• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Skills

Posted by on in Teens and Tweens

Screen-Shot-2017-07-20-at-9.42.57-AM.png

… but learning isn’t.

I wrote my first book, Crush School: Every Student’s Guide To Killing It In The Classroom after realizing that most interesting education books are written for adults, and the ones students are forced to use in class mostly suck.

They’re not just uninteresting. They are dull and written in some weird code no one can, or wants to understand. And, they make your backpack look like you’re about to set off on a two week long hike in the wilderness, which would be cool if you’re into that sort of thing, except for the fact that you’re surrounded by concrete, glass, and steel. You’re not a horse either, so what’s the deal? I mean really…

And here’s one more unpopular opinion coming from this teacher. Most of the stuff in those books is useless. Most of the so-called knowledge can be googled. Some of this information will be outdated before you hit work. A lot of it is irrelevant right now.

...
Last modified on
Posted by on in Student Engagement

creativity

Check out Part 2 of my previous post, "Prompts to Pump Up Creativity and Imagination." The upcoming "sparks," all crucial areas in education, don't get enough time in our classrooms. They can be used in various ways: a "wake-up call" in the morning to get students thinking and feeling. The prompt can be written on the board or said orally to students. Give them a minute to understand what the statement, question, or "equation" means. Add another minute for reflection-and-thinking about their interpretation. Follow up with a class discussion about the prompt and all its associations, connections, meanings, and practical applications in everyday life.

You might want to add writing to this mini-lesson. Instead of just discussing the prompt with students orally, ask them to write a short paragraph response to it. Follow up with kids reading their responses to classmates and discussion. They would think about and reflect on the prompt's meanings, associations, connections, as well as their practical applications in everyday life, and write out their answers. It all culminates with students' oral readings and a class discussion.

Note: The mini-lesson should not exceed 30 minutes. Scan the different prompts and see which ones would be suitable for your students. This would work for upper elementary/middle school to high school students. 

CREATIVITY PROMPTS 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Resources

We make sense out of the world around us by forming connections in our brains. The more of these connections (information chunks) we have, the easier it is for our neurons to form new connections and understandings. Some concepts presented to young minds in schools are so new that they struggle with the initial understanding.

It is important for parents and teachers to be able to explain that this lack of understanding is NOT A RESULT OF BEING DUMB, which is a common stigma facing learners of all ages. Rather, the information does not make sense, because the needed neural network, the "chunk," hasn't had the time to fully form yet. 

We also need to tell our students that if they keep practicing, recalling, and using the information they will indeed grow the necessary neural structures. If they don't give up on learning tough concepts too quickly and we don't give up on them they will MAKE SENSE OUT OF NONSENSE.

chunking.png

This was Infographic #4 in the BRAIN-BASED LEARNING SERIES. Please check out Infographic #1 to learn how to Leverage Sleep to Maximize Learning, Infographic #2 to get Strategies on How to Fight Procrastination, and Infographic #3 to maximize Memory Retention.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Resources

SCIENCE

Having things is neat. Some things we need to survive. Others fulfill certain wants. But all things eventually crumble. It is this impermanence of tangible objects that has me convinced a meaningful life is made up of memories not things.

Memories become stories we tell our children, grandchildren, and, if we're lucky, great grand children. We recall them at the dinner table, around the camp fire, or on a road trip undertaken to create more memories. Some are so exhilarating they are told in books or adapted for screenplays of Oscar-winning movies.

Memories are meant to last. But how do we make them last?

memory.png

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in School Culture

woman.jpg

I love what I teach, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. There is definitely something to be said for scholarly endeavor, and for instilling in students a lifelong passion for the liberal arts. All the same, it’s unfortunate that, by comparison, schools place so little stock in teaching kids other highly relevant life skills.  After all, it’s great to cultivate critical thinking skills through core academics, but as educators, let’s be honest with ourselves. We need to seriously rethink whether a turgid emphasis on scholarly pursuit alone really prepares students to prosper in the real world.

Here is my top-five list of what schools and teachers fail to do.

We fail at teaching students how to market themselves

If you think “marketing” is a dirty word, and that educators have no business teaching students how to do this, you need to reconsider your role. In today’s digital age, it may be true that plenty of students know how to create digital media, but too few know how to produce high-quality content, the kind that makes them stick out to not only college admission officers, but also potential employers. What does this involve? We need to teach and encourage students to post original, quality content to brand their unique identities in a sea of increasingly indistinguishable resumes—which are going the way of the typewriter. Last year, I encouraged a talented student-journalist to post his work on Pathbrite, an online electronic portfolio that showcases his diverse writing, broadcasting, and reporting talents. I am currently helping a talented student-photographer create her own site, which she will use to brand her creative identity. At the very least, I encourage all of my seniors to create a Linked-In page.

...
Last modified on