Survey Says . . .

One of the most well known television game shows in the history of the genre is Family Feud. If you’re not familiar with the show, it goes something like this: a survey group asks one hundred people a question like, “Other than a birthday, what’s a good reason to throw a party?” Contestants are then … Continue reading Survey Says . . .

High Yield Strategy: Generating and Testing Hypotheses

If you conduct a Google search regarding “hypothesis generation,” in less than a second you will have access to 154,000,000 links to articles and examples of such activity.  That may make you think that the generation and testing of hypotheses is far too great a task to undertake in your classroom.  Rest assured, it isn’t.   … Continue reading High Yield Strategy: Generating and Testing Hypotheses

Helping Students Learn to Think About Their Thinking

Arguably, the movie Inception, which was released in 2010, was the movie of the decade.  It contained an all-star cast, grossed $820 million, and won four Oscar Awards.  What made it so compelling?  The “dream-within-a-dream” storyline.   What in education could be as compelling?  Thinking about thinking.  In the book Learning and Leading With Habits of … Continue reading Helping Students Learn to Think About Their Thinking

5 Tips for Encouraging Student Creativity

Teachers have many opportunities to help students develop and use creativity.  In the article Unlocking Creativity author Alessandro Antonietti (Antonietti, A. (1997). Unlocking Creativity. Educational Leadership, 56(6), 73-75.) suggests that teachers do the following to help encourage student creativity: Help children realize when creativity is needed and when it is not.  Creativity is a thinking … Continue reading 5 Tips for Encouraging Student Creativity

Rigor and Relevance in the Classroom

We often throw around words like “rigor” and “relevance” when we discuss student programming, but what do we really mean?  Frequently rigor is summed up as “harder classes” and relevance is summed up as “real life experiences.” In the article What Do You Mean By Rigor? authors Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski provide further clarity … Continue reading Rigor and Relevance in the Classroom

Seven Strategies to Improve Group Work

Collaborative work in the classroom can have powerful and positive effects on student learning. In order to create the best possible outcome for students, teachers have to develop and employ learning strategies that help students engage with the content and with each other. In the article Inventories, Confessionals, and Contracts: Strategies for Effective Group Work, … Continue reading Seven Strategies to Improve Group Work

Assessing Individual and Group Learning in Projects

Students, teachers, and parents commonly question how individual students will be assessed during project based teaching. In her book Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences, author Suzie Boss shares the following suggestions related to assessing individuals and groups throughout the project period (pp. 116-118): Clarify which components are assessed at … Continue reading Assessing Individual and Group Learning in Projects

Making Reflection Meaningful

  Larissa Pahomov, author of the book Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry, provides the following guidelines for helping ensure that reflection is meaningful and leads to successful outcomes (114-123): Put reflection first. Reflection first involves thinking about the content and establishing goals for the activity or project to be undertaken. … Continue reading Making Reflection Meaningful