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How I gave my students voice and increased collaboration

E-School News – Raymond Steinmetz

“When I first started teaching a decade ago, I would do anything to maintain control in my classroom. Rarely were students allowed to speak without raising their hand. All of the desks in my room faced forward, and I controlled all communication. Collaboration back then looked like the occasional “turn and talk” between desk partners, and sometimes we would have problem-solving partner days where students solved word problems together.” (more)

Working in a group might be the best way to help kids meet individual goals, study says

The Hechinger Report – Jill Barshay

“Now, a new study out by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonprofit research firm, makes the argument that collaborative, group learning might actually serve each student’s individual academic needs quite well. In a study of almost 900 high school students at four different schools, the researchers found that the more high-quality collaborative learning experiences students had at school, the more that the students said they felt their personal learning needs were met and that they were adequately challenged and supported when they needed help.” (more)

K–12 Schools Should Teach Soft Skills to Prepare Students for the Future Workforce

Ed Tech Magazine – Joe McAllister

“While digital tools are woven into educational pedagogy nationwide, another component of learning may help educators give students advantages in a world not yet known to them. A 2017 Report by Dell Technologies estimates that 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 — fewer than 12 years from now — haven’t been invented yet.” (more)

3 ways to better assess soft skills

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Eighty-three percent of teachers, 82 percent of parents, 82 percent of superintendents, and 83 percent of principals say it is equally important to assess both academic skills and nonacademic skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and creativity, according to a new report commissioned by NWEA and conducted by Gallup.” (more)

Study helps children hit the right note in supporting autistic peers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Led by Anna Cook, Ph.D. student at the University of Surrey, researchers found that the interactive sessions produced findings that could potentially reduce bullying of autistic students. The research investigated the impact of school-based music lessons on children aged nine to eleven years old, both with and without autism. Split into two groups, one a combination of those with and without the condition, and the other group consisting of those without, the children received eleven weekly singing classes that were specifically designed to increase social interaction and communication skills.” (more)

More Talking in Class, Please

Edutopia – Kasey Short

“Providing consistent, structured time for students to participate in collaborative conversations can improve the overall classroom environment because once the need to sit quietly is replaced with opportunities to discuss course content, the amount of off-topic talking declines. Both small group and whole class discussions can provide these opportunities.” (more)