Stage 3: Concept Based Curriculum and Instruction, 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 4: Disciplinary Thinking

TBT: Valuing process over product

Now that the new school year is underway, I have to keep reminding myself about how to start over. I'm back in the same room teaching the same big ideas, but my students are all novices, starting at ground zero. It seems especially important, then, for me to uncover the process of their thinking, model the steps… Continue reading TBT: Valuing process over product

Stage 3: Concept Based Curriculum and Instruction, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Making interdisciplinary projects work — concepts are the key!

Everything I read these days points to the need for an interdisciplinary approach to learning. It's touted to boost engagement and bring coherence to the otherwise jolty school experience most kids endure each day. My favorite rationale for interdisciplinary work is that it's necessary for solving real-world problems. Although we often isolate discipline-specific approaches, skills, and… Continue reading Making interdisciplinary projects work — concepts are the key!

News and Trends, Stage 3: Concept Based Curriculum and Instruction, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

21st Century Learning: Don’t Dump the Disciplines

I'm enrolled in a couple online workshops to learn more about the International Baccalaureate Program and yesterday had to watch the this Tedx Talk by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs who asserts that the current curriculum is preparing kids for 1992. It's a fairly short talk but full of ideas and suggestions such as more authentic assessments… Continue reading 21st Century Learning: Don’t Dump the Disciplines

Stage 3: Concept Based Curriculum and Instruction, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Cultivating Thinking in the Disciplines

Knowledge does not fall from the sky. Someone discovers it! There are complex processes that are essential to the functioning of each discipline -- and they take years to cultivate! How do we help students to build their understanding and use of these processes? Dr. Lois Lanning's Structure of Process, the complement to Dr. Erickson's… Continue reading Cultivating Thinking in the Disciplines

News and Trends, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Best. High school course. Ever.

Due to my husband's job, we move around a lot. Like to West Africa and South America. So I thought it would be a good idea to get to know the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. I've been reading about the course called Theory of Knowledge and I went to observe it last week. The purpose… Continue reading Best. High school course. Ever.

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Throwback Thursday: Discipline Their Minds

Imagine the following classroom assignment: Explain the causes and impacts of the Great Influenza outbreak of 1918 Photo credit:http://www.jhsph.edu/sebin/f/l/bluedeath1.jpg If we want to save the world, we need to learn to prevent (or at least very effectively treat) pandemics like this, right? We can imagine that studying the causes and effects of the Great Influenza… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Discipline Their Minds

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

But Are We Preparing Them For College?

If you have been in education long enough I guarantee you have heard this phrase: But I have to teach that way – I need to prepare them for college. It’s a sentence we’re heard uttered middle through high school, about all types of teaching: lecturing, high stakes exams, an emphasis on memorizing facts. In… Continue reading But Are We Preparing Them For College?

News and Trends, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Trending: If you only make one change…

One way to look at the world is to divide it into adaptive and technical challenges and solutions. For example if I am a teacher using a math textbook that is outdated, I can solve that problem with a technical solution, a new textbook.  If, however, my challenge is not just my textbook, but that… Continue reading Trending: If you only make one change…

Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Do you sometimes (accidentally) sabotage learning?

In my first years as a teacher, I spent hours and hours preparing for each lesson plan...and we should make sure they are very carefully thought out! But I've changed the questions that I ask myself when planning. I used to think... What information or skills do I need to convey to the students? What… Continue reading Do you sometimes (accidentally) sabotage learning?