Online Lessons: George Bramley Wins the Battle of Hastings – Education Article

03.26.20Online Lessons: George Bramley Wins the Battle of Hastings Hard to tell from this image but this battle was a clear win for George Bramley As you probably know I’ve been trying to share useful video and analysis of successful approaches to online learning on this blog. One of the big challenges is that synchronous lessons are challenging–challenging to run; limited in terms of how much students can do in a day–while asynchronous lessons are hard to make interactive. As…

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Our First Round of Videos of Online Teaching – Education Article

As promised I’m going to share some early video of what teachers are doing online and some observations about what seems to work. Step one: Continuity, Community, and Accountability… Some reminders: None of this is perfect- either what the teachers do or our advice based on it. We’re all figuring it out together in difficult circumstances and on the fly. Right now, as my colleague Hannah Solomon put it, “Every teacher is a champion.” We hope to help as much…

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For Coaches: The Importance of Perception-Based Questions – Education Article

Decision-making starts with the eyes… Thanks to all the supportive folks who’ve been asking “Hey, how’s that coaching book coming?” The answer is: slowly. But it’s coming. I was chatting with a friend about how to ask better questions of athletes and it reminded me of a section on the importance of using questions to train athlete’s eyes. As Todd Beane of TOVO Academy puts it: ‘I see because I understand; I understand because I see.’ Here’s a short excerpt…

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Lessons: I Thought I Hated Science Fiction Until I Read it Through Emily’s Eyes – Education Article

01.23.20Lessons: I Thought I Hated Science Fiction Until I Read it Through Emily’s Eyes Never Really My Cup of Tea Just this week we finished up our Science Fiction unit for our reading curriculum. It was designed and written by Emily Badillo and includes 8 classic short stories with lots of fantastic knowledge building and writing opportunities. I’m going to tell you a little bit about the unit. And then at the bottom I’m going to tell you something even…

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Emily DiMatteo Builds Knowledge Through Embedded Nonficiton – Education Article

Never forget what Snowball did here…. I’m excited to share this video of Emily DiMatteo’s English class. First, it’s a great example of how Embedded Nonfiction can infuse a discussion with background knowledge and thus build its rigor. That’s an idea we’ve been passionate about for a while but have recently come to realize it hard to implement well without a curriculum. And as it happens Emily is teaching a lesson from our new curriculum in this video so that’s…

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TLAC Global: Two Great Videos from Chile – Education Article

02.05.20TLAC Global: Two Great Videos from Chile A Perfect Moment…. For the last couple of years we’ve been partnering with an organization in Chile called Aptus. They’ve taken TLAC materials and not only translated them but developed training and support systems to develop teachers throughout Chile. Recently they taped a few of their own champions to give teachers local examples to study and happily they sent a few examples my way. We watched them at a team meeting at TLAC…

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Notes for Coaches: The Story of a Stoppage – Education Article

01.25.20Notes for Coaches: The Story of a Stoppage Pssst…One run for the defender; a second for the ball As coaching goes, my daughter is lucky. She plays for a great club: serious about teaching and hires top quality coaches. Her coach this year is just what you’d want as a parent and a student of the game: builds positive culture; values teamwork and integrity; knows the game, respects it, teaches it right. He’s also humble–accomplished coach of a legit collegiate…

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Parents and Educators Should Know: Complex Text is the Gatekeeper to College – Education Article

01.13.20Parents and Educators Should Know: Complex Text is the Gatekeeper to College My colleague Jen Rugani shared this data with me. It’s really important for educators and parents to see. It shows scores from seven rounds of the ACT. When you dis-aggregate the data by the complexity of the text in the passages tested, you can see that students who scored below the ACT reading benchmark were essentially guessing at answers to questions about complex text. Remember it’s a MC…

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Board=Paper: How Sadie McCleary Builds Her Students’ Note-taking Skills – Education Article

01.10.20Board=Paper: How Sadie McCleary Builds Her Students’ Note-taking Skills One of those hidden life-skills… Taking notes is a critical but easily overlooked skill that allows students to organize and review materials over the long run: across a unit or a semester or a lifetime. In the short run (that is, in the moment during class when they are actually taking notes) it can cause them to focus and prioritize their attention. So next time you observe a class, take a…

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How Sadie McLeary Manages Student Participation (Video) – Education Article

12.19.19How Sadie McLeary Manages Student Participation (Video) Sadie’s teaching has been inspiring us for several years now- every since she taught at one of Uncommon’s NYC high schools. Now she’s at Western Guilford HS in Greensboro, NC Happy Holidays, friends. I give you the gift of outstanding video to send you off into your winter break. This clip is of Sadie McCleary’s class. She’s a Chemistry teacher at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina. Generally this clip will…

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The Paper Rocket: Thoughts on Improving ‘Hands-On’ Learning – Education Article

11.13.19The Paper Rocket: Thoughts on Improving ‘Hands-On’ Learning Knowledge first, please. A couple of weeks ago, I asked my littlest what was going on in Science. It’s her favorite class so it doesn’t take much to get some chatter going. She announced with no small amount of excitement that they were going to be building and flying rockets later that week. “Oh, cool,” I said, “Are you studying air resistance? Or aerodynamics?” That sounded super-geeky, so I re-phrased: “You know,…

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Christine Torres Crushes the ‘Habits of Discussion’ – Education Article

11.15.19Christine Torres Crushes the ‘Habits of Discussion’ “Start us off, Joseph…” Every time I watch Christine Torres teach I am inspired. Christine is the Middle School Academic Dean at Springfield Prep in Springfield, MA and a fifth grade teacher there. She is a teacher of truly epic skill and spirit. To prove it I am going to show you six minutes from her classroom in which she demonstrates as many elements of the technique Habits of Discussion as I have…

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Field Trips Benefit from Background Knowledge, Too – Education Article

11.24.19Field Trips Benefit from Background Knowledge, Too Looking at a shark: You perceive more when you know more. Last week I wrote a post about hands-on learning, and how what seemed like a rich experience–launching rockets–might not be so useful if students didn’t know what they were looking at. On the other hand if students had been primed with knowledge beforehand they could observe relevant things and increase their knowledge by adding detail to it. I was thinking about that…

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A Network at Work: Lobo School of Innovation – Education Article

  In the heart of Silicon Valley, many schools seek recognition as tech-savvy or cutting edge. While schools may promise innovation and a genuine connection to real-world learning outcomes, it is often a challenge to support these claims. In San Jose, California, the teachers and school leaders at Lobo School of Innovation (LSI), a public district school nestled on the campus of Quimby Middle School, are living up to their school’s name and using the power of the New Tech…

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How People Learn Best: Learning Styles vs. Dual Coding, a Guest Post by Benjamin Keep – Education Article

Recently I wrote a post about Learning Styles and why teachers held fast to their belief in them, even in the face of convincing evidence that they are not only hogwash but counter-productive. Several people responded including Benjamin Keep who works with Ulrich Boser at his organization the Learning Agency which uses the science of learning to help organizations succeed. Much of their work focuses on an idea called Dual Coding, a scientifically validated concept that puts what seems compelling…

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Strong Voice, Register Shifts and Warm/Strict: Ms. Cenac Greets Her Students – Education Article

09.26.19Strong Voice, Register Shifts and Warm/Strict: Ms. Cenac Greets Her Students “It’s going to be great!” Strong Voice is a critical tool for teachers. They need to manage a room, ensure directions are followed, make sure students listen–those things come with the territory. If you can’t do them, you can’t do your job. That doesn’t mean Strong Voice can’t also be warm and caring even while it helps us set expectations. In fact, moments when we set expectations and limits…

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