Tagged “Problem Solving”

Thom Markham

How Project-Based Learning Educates the Whole Child

Over the past decade and a half, I've seen how well-executed project-based learning (PBL) can provide a joyful learning experience for students. Joy is not our number one standard, I realize, but when projects offer the right mix of challenge, engagement, and personalized support, blended with a motivating, meaningful learning experience that reaches deep into the soul, joy is the outcome. You can see it bubble up in the animated faces, big smiles, body language, and open-hearted response of students at the end of a good project. In other words, we've reached the whole child.

Read more »

Thom Markham

Project-Based Learning and Common Core Standards

The first question about Common Core State Standards, What will they look like?,  has been answered. The answer is: Very different. The internationally benchmarked standards will emphasize creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, presentation and demonstration, problem solving, research and inquiry, and career readiness.

The second, more challenging question is, How will we teach these new standards? For several years, the winds of change have been howling in one direction, pointing educators toward greater focus on depth rather than coverage, thinking rather than memorizing or listing, and demonstrating and performing rather than "hand it in and grade it." With 46 states endorsing the Common Core State Standards and half of those planning for full implementation in the next three years, we've moved into hurricane status. Quite soon, we'll land on a distant, unknown shore. Teachers will have to teach differently.

Read more »

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Using Engaging Learning Strategies to Connect School to the Real World

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. By encouraging students to meet challenges creatively, collaborate, and apply critical-thinking skills to real-world, unpredictable situations inside and outside of school, we prepare them for future college, career, and citizenship success.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning. It can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically. You'll hear from

  • Shelley Billig, vice president of RMC Research and qualitative research team leader for the Broad Prize for Urban District Excellence. She staffed the National Commission on Service-Learning as the research partner; helped found the International Research Association on Service-Learning and Community Engagement; and has conducted national, state, and regional studies on service learning.
  • Jason Flom, a 5th grade teacher at Cornerstone Learning Community in Tallahassee, Fla. He founded Ecology of Education as a collaborative, multiauthor blog in March 2009 to give voice to a range of professionals working in the field of education. Flom is also the moderator for Edutopia's Green Schools Group and is a member of ASCD's Emerging Leaders Class of 2010.
  • Dorvionne Lindsay, a senior at Quest Early College High School in Humble, Tex., winner of the 2011 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Lindsay interns at a small surgical hospital and will be a freshman in the pre-med program at Texas A&M University this fall, beginning her studies to be a heart surgeon.

What are the current challenges and opportunities to successfully implementing and sustaining high-quality engaged teaching and learning?

Klea Scharberg

Throughout February: Engaging Learning Strategies

Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. By encouraging students to meet challenges creatively, collaborate, and apply critical-thinking skills to real-world, unpredictable situations inside and outside of school, we prepare them for future college, career, and citizenship success.

Join us throughout February as we examine effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning. It can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

Assessment Roundup

We focus extensively on test scores and far too little on the whole child. We often choose one-size-fits-all fixes while ignoring solid research about the infinite ways students learn and children develop. The true measure of students’ proficiency and college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness must be based on more than just their scores on state standardized reading and math assessments.

We shouldn’t simply teach to the test. We need to teach for understanding, and assessments are tools to gauge that understanding. When used effectively, assessments can facilitate high levels of student achievement by providing ongoing information about students’ grasp of key concepts and how to enhance their learning to help them meet or exceed academic requirements. States, districts, and schools should provide a more comprehensive picture of student achievement through multiple assessments of and for learning.

Read more »

Paula Mirk

Implementing and Assessing the Ethics Standards

The subject of ethics is a great opportunity to explore learning without the burden of standardized tests because (so far) the topic is considered a difficult one to measure in discrete bubbles on an answer sheet. So, this dimension of our schools and curriculum is relatively safe from the assessment wag-or-dog controversy other subjects present. Take advantage of this opportunity! In any class, in any subject, teachers can feel free to explore their students' values-based reasoning skills without worrying about "covering the material." The more teachers do so, the more they will find that such exploration deepens understanding and contributes to content, rather than slowing things down or feeling like an indulgent add-on.

Read more »

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

How Narrative Feedback Can Crush the ABCs

Post written by Mark Barnes, a veteran teacher and national presenter. His new book on what he calls a Results Only Learning Environment will be published by ASCD in 2013. Connect with Barnes by e-mail at mark@thepaperlessclassroom.com. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

The argument about the value of grades is one that continually vexes many teachers and administrators. Once educators agree that grades do more harm than good, the debate typically turns to a discussion about what is an appropriate replacement for them. "Study after study has found that students—from elementary school to graduate school, and across cultures—demonstrate less interest in learning as a result of being graded" (Kohn, 1999). How, then, does assessment exist without numbers and letters?

Read more »

Celina Brennan

Student Learning Communities

Professional learning communities (PLCs) are the topic of many conversations within education: the culture that is imperative for success, the goals we choose to focus on, the protocols we should follow, the structure that must be in place, and the realities that we face. There is an abundance of research I have read to support how PLCs are necessary in improving students' learning. I myself belong to an amazing PLC (as well as many micro PLCs within my PLC). But my thoughts lately have been on how to take the characteristics of successful PLCs and apply them within the walls of the classroom for students.

Read more »

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Peer Tutoring: What Can Be Done Tomorrow Morning in Every School

Gerald Grant

Post written by Gerald Grant, the Hannah Hammond Professor of Education and Sociology Emeritus at Syracuse University and the author of Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh (Harvard University Press, 2009). This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

Ever since my visit to St. Luke's School, an elementary school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx, N.Y., in the 1970s, I have wondered why one of the best ideas in education—peer tutoring—has been so seldom adopted in American public schools. Despite its demographic challenges, St. Luke's reading scores were two years above average.

St. Luke's principal, an energetic nun in her mid-30s, created a peer tutoring system in which every child became a tutor. She matched the children in 1st through 3rd grades with a buddy in 4th through 6th grades. After morning prayers, the first 35 minutes of the day were devoted to whatever the younger student wanted to read.

Read more »

Klea Scharberg

Ask Dr. Judy Webinar: How Can Students Remember Next Year What I Teach This Year?

Join renowned author, neurologist, and teacher Judy Willis for an exciting free webinar on long-term memory strategies.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

Once information gets through the brain filters and becomes working memory, it needs further processing to become long-term memory. Strategies of mental manipulation are needed to develop neural circuits of long-term memories. This webinar will connect the up-to-date memory research from neuroscience, including discoveries about neuroplasticity and pruning, with classroom instruction strategies to promote accurate, durable, and efficiently retrievable long-term memory.

Read more »

Share |

Blog Archive

Blog Tags