Children ran from school buses with shrieks of excitement and expectations of what the next two and a half months might bring, the telltale sign that school is out for the summer in my town. Teachers have left their classrooms for a well-deserved break. Over the next two and half months they will imagine, think about, and organize their thoughts about what they will share with students in their 2017-2018 classrooms. They will spend some time working on their own professional learning plans. Their plans all likely include books to read.
Researching In A Digital World by Erik Palmer explains how to teach students at all grade levels to conduct deeper, smarter, and more responsible research in an online environment. This is great information for teachers looking to find ways to help students navigate the internet while conducting research. As digital natives, students are certainly at home online, but how much do they know about using the internet as a research tool? They need help to find the best and most credible resources, how to evaluate the “facts” they come across, and how to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations when they incorporate others’ work into their own.
17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong speaks to the level of engagement and thinking your students are doing in the classroom. Authors John V. Antonetti and James R. Garver have designed a model to help teachers create a higher level of thinking and engagement from their students. They’ve visited more than 17,000 classrooms and examined a variety of teaching and learning conditions, talked to students, examined their work, and determined their levels of thinking and engagement. From their experiences they share their insights with teachers on how to smooth the transition from simply planning instruction to designing high-quality student work. They share that most educators are skilled at planning instruction and determining what they will do during the course of a lesson, but to truly engage students in worthwhile, rigorous cognition, a shift in focus may be necessary – from teaching to learning. They share that, “whoever is doing the work is also doing the learning, and in most classrooms, teachers are working much too hard.”
So enjoy this summer’s break. What do you plan to read, imagine, think about, and organize for the next school year?
Fidget spinners have suddenly become one of the hottest topics in education right now. They are the current craze with students all over the United States. Touted as a low-tech toy, they are perceived as being either helpful or harmful, depending who you ask. Countless articles, blogs, podcasts, interviews, etc. can be found each day… Continue Reading
I just read a good article about teaching students to collaborate, and just last week I shared some thoughts about students and collaboration. For three decades or more we have been working on being better at teaching students to collaborate, as well as working to be better at it ourselves. Regardless of where we are… Continue Reading
I watched “Hidden Figures” on a plane ride home after facilitating a recent workshop. I am not real comfortable blatantly crying on a plane, but this time it did not matter!! While the film made me realize I have never been so sure that the work I do and the profession I chose thirty-five years… Continue Reading
I facilitated an AIMS math/science workshop last week in North Dakota. During the day, one of our participants realized that she needed to spend more time helping her students find ways to learn together, rather than in isolation. Midway through our morning she said, “I need to get better at being collaborative, and now I… Continue Reading
Students love to “do” science and be creative while engaged in the process. In order to be creative as they “do” it, they need know how scientists work. Students need to have an understanding of the practices that scientists use while working and be able to apply those practices in their classrooms. One way that… Continue Reading
Last week I was in Fresno, California,spending time at the AIMS Center for Math and Science Education. Most of my time is spent working remotely from home in Great Falls, Montana. I really look forward to my trips and my time at the AIMS mother ship. My time spent with office colleagues is so valuable.… Continue Reading
This week I submitted two proposals to present at the 2018 annual convention of the National Science Teachers Association in Atlanta. I am hoping that at least one of them gets chosen for me to present. One of my proposals is about how students can lead the learning in the science classroom by having it… Continue Reading
I started teaching in August of 1985. Yes, that was a long time ago, but my passion for learning and education is as strong, if not stronger, than when I first started in this amazing profession. Last week I accomplished a long-term professional goal of mine, by presenting a session in San Antonio, Texas, at… Continue Reading
To sum up the 2017 NCTM annual conference in San Antonio, Texas takes only one word, AWESOME!! As I’ve shared before, I look forward to conferences. They provide opportunities for me to be laser focused on education, a time to reconnect and collaborate, an opportunity to be current, a time to meet other like-minded educators,… Continue Reading