Inviting Students to Learn
In "Reflections of a Dance School Dropout,"
National Teacher of the Year finalist Cindi Rigsbee recalls a recent experience growing out of her New Year's Resolution and shares some thoughts about student engagement and invitational learning. Cindi's essay was a favorite in ASCD SmartBrief recently. In difficult times, educators are eager for positive stories about classrooms and kids.
The Case for Slow Reading
Why would anyone encourage students to read slowly? English prof Thomas Newkirk recalls his own unrushed reads
and suggests that today's timed reading assessments and "most books read" contests can rob kids of the pleasure and understanding to be found in less frenetic reading. Among Newkirk's recommendations: encourage students to pay close attention to the beginning paragraphs of a story; teach them how to annotate a favorite page; let them search for and share a savored passage. From Educational Leadership
10 Tips to Improve PB Learning
Edutopia has an engaging new teacher guide that can help teachers design and assess project-based learning. The Top 10 Tips, presented in a colorful PDF you download at the site, are organized to follow the arc of a project. First comes the planning, then the launch into active learning, ultimately leading to a culminating presentation. Reflection is the critical final stage. The guide also includes a bonus tip: How to assemble your own PBL toolkit.
Find the Perfect Quotation
We know teachers love great quotations. How? We get lots of teacher emails that close with thought-provoking (and sometimes funny) quotes. So we figure a resource pointing to the best websites for locating memorable sayings will be a hit. Fortunately, teacher & Web king Larry Ferlazzo has done the work for us
. “I’ve searched and searched, and I still I’ve only found four sites that consistently provide sources for quotes and have a decent searchable database,” Larry says. He also includes a smart tip for sourcing unattributed quotes. And in another post, he offers a nice collection of education quotations
Math: What's the chance?
Probability offers one of those rare intersections where classroom mathematics crosses the experience of students in the middle grades, says this great resource
from the Math Portal at Ohio State University. "The problem scenarios investigated at this level often start with a game," and students "find that many of the phenomena they encounter in game playing have predictable outcomes." The activities, lesson plans, and project ideas in this teacher guide can help students generate data, note patterns that emerge, and compare their results with those predicted by probability.
"Movin' Up to the Middle"
Teacher-author and long time MiddleWeb friend Rick Wormeli has some excellent advice
about supporting young adolescents as they “move up to the middle.” In his article, published in the April issue of Educational Leadership (theme: The Transition Years
), Rick identifies five mindsets that he believes are key to designing successful transition programs. He also shares 20 “double duty” strategies to make sure all students feel ownership — and includes a half-dozen substantive tips that will help ensure great transitions.
Visual learning: the Infograph
"Using infographics is a great way to present information or data in a unique, visual way," says middle grades teacher J. Bartlett. "An infograph can convey information in way that can be quickly understood and absorbed." It can also "emphasize certain points from a lesson or allow content to 'hit home' when students see it visually." Barlett points us to the great blog Free Technology for Teachers where the infographics tag reveals lots of examples across the curriculum. Other resources: The New York Times is famous for its infographics and is teacher-friendly. And for sheer awesomeness, see this infograph on the impact of mobile tech on our lives and these 10 jaw-dropping graphics about education.
Um, how well do your students, like, speak?
Well-Spoken offers middle-level teachers of
all subjects a guide to teaching students how
to speak effectively, with practical strategies
for crafting, delivering and evaluating speeches.
Preview the entire book online.