EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • How (not) to Think of Social Emotional Learning

    A LESSON FROM 5TH GRADE PE I can’t remember much from 5th grade PE, but one day is as clear as can be. On the day that I remember well, our PE teachers had us run and run and run for the first half of class (and I ran more than most as running was my thing). Once we were basically worn flat out, the coaches used the second half of class to drive home a point about the value of taking care of yourself. They gave each student a straw and told us to run until they blew the whistle. So I’m running ...

    by Aaron Hogan
    Wednesday, 20 May 2015
  • student stress

    Strategies for Reducing Student Stress

    Testing, of course, is a big reason for much of the stress in today’s classrooms. Stress is not conducive to learning. Dr. William Stixrud summed it up quite nicely when he wrote, "stress hormones actually turn off the parts of the brain that allow us to focus attention, understand ideas, commit information to memory and reason critically." Not a whole lot of learning going on when that happens. It's darn hard to think straight when your system is poised for fight-or-flight. Testing, of cours ...

    by Rae Pica
    Tuesday, 19 May 2015
  • Something like magic

    My son started reading last week.  Just like that - one day he wasn't and the next day he was... fluently. Now, you may not consider this too spectacular, after all he's six, almost seven.  Maybe you're thinking that it's about time he started to read, already.  But here's the piece I left out: he goes to school in French; he's only ever been taught to read in French.  No one has taught him to read in English and yet last week, he suddenly started to.  He's also learni ...

    by Emily Caruso Parnell
    Tuesday, 19 May 2015
  • b2ap3_thumbnail_rule10_final-Conflict.jpg

    Why Kids Learn More By Not Sharing

    As soon as children are old enough to walk, we expect them to share. I prefer putting "share" in quotes, since this type of sharing is usually forced by the adult. Our goals are noble: kindness, generosity, awareness of others. Unfortunately, our approach backfires. Kids learn more life skills -- and develop better generosity - when they aren't forced to share. Of course, sharing squabbles happen all the time between kids. Here’s a typical scene: One child is busily engaged with a toy when a ...

    by Heather Shumaker
    Monday, 18 May 2015
  • The Opportunity is Here & Now

    I walked into a classroom to find 23 students busy at work. I walked around, and each student cheerfully said hello and proudly showed off their work. I stopped at one table, and the little girl and little boy were just sitting. I asked if they were finished, and both said no and looked very sad. I asked them where their paper was, and they both said they didn’t get one. I told the boy and girl to go ask for one, that sometimes this happens, but they need to ask the teacher for a paper. They d ...

    by Amy Heavin
    Sunday, 17 May 2015
View more blog entries