Teachers

Parent-Teacher Communication Tips

Starting a new school year can be daunting. With all the changes to your student’s academic life, beginning a new year with a new teacher can be stressful. What do they expect of students? How will they run their classroom? Will their teaching style fit with students’ learning styles? Studies show that children do better in school when parents and teachers communicate often. Here are some tips for communication with your child’s teacher: Introduce yourself.…

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More Types of Learning Journals

In our last blog post, we talked about 10 different types of learning journals that can help students think. Today we will extend that list by providing 10 more examples of learning journals. To read part one of this post, please click here. 11. Five W’s Journal. This journal is framed through the iconic five W’s questions: who, what, when, where, and why. Students simply start with a concept, then ask and answer five questions,…

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Types of Learning Journals

A learning journal is an ongoing collection of writing dedicated to learning–that is, writing done for the purpose of learning rather than the purpose of demonstrating learning. Learning journals are often named for a specific purpose and/or format, such as a creative writing journal. Even a personal blog can be a kind of journal if the blogging is done in order to promote, deepen, or extend learning of some kind. There are as many types…

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Strategies to Help Students Ask Questions

Questions are extraordinary learning tools. A good question can open minds, shift paradigms, and force the uncomfortable but transformational cognitive dissonance that can help create the world’s greatest thinkers. In education, we tend to value a student’s ability to answer questions, but what might be more important is her ability to ask her own great questions–and more critically, her willingness to do so. Here are 5 strategies for getting students to ask meaningful questions in…

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The Many Benefits of Creativity

Creativity is an incredibly valuable skill. All too often, we outgrow our imagination with age due to an encroaching sense of self doubt, an ingrained belief that it’s an impractical pursuit, or firm guidance from more experienced grown-ups advising engineering over art school. Although almost everyone would agree that creativity is important, budget cuts to areas of education like art and music programs demonstrate differently. Creativity should be encouraged along with technical knowledge, since the…

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Questions for Your Child’s Teacher

Many of the back-to-school tips available are targeted towards teachers, but it’s essential for students to have a great support system in place at home as well as in the classroom. The more informed your family is by asking your child’s teacher questions, the more seamlessly students can transition from summer to school. Below are some questions parents can ask teachers to better clarify what is happening in the classroom. Some of these questions may…

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The Benefits of Global Learning

As our society becomes increasingly globalized, it puts pressure on education to globalize as well. What exactly this means isn’t universally agreed upon, however. In major world markets, the business world globalized decades ago, expanding beyond domestic markets in pursuit of more diverse audiences and stronger profits. The field of education is an entirely different case, and has been much slower to follow suit. When defining a global curriculum, one issue that must be confronted…

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Proficiency-Based Learning

In practice, proficiency-based learning can take a wide variety of forms–there’s no universal approach! The following principles of proficiency-based learning describe the common features found in the most effective proficiency-based systems, and can therefore help teachers and schools learn how to best understand and utilize this method.  All learning expectations must be clearly and consistently communicated to students and families. This includes long-term expectations like graduation requirements and standards, short-term expectations like learning objectives for…

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Do’s and Don’ts for Group Work

Educators have learned much about the benefits of using projects for learning, and collaboration is easily recognized as an important skill for students to build. There are very few arguments against having students do group work together in class and on certain assignments. However, the challenge facing many educators lies in figuring out how to group students together in the most effective way. The following simple guide can help. 1) Do: Consider distance and access…

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Project-Based Learning

Interest in project-based learning has been on the rise in recent years, and the practice can now be found in some form or another all over the United States. But while interest in projects is high, a deep understanding of what makes project work meaningful and impactful to students is less pervasive, largely due to a lack of understanding of what kinds of projects make for high-quality learning experiences. There’s certainly a danger in an…

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