Have you been exhausted, anxious or just plain stressed lately? Has the current focus on common core standards, accountability and insane politics put you over the edge? This is your lucky day! Step right up for a sure-fire remedy guaranteed to bring vitality and energy to teaching and learning. You will be amazed by the immediate results gained from a dose of humor.
Directions: Take frequently as needed for depression, bad mood, loneliness, anger and stress. Humor can also help improve relationships with administrators, parents and students. May be especially helpful in coping with difficult people. Keep in reach of children.
Warning label: Excessive use may cause tears. Can be contagious. Humor is more than the snake-oil skill of telling jokes. The research addressed here focuses on many preliminary findings, and could be biased toward the positive benefits of humor. Be absolutely certain that the drug is of the positive and healthy variety. (read more…)
One of the things I enjoy about exploring mathematics with young mathematicians is their excitement and authentic, genuine mindset in regards to learning. I am energized by their discoveries when they are exploring new concepts. Connections are made easily and this inspires students to look deeper. I also enjoy the many technologies that help me to capture my students mathematical understanding. Technology helps give everyone a voice.
During the month of November, we’ve been focusing on attributes of two- and three-dimensional shapes. Some of the two-dimensional attributes we are exploring include triangle, square, rectangle, circle and rhombus. Three-dimensional attributes include sphere, cylinder, cone and cube. Being a kindergarten teacher, I have lots of opportunities for my students to create, design and identify a variety of attributes inside and outside of the classroom.
I also look for tools and opportunities for my students to experience what attributes are and the special features they have. (read more…)
As we continue to fight to keep the arts in education, it is time to realize that the real fight is keeping the art in education. When I first started teaching many years ago, teaching was primarily seen as an art — an innate ability to use creative skill and imagination to communicate and build relationships that facilitate learning. The curriculum guide was a small gray book covering all subjects. Now, teaching is seen primarily as a science. Attention is paid to specific teaching techniques, core curriculum, testing and narrowly-focused results. Data is collected, analyzed and used more for accountability than to personalize student programs.
We need to create a balance of art and science as we nurture the students in our care. Granted, research over the past few decades has provided us with evidence of how the brain functions, how students learn in different ways and that they have multiple intelligences. (read more…)
SmartBrief on EdTech recently polled readers about the types of resources they find useful in developing curriculum for their students. Online resources were a top choice for educators involved in curriculum development, with more than 80% of respondents saying they find these the most helpful. The poll results also showed that online resources are being used to develop curriculum for students fairly equally across core subjects with just over 5% of respondents saying they use them for developing noncore-subject curricula.
Despite these findings, when it comes to sharing curriculum resources with their fellow educators, a majority of respondents reported most often using in-person meetings over both professional learning networks or social media.
Here is an overview of the results.
Which type of resources do you find most helpful in developing curriculum for students?
- Online resources — 81.13%
- Textbooks — 15.09%
- Software programs — 3.77%
Online resources are most helpful when developing curricula for which subject? (read more…)
Everywhere you look, kids are playing digital games. Whether it’s a game on a parent’s mobile phone or a student’s personal Minecraft account, many youngsters are engaging with games on a daily basis. These experiences have become an important thread within the fabric of youth culture.
However, many educators are still skeptical about the power of games for learning. In fact, many believe that time spent playing games is “wasted time.” However, such narrowly focused mindsets miss the enormous opportunities games offer. Well-designed educational games can hold incredible possibilities for teaching and learning. You just have to know what you’re looking for.
Over the past few months, Gayle Allen and I had the pleasure of teaming up with Zynga’s Co.Lab, a non-profit organization designed to assist educational game designers. I’ve met game designers, culled all of the current research on gaming and asked a lot of questions.
Our collaborative work and research addressed in a recent whitepaper has identified that many games offer opportunities for engagement, real-time data and persistence in ways that can’t be replicated in analog environments. (read more…)