Idea: Teachers Using Trello: How To Foster Genius In The Classroom | Trello Blog

There are so many great tech tools out there today! Here’s an example of how one 5th grade teacher is using a simple project management tool (Trello) to teach his students how to organize problem-based approaches to student-driven learning.

What I love about this:

  • Trello is free and genuinely easy to use
  • Even today’s highly structured classrooms hounded by CC assessments can carve out an hour a week for student-centered and -directed learning, and it’s worth it to do that
  • Students can and should learn how to develop their own  “pretty hard and tough” questions to drive their own inquiry during the school week – it’s a vital skill.
  • Being able to see what everyone else is working on benefits the entire class and drives students’ motivation

Good ideas here. Check it out.

via Teachers Using Trello: How To Foster Genius In The Classroom | Trello Blog.

Link: As Teens Push Away, What Can Parents Do To Support Them? | MindShift | KQED News

Great, quick read for parents who are journeying through life with their teenagers.

My favorite clip:

When teens push themselves away, says Hill, “it does not mean that they don’t want and crave their parents’ acceptance of their identities and interests. One of my colleagues said parenting teens is like hugging a cactus. Even as the ‘warm fuzzies’ are not often reciprocated, teens still need them, still need to know they are loved unconditionally. Don’t miss the opportunity to say or show love, warmth and affection toward even your most prickly teen.”

 

via As Teens Push Away, What Can Parents Do To Support Them? | MindShift | KQED News.

Link: Students Are Increasingly Anxious, but We Can Help Them | Just Visiting | InsideHigherEd

Good piece about the anxiety that writing courses often produce in students, and what we can do about that.  Written for higher ed, but absolutely applicable to K-12 educators as well.

Grades, however, tend to be not very good incentives for writing well. I believe that ultimately, writing must come from an internal, rather than external drive. Why can’t I do that same coaching I claim to value without the cudgel of grades?

via Students Are Increasingly Anxious, but We Can Help Them | Just Visiting | InsideHigherEd.

Article: Why the real story of the Irish Famine is not taught in U.S. schools – IrishCentral.com

Teaching is never neutral. Every educator brings his or her perspective to the material. A “lack of viewpoint” is, in itself, a viewpoint.

And when we’re teaching material that should provoke our students to mourn or at least wrestle with difficult truths about our broken world—like the causes of the Irish Potato Famine and ensuing suffering—we might be failing our students if we don’t bring them face to face with these questions.

This article outlines the problem. The tone of the piece may be a little harsh, but the point is well made: mainstream textbooks tend to skip some of the most important material students should be learning.

“Uniformly, social studies textbooks fail to allow the Irish to speak for themselves, to narrate their own horror.”

The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.

More than a century and a half after the “Great Famine,” we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions. Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System: “Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight.”

via Why the real story of the Irish Famine is not taught in U.S. schools – IrishCentral.com.

 

Wish List: Piecing Together an Ideal School From the Ground Up | MindShift

Wish List: Piecing Together an Ideal School From the Ground Up | MindShift.

Couldn’t have said it better myself! This is a great, short piece at Mind/Shift about inquiry learning, interdisciplinary teaching, trusting students as active participants in their learning process, assessing through multiple means, investing in teachers through professional development, and not locking in too quickly on how to use technology in a classroom.

 

How Dissecting a Pencil Can Ignite Curiosity and Wonderment | MindShift

Cool read! Applying design thinking principles, the maker ethos, and curiosity to very mundane activities, across the K-12 curriculum. Real teachers, real examples, and really encouraging!

How Dissecting a Pencil Can Ignite Curiosity and Wonderment | MindShift.

via How Dissecting a Pencil Can Ignite Curiosity and Wonderment | MindShift.

Good reads for improving teaching

The Chronicle of Higher Ed offers a good list of 10 books that will refresh your pedagogy.  Whether a high school classroom or college (or even grad school), all educators can benefit from recharging their educational practices with the latest research into human brain function, cognitive psychology, and learning methods.

Top 10 Books on Teaching (CHE)

Anyone read any of these?