AIMS Center

Play is Risk-Tolerant

I recently read the following claim in a piece from the creative folks at KQED Mindshift: “Up to 70 percent of the tasks in most jobs are on track to be automated, leaving only the most creative, empathetic, technically fluent, collaborative work for humans. Students need to find motivation and meaning, and take a playful… Continue Reading

Passion and Play in the Classroom

The idea of “play” as an educational structure in the classroom is a not new concept, but historically there has been significant international interest in research related to the benefits of student learning through play. Mitchel Resnick, a founder of the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group, has just published a new book based around… Continue Reading

Discourse in Three

Have you ever been motivated, engaged, and thinking about something in a new or different way? What was the conversation about that made it meaningful? In science classrooms, teachers are asked to engage students in scientific discourse and make it meaningful. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) lists eight Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They… Continue Reading

The Metamorphosis of Teachers

Perhaps you have heard it said that the greatest influence in a classroom is not the equipment, or the curriculum, but the teacher. My work in preschool makes me believe this even more. In a single observation session I’ve seen a teacher be the mentor, the comforter, the organizer, the encourager, the innovator, and the… Continue Reading

If Only I’d Had the NGSS

For four years, I taught science every morning from 8:20AM – 9:10AM. I had a third and fourth grade combination that period because the third-grade teacher and I had swapped a couple of subjects. She took my Art class and I took her Science class. I thought that was a pretty good deal. I put… Continue Reading

What Does a Math Grade Mean to a 1st Grader?

Today I want to reflect a little about my struggles with grades, students’ conceptual understanding, and students’ disposition towards math. In my last post, I talked about how I used a bulletin board with an ocean scene and fish number stories to engage my students in meaningful experiences around addition. Students were connecting the addition… Continue Reading