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Teachers still need to grade their students' work with traditional methods, Allen said. This process requires time, about an hour or more. Schools need to factor in time for teachers to work together in this way on an ongoing basis, he said. In some cases, this involves creating time during or after the school day; in other cases, it means shifting time already allotted for staff development, team planning, or other faculty work. We need to get beyond the mind-set that teachers spend almost all of their time with their students or by themselves correcting papers and planning lessons, said Allen.
The faculty at Yarmouth Maine High School gets together each Wednesday morning -- in part to look at student work. Time has been built into their weekly schedule because the school has a delayed start on that day each week. The faculty had been looking at student work collaboratively for more than four years, but a grant from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund to Southern Maine Partnership's Improving Instruction Through Inquiry and Collaboration project helped formalize it. The grant helped pay for additional teacher workshops and other costs associated with training teachers.
Collaborative inquiry has made a difference, Houlihan told Education World.
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The quality of student work has improved, in part, because teachers have changed the way they give assignments or instruction based on their group meetings. For example, science teachers revised an assignment that required students to report lab results as if they were writing for a newspaper. After looking at the assignment with other teachers, they realized they had not instructed the students on how to write a newspaper article. However, there are still some teachers not sold on the benefits of looking at student work together.
Regardless of whether teachers like looking at student work together, the quality of the work teaches a lesson about what is happening inside a classroom, researchers say. The Consortium on Chicago School Research looked at student work on a large scale to determine the level of intellectual demands placed on elementary-grade students in Chicago Public Schools. Funded by a grant from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the consortium studied 1, pieces of student work. The study found that 70 percent of the work presented either no challenge or minimal challenge to the students.
They also found that if students were given more challenging assignments, they did higher quality work. Newmann, professor emeritus of education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who conducted the study with researchers Anthony S. Bryk and Gudelia Lopez. In fact, their research found that those students who were assigned more demanding intellectual work scored about 50 percentile points higher on authentic measures of student achievement compared with students whose teachers assigned less demanding work, Newman told Education World.
The study found that assignments that don't go beyond reproducing information, such as filling in the blanks, wouldn't prepare students for intellectual challenges posed by the modern workplace and by civic and personal affairs. Leave this field blank.
When students are motivated, everyone wins
Search Search. Newsletter Sign Up. Giant Box of Sidewalk Chalk Box of Columnists All Columnists Ken Shore School Issues: Glossary. Search form Search. Teachers Learn from Looking Together at Student Work School reformers say the way to improve education and accountability is by improving the way teachers and students look at student work.
Tips for Examining Student Work Following are a handful of tips to help you get started at looking at student work collaboratively.
First, you must determine a few things before beginning the process: Decide when and where your group will meet. Select a facilitator, who should have an agenda for the meeting, try not to participate in the substance of the conversation, and maintain a nonjudgmental attitude. Determine what you will be learning through this process. It's scary work, though, and respectful protocols can help. Improving Instruction Through Inquiry and Collaboration This site offers practical tools for examining student work, instituting peer observation, and coaching. The Cycle of Inquiry and Action: Essential Learning Communities This site includes protocols for examining student work and explains why, in a true learning community, inquiry becomes everybody's work.
Scroll down or click for work sheet text and answer key. Click for our archive of Every-Day Edit activities from previous weeks. Activity Key Uncorrected Text On November 4, , english archaeologist Howard Carter made one of the most important discoverys of modern times. While on an expedition to Egypt, Carter discovered the tomb of king Tutankhamen.
King Tut had became Egypts ruler when he was 9 years old he died just a few years later. Discovered 3, years after Tuts's death, the tomb contained many priceless treasures that are now display in a Museum in the city of Cairo. Answer Key On November 4, , English archaeologist Howard Carter made one of the most important discoveries of modern times. While on an expedition to Egypt, Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen. King Tut became or had become Egypt's ruler when he was 9 years old.
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He died just a few years later. Discovered 3, years after Tut's death, the tomb contained many priceless treasures that are now displayed or on display in a museum in the city of Cairo. This is a new time in education and with dwindling budgets , so we need to rethink possibilities, stretching every dollar. Before you consider trying any of these ideas, make sure you understand the policies that are in place and your have checked with your administrator. The teacher creates a wiffiti screen and students can text in their opinions.
One teacher used this to summarize Act 1, Scene 1 from Romeo and Juliet. They texted in the short summary and it showed up on the screen. In another classroom the students had think about the time period that Andrew Johnson was in office and text something into the wiffiti screen that would have been something he would have tweeted back then.
I love this example, talk about engaging students. Delivering Materials As more curriculum materials are delivered digitally creative teachers are delivering materials directly to students on their personal cell phones. This learning platform makes it possible for teachers and students to collaborate in discussion areas and chat with each other making blended learning a real possibility. Awesome Teacher Apps. Dropbox allows all my computers and my phone to interact together. So the photo I take on my cell phone can be put in my Dropbox app and now it is available on all my devices, love it!
This handy app lets you type a text note, or clip a web page. If your phone has a camera you can snap a photo, and now you can also grab a screenshot. The easiest way to work around this is to have students working in groups, collaborating and solving problems together.
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Now we only need one cell phone to report out the group work. If we get creative, any problem can be solved.
Wireless Access Wireless access might be another problem. Smart phone users will usually try and find a wireless network instead of going through the provider signal. With all these added devices your network may be burdened. Also cell phone reception is an issue in many schools. If this is the case, you may want to focus more of the group work or homework-related cell phone strategies. Keeping Cell Phone Use Appropriate Thinking about using cell phone in the classroom we need to make sure we involve our students in the conversation.
Let them teach us about how to reduce the fear of theft or inappropriate use.
Every student should be reminded every day about appropriate technology use, and what to do if the rules are broken. We need to help students understand the ramifications of things like cyberbullying , sexting and posting things to social networking sites. Where do you stand on the cell phone in class debate?