2015: Did that just happen? Revisiting 2015 | erickalenze

As I’m making real efforts to be more concise, I probably shouldn’t go into great detail on any part of this year-end post. Seriously: with all the notable, long-explanation-worthy moments 2015 served up, I’d finish the thing sometime in February. In short, I feel like I may have learned more and made more fulfilling professional connections/friendships this past year than I have in any other — which is saying something, as I’ve been working in education for nearly 20 years. Thanks, all, for all the wonderful debate, collaboration, sharing, and opportunities. I feel very fortunate for all…

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Reads of 2015 | ellenmetcalf

Here are some of the books, educational and non-educational, that have made an impact on me in 2015. These are in no particular order.

Eric Kalenze “Education is Upside-Down”

I missed Kalenze’s talk at ResearchEd and was quite cross with myself afterwards as it was widely reported as one of the highlights. Reading this book, I can see why. It deals with the US education system and provides many interesting points of contrast and comparison. The book’s central metaphor is that education acts like an upside-down funnel; instead of bringing in those who set out(for whatever reason) on the…

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Restorative justice: Not just hippy-dippy granola | Joanne

Pittsfield teacher Jenny Wellington observes a practice session of the school’s Restorative Justice committee. Photo: Jim Vaiknoras/Hechinger Report

Teachers feared “restorative justice” was “a hippy-dippy-granola, nobody’s-going-to-get-into-trouble’ concept,” said Jenny Wellington, an English teacher at Pittsfield Middle High School in New Hampshire.

But the school is learning to use student mediators, advised by teachers and administrators, to deal with low-level offenses, reports Hechinger’s Emily Richmond in The Atlantic.

The goal is to provide a nonconfrontational forum for students…

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Favorite comments of ’15, cont: SteveH | Katharine Beals

On It’s not just the Common Core: how vagueness and complexity entrench current practices:

SteveH said… At my son’s high school, all of the teachers, including honors and AP teachers, had to align their content with the book, chapter, and verse of CCSS. One teacher was so pissed off that he gave it to the students to do as homework. My son had an assignment where he had to not only do the assignment, but break it into CCSS tasks or goals – citing specific sections, and explain why each part fit the CCSS standard. I remember helping him with it. Our reaction was “Whatever.”

Education is…

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Favorite comments of ’15: Anonymouses, Barry Garelick, lgm, and concerned | Katharine Beals

On Boredom and time sinks in child-centered classrooms: Anonymous said… And here’s the thing: it’s one thing to be bored because you have finished the work quickly. At least then, you can be alone with your thoughts or with a free choice book. It’s another level of awful to be bored by a clunky process of “exploration” and student-led discussion. May 31, 2015 at 8:36 PM
Barry Garelick said… A recent twitter dialogue that I read had Dan Meyer (aka dy/Dan) talking about how the open-ended question “Come up with an equation with 5 and 3” is worthwhile. He stated:

“Kids like those…

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Preschool kids work more, learn less | Joanne

Preschool won’t close the achievement gap as long as teachers focus on kindergarten prep and neglect conversation, writes Erika Christakis in The Atlantic. “Today’s young children are working more, but they’re learning less,” she argues.

“A child who’s supposed to read by the end of kindergarten had better be getting ready in preschool,” she writes.

Four-year-olds are asked to sit still and complete pencil-and-paper tasks that are beyond their motor skills and attention spans, writes Christakis. But it doesn’t work.

One meta-analysis of 13 early-childhood literacy programs “failed to…

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Multimedia learning and age: older adults benefit from redundant text in multimedia instruction | Pedro

In Mayer’s theory on multimedia learning, one of the leading principles is the redundancy principle:

The redundancy principle states that learners can learn better just with animation and narration. The visual text information, which is presented simultaneously to the verbal information, becomes a redundant material. Eliminating redundant material, avoiding narration and “identical” text will be a good way to let learners learn well. The basic reason is people can’t focus when they both hear and see the same verbal message during a presentation (Hoffman, 2006). (source)

Ok, but a new study…

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