Monday, November 28, 2016

Worth Reading

Sharing a few highlights from the past week.

1. Why Students Can’t Google Their Way to the Truth (Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew)- we and our kids need to get a lot smarter when it comes to conducting online research

True, many of our kids can flit between Facebook and Twitter while uploading a selfie to Instagram and texting a friend. But when it comes to using the Internet to get to the bottom of things, Junior’s no better than the rest of us. Often he’s worse.

2. The Reading Rules We Never Follow As Adult Readers (Ripp)- rules placed upon students in school in regards to reading and how these procedures contradict the way we read as adults

Yet, how often is this a reality for the students we teach?  How often, in our eagerness to be great teachers, do we remove or disallow the very things students yearn for to have meaningful literacy experiences?  How many of the things we do to students would we never put up with ourselves?  In our quest to create lifelong readers, we seem to be missing some very basic truths about what makes a reader.  So what are the rules we would probably not always follow ourselves?

3. Is Problem Solving Complicated or Complex (Kaplinsky)- discerning the difference between complicated and complex work and how this subtle difference impacts the way we mentor students to become effective problem-solvers.

To make this clearer, think about the differences between programming a TV remote control and learning how to drive a car.  Programming a remote control can certainly be a pain, but as long as you follow the instructions it can be completed.  Now think about what happens when someone learns how to drive a car.  While instructions on how to drive can teach you the basics, there are so many variables you can’t control, from icy roads to road construction to defensive driving.  This results in no instructions covering it all.

4. What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Making Fractions Stick (Schwartz)- To improve a student’s information processing around fractions neuroscience tells us teachers should both present information and give students ways to interact with it, in a variety of ways

“Every time you are visualizing this in a different way, you are recruiting different neurons and neural connections,” Salimpoor said. And she says active learning through problem solving or manipulation is a whole different ballpark neurally than passively listening, partly because even if a student looks like she is listening she still may not be paying attention.

5. Getting Schools Ready for the World (Richardson)- schools must rethink what they do to produce global-ready citizens

Regardless of their educational path, students moving into adulthood today need more than anything else to be voracious, passionate learners, adept at creating their own personal learning curriculum, finding their own teachers to mentor and guide them in their efforts, and connecting with other learners with whom they can collaborate and create.


6. How Mindfulness Practices Are Changing An Inner-City School (St. George)- using practices to help student become aware of emotions is changing a school culture

As Thompson looked on with surprise, she said, the girl coached herself through breathing exercises. She told herself — speaking aloud — that she was not going to fight that day, she was not going to curse that day. She was 8 or 9 years old.