only about 13 percent of elementary and secondary math and science lessons are both responsive and rigorous – that is, respectful of students’ ideas while also teaching the required curriculum.
[H]igh levels of rigor cannot be attained in classrooms where teachers are unresponsive to students’ ideas or puzzlements.”
The tendency that Thompson and her colleagues observed in the secondary science classrooms they observed was that teachers either acted as the sage on the stage, dispensing science knowledge for students to memorize and regurgitate, or “elicited students’ ideas, opening up a range of possible ideas for consideration, but then narrowed the set of possible ideas to the correct science idea by the end of the class period, doing little to support subsequent sense-making.”
Why? In both cases, it was because teachers wanted to keep their classroom under reasonable control and cover the curriculum. These two concerns acted as “sink stoppers” on the flow of ideas in classrooms, say the authors, preventing the ideal balance of curriculum coverage and student participation.
The very small number of teachers who were successful in combining rigor and responsiveness did three things: (a) Responding to and building on students’ science ideas and getting them talking in whole-class and small-group settings; (b) Encouraging participation in a learning community and reinforcing classroom norms; and (c) Eliciting and incorporating students’ lived experiences to build vivid scientific stories.
The secret sauce, say the authors, is for teachers to orchestrate or seize upon teachable moments, in any part of the lesson, have students juxtapose their first-hand experiences with known scientific ideas and concepts, and talk ideas through in a supportive classroom environment.
“students authored and owned scientific explanations while carefully listening and building on the ideas of others. Both teachers and students regularly engaged in in-the-moment sense-making and focused on synthesizing knowledge. Multiple students’ ideas were framed as legitimate resources that helped the whole class make progress on canonical science understandings, even as the science was localized in students’ experiences. Scientific knowledge was treated as partial and under constant revision.
Why did so few lessons successfully balance student voice and curriculum rigor? The authors believe it’s because of the perennial difficulty of juggling four classroom dilemmas:
When there was too much of a gap between curriculum content and students’ ideas and misconceptions, teachers tended to revert to the Initiate-Respond-Evaluate pattern to keep students on track and move the lesson along.
In the most effective classrooms, teachers jotted students’ ideas on easel sheets, posted them on the wall, and were able to quickly point out connections from previous lessons.
In the best lessons, there was less concern about the number of students participating than the quality of responses and the whole class putting together a good understanding of the topic.
How to legitimately use students’ lived experience and language to shape instruction? This was the biggest challenge for teachers, with fewer than 3 percent successfully incorporating real-life stories into lessons. Most of the time, teachers borrowed language from students’ stories and incorporated it into teacher-centered explanations.
at least 90 percent of teachers were rated Effective or Highly Effective
Teachers should pose questions that push students to think clearly and hold them accountable for the quality of their thinking. “The ultimate goal,” they say, “is for these questions to become infused in the thinking of students, forming part of their inner voice, which then guides them to better and better reasoning.”
-<!--[endif]-->Clarity – Could you elaborate further? Could you give me an example?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Accuracy – How could we find out if that is true? How could we verify or test that?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Precision – Could you be more specific? Could you give me more details?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Relevance – How does that relate to the problem? How does that help us with the issue?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Depth – What factors make this a difficult problem? What are some of the difficulties we need to deal with?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Breadth – Do we need to look at this from another perspective?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Logic – Does all this make sense together? Does your first paragraph fit in with your last? Does what you say follow from the evidence?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Significance – Is this the most important problem to consider? Is this the central idea to focus on?
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Fairness – Do I (you, they, etc.) have any vested interest in this issue? Am I (you, they, etc.) sympathetically representing the viewpoints of others?
Duke says the research suggests the following time-honored practices are not helpful in developing students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills:
• Ineffective practice #1: Looking up words in the dictionary, writing definitions, and using them in a sentence
Giving students stickers, bracelets, or fast-food coupons for reading – These extrinsic incentives actually undermine motivation and make students less likely to choose to read
Friday spelling tests on a single word list –
Unsupported silent reading time
“To make independent reading worthy of class time, it must include instruction and coaching from the teacher on text selection and reading strategies, feedback to students on their reading, and text discussion or other post-reading response activities.”
Ineffective practice #5: Taking away recess as a punishment
Clarity of purpose – At the beginning of a curriculum unit or project, students need to see why they’re doing it, the learning goals, the criteria for success, and models of high-quality end products.
• Classroom discussion – “Teachers need to frequently step offstage and facilitate entire-class discussion,” says Alber. “This allows students to learn from each other. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively assess (through observation) how well students are grasping new content and concepts.”
• Feedback – Students need to know how they’re doing as individuals and as a class. They also need opportunities to give their teachers feedback to allow for adjustments in pedagogy and materials.
• Formative assessments – Minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and week-by-week checks for understanding are essential to students knowing how they are doing with respect to the ultimate learning goals.
• Metacognitive strategies – Students need opportunities to plan, organize, direct, and monitor their own work – and to reflect as they proceed. “When we provide students with time and space to be aware of their own knowledge and their own thinking,” says Alber, “student ownership increases. And research shows that metacognition can be taught.”
In this Edutopia article, Youki Terada (Research Curation) says that students with ADHD can concentrate better if they are allowed to fidget. But what if their fidgeting distracts other students? Here are some solutions:
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Squeeze balls – Several products allow students to quietly squeeze (preferably under their desks): squishy balls, stress balls, koosh balls, and hand exercisers.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Fidgets – These are small objects that help keep students’ hands occupied; bracelets, Rubik’s Cubes, slinkies, Silly Putty, and Playdough can also do the job.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Velcro – Taping the hard-side of a Velcro strip to the underside of a desk gives students something to touch; emery boards or straws can also work.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Gum – If gum is against the rules, chewable necklaces can help students stay focused, also plastic tubing or rubber bands wrapped around the end of a pencil.
Doodling or drawing – This works for some non-ADHD students as well.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Background noise – A fan at the back of the room, or the swishing sound of water in an aquarium, can help students focus.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Music – Listening on headphones can work, as long as it doesn’t interfere with what’s happening in the classroom.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Chair leg bands – A large rubber band or yoga band tied across the front legs of a chair allows students to push or pull against it with their legs.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Exercise balls – Sitting on these can help many students focus.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Swivel, wobble, disk, or rocking chairs – Being able to twist or rock is very helpful to students with ADHD.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Standing desks – Standing up while working helps a broad spectrum of students.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Desks with built-in swinging footrests – These reduce the noise that would otherwise come from foot-tapping.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->A stationary bike or small trampoline – One of these at the back of the class can provide a physical time-out for fidgety students – as well as healthy exercise.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Classroom space for moving around – An open area can allow students to stand, stretch, dance, pace, or twirl.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Flexible work locations – “Students don’t have to do their learning at their desk,” Terada says. Perching on the windowsill might be good, or being allowed to move from one learning station to another.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.