Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

We had a great group discussing gamification in education last night!  Check out the discussion at www.teachSDA.org and add your thoughts @teachSDA.

Now for this weeks articles:
1. The Importance of Reflection in Education
More than likely, since I’m not sure exactly WHY I failed a test, the only connection my brain makes is “Math = F”. Since most kids really do want to be successful, students also equate “F=Failure” and “Failure=Bad”. They don’t understand that failure is a part of the learning process, largely because we as teachers don’t allow students to re-do work and learn from mistakes. As a result, they come to hate the subject or the teacher, never really knowing why other than “I suck at Math.”
This is precisely why reflection is so important. Although it’s a cumbersome and time-consuming practice to teach to kids, without reflection it is almost impossible for actual “learning” to occur.

2. 10 things your students need from you this year

3. The Eight Characteristics Of Effective School Leaders
Trying to pin down what makes an effective school leader can be a little like trying to eat soup with a fork, but a group of academics has come up with what looks like a pretty good list.

4. Enter the 36 Chambers of Teaching (What We Can Learn from the Wu-Tang Clan)
Your first question ought to be, "What in the world does this have to do with my classroom?" Well, it has lots to do everybody's classroom, as evidenced by GZA’s recent work with Professor Christopher Emdin and science education. If we can reach our students on their level, we have the opportunity to make our pedagogy relevant to some of our harder-to-reach students of all backgrounds.

5. The Importance of Low-Stakes Student Feedback
Assessment is both a cornerstone of measuring learning and a point of contention between educators and policymakers. Most educators agree that learning must be evaluated to track student progress, but many also resent that high stakes testing determines public school funding, teacher salaries and children’s futures. While many educators want to see more authentic forms of assessment become the standard in public education, decades of policies and practices reinforce the current system.

6. When Providing Feedback to Teachers, Use Multiple Observers
I love feedback. I make it a point to gather up multiple perspectives like a bouquet in an effort to tweak, revise, and improve. However, most educators don't have this luxury.
Most educators are evaluated by a single administrator. I know this because it happened to me. I was only evaluated by one person during my last 3 years of teaching. One voice. One set of ideas. One single thread of feedback.

7. Make a Bouncing Polymer Ball
I'm starting my science units this semester so here are some links!

8. Scientific Method
Most science classes, including biology, start with an introductory lesson on the nature of science.  The scientific method is an integral part of all science classes.  Students should be encouraged to problem-solve and not just perform step by step experiments.

9. 10 Easy Science Experiments For Kids
Water density. Osmosis. Surface tension. No, we’re not developing a high school science curriculum! These are just a few of the scientific concepts the experiments below illustrate. Even the smallest kids can participate in these easy, top-rated science experiments for kids. You just may have a budding scientist on your hands!

10. A Great Guide on Teaching Students About Digital Footprint
Have you ever Googled yourself ? Have you ever checked your virtual identity? Do you know that you leave a digital footprint every time you get online? Do you know that whatever you do online is accumulated into a digital dossier traceable by others ? These and several other similar questions are but the emerging tip of the sinking iceberg.One that is packed full of concerns related to issues of our online identity and privacy issues.

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