Teacher Karl Schaefer is brave and deviates from a lesson plan that has always worked and has students remix a cartoon for learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I had never heard of Pixton but there are a lot of cartoon makers out there.
"So I took a slight risk and decided to tryout the Pixton for Schools accounts I had purchased as I wanted to try something different. I knew I was onto something when students began to remix the assigned comic and were saying how it was awesome, fun and the best thing they had done."
Good teachers have always known that empty praise produces empty results. Praise students for the work they do as well as for producing results. There is a fine line here, but the truth is, not everyone deserves praise in every classroom. Just know that students should be given genuine praise from honest observations. Great article for all teachers and principals to read. Glad to see we're having more common sense in this area.
"Now, an increasing number of teachers are weaning themselves from what some call empty praise. Drawing on psychology and brain research, these educators aim to articulate a more precise, and scientific, vocabulary for praise that will push children to work through mistakes and take on more challenging assignments. Consider teacher Shar Hellie's new approach in Montgomery County, Md.
To get students through the shaky first steps of Spanish grammar, Hellie spent many years trying to boost their confidence. If someone couldn't answer a question easily, she would coach him, whisper the first few words, then follow up with a booming "!Muy bien!"
But on a January morning at Rocky Hill Middle School, the smiling grandmother gave nothing away. One seventh-grade boy returned to the overhead projector three times to rewrite a sentence, hesitating each time, while his classmates squirmed in silence.
"You like that?" Hellie asked when he settled on an answer. He nodded. Finally, she beamed and praised the progress he was making -- in his cerebral cortex.
"You have a whole different set of neurons popping up there!" she told him.
A growing body of research over three decades shows that easy, unearned praise does not help students but instead interferes with significant learning opportunities. As schools ratchet up academic standards for all students, new buzzwords are "persistence," "risk-taking" and "resilience" -- each implying more sweat and strain than fuzzy, warm feelings."
These science teachers went to Antarctica to perform science experiments. One is about the effects of cold on the human body and how our bodies react to cold. The other is their quest for lichens. It also shares the importance of recording data accurately. I like it that these teachers explain it so simply.
Resources to teach students how to solve linear equations. If this is something that your students struggle with, look at these lesson plans and activities that you can download and use. Sometimes you need a different approach.
This will be a fascinating Twitter-centric event on February 2nd. Sign up now to participate.
"Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Ask Shakespeare is a one day, online event taking place on February 2, 2011. From the SBT: "On 2, February 2011 we are asking Shakespeare organisations, enthusiasts and scholars and professionals worldwide to sign up and join us on the Ask Shakespeare panel through their twitter accounts. On February 2, 2011 this panel will be ready to answer your Shakespeare questions." If you would like to represent TES English on the Ask Shakespeare panel, please message me."