Dominick Recckio, an accomplished high school student who blogs for Edutopia, surveyed students at his school on their homework habits and then wrote up some tips for both teachers and students on easing the nightly process. Within the post, he offers this reminder that students are often appreciative and receptive when teachers put work in a real-world context: What could be a better way of answering students' biggest question—"When am I ever going to use this?"—than by showing them? There are many ways this could be done. Teachers could assign students the task of finding their own applications...


By guest blogger Colette Marie Bennett, author of "To Pass or Not to Pass? The End-of-Year Moral Dilemma" Two weeks ago, I composed a First Person piece that questioned whether I should pass or fail a student in my English II class who could meet many of the benchmarks but had failed to complete the assignments. I could not justify a passing grade. The post was published in Education Week Teacher and received a spectrum of replies that ranged from the hardline stance of "flunk her" to a more forgiving "grades are meaningless so pass her" position. Some responses questioned ...


Grockit, the online test prep company, has recently launched a new social learning site similar to Pinterest, but designed specifically for educators and students, according to T.H.E. Journal, an education-technology news magazine. On Learnist, users can "pin" YouTube videos, audio clips, and other content they find on the Web to digital bulletin boards, which Grockit calls "learn boards." The boards can be organized by theme or lesson and shared on other social media sites. Users can comment on individual posts, and educators can reorder materials on their boards. A recent article on Mashable said Grockit founder Farbood Nivi ...


On Powerful Learning Practice's "Voices" blog, high school English teacher Shelley Wright says that teachers and students need to understand that blogging is very different in kind from persuasive-essay writing. It's more informal, looser in structural demands, and more playful. And in the long run, Wright argues, it's likely a more useful skill: I think writing and persuasive thinking skills are important. However, I question the current products we require of students as proof of their learning. Most of the essays written by our students likely end up in the garbage or the computer trash can. And most are for ...


In the Highlands County School District in Sebring, Fla., science teachers are voicing their opposition to the district's decision to eliminate hands-on-dissections in schools for next year, according to Highlands Today.


Something for you English teachers out there: Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger has an interesting piece on the downfall of decent grammar in the work place—a consequence, observers say, of the prevalence of informal communication conventions today.


A commentary piece on CNN.com hones in on Josh Hoekstra, a U.S. history teacher in Minneapolis who has found a way to captivate his students' attention: His teaching curriculum, called Teach With Tournaments, is modeled after college basketball's March Madness tournament.


Teach for America announced today that, as of this fall, the group will have more than 10,000 first- and second-year corps members working in schools—the largest corps yet and a 10 percent increase over last year's total. The organization has also become the top employer for graduating seniors at 55 universities, according to the press release, including the University of California-Berkeley, Howard University, Yale University, and Arizona State University. (The word choice there is a bit peculiar, however, since TFA itself does not technically employ or pay the corps members—the districts they work for do.) Other interesting...


In response to our recent First Person article lauding the merits of flipped classrooms, Arthur McKee, a managing director at the National Council on Teacher Quality, offers some cynicism, writing that the model is unproven but likely to proliferate "given all the attention (and money) it's getting." In order for teachers to be effective in the flipped setting, he writes, several things have to happen: • Districts have to become more choosey about their online materials than they have been about textbooks. "Good teachers can make up for the shortcomings of bad printed curricular materials through their lectures," he writes. "But ...


The University of Houston has brought attention to a study that found there is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of African-American students and the percentage of African-American teachers in a particular school.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has put $1.4 million into the development of an "engagement pedometer," a bracelet intended to measure students' emotional responses to instruction, according to Reuters. The devices, which have been tested to gauge consumers' reactions to advertising, could tell teachers in real-time "which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out." They could also help educators decide what style of instruction—online learning, games, lecture, etc.—best holds students' interest. The bracelets work by sending a small electric current across the student's skin and measuring "subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic...


Miss Eyre at NYC Educator offers some concise year-end reflections on looping with a class to the next grade level, which she did for the first time between 2010-11 and 2011-12. Among the pros, she says the stability of having the same teacher is good for "your fragile, awkward kids who tend to withdraw. ... [I]t allows some of them to open up and form relationships, with the teacher and the classmates, that might be hard for them otherwise." Looping also "really does allow you to get more done," she writes, because you begin the year with established routines. There ...


Speaking of alternative career paths, Time has an interesting profile of a Colorado science teacher who, after being laid off from her classroom job, took a position with an online high school. She is now part of what's clearly a burgeoning industry: According to data cited in the article, 30 states now allow students to take courses entirely online, and some 2 million K-12 students "participate in some form of online education." "Steady growth," the article continues, "has meant there's a pressing need for virtual teachers, some of whom never set foot in a classroom." But for some educators, online ...


A New York Times article chronicles the disturbing—and seemingly growing—trend of prescription stimulant abuse among ambitious high school students. According to the Times, the use of pills prescribed for A.D.H.D.—i.e., Adderall, Concerta, Focalin, and Vyvanse—among teenagers at competitive high schools has gone from "rare to routine." Students say they get the pills from friends or student dealers "or fake symptoms to their parents and doctors to get prescriptions." One young woman who used stimulants in high school and still occasionally does as an Ivy League student explains that using drugs "wasn't...


Pointing to a surge in teacher job losses in the region, an article in the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch highlights alternative career options for educators. It cites the example of a 20-year teaching veteran in the area who four years ago started her own business as a district professional development consultant. Some educators, the article notes, may find that, with a little reconfiguring, they may be able to position themselves for private-industry jobs as well. "The whole context of education has changed," says Patrice Hallock, chair of the education program at Utica College. "Our teachers who are coming out of ...


A new study out of the University of Illinois suggests that teachers may not always be well-equipped to respond effectively to students' emotional outbursts, according to a report on Psychcentral.com. For the study, researchers collected self-assessments from 24 student-teachers relating to their own emotion-regulation tendencies and their beliefs about students' emotional lives. The student-teachers were then periodically monitored in their classroom interactions with children. The study found that the student-teachers who had reported more developed strategies for mananging the own emotions—through situational "reappraisal," for example—provided more supportive responses to children's emotional flare-ups. Also beneficial was holding ...


The Washington Post's Emma Brown takes a deep dive into the proceedings surrounding a tenured Virginia teacher's fight against termination. The piece illustrates the complexity of defining what makes a good or bad teacher—especially in a district like Fairfax County, which has historically not taken any student achievement measures into account in making that determination. (That will change next year when Virginia follows many other states' leads in requiring student achievement to be a "significant" factor in teacher evaluations.) Violet Nichols, a mentor teacher with more than 30 years experience and a doctorate, was recommended for dismissal on the ...


Instructional technologist Bud the Teacher has some decidedly non-high-tech advice for writing teachers who want to streamline their grading process. Grade less: And that doesn't mean that teachers shouldn't ask students to write, and write often. But we don't need to grade everything that comes to us. In fact, we should grade very little of it. Heck, and I know this'll sound a bit weird, but we shouldn't even read all the writing we ask students to do. He goes on to contend that the assumption that teachers will read and mark up everything students write is at cross-purposes with ...


For the 2nd year running, our blogger Anthony Cody is among the winners of the California Teachers Association's annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence. The award recognizes "outstanding achievements in reporting and interpreting public education issues during 2011." Say what you will about him—and people certainly do—he's a passionate and enterprising blogger who generates a lot of dialogue around big issues and initiatives facing the education field. I can also attest that he's exceptionally conscientious about his work and open to feedback—which (some might be surprised to hear) make him a pleasure to work with. Congratulations,...


Concerned that the teaching profession is rife with misconceptions about the connections between brain research and learning, a number of scientists and academics are advocating increased formal training for K-12 educators in neuroscience, according to an Education Week story. Some of the ideas mentioned certainly sound enriching and potentially constructive: Dr. Janet N. Zadina, a former high school teacher who is now an adjunct assistant professor in neurology at Tulane University, in New Orleans, said more cross-training of teachers and neuroscientists, including lab work for the teachers and classroom experience for the researchers, would help stop the "telephone game" of ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed On Teacher

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments