Thursday, April 9, 2015

Worth Reading

Passing along a few favorite posts from the past week.

1. How Visual Thinking Improves Writing (Schwartz)- infusion of art into writing as well as getting students to write in stress free, low stake environments

You have no power when you are a kid, but when you are telling stories you have incredible power,” Moss said. “Kids get that.” And when they have the space to write and draw some realize they like to write, and by extension read, more than they thought. “It’s so easy to quash people and then they never want to write again,” Moss said.

2. What A Classroom Engaged In Real Learning Looks Like (Strauss)- stories from classrooms where students are engaged in deep learning

3. Relevant Math for Students’ Lives (Schwartz)- situating math in the real world, thoughts on providing authentic applications in a math classroom

Teachers at the public magnet school Science Leadership Academy use a project-based inquiry model of teaching in an effort to connect all subjects to students’ lives. Examining social justice issues by the numbers has proven to be one strong way teachers can connect student passions to math.  In one project,  groups of three or four students were responsible for a written mathematical analysis of their topic, two visual representations of the data, an engaging public service announcement video explaining the data and a list of recommendations for how the issue could be addressed.
4. What’s the First Thing You Should Do When You Get Into College (Lister)- promotes deferring enrollment to explore the world, poses a contradiction to the hectic college prep process underway in schools
But before you start buying decorations for your dorm room walls, consider for a moment following a road less traveled in America: Take a gap year.
That’s what I did before starting at Northwestern University: I coached soccer in Costa Rica; worked on a farm on the Ecuadorian coast; backpacked through the Himalayas in India; taught English and lived in an orphanage in Ethiopia; lived in a Liberian settlement camp in Ghana; taught English in central Uganda; and (after throwing out my original final stop), I ended my year living at a school for mentally and physically disabled children in northern Uganda.
5. Can We Talk About Change Without Hurting Feelings (Richardson)-
As someone who finds the experience of traditional schooling to be increasingly out of step with the real world, and as someone who has come to believe that schools actually are “broken” in many ways, how do I write and speak about those viewpoints without being heard or read as hurtful or demeaning to educators in schools? Is that possible?

6. 6. Realizing Empathy (Slim)- Through a series of studies in acting, dancing, drawing, writing, and working with clay, glass, wood, metal, paper, plastic, plaster, light and type, I realized that making things with physical materials is analogous to engaging in an empathic conversation with another person.  Based on this experience, I have distilled and developed a list of five necessary qualities—a shared sense of dignity, honesty, integrity, metaphor, and trust—that our interaction with the computer must afford, before it can facilitate an empathic conversation between the space of computation and the space of human body.

Realizing Empathy (Quick Overview) from Seung Chan Lim (Slim) on Vimeo.