• 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 Innovation

Posted by on in General

We talk a lot about how to increase student achievement and improve learning in our classrooms.

A lot of these conversations are centered around what needs to be added or changed in a classroom, NOT what should be removed. Many of the practices that still exist in classrooms across the country are not only outdated, but they are making progress and growth nearly impossible for schools and districts.

Here are 7 ways that you might be making progress and learning impossible for your students.

1. Lecturing too much.

If you didn't already know I'm not a huge fan of Lecturing. Not only does the research not support it (at all), but it is archaic, disengaging for students, and after only 10 minutes, you've lost over 50% of your students. Any longer and those numbers go up.

I truly don't care how good you think you are at lecturing, this is simply an ineffective practice when used on a daily basis or as the primary means of instruction. If you do this more than a few times a week, please stop. Direct instruction and lecturing have their limited place, and I'm not saying they should never happen in a classroom, but they should come in the form of short, purposeful, and targeted discussions with learners, not the tired and broken "sit and get" model of instruction.

[bctt tweet="If some of this hits a little too close to home, it's ok. It is okay for us to recognize that our classroom, or instruction, or management is not quite perfect. We can always improve.

...
Last modified on
Posted by on in General

StopTellingKidsToThinkOutsideTheBox.jpg

Tripping on 'shrooms in Prague once I stopped by an art gallery window and saw it. It was an orange dog; the tiniest of canines. A stain of fluorescent orange paint in the bottom right corner of a sizable painting of some natural scenery. I remember the grass, the trees, and the people in it but in that moment all I could focus on was the strange orange dog.

I was 23, window shopping, and laughing too hard at a silly little orange dog on an otherwise green painting. Later, I was examining people's faces on the metro ride back to the Airbnb-style room I booked. Being aware I'm influenced I felt I could look into anyone's soul and know who they were. It was like a superpower that allowed me to see them for who they really were; if they were good or bad.

And in case the good people in my school district's HR department are reading this occurred 17 years ago, happened before I became a teacher, and was the last time I used psychedelics. It's just that I still remember that dang dog and wonder if my memory would be so vivid had my consciousness not been altered. For some reason, my mind decided it was significant enough to keep and maybe it uses it somehow to this day without me even realizing.

Using More Of The Brain

Steve Jobs, Richard Feynman, Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bill Gates, John Coltrane, and The Beatles have 2 things in-common; they changed the world by being the GOATs (greatest of all time) of their respective crafts and they operated outside of the realm of conditioned and compliant thinking. Oh, and they all used psychedelics, so that would make it three things I suppose.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Differentiated Instruction

In the past, I’ve written several articles about the myths that prevents many teachers from using Differentiation as an integral part of how they meet learner needs.

They have resonated with educators who comment and share these articles with colleagues. I often hear how the articles empowered or gave teachers permission to do more. Best of all, most express finding affirmation for what they are already doing, which is one intention of these articles: Teachers do differentiate, whether unconsciously or with deliberation.

It’s time to change the focus from the myths to the truths. What are the realities for Differentiation?

There are many. Here is the first:

Differentiation starts with learners.

The standard language for Differentiation was introduced early on by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Allan in books in 1999 and 2001. It’s a language that continues to work today, as I note in So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation.

Learner Relationship1

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

stencil 2

“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” – Stephen Covey

images

Today when I was walking my dog in the neighborhood I stopped and took a few minutes to watch the waste management truck pick up the garbage and recycling. I watched the driver of the truck pull up to the recycling bin at the curb. He did not get out of the truck to empty the contents into the receptacle in the truck. He had a robotic arm attached to the truck pick up the recycling bin and empty the contents into a dumpster connected to the truck. This process was repeated at every house. This automation fascinated me as I contemplated garbage truck crews of my youth and how different they were. When I was a boy the garbage truck had a crew of three men, a driver, and two people who rode on the back of the truck and who emptied the trash into the truck and who operated the trash compactor.

My elementary school in Des Plaines, IL where I spent K-6 grades.

My elementary school in Des Plaines, IL where I spent K-6 grades.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

We make sense out of the world around us by forming connections in our brains. These connections tie pieces of information together and form chunks. The more chunks we have, the easier it is for our neurons to form new connections, which leads to formation of even more chunks and a bigger "mental library." The bigger the mental library we form, the better we can solve problems, and the more intuitive, creative, and innovative we become.

The focus of education therefore, should be on helping learners form vast mental libraries that contain well developed information and skill chunks that network together and manifest themselves as skills necessary for school and professional success.

Much of the information I share below is inspired by what I learned from a Massive Online Open Course or MOOC through Coursera and University of California, San Diego named "Learning How To Learn" developed by Dr. Barbara Oakley. I strongly encourage you to watch her TEDx Oakland University Talk on "Learning How To Learn." In my infographics, I combine what I learn with personal experience as a middle school and high school teacher to make K-12 learning accessible to all students.

Below lies Infographic #5 in the BRAIN-BASED LEARNING HACKS series I've embarked upon a few weeks ago with Infographic #1 about the science of sleep and learning. Each of the five infographics is fact and research-based and intended to be a resource for educators and students. If you are an administartor, please SHARE THEM WITH THE OTHER EDUCATORS in your building/district. If you are a teacher, SHARE THEM WITH YOUR STUDENTS.

chunk-library.png

...
Last modified on