An Amazingly Simple Way to Empower Students to Change the World

This blog first appeared on Share My Lesson. Most educators aim for a level of comprehension that moves beyond memorization. We want students to be strong thinkers and problem-solvers, and to be empowered to use their learning beyond the school walls. But applying what we’ve learned to new contexts—also known as “learning transfer”—can be incredibly… Continue reading An Amazingly Simple Way to Empower Students to Change the World

News and Trends, Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient, Stage 5: Students as World Changers, wellness

What does #metoo mean for schools?

(This blog was originally published on Share My Lesson) Recent revelations of sexual misconduct from public figures may feel very personal to you. Or it may seem far removed from the incredible demands on your time and attention. Chances are, you want to do something but feel that you simply can’t do much with this issue. What can we… Continue reading What does #metoo mean for schools?


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?


Stop teaching, start coaching

After a lackluster response to my most recent unit on the Industrial Revolution -- who knew I could be so excited to investigate the relationship between industrialization, progress, capitalism, and justice, while my students could be so apathetic? -- I spent some time reflecting. The kids seemed to love learning about the facts but ran out of… Continue reading Stop teaching, start coaching