Creative Schools: A Book Review by AskteacherZ

Educational Assembly Lines still pump out Model "A" Grades to 21st Century Students! Little doubt remains that the current emphasis on standardized education squelches creativity. In the book Creative Schools author Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D. argues masterfully that the industrial aged, one-size fits all, the educational structure of yesteryear exists in our schools still to this day but in a most destructive manner. To curb this continued course and positively transform education it will take a revolution of the masses. Revolts begin with disseminating information to crystallize the unity of the many. Identifying curricular outcome flaws is often not enough to sway involvement. However, presenting the political purse of maintaining ancient industrial education testing techniques is a powerful motivator. The sticker price to clone learning costs billions of dollars. Testing and supporting students in the United States is a booming big business. It finances political

Effective Studying

As a teacher, you spend countless hours thinking about your students and the impact you have on their lives once they leave the classroom. Being an educator is about more than teaching the specific subject matter, it’s also about leading by example and motivating your students to be a better version of themselves. Now that’s a tall order! One of the ways educators can make a positive impression on their students is by equipping them with studying techniques that they can apply long after passing a grade or even graduating from high school. As students grow up, enter college, and move into the working world, their ability to focus and learn will continue to be an invaluable tool. From tackling home do-it-yourself projects, to advancing in the workplace, to someday passing on these valuable skills and lessons to a future generation, good study habits are a positive asset for any young person to develop. There are 5 tips for effective studying that you can pass on to your student

Teachers and Superman: Adapting to a World of Cell Phones

Superman: Where's the Phonebooth? Superman fan? I've always enjoyed superhero movies. One particular scene from the 1978 original Superman movie, starring Christopher Reeves, stands out and inspires me to be a better educator and person. A disguised superman, portrayed as a mild mannered typical white-collared worker, needed to switch into his blue spandex and red cape uniform to save the citizens of Metropolis from harms way. No worries. A quick change of clothes in a phone booth is the patented move for the son of Jor-El. On the street he immediately finds a phone but there's no longer a booth; it's a small receiver station with no door. What now? Adjacent to where he stands is a revolving-door unit. Problem solving in the heat of the moment is his forte. He acts quickly and uses the turn-style door to make his transition from Clark Kent, the reporter for the Daily Planet, to Superman, the hero of the people. Metaphorically this superman movie snippet enc

BUILD a Box of 21st Century Learning

Guide your students to BUILD a "Box of Learning." Each lesson and unit of instruction you plan is spread out across a wide range of mandatory teaching topics; including the necessary curricular content of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), State and local learning benchmarks, as well as, standardized tests that evaluate not just their knowledge but our teaching ability. As a result, hours of time are spent meticulously managing each curricular item and learning benchmark to ensure that it's incorporated on the surface area of the instructional unit. Your plans are written, developed and these items are checked off. When it's all done your lessons cover every curricular need and learning benchmark -- proud you are and proud you should be. Your due diligence has allowed you to embed curriculum across your content. But after some careful self-reflection you realize these lesson/s and/or those of the past are missing depth or mastery of the material and are perhaps

Teach Like A Pirate: A Book Review by AskteacherZ

What is a Pirate movie rated? Rrrrrrr. My vivacious 9-year-old daughter told me this joke when she saw me reading the book written by Dave Burgess titled Teach Like A Pirate. After the joke she began questioning me about the content of the book. A lively discussion on teaching ensued. She finished by announcing "It takes a lot of work to teach well Daddy." A captive title, a cute joke, then a student-led, student-centered teaching style is what Teach Like A Pirate (#TLAP) is all about. In this book Dave Burgess has provided teachers with methods, tactics, and strategies that he has found successful. To be completely forthcoming, this is the first edu-pedagogical book I've read since I was forced to do so in my undergraduate studies. Postive twitter traffic and #TLAP chatter on this book sparked my curiosity. And when gifted with an Amazon card from a student I decided to make a pirate purchase. From the time the book hit my doorstep I began to devour it. In less

Project Based Learning (PBL): A Teacher Tutorial

8 Easy Steps to Engaging Learning Traditional Learning; What is this and how would you define it? Is "traditional learning" when students work independently at their desks with a text book and a worksheet? Or is it when a teacher presents a topic to the entire class while students dutifully take notes on paper? Maybe, a better, more concise, definition is that students learn from the teacher and take a test to prove how much learning occurred? Truly, I submit, to me Traditional Learning is all of the above. Furthermore, just to be clear, in my opinion, these approaches to education are fine. Here's where the traditional methodology of learning, as well as ALL methodologies in education, falter and go wrong: not varying or changing up the teaching techniques or pedagogical styles. Project Based Learning is a tremendous form of teaching… In the world of education students can't get enough: individual attention from the teacher; support for their learning; care f

Competition Versus Collaboration

Measuring Student and Teacher Success: Does One Size Fit All? Misguided -- this could be the best way to summarize today's United States' lawmaker mentality that considers a test score to be the proper and best way to evaluate student success, as well as, teacher performance. Already, we are starting to see the fallout of this ridiculous methodology. The Atlanta Public Schools is perhaps the best known to date to be cited in the unethical quagmire surrounding high stakes standardized testing but in reality, the problem will only fester if this educational course of action continues. Recently, in my own backyard, the Detroit Free Press developed an article on the increased pressure placed upon educators to ensure that the students under their supervision score well on standardized tests. In this survey, 29% of the educators polled feel pressure to cheat. While this statistic is both alarming and angering to me as both an educator and parent; I am more SADDENED than anyt

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