Friday, June 13, 2014

Worth Reading...

Passing along a few interesting posts.  

1. Looking at Student Work With (Reich)- Harvard ed professor talks about cultivating in future teachers a desire to examine and talk about student work.  This is more than just glancing at student work but developing a meaningful professional conversation around student product.

In my Introduction to Education class, one of my goals is for students to get a sense of the value of looking at student work. Not just glancing at it, reading it, or grading it, but really trying to understand what we can learn about students' thinking by examining their performances. 

2. Pace Final- a final exam from an AP Lit teacher.  I appreciate the reflective presence embedded into this final exam.

Create a product of your choosing that demonstrates what you've learned about yourself, about how learning/understanding/education works, and about others this year in PACE. Apply vocabulary from this year into your final product and create something worthy of being displayed and discussed. Additionally, complete the graphic organizers based on the reading choices provided to you and be prepared to participate in a graded class discussion of your projects, the readings, and the year in review.

3. Greater Possibilities (Richardson)- continuing on the theme of making class a place where students get to work on things that matter.

As usual, Gary is spot on here. Last week during my Australia visit, I was asked on a panel how we prevent kids from being disruptive or off task when every one of them has a device in the classroom. I think the questioner was almost shocked when I started my answer by channelling Gary, saying “I don’t think we give kids enough credit in their ability to stay focused when they’re doing work that matters.”

4. You Can Always Add.  You Can't Subtract (Meyer)- providing space for students to ask questions and to define a problem themselves as opposed to having a text book or an adult do it for them.

In sum, much of the problem has been pre-formulated, which is a pity, seeing as how mathematicians and cognitive psychologists and education researchers agree that formulating the problem leads to success and interest in solving the problem.
So again I have to remind myself to be less helpful and be more thoughtful instead.

5. Catholic Prep Chain Helps Detroit's Minority Students Go On To College (Guerra)- approach taken to provide high school students with meaningful internships.

Four days a week, Idalis Longoria does what pretty much all high school juniors do. She goes to school, takes notes in class, hangs out in the cafeteria with her friends - but on the fifth day of the week - well that's when Longoria trades in her Catholic school uniform for a pair of light blue scrubs.

6. Schools Fight To Skip Standardized Tests, But Keep Learning Standards High (Kamnetz)- how one school district in Kentucky is by-passing standardized exams in favor of homegrown authentic performance-based assessments.  Please watch the case of the hungry hound...
One assignment in particular captured Swann’s attention. “The teacher asked the students to design an amusement park ride. They had all the math in there, and physics, and it just really sparked something in me: That math doesn’t have to be this boring class with lectures and standardized tests. I said, ‘Let’s take this back to Danville.’”

7. The Fire Hydrant Gets Its First Major Redesign in 100 Years- great little piece about striving to amke something better
Today's hydrants break, leak, and freeze, sometimes costing people their lives. The tamper-proof and incredibly durable Sigelock Spartan, designed by a former New York firefighter, is intended to work when people need them.

8. Amazing Perspective in GoPro Videos (Fryer)- "I have seen the GoPro camera and been a little more aware of it because how our church videographers have used one in the past few months to create some pretty stunning perspective videos about individuals. This video from GoPro, however, takes the idea of first person perspective to a whole different level."