A lot can change in a year, including education. That’s never more true than right now, with technology continually ushering in new ways to connect and learn causing the educational landscape took look a lot different that it did just a few short years ago.
Here are some of the education hot topics we talked about this year:
The Flipped Classroom--this experimental approach flipped the traditional model of lecture-in-class, homework-at-home on its head and saw students learning via You Tube at home, and working on assignments and group work in class.
Blended Learning–rapidly growing in popularity, in a blended classroom, students spend a portion of their in-class time self-learning using computers.
Twitter in the classroom–social media became a large player in many classrooms, helping increase student engagement.
Cursive is removed from the curriculum–Some school boards remove learning cursive handwriting from the curriculum, saying it’s an outmoded lesson.
Cellphones in the classroom--once banned from classrooms, some school classrooms actually require students to have cellphones to participate in discussions.
Is there such a thing as too much technology?–a new study shows that too much online time can actually change brain structures and cause poorer test results.
Stop texting and go to sleep– research shows that technology use before bed can disrupt sleep habits, causing students to struggle in class.
And less technology-based, but still newsworthy:
Longer days, shorter weeks–schools experiment with a shortened school week to see if a day off gives students more of a chance to complete work.
What were the biggest changes to education that you experienced this year? We’d love to hear from you!
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In the spirit of the Holiday Countdown Calendar we’ve complied this list of holiday activities to keep the kids mentally active over the break! Feeling creative? Why not cut out each tip, put them in a bowl, and have the kids choose their daily mental to-do activity? Or better yet…hang them on the tree and have the kids pick one a day!
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All students are active thinkers by nature, but not all students know how to be active thinker when it comes to classroom learning. And especially not when it comes to homework.
That’s because, like many other school skills—studying, organization, focus—active thinking is a skill that students need to be taught how to use. Then, like any other skill, it needs to be practiced and honed before it becomes second nature.
Try these tips to turn on active thinking skills in and out of the classroom:
- Before heading into class, pause for a moment and try to remember what was learned in the previous class. This primes the brain to get it ready to review information and learn something new.
- Participate in class discussions. You don’t always have to have the right answers to think actively in class and listen to other student’s questions.
- When taking notes in class—or at home— think towards the test and make note of any potential test questions in the margins of the notebook. (And take note of questions other students have asked in class.)
- When reading or learning something new, ask if the new material calls to mind other material that is already known. Attempt to be draw similarities, no matter how random.
- When studying or doing homework, ask what is already known about a subject by performing a “mental review.” Then focus on concepts that were forgotten or overlooked. (If it’s forgotten on a mental review, it might be forgotten on a test too!)
- Set academic goals and work towards them. An active way to approach the learning process is by looking ahead and answering the “what’s next?” question. There’s always a test, a project, an assignment on the horizon. An active part of the learning process is knowing what’s coming up next, and being prepared.
Tip for Parents
Parents can encourage active thinking by prompting conversations about learning and by asking the right questions. Don’t just ask, “how was school?” Ask more specific questions such as “how was math class?” and “what concepts did you learn today?”
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- Active Learning
- Homework Tips
- Study Tips and How-Tos
- Getting Involved in Your Child’s Education
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