I’m going to be experimenting again with a news feature that I ran a few years back. I’ll summarize some of interesting research, trends, and helpful resources. Let me know in the comments if you like me bringing back this feature and if you find it useful. I plan to try this for a while and measure the response. I want to help educators be excellent every day. Part of being excellent is reading things and being a lifelong learner. Tweet me things you think need to be shared on a wider basis.
Resources You Can Use in the Classroom
Cool virtual reality tool. I have one my sister gave me for Savannah college of Art and design that they did with the iPhone. It was incredible. Cardboard with a smartphone inserted. It uses the accelerometer inside to really make it feel 3d. It does. You can actually get kind of dizzy.
From Richard Byrne’s site.
“Earlier this year Google unveiled a new virtual reality program for schools. The program is called Expeditions. Expeditions uses an app on the teacher’s tablet in conjunction with the Cardboard viewer to guide students on virtual reality field trips. Today, Google announced that they are bringing Expedition demonstrations and the required kits to schools all over North America, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.”
We’re NASA Mars scientists. Ask us anything about today’s news announcement of liquid water on Mars. : IAmA
Laura Poinier’s post has some easy-to-do strategies that can help you start differentiating NOW. I especially love what she says about giving kids prior notice.
The simplest and most effective strategy to help students succeed is to give them extra time to process. Do this by giving prior notice before cold-calling. Assure specific students that you will never “cold-call” them and will instead let them know ahead of time when they will be asked to participate. How? During independent practice or bell ringers, privately tell a student, “Your answer to number one is perfect; I’m going to ask you to share it when the timer goes off,” or “After Bobbi and Jake read, you are going to read paragraph three aloud.” Many students who struggle academically act invisible or act out to avoid public academic failure. Giving prior notice is a great way to reduce anxiety and misbehavior.
A fantastic overview / reminder to students about some incredible research tools right in front of them. Share this one!
Editing tips to take your writing from good to great – Crew blog
This is an awesome article with tons of quotes from writers. A marvelous one to share with your creative writing classes.
Research that People Are Talking About
“The authors–C. Kirabo Jackson, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, Rucker C. Johnson, associate professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, and Claudia Persico, a doctoral candidate in human development and social policy at Northwestern University–show that “increased school spending is linked to improved outcomes for students, and for low-income students in particular…Increasing per-pupil spending yields large improvements in educational attainment, wages, and family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty for children from low-income families.
As they also show, it matters how the new money is spent–such as on instruction, hiring more teachers, increasing teacher pay, hiring guidance counselors and social workers. Money well-spent “can profoundly shape the life outcomes of economically disadvantaged children and thereby reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Money alone may not lift educational outcomes to desired levels, but our findings confirm that the provision of adequate funding may be critical.””
Sleep Scientists Confirm Getting To Work Before 9 AM Is Torture
“Children of anxious parents are more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. But there’s welcome news for those anxious parents: that trajectory toward anxiety isn’t set in stone.
Therapy and a change in parenting styles might be able to prevent kids from developing anxiety disorders, according to research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry Friday.”
Music and Learning: Why Teachers Should Consider Music in the Classroom | The Inspired Classroom
Being a Better Online Reader – The New Yorker
Fascinating overview of the research and controversy of online and e-reading versus reading with a physical book. From what I’ve read the “jury is still out” but still, there are definitely times you must have a physical book. For example, my daughter struggled in Calculus – we decided to save up and bought her the $800 printed calculus book (instead of the $124 online book). Her grades are decidedly UP. There are certain materials, I believe, that are best shared on the printed page. Here’s what researcher Anne Mangen a professor at the National Centre for Reading Education and Research at the University of Stavanger, in Norway is quoted in the article which says,
Much of Mangen’s research focusses on how the format of reading material may affect not just eye movement or reading strategy but broader processing abilities. One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance. People prefer physical books, not out of old-fashioned attachment but because the nature of the object itself has deeper repercussions for reading and comprehension. “Anecdotally, I’ve heard some say it’s like they haven’t read anything properly if they’ve read it on a Kindle. The reading has left more of an ephemeral experience,” she told me. Her hunch is that the physicality of a printed page may matter for those reading experiences when you need a firmer grounding in the material. The text you read on a Kindle or computer simply doesn’t have the same tangibility.
One interesting note on this article. They don’t follow some of the principles of helping make a page readable online. I found the page hard to read not because of the words, but the layout. I would argue that the way a page is presented also impacts how reading happens.
Trends About Today’s Students