite positive about the conferences they had with their supervisors – they found the talks less adversarial, the tone more supportive, and their evaluations more fair. Teachers also reported fewer disagreements on ratings and were more likely to identify a specific change they would make in their classrooms as a result of the process.
    • Administrators reported that they found treatment teachers less defensive and that the post-observation conferences went more smoothly.


    • At the end of the study year, most treatment teachers and administrators were quite positive about the process and were in favor of replacing some or all of in-person classroom observations with the video process. However, there was considerable sentiment (with which the researchers agreed) for keeping at least one in-person classroom observation a year.
    • With volunteer teachers controlling which lessons to video and which of those to submit, there had to be a skew toward well-prepared, well-taught lessons. The only way for administrators to have an accurate picture of the day-to-day instruction that students experience (which is what drives achievement) is to make unannounced, frequent, brief visits to all teachers.
    • An alternative more likely to produce results is administrators visiting classrooms on a regular basis (at least 2-3 a day), thoughtfully observing segments of lessons, looking over students’ shoulders at the assignments they’ve been given, asking a few kids, “What are you working on?”, and looking at what’s on the walls – and then following up with face-to-face affirmation and coaching, preferably in the teacher’s classroom when students aren’t there. Teachers viewing videos of their work is a great PD experience, but the evaluation process can’t be done by remote control. 
    • Provide language supports. The discourse of mathematical argumentation is unfamiliar to many students, and it’s helpful to teach and model language frames, including:


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->I agree with _____ because _____.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->I noticed ______ when ______.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->I wonder why ______.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->I have a question about ______.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->I disagree because ______.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->Based on ______, I think ______.

    • teachers need to give students opportunities to develop their own ideas and have the confidence to validate or challenge the ideas of others. A teacher might show students a series of multiplication problems and then ask them to respond to a generalization: Every time you multiply two numbers, you are always going to get an even number as the product.
    • Manipulate familiar content to be unfamiliar.
    • The key skill with problems like this is students’ ability to ask What if…? and develop a playful posture trying out different combinations of numbers.
    • roblem-solving classes demand that the pupils execute the cognitive bench press: investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and finally verifying their own mathematical strategy. T
    • Truly thinking the problem through – creatively applying what you know about math and puzzling out possible solutions – is more important.
    • “A student can learn effectively via computer if an educator is around to assist and supplement, and teachers are realizing the power computers – properly used – have to enhance their craft… [freeing them] to do what only humans can do well – provide empathy, understanding, and mentorship.”
    • About what share of instructional time in high school do you think students should spend receiving instruction independently through or on a computer? The median response – the midpoint between the highest and lowest answers – was 30 percent.
    • ey asked the same question to a cross-section of experts in blended learning.
    • the consensus was about 40 percent of instructional time.
    • Peterson and Horn then asked a representative group of teachers, and their median response was 20 percent. So the public “crowd” was exactly half-way between the blended-learning experts (who would tend to be more favorable to computer time) and teachers (who would be inclined toward more teacher time).

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/22/2016

  • Practical ideas on how to launch a maker club and keep students engaged.

    tags: makerspace maker makered

    • I find that students really benefit from being given guidelines and then making something within those guidelines.
    • Find a way to have students reflect on what they’ve created and document it.
    • I recently created a design process worksheet that I’ve started using with my students.  They write a few brief sentences or draw some sketches for each step of the design process.
    • Designate a sharing day or time when everyone gets to talk with the group about their projects.  Set up a Skype or Google Hangout with another school and have your students share their projects with them (hello joint design challenges!).
    •  Plan a school-wide Maker Fair where students can showcase projects they’ve created.
    • Come up with a name for your club together.  Design t-shirts.
  • This principal details the approach her elementary school took to reducing homework and making it more meaningful.

    tags: homework learning differentiation elementary lower school

    • a famous meta-analysis of previous research on the subject, published in 2006 by researcher Harris Cooper and colleagues, which found that homework in elementary school does not contribute to academic achievement.
    • One parent pointed out that some of the content of the homework is beyond the child’s knowledge so parents are almost “required” to teach it at home.
    • I read a number of articles about how we have to get better at homework, the argument being  that homework is a problem for children and families because it is tedious and doesn’t ask children to think critically and creatively. 
    • As a former teacher, I had always felt that homework was a critical part of children learning organizational skills and responsibility and a way to practice newly developed skills.  Moreover, the idea of getting rid of homework seemed a bit too unconventional. But when I finally did pick up “The Homework Myth,” I couldn’t put it down. One by one, my reasons for considering homework an essential part of the elementary school experience were dismantled.
    • Time management and organizational skills: Kohn points out that rather than teaching time management to students, homework actually requires parents to do more to organize children’s time.
    • Newly learned skills: Kohn argues that it is rare that all students need the same practice at the end of a lesson.  For some, additional practice may  be confusing, while for others, it may  be unnecessary.

      What the research says: Kohn scoured the research to find that there is no evidence that homework in elementary school leads to an increase in student achievement.

      • In kindergarten, students dictate stories to their families on a regular basis, but with no official due dates.  Parents were encouraged to read to their children, but there were no set expectations for how much or how often.
      • Starting in first grade, students were expected to read nightly and this included families reading to children.
      • Most grade-level teams opted out of reading logs or other accountability structures, noting that these often devolved into a meaningless checklists lacking accountability altogether.
      • Third graders were asked to write nightly. Students determine the content and form of their writing, which is not graded.  Third graders are also expected to practice their math facts based on both grade level expectations and personal levels of mastery.
    • Teachers give parents information about other elements also taught in class so they can be supportive of the related homework.  When a teacher asks students to read for 30 minutes, some students may read 10 pages, and others may read 30.  Parents can help children find a regular time to do that homework because the time needed is consistent. 
    • Our school may be giving less homework but we have more students engaged in more meaningful learning activities at home than ever before.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/19/2016

  • tags: STEM STEAM

    • Here are five ways school leaders can create a culture that motivates all teachers in your school to take a risk and try something new.
      • Open staff meetings with 3 quick stories from teachers about something positive that happened in their classrooms recently.
      • Host a school blog and ask teachers to share their experiences – and photos – of success with brief guest posts.
    • Teachers should be offered choices around topics, presenters, and how their PD is structured.
    • teachers also want to see tried and true examples.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/18/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/17/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/16/2016

  • This article offers several ways that cities can help build the maker movement. It also explains how cities benefit from this movement, particularly the economy.

    tags: maker maker movement

    • The maker movement is encouraging entrepreneurs to share ideas, and the city is the central place where it lives, breathes, and succeeds.
    • Makers draw production back into the cities where consumption occurs, which can have profound economic and social benefits.
    • The untapped skills and knowledge unleashed in a makerspace now have the potential to become part of the creative economy of the city as a whole.
    • Public investment in the maker movement is critical. City governments help ensure that not only does this effort continue and grow, but that there is a focus on jumpstarting the local economy through increased entrepreneurialism and building local businesses. 
    • The maker movement cannot exist without a physical space where people can design and prototype creations. Cities can help meet this need by donating unused buildings or funding infrastructure projects that house collaborative makerspaces.
    • Cities play a key role in moving the maker movement forward. One of the critical outcomes of this investment and support are the numerous companies and partnerships that have been formed as a result of unleashing the creativity of makers.
    • Nationally, 26 percent of cities currently have makerspaces and 13 percent have hosted a Maker Faire.
    • Strict teachers are nothing new, but the no-excuses approach evolved in the 1990s to address the challenge of chaotic classrooms and disrespectful students in high-poverty schools. The approach was partly inspired by the “broken window” approach to community policing, which held that “sweating the small stuff” (fixing broken windows and other symptoms of disorder) created a climate that discouraged more-serious crimes.
    • On the other side of the debate are those who argue that no-excuses tactics are abusive, racist, and not an effective way to close the achievement gap. Green summarizes three arguments in this vein:
    • The end doesn’t justify the means. Even if students make significant academic gains in no-excuses classrooms, the argument goes, harsh treatment by teachers and administrators leaves emotional scars. Most no-excuses schools advocate “warm-strict” – a balance of high expectations within nurturing relationships.
    • No-excuses tactics perpetuate racist forms of control. The concern here is the impact of white educators harshly disciplining children of color. Although no-excuses schools were all founded on the principle of dramatically improving the life trajectories of their students, critics charge that overly strict discipline tactics – even in the hands of educators who are African American and Hispanic – have the effect of controlling and diminishing the bodies, cultures, speech patterns, and creativity of students of color and feed the school-to-prison pipeline. The definition of “disrespect,” frequently given as the reason for suspensions and other punishments, is particularly open to racial bias, say the critics.
    • No-excuses discipline doesn’t teach the habits of success. “The absence of misbehavior doesn’t mean the presence of high levels of learning,”
    • Another charter administrator worries that strict, controlling discipline during school hours doesn’t prepare students to handle themselves responsibly in less-structured environments.
    • The same argument is made about teaching very structured procedures in English and math classes. It might produce high scores on standardized tests, but students can fail to develop the independent thinking skills that are essential for success in college and life.
    • Green then presents three arguments that are made by supporters of the no-excuses approach:


      Structure is actually anti-racist.

    • College retention has also been impressive – one study showed that 44 percent of KIPP graduates earned four-year college degrees compared to only 8 percent for low-income students generally. “The obsession with small details and perfect compliance that no-excuses fosters might not feel like liberation,” Green continues. “But, defenders argue, subtracting freedom in the short term is actually the more radical path to defeating poverty and racism in the long term.”
    • No-excuses consequences don’t have to hurt kids. If practiced with skill and within a day-to-day climate of warmth and high expectations, strict consequences can be very helpful to students, the argument goes.
    • The challenge for rapidly expanding charter networks is ensuring that balance of warmth and strictness in every classroom.
    • No-excuses schools are capable of change, and they are changing. Green reports that the schools in question are learning from early mistakes and fine-tuning their approach to discipline. She’s seeing more-careful staff training, close monitoring of classrooms, and clear statements by school leaders
    • Green concludes with her own opinion on the debate. The no-excuses approach to teaching “needs radical overhaul,” she says. “The behavior first, learning second formula prescribed by broken-windows theory – and for that matter, by most American schools – can successfully build compliant, attentive students, at least in the short term. But it cannot produce students who think creatively, reason independently, and analyze critically. Students cannot just ‘track’ the teacher, follow every direction, and repeat right answers in choral back-and-forths; they also need to learn to track arguments, pay attention to their work, and evaluate evidence in order to agree or disagree respectfully. And they need to have ample opportunities to make mistakes, both behavioral and academic, no matter how uncomfortable that makes their teachers… I’m saying that educators need to embrace new, more complicated structures that feel messier in the short term but build more permanent learning in the long term.”
    • “PLC Lite” is the most accurate way to describe the current state of professional learning communities around the country. “Educators rename their traditional faculty or department meetings as PLC meetings,” say DuFour and Reeves, “engage in book studies that result in no action, or devote collaborative time to topics that have no effect on student achievement – all in the name of the PLC process.
    • They list the characteristics of a true professional learning community:


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->A teacher team takes collective responsibility for students’ learning;


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->A guaranteed and viable curriculum is established, specifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students are expected to acquire, unit by unit.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->Frequent, common, team-developed interim assessments measure students’ mastery of the curriculum.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->These assessments identify the students who need additional time and support; students who would benefit from enriched or extended learning; teachers’ individual strengths and weaknesses based on what their students learned; and areas where none of the team members were able to bring students to proficiency.


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->A system of interventions guarantees that struggling students get additional time and support in ways that don’t remove them from new instruction.


    • All this flows from the four questions school staff are continuously asking themselves:


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->What do we want students to learn?


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->How will we know if they have learned it?


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->What will we do if they haven’t learned it?


      <!-- [if !supportLists]-->-   <!--[endif]-->How will we provide extended learning opportunities for students who have mastered the content?

    •  “We recommend that faculty members keep a very simple one-page protocol that helps them focus on these questions,” say DuFour and Reeves.
    • With interim assessments, team members give students a test or performance-based assessment and use the results to identify struggling students, provide timely, systematic support, give students another chance to demonstrate their proficiency, and use the data to improve their classroom skills. DuFour and Reeves are scathing in their assessment of the “uninformative” interim assessment process they see in many schools. It often amounts to little more than shallow test prep including very brief team conversations concluding with, “Thank goodness that’s over – now we can go back to what we were doing.” Even if state tests consist largely of multiple-choice questions, teachers’ job “is not to mimic state tests but to challenge students to show what they know in ways that exceed traditional tests.”


    • Data analysis – “Many PLC Lite schools have no process for collective analysis of student learning,”
    • The best examples of data analysis lead to specific actions by teachers and administrators so that an examination of the data leads to interventions and changes in instruction, feedback, and support.”
    • Interventions – The key question is, “What happens in your school when students don’t learn what you have deemed is essential?” say DuFour and Reeves.
    • What does work? Systematic, intensive, focused, immediate follow-up instruction at the individual or small-group level. “These interventions do more than improve student success,” say DuFour and Reeves. “They also dramatically improve faculty morale.
    • In this New York Times article, Andrew Hacker (Queens College) makes the case for rethinking our high-school and college math curriculum to focus on quantitative literacy. Researchers have found that U.S. adults are embarrassingly inept at solving everyday math problems – for example, computing the cost of a carpet given its dimensions and the square-yard price. An OECD study ranked the U.S. a dismal 22nd out of 24 countries in basic numeracy skills, behind Estonia and Cyprus.
    • What citizens do need is to be comfortable reading graphs and charts and adept at calculating simple figures in their heads. Ours has become a quantitative century, and we must master its languages. Decimals and ratios are now as crucial as nouns and verbs.”
    • “It’s not just the difficulty of the classes. They can’t see how such formulas connect with the lives they’ll be leading.”
    • The reason for all this arcana, says Hacker, is that many mathematics educators look down their noses at “easy” citizen statistics courses, which they believe are dumbing down the curriculum. College math professors tend to be purists – the content has to be done at their level or not at all – and they don’t think they’ll get promotions and tenure for teaching real-world courses.


    • n fact, Hacker argues, solving everyday problems is not only more interesting and relevant to students, but it’s also quite demanding. In the college course he teaches in New York City, for which the only requirement is middle-school arithmetic, students wrestle with comparative statistics on cell phones and landlines, trends in birth rates in different states, and measuring time using decimalized days and weeks. “What’s needed is a facility for sensing symptoms of bias, questionable samples, and dubious sources of data,” says Hacker.


      He believes this kind of math should take the place of algebra and geometry in high school – except for students who want to pursue a more-abstract, advanced math track. For most students, says Hacker, “all those X’s and Y’s can inhibit becoming deft with everyday digits.”

    • According to a 2015 study in The Journal of Pediatric Psychology, parents are four times more likely to tell girls to be careful than boys because of an unconscious belief that females are more fragile than males.
    • “When a girl learns that the chance of skinning her knee is an acceptable reason not to attempt the fire pole,” says Paul, “she learns to avoid activities outside her comfort zone. Soon many situations are considered too scary, when in fact they are simply exhilarating and unknown. Fear becomes a go-to feminine trait, something girls are expected to feel and express at will. By the time a girl reaches her tweens no one bats an eye when she screams at the sight of an insect. When girls become women, this fear manifests as deference and timid decision making… Books on female empowerment proliferate on our shelves. I admire what these writers are trying to do – but they come far too late.”
    • “[B]y cautioning girls away from these experiences, we are not protecting them. We are failing to prepare them for life… We must embolden girls to master skills that at first appear difficult, even dangerous. And it’s not cute when a 10-year-old girl screeches, ‘I’m too scared.’”
    • “Teaching perseverance depends heavily on the questioning skills of teachers,” say the authors. “Teachers need to understand the how and why of good questions so they can help students dig deeply and avoid superficial responses.”
    • Effort. Some educators think Dweck is saying they should reinforce effort, not outcomes. Not so! says Dweck: “Our work shows that you can praise the outcome as long as you also talk about the process that led to the outcome… Telling kids just to try hard is not helpful. It doesn’t tell them all the strategies, resources, and input they’ll need to get there.”
    • False mindsets. Some teachers give lip service to the growth mindset but secretly hold fixed beliefs about some students’ ability to succeed. Or they might frown on mistakes rather than treating them as integral to learning, or make the work easier so students won’t have to struggle.
    • Often, when kids feel confused about something, they feel like they’re back to square one.” She suggests giving a pretest and using it later to show struggling students the progress they’ve made.
    • Triggers. All of us, teachers and students, are a mix of fixed and growth mindsets, says Dweck. Acknowledge that. Fixed thinking is part of you but it’s not you!
    • the 50th- percentile scores of English language learners are lower than the 10th-percentile scores of non-ELL students. “Low levels of science achievement are no longer a ‘gathering storm,’” say the authors, “but now are rapidly approaching a ‘Category 5’ in their potential to derail the nation’s long-term global competitiveness. If left unaddressed, and given the nation’s increasing economic disparities, low science achievement may be experienced by growing segments of the U.S. adult population.
    • The result may be an electorate with more limited ability to understand pressing public policy issues necessitating greater scientific literacy as well as lower employment and economic prosperity.”
    • Morgan, Hillemeier, Maczuga, and Farkas investigated the degree to which several factors affected science achievement: family characteristics; parenting quality; school demographics; school academic climate; students’ general knowledge; reading and math achievement; and approaches to learning. They found that parenting quality had relatively little impact on students’ science achievement, but their math and reading proficiency were key factors as they moved through the grades, along with self-regulation, the degree to which their school had a high concentration of poor and minority students, and the instructional resources teachers had at their disposal.
    • These findings point to the importance of intervening early to fill in knowledge gaps – in early-childhood and preschool programs and parent education – and then working on a broad front in elementary and middle schools to bolster students’ reading, math, and behavioral proficiency.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/15/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/12/2016

    • Assessment practices in PBL should reveal useful information and give students an opportunity to reflect on their progress.
    • Andrew pointed out that since projects tend to be lengthy, students need to know where they are in the process. It’s not like traditional practice, when students are assessed on a lesson-by-lesson or assignment-and-test basis and don’t need to keep track of where they are in relation to the requirements of completing a project over a longer period of time.
    • He also suggested teachers emphasize the temporary nature of grades, and focus on having a growth mindset: “This is where you’re at now, but you will move forward.”
    • Michelle warned of the tendency of teachers to “teach it more, teach it harder” when trying to improve a skill such as writing. “It’s well worth the time and energy it takes to teach students how to assess each other’s writing; it’s powerful.” Andrew noted how some teachers, when they realize some students didn’t get a concept, call a halt to everyone’s project work and re-teach the whole class, perhaps out of fear of letting go. Instead, pull the students who need it to the side for a mini-lesson, and let the other students continue working. Kelly mentioned that teachers she’s observed often spend quite a bit of time designing a project but not enough time planning assessment. I

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/11/2016

    • Students want projects to be integrated across subjects, not separated by discipline.
    • “It was a struggle because we didn’t really know where we were going, but I always find those are the best ones.”
    • Students like to know why they’re learning something and they want to access that information through a lens that interests them. “If teachers give broad guidelines for the project and then have students do something they’re interested in it will bring students along the whole time,” said Gramann. “Treat students like adults. If the students feel like they’re worth it they’ll act more like adults.”
    • Projects can often last for several weeks, so students need motivation to stay engaged and committed to deeply engaging a topic. Authentic choice is one aspect of allowing that to happen.
    • “If you really let them know, and use real life problems, it will help them understand it and they will feel like it’s worth doing,”
    • He was adamant that learning how to connect a topic to oneself is the key to learning. “Throughout middle school you have to develop skills of how things connect to yourself,”
    • “If you get hands-on and they’re really interacting with what they’re doing, it’s really helpful,” said Trey Lewis, a junior at North County.
    • “Collaborating productively is a leadership skill at this school,”
    • Other students talked about difficult collaborations too, emphasizing that it runs more smoothly if one group member agrees to keep everyone on track.
    • They also said it gets easier over time as students begin to understand one another’s needs and motivations and can begin to operate as a cohesive group.
    • The number one thing that students on the panel said makes them want to try hard and succeed is knowing that teachers care about them and are part of the learning journey with them.
    • Every student reiterated that high expectations and strong support from teachers are crucial. “I feel motivated because the teachers make me feel worth it,” said Gramann. “I feel that I have responsibility and credibility.”
    • Every student on the panel had a story of big failure on an important class project. But because the culture of their schools encourage them to learn from mistakes, they can clearly articulate what they’d do differently next time and even laugh about it.
  • tags: stanford dschool design thinking PBL

    • Differentiation is a long word that sounds complicated but it just means teachers plan for the children who are actually in their class, instead of designing lessons for their idea of the “average” child.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/09/2016

  • Maker programming resources as well as documentation on newer tools like 3D printers, CNC milling machines and laser cutters.

    tags: project based learning maker makerspace makered

  • PBL lesson plans for science broken down by subject area. Includes short summaries of each lesson.

    tags: project project based learning pbl lesson plans science ips physical science life science earth science

  • This interview offers several methods for helping students and teachers build empathy. Strategies include interviews, observations and immersing oneself in the experience of another.

    tags: design thinking empathy mindset SEL

    • At the most basic level, design thinking is thought of as a 5-step process. The first step is to empathize, which is getting into other people’s shoes… literally! Interviewing people, observing them or immersing yourself in what they do. The second step is to define, which is when designers identify implicit needs that users have, or reframe a problem in a new way. The third step is to ideate, which is when designers brainstorm novel solutions to the problems or opportunities they have identified. The fourth step is to prototype, that is making ideas tangible, often with few resources. The last step is to test, which is inviting users to experience your solution and having them help you make it better.
    • one principle is having an empathetic mindset, which means that you are always looking for multiple and diverse points of view before you make decisions about a problem. Another principle is to have a bias towards action, which is having an idea and doing something about it. Another principle is identifying and challenging assumptions, which is being aware that there are norms accepted as “truth” and challenging them.
    • Using a process like design thinking helps designers to get into the lives and experiences of others. It helps them be less focused on their own emotions and more focused on what is actually needed.
    • There are three meaningful ways to develop empathy for others. One way is through interviewing, where you have conversations with your end users.
    • Another way to develop empathy is through observation;
    • A third way to develop empathy is by immersing yourself in other people’s’ experiences.
    • Observing, interviewing and immersing are only the first steps in the empathy work. The rest of the work includes interpreting what you see, hear, and experience, and making some leaps about what it all means.
    • Design thinking creates this cycle of learning, where by immersing yourself into other people’s experiences, you learn to uncover more about yourself.
    • The scientific method, the writing process and design thinking all require that you are intentional about what you do and why you do it.
    • One example is a strategy called “why laddering”, where you ask the question “why” several times in a row.
    • Once designers get to this important emotional information, they can start designing solutions to replicate these emotions.
    • Designing for others is an act of kindness and fidelity;
  • @JillBergeron2 Thanks, Jill! Did you know that @askMsQ is doing #designthinking workshop in Menlo Park this summer?

    tags: designthinking

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 03/08/2016

  • NC design thinking workshop for independent schools.

    tags: design thinking PD professional development

  • This is a PD opportunity centered on design thinking. It is held annually at the end of March at High Tech High GSE.

    tags: design thinking PD professional development

    • For educators ready to try the idea of design thinking, you’ll be glad to know it does not require extensive transformation of your classroom.
    • For students, the best classroom experience is a space of possibility.
    • Kids love gym not just because they get to play and move, but because they are the actors, and they produce the entire experience. Time flies in a classroom that is a space of possibility.
    • It can be challenging to transition a traditional classroom into a space of possibility. The traditional classroom is ordered, moves efficiently, and rules and expectations are clearly delineated. In the traditional classroom, kids are asked to adjust their learning styles and bodies and voice tones to the expectations of the teacher.
    • in a classroom that is a space of possibility, the students have agency, and the products and processes can be moving targets.
    • You can run a flexible studio space in your classroom for a certain part of the day. “Choice time” is a common example of a modified space of possibility in a traditional classroom.
    • The first place to seek the curriculum is in your classroom’s daily activities.
    • A good studio experience is about 5-15 minutes of presentation and discussion and then about a 45-60 minutes of hands-on work time, plus 10-15 minutes of peer critique. During studio time the teacher circulates, assists students, and helps keep them engaged.
    • Most professional designers work with simple materials in the design process, and kids should too.
    • You can best assist the students by answering their questions with questions. If a student asks, “What should I do?” you can answer with, “ If you wanted to improve the design of (insert a common object), what would you change?” This is higher-level inquiry, because you do not have the right answer.
  • These three toolkits provide teachers with resources to integrate design thinking into their classes.

    tags: design thinking

  • This site is a lot like Teachers Pay Teachers. There are some good looking lessons in here and they range in price from free to $5.

    tags: lessons lesson plans pbl math innovation

  • This pathfinder offers up another way to do all school summer reading.

    tags: PD professional development in-service pathfinder

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.