Podcast #29 What Works…Part 2

Failing Schools Show Progress with most of the Same Teachers:

Much of the widely reported improvement in student achievement at eight inner-city Chattanooga, Tenn., schools seems to be linked to the rising effectiveness of teachers who had been at the schools when their students’ performance was dismal, a report from an education think tank concludes.

That finding goes against the way the elementary schools’ story has often been told by education reformers, many of whom have focused on financial incentives that were meant to lure better teachers to the schools.

This conversations is continued from last week. Please check out Podcast #28 for more information.

Teacher Level

  1. Classroom Management
    1. Establishing & Enforcing Rules & Procedures
      1. Shouldn’t be too many (though Ron Clark did well with 55)
      2. Students can be involved in developing
    2. Carrying Out Disciplinary Actions
      1. Reinforcement – recognition/reward for appropriate behavior or absence (or cessation of negative) behavior
      2. Punishment – negative consequences
      3. No Immediate consequences- reminders
      4. Combined punishment/reinforcement –
      5. Ed Ford:  The Responsible Thinking Process  
        1. “The Questions” 
    3. Teacher & Student Relationships
      1. High Cooperation — High Dominance
        1. Teacher traditionally enter with high cooperation
        2. Within 6-10 years more dominant
      2. Do students “know” the teacher?
    4. Maintaining Appropriate Mental Set
      1. “withitness” – “eyes in the back of your head”–identifying problems early.
      2. emotional objectivity – teacher’s emotions
  2. Classroom Curriculum Design
    1. Correcting Students’ Misconceptions About Content
      1. Activate Prior Instruction
      2. Student Discussion
      3. Student Argumentation
    2. Learning Experiences:
      1. Verbal Instruction
      2. Visual Instruction
      3. Dramatic Instruction

* Note all of the work on Brain Based Learning & Gardner‘s Multiple Intelligences.

  • Teachers must specifically identify what students are to learn and communicate that to students.
  • Learning tasks must be close enough to “real world” tasks to allow for transfer of knowledge.
  • Students need multiple opportunities and complex interaction with the skills

Universe:  Visually searching the web.
    Imagine for a moment that you’ve got a visual learner and you’re asking them to research in a verbal/linguistic environment.  Imagine the internet as a vast expanse of solar systems and each topic are the stars and planets that orbit that topic.  If you can do that, you can visualize Universe. 
    Universe gleans information from the web and organizes it into orbiting information.  The first screen is constellations of stars flowing past the central star, which is your initial topic.  There are different ways to see the results of the search and can be selected along the bottom of the output screen.  The second option is to turn the star clusters in to constellations of words that float by the central star.  What if your student just doesn’t handle the floating words or stars too well?  Choose the third option for presenting the information, called “secrets”, and the words become stationary and in a grid with the larger print words being more related to the subject than the smaller sized words.  Students can then select keywords based on relevance and correlation.  Other options include statements, taken in your selected time frame, that can be viewed related to the topic, superstars, people related to the topic, and snapshots, photos related to your topic.  These are the same people that also did “We Feel Fine” that looks for the key statement “I feel” and “I feel like” in people’s blogs and then pulls them together into an emotional assessment of the world.  It relates it to weather and photos posted on the blogs it collects from and translates that into a graphical picture of emotion. They also have a website called Lovelines that does the same thing with just the statements Love and Hate, but probably not designed for a middle school audience since the search engine only looks for the emotive statement not the content related to it.