Earlier in my career as an educator, I coached my high school’s fastpitch softball team. Then, as now, I believed the best way to make my team successful was to coach them in the skills and knowledge they needed to excel and then I let them go out and play. I was often asked (by parents, never the players) why I didn’t call pitches for my catchers. The answer was simple: It wouldn’t be in alignment with what I believed made my players the most successful.
What Does This Have to Do With Education?
Fast forward a couple of decades: I was invited to attend the SXSWEdu in Austin, TX and am lucky enough to see Will Richardson speak. What he said really stuck with me – so much so that I had to get it all out in a mind map to feel like I was truly understanding.
Continue reading “Alignment: Walking the Talk”
Across my Facebook feed yet again came the discussion about taking notes by hand versus on a laptop. Like clockwork, every couple of months, one of my facebook friends shares an article that champions note-taking on paper over note-taking on an electronic device. This time, it was from the Washington Post: Why Smart Kids Shouldn’t Use Laptops in Class. This is not news. We’ve known this for a while and the research is really clear: If you are going to sit passively for 50 minutes and listen to a lecture, your best bet for retaining information is writing out notes on paper by hand.
Continue reading “Less Talk, More Action”
Socratic Circles are a great way to engage students in a provocative question. Students are engaged with the topic, encouraged to think about complex topics with a critical eye, and inspired to explore big ideas.
However, Socratic Circles can be a challenge in a classroom with 30 or more students. In a large class, it can be a challenge to ensure all students have a voice. There are time, space, and personality constraints that sometimes mean the conversation is dominated by just a few voices.
A Simple Tool That Can Help
By leveraging digital tools, you can mitigate these constraints and give all of your students a voice. Google Classroom features tools that will ensure all students have the opportunity to explore their own thinking as well as their classmate’s.
Continue reading “Giving Every Student a Voice in Your Socratic Circle by Leveraging Digital Tools”