Sunday, February 9, 2014

What I Learned @teachSDA

It's Winter Olympic's time and I will reignite my unexplainable addiction to Curling.  I don't really understand it but I can't stop watching it.

This weeks discussion will be about formative and summative assessment.  The first article is 'homework' to be a little prepared for the discussion.  Should formative assessment always be graded?

1. Using Homework As Formative Assessment
Within my district there is quite a debate going on about the difference between formative and summative assessments.  Specifically, the administration in my school district has developed a common syllabus for our teachers this year which states that 30% of a student’s grade should be made up of formative assessments (homework, journals, etc.) and the remaining 70% should be made up of summative assessments (quizzes, tests, exams).  I am on the side that is arguing that a formative assessment should never be graded – it is supposed to be used as a tool to evaluate teaching so that adjustments can be made to instruction.

2. 5 Tips to Help Teachers Who Struggle with Technology
"I'm not very tech savvy" is the response I usually hear from teachers that struggle with technology. Whether it's attaching a document to an email or creating a PowerPoint, some teachers really have a difficult time navigating the digital world. As schools around the globe begin to embed the use of technology in their learning environments, these teachers can be left feeling frustrated and marginalized by the new tools they are required to use but do not understand.

3. The Superintendency and Social Networking
“When you hire me, you don’t just get me, you get my network.”
At least, that’s what I argued four years ago when I interviewed for the superintendency.

4. How Rewards Can Backfire and Reduce Motivation
Surely one of the best ways to generate motivation in ourselves and others is by dangling rewards?Yet psychologists have long known that rewards are overrated. The carrot, of carrot-and-stick fame, is not as effective as we’ve been led to believe. Rewards work under some circumstances but sometimes they backfire. Spectacularly.

5. Tons of Google Forms For Teachers, Administrators and Students
This is basically a treasure trove packed full of handy Google forms you can use with your students in the classroom. There are also forms for administrators and another selection for professional development. So those of you who do not have time to design their own forms, this page is a must bookmark for future reference. If you are not yet familiar with how to use Google Forms and want a head start, check out the resources below.

6. How to Use Wild Hog Questions in the Classroom
Eighty percent of what we do as learning engineers is ask questions. Because this is such a big part of what we do to inspire learning, we should do it really well!

7. Are You Not Entertained? How to Build a Dynamic Lecture
Most educators agree that since the Middle Ages, the lecture has been over-used. Where agreement ends is on the question of its advantages and disadvantages as an instructional approach.

8. Building Brain Literacy in Elementary Students
For many students, the brain isn't a hot topic of conversation. This is especially true for younger students who are still trying to understand the world around them, and are still far from developing physiological self-awareness of the very thing that gives them that self-awareness.

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