10 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
  2. Jul 2016
    1. Below is a collection of catchy sayings that work as cues to be quiet, the first ones appropriate for early and middle grade students, and the later ones field tested to work with high school kids.

      Using humor to get a class's attention is a great strategy, and when a class pays attention, try to point out the positive things you notice in their work and learning, even on tough days. Students will learn that the teacher isn't asking for attention to scold them and they'll learn that you're paying attention to positives while ignoring and minimizing negatives.

    2. The strategy always, always works, says Johnson, because it gives students adequate warning. Another technique, playing classical music (Bach, not Mahler) on low volume when learners enter the room, sets a professional tone. I played music with positive subliminal messages to ninth graders until they complained that it gave them headaches.

      No strategy "always, always works." Any threat of punishment runs the risk of inviting youth to engage in a power struggle. This particular threat means the teacher will give non-compliant students extra public attention and that class will end with some authoritative dismissal. Better to challenge high schoolers with something cognitively demanding and then pay attention to successful efforts in a cognitively demanding task. "For those of you who were able to do _, that kind of engaged effort will pay dividends all day for you and all year in this class. If you were unable because you were socializing or messing around, think about how you might be productively social. Do you need to change groups or seats? Feel free to discuss your learning needs with me."

    3. One of the best ways to maintain a quiet classroom is to catch students at the door before they enter. During these encounters, behavior management expert Rob Plevin recommends using "non-confrontational statements" and "informal chit-chat" to socialize kids into productive behaviors, as modeled in Plevin's video.

      I love this strategy but not the goal. I have no interest in maintaining a quiet classroom. Instead, I'd want to see engaged activity. Informal chit-chat at the door that prefaces what learners will be doing in class does socialize kids into productive behaviors. I can say, "Good to see you. How are you? (Listen.) I've put a question on the board that everyone can discuss in table groups for the next five minutes. After five we'll share out what we're thinking."

      Starting class this way with social interaction that leads into reading, writing or a whole group discussion scaffolds comprehensibility of the lesson and it allows me to not worry about getting the room quiet right away. Instead of asking for silence, I can ask what groups are talking about or what they think.

  3. Jun 2016
    1. “[If] minority people are to effect the change which will allow them to truly progress, we must insist on skills within the context of critical and creative thinking.”

      These are powerful marching orders for educators who seek to create more equitable teaching and learning.

    2. Despite the compelling arguments for ambitious intellectual work, in inner-city schools, where children typically score below their grade level on standardized tests, policy makers and local educators often worry more about basic skills instruction because they believe that students cannot do more challenging work until they master the basic skills. In this context, including such schools in Chicago, teachers rarely get to the more ambitious tasks.47 Clearly, teachers need to work with students on intellectually engaging tasks while at the same time helping them develop written and oral communication and other basic skills.

      I want to name this phenomenon so that I can point it out when I see it the way a ship's captain has to use clear language point out an iceberg on the horizon. Because this smacks of a deficit focus that I think can be exacerbated when the teacher has a different cultural background than the learners, I want to call this something like, "The deficit-focused, skill-building death spiral." Though "death spiral" might be a little strong, I believe it is appropriate because teachers, sure that students need low-level instruction that fills gaps, can become increasingly resolute about the need to provide repetitive skill instruction, often outside of a meaningful context. Students on the other hand, disenchanted with school that makes them leave culture at the door, receive a daily dose of instruction that doesn't connect with them because it is a supposed precursor to engaging work which is always just another remediation away.

  4. Apr 2016
    1. At the same time, there is a need for the development or improvement of measures of students' technical, occupational, and career readiness skills. Finally, there are a number of existing career-focused schools or programs and state or district policies or reforms to support CTE that need to be evaluated to determine their impact on student education outcomes: e.g., awarding of vocational diplomas, district use of career-readiness measures, implementation of career academy models, awarding academic credit for CTE courses, schools' offering of online career exploration tools, and CTE teacher certification requirements.

      Our badging initiative is a district-level career-focused program that supports CTE. Our badges credential career-readiness measures in the form of Colorado's 21st Century skills as defined by Colorado's Academic Standards.

      Is the specific focus on CTE something we want to invite given our research questions?

    2. connections with employers and postsecondary institutions, increased emphasis on industry credentials, innovative delivery structures such as career academies and pathways, and increases in state funding to enact policies to support CTE expansion.

      Connections with industry is a cornerstone of our developing badging initiative because we're developing "handshakes" or value propositions for our badges with industry partners. Further, our project is also an effort to iterate on and innovate on a longitudinal pathways program.

  5. Jan 2016
    1. Closing the hardware and Internet divide is critical, but if some students get to create, think and communicate with technologies while others do more passive or low-level learning tasks, opportunity gaps persist.

      The emergence of a new equity gap is counterproductive as we collectively design transformed teaching and learning experiences. I believe we need to keep an eye on this closely as use proliferates across APS.

    1. What explains this difference? The experience of Union City, as well as other districts, like Montgomery County, Md., and Long Beach, Calif., that have beaten the demographic odds, show that there’s no miracle cure for what ails public education. What business gurus label “continuous improvement,” and the rest of us call slow-and-steady, wins the race.

      PDSA cycles At the 2014 Digital Media and Learning Conference, keynote speaker Louis Gomez made the case for ethnographic research methods and research partnerships with public schools to foster continuous improvement. He used the (PDSA cycle pictured here) as an example.