Blog Posts

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 5: Students as World Changers

Impact the World: Strategies for Transferring Learning

This post originally appeared on Corwin Connect. WHAT IF WE COULD TRULY DO SCHOOL DIFFERENTLY? Picture a fifth grader who has identified animals as one of her passions. She has chosen to work on the problem of endangered species and make recommendations for improving the situation. Monday morning starts off with a Skype conference call with an… Continue reading Impact the World: Strategies for Transferring Learning

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 3: Critical Thinking, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking, Stage 5: Students as World Changers, Testing and Assessments

Teaching for Transfer

In an increasingly complicated world, it is essential that we honor the research-rich past and harness children’s natural curiosity as we look to the future. How do we move beyond surface learning to reach deeper comprehension? What strategies help students make connections between ideas and use their learning to unlock new situations? This webinar shares… Continue reading Teaching for Transfer

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 5: Students as World Changers

3 Steps for Teaching Innovation to Tackle Complex Problems

This post first appeared on Corwin Connect. On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, making outer space the next battleground of the Cold War. It also sent a shockwave through the American public that demanded improvements in U.S. schools. With current tensions with North Korea, a renewed civil rights battle, and incomprehensible tragedies like… Continue reading 3 Steps for Teaching Innovation to Tackle Complex Problems


Why do we still say things like, “my smart students”?

Below are three excerpts I use in my workshops with parents and teachers. They just scratch the surface of research telling us that we underestimate the potential of students and that our beliefs have a tremendous impact on achievement. What do you think? Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform (adapted from NPR article by… Continue reading Why do we still say things like, “my smart students”?

Stage 2: Active Processing, Uncategorized

5 ways to preview content and access prior knowledge

How do we turn on the brain and get it ready for the day's lesson? There are a number of strategies to help students connect what they already think or know about a topic -- and help us to see what they already know or might misunderstand before we get started. Anticipatory guide - Make… Continue reading 5 ways to preview content and access prior knowledge


Teaching students to learn conceptually

NOTE: This blog, as all our other blogs on conceptual learning, is based on the work of  H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning.

Education to Save the World

Planning is done. You have around 3 – 5 powerful statements of conceptual relationships, a conceptual lens, questions that lead to discovery of the relationships and a list of corresponding facts and skills for powerful synergistic thinking — what do you do next?

It is essential to teach students about learning conceptually — sadly, most of them are not used to this type of learning. Here is a quick outline of one way to do it:

  1. Experts: Ask students to think about what makes someone an expert and how they are able to remember so much. Tell them we are on the path to becoming experts and that you will let them in on a little secret about experts.
  2. Structure of Knowledge: Teach them that experts organize information in their heads via a conceptual framework. Teach them briefly about the components in the Structure of Knowledge using an example they already know…

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Peer Relationships: Their Lives Depend On Them

Happy New Year! Here is a good reminder of the importance of fostering a positive community of learners in every classroom. Strategies galore below!

Education to Save the World

imagesI always understood that my relationships with students would reduce the number of discipline problems, increase motivation and ultimately learning. But — WOW — I wish I had known more about the importance of student-to-student relationships when I first started teaching.

I never spent much time on the anti-bullying craze not because I didn’t think it was important but there just seemed like so much else to focus on. Now I understand the importance but still think anti-bullying (by educating on signs of bullying, encouraging reporting to adults and focusing programming outside of the curriculum and regular instruction time) might be a slightly less effective way to go about fostering positive peer interactions.

First, the research:

  • The Harvard Men study followed 268 men from their entrance to college in the 1930s to present day. The study’s director, George Vaillant states that there are “70 years of evidence that our relationships…

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Ed2S Fellows, News and Trends, Uncategorized

What’s next for Ed2S?

Well, we haven't written in quite some time -- we've been busy! We are thrilled to announce the forthcoming publication of our first two books: Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding. The secondary edition will be out in January and the elementary edition out in August by Corwin Press. These books extend the great work of Dr.… Continue reading What’s next for Ed2S?

Ed2S Fellows, News and Trends, Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient, Testing and Assessments

Should we teach students to embrace failure?

Today's post was written by a 2015 Ed2Save Fellow, Jessie Mouw. Her Fellow's Project is to promote and redefine the importance of failure as a natural and important part of the learning process. Her words follow:  The Case for Failure-Friendly Schools      Failure has become the subject of much consideration in roughly the last decade, as… Continue reading Should we teach students to embrace failure?