Innovative Teaching

 

INTRODUCTION: Why teachers should try new things

Try: A Little Word Becomes a Big Gift by Karine Veldhoen (Edutopia). Why teachers should try new things.Teachers should take risks and try new things -- inside and outside of the classroom, Karine Veldhoen, author, school administrator and founder of Learn Forward, writes in this blog post. She suggests steps such as trying a new way of teaching and personalizing learning.

 

 

ARTICLES - Interesting

7 big problems–and solutions–in education (Solving these problems could be a key step to boosting innovation) by Laura Devaney (eSchool News)

8 things every teacher can do to create an innovative classroom by Trevor Shaw (eSchool News). Teachers can boost innovation in the classroom in a variety of ways including creating problems that are both authentic and interesting, writes Trevor Shaw, the director of technology at the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. In this article, Shaw offers eight ideas educators can use to bring out innovative ideas from their students. 

Ten Things Master Teachers Do by Annette Breaux (ASCD). "Master teachers -- those who have figured out how to get students to do and be their best, how to simplify the complex, how to look forward to their jobs each day, and how to create lasting memories in the hearts and minds of students -- once struggled as new teachers, too," writes author Annette Breaux. In a recent ASCD Express article, Breaux shares ten practices that helped master teachers get over their initial inexperience and sustain their ongoing success. 

Be Intentional by Barry Saide (ASCD). In this ASCD EDge blog post, Barry Saide write that educators have an easier time holding true to their intentions if they follow specific educational guidelines on a day-to-day basis. Saide offers his own three goals for this school year: to communicate effectively and efficiently with all families, continue to innovate his pedagogical practice, and consistently teach with heart. He then identifies and describes a peer who will help him accomplish each. 

Covering the Curriculum by Michael Fisher (ASCD). "Deep learning can't happen with micromanaged details, nor can it happen with our insistence upon covering everything," writes curriculum expert, Michael Fisher. In his recent ASCD EDge blog post, Fisher tackles the discussion about the legitimacy of covering an entire curriculum. He highlights reports from a meeting with middle school ELA teachers in Northern New York State, where they found, of the teachers who covered as close to 100% of the curriculum, their students scored at a level of 25% proficiency. 

Getting Below The Surface (some insights on the kind of learning that leads to profound change) by Jim Knight (ASCD Inservice)

Innovative Teacher in Three (Easy) Steps by Benjamin Levy (Education Week)

Reconfiguring the 5-year plan: Right-now strategies for schools by Mark Barnes (SmartBlog). Five-year plans become outdated quickly -- particularly when considering technology and student changes, author and education thought leader Mark Barnes writes in this blog post. He suggests "five solve-today-implement-tomorrow strategies that are sure to improve teaching and learning at your school." 

Teachers as talent scouts by Jon Schwartz (SmartBlog)

Tech Tip: 5 facts educators must embrace by Michael Niehoff ((SmartBlog); 5 truths for teaching success. The teaching profession is evolving, and educators should be ready to move with the tides of change, systems and leadership coach Michael Niehoff writes in this blog post. He shares five facts he believes educators must embrace to remain successful in the field. 

When Students Drive Improvement by Eric Hardie (ASCD). "What if the 'secret' isn't a secret at all, but simply the need to tap into the single biggest, most underused source of creativity, collaboration, leadership, and informed problem solving in any school -- the students themselves?" asks principal Eric Hardie. In this article from ASCD's summer issue of Educational Leadership, Hardie explains the need for school improvement plans to revolve around the input and feedback of the students themselves. 

 
 
 

BACKCHANNELING

Meet Student Needs With Backchanneling by Barry Saide and Chris Giordano (ASCD Inservice)
 
 
 
 

BLENDED LEARNING

5 misconceptions about blended learning by Barbara Haeffner (SmartBlog). Blended learning is just as rigorous as traditional lessons and is not the same thing as distance learning, writes Barbara Haeffner, the director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology for Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut. In this blog post, Haeffner debunks these and other common misconceptions about blended learning. 

Amid Skepticism, Blended-Learning Models Aim to Transform Teachers' Work by Anthony Rebora (Education Week Teacher)

Creating Successful Blended-Learning Classrooms by Bill Tolley (Education Week). History teacher Bill Tolley in this commentary explains how educators can introduce blended learning to their classrooms by focusing on three essential components. Among these is carefully allowing students increased control of the classroom. "Students will not just cotton on and take responsibility for their own learning -- they will buy in to a process that they co-create and co-own with you," he writes. 

Ed tech that needs nothing but a TV and VCR? Program challenges many blended learning 'assumptions' by Annie Murphy Paul (Hechinger Report). Blended learning doesn't have to rely on the latest technology, according to some who are familiar with one program that engages students in short video segments designed to be interrupted for discussion and classroom activities. Instead of looking at their laptops and smartphones, videos are played briefly on a VCR and television, and then students focus on their teachers. 

The power of “blend” in blended learning by Adam Holden (SmartBlog).The most effective blended learning environments include a comprehensive approach that allows time for in-person and video instruction, according to Adam Holden, a longtime school administrator. In this blog post, he also suggests that blended instruction include authentic assessments

 

 

CAUSE-DRIVEN LEARNING

Daniel Learned that He Had Power Yesterday by Bill Ferriter (CTQ). Teacher Bill Ferriter's middle-school students have been engaged in a long-term project -- and related blog -- in which they study and write about the sugar in their food. Ferriter describes the project as educational and a great experiment in cause-driven learning, with students tackling a problem in their own communities and "the world that they live in." 

 

 

CO-TEACHING

'How Do You Survive the Co-Teaching Marriage?' by Tom Morrill (Teaching Channel).

 

 

CREATIVITY

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? (YOUTUBE). To date, it is the most-watched TED talk of all time.

The Five Habits of Creative Teachers by Cathleen Nardi, Melissa Goodwin, Tracee Vetting Wolf, Strawberry-Blue Olive, and Maureen Maher Wizel. In this blog post, the authors of the massive open online course "5 Habits of Highly Creative Teachers" break down the five habits, which include curiosity and reflection. "As educators, we must create the conditions that allow creativity to flourish in -- keeping in mind that creativity will manifest itself differently in every student," they write. 

 

 

EMBODIED COGNITION

Is the body the next breakthrough in education tech? Researchers finding movement can help learning by Annie Murphy Paul (Hechinger Report). Researchers are reviewing the effectiveness of "embodied cognition," a method that combines movement and learning to help students understand abstract concepts. Some learning programs apply the principle to educational technology, combining computers and movement. 

 

 

INQUIRY LEARNING

Inquiry learning. The verbs and the thinking tools (task and topic) by Eric Frangenheim (ASCD Edge (pdf download))

 

 

MINDFULNESS

Becoming aware: Nashville schools bring mindfulness into the classroom by Grace Tatter  (Chalkbeat)

 

 

PODCAST

ASCD Learn Teach Lead Radio "Each episode of the show is hosted by an ASCD Emerging Leader and features guests such as ASCD authors, leaders, presenters, and educators from all roles."

 

 

PLAY

How to Bring Playfulness to High School Students by Zaidee Stavely (Mind/Shift). High-school students would benefit from creative outlets and the integration of play into classroom lessons -- just as younger students do -- educators and experts say. This article highlights several ways to use play to engage high-school students in deeper learning. 

 

 

POMODORO TECHNIQUE

Why Taking More Breaks Can Help Students Get More Done by John O'Connor (State Impact). A coding camp uses the Pomodoro Technique to keep students on task. The method breaks lessons into shorter segments, and students take frequent breaks. Supporters of the method say it helps break down complicated material into more "digestible lessons" and gives students time to recharge. 

 

 

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens by Patrick Waters (Edutopia). Educator Patrick Waters suggests in this blog post that teachers combine two hot trends in education -- project-based learning and making. Waters offers a step-by-step guide to integrating making in a PBL curriculum, which includes the reminder that "good projects require failure" and teach grit.

Three Tips for More Engaging PBL Projects by Andrew Miller(ASCD). Project-based learning (PBL) is a powerful tool to promote student engagement. It allows students to investigate real-world challenges and problems and create high-quality work for authentic audiences. In this Inservice post, ASCD author and faculty member Andrew Miller shares three tips to make PBL projects more engaging. He explains how to allow for failure, set up flexible classrooms spaces, and provide opportunities for student voice and choice.

Using formative tools for better project results by Suzie Boss (SmartBlog)

Using Project-Based Learning to Cultivate Student Engagement and Trust by Dave Orphal (Education Week Teacher)

 

 

QUEST-BASED LEARNING

How quest-based learning is improving student achievement by Dave Guymon (SmartBlog)

 

 

STEALTH LEADERSHIP

'Teacher stealth leadership important for change (How working quietly behind the scenes can help get things done) by Ken Royal (District Adminstration).

 

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