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Thinking Like a Coach

Edutopia – Frank Ward

“Coaches teach athletes how to improve. But they don’t simply yell, “Play better defense!” What would that “feedback” really tell the player? As teachers, we are our students’ coaches in the classroom. Providing vital, quality feedback is essential to helping students improve. Just as a coach has to show players how to box out under the hoop on the basketball court, teachers must model and explain to students how to improve their work.” (more)

Q&A: Vince Bertram Leads the Way Toward STEM in Schools

Ed Tech – Jena Passut

“Vince Bertram is serious about education. In fact, he’s been on an educational journey his entire adult life — from studying education policy and management at Harvard University to serving as superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district. Today, Bertram, also the best-selling author of Dream Differently: Candid Advice for America’s Students, is president and CEO of Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit provider of STEM educational programs used in elementary, middle and high schools around the country.”(more)

Guiding Students to Be Independent Learners

Edutopia – Dr. Donna Wilson and Dr. Marcus Conyers

“It’s estimated that students in the U.S. spend nearly 20,000 hours experiencing classroom education by the age of 18, and that much of what is taught is forgotten within a short time. And there’s little evidence that they know how to apply effective learning strategies when they arrive at college. In essence, many students have not learned how to retain and apply knowledge. Fortunately, current research offers fascinating insights about the brain’s capacity to learn at higher levels when effective learning strategies are used.”(more)

A More Complete Picture of Student Learning

Edutopia – Andrew Miller

“I’m really excited to see that educators are clear about the use of formative and summative assessment. We’re using formative assessment to gauge the effectiveness of our teaching and to know what our students know and have yet to learn. We’re using summative assessment to evaluate student progress toward course goals and report grades. It’s important that we understand the difference and communicate it to students effectively. At my school, I hear students explaining the difference to each other, and I know that they see their formative assessments as growth opportunities. They know that they have to show mastery.”(more)

6 administrators share strategies to gain — and maintain — student engagement

Education Dive – Roger Riddell

“Many a seasoned educator can tell you that getting students’ attention is easier said than done, and maintaining that engagement can sometimes prove even more difficult. To gain insight on what works best, we asked six current and former school and district leaders to share their favorite tactics and strategies, and this is what they had to say.”(more)

Common sense a prerequisite for brilliance

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


Do high standardized test scores assure success?

Many highly-accomplished people had far from perfect scores on the SAT test. Some struggled to get through college and others dropped out. With these results, there must be more to success than academic brilliance.

Granted, technological advances have made academic knowledge, especially in math and the sciences, more important. However, common sense is just as vital as it was fifty years ago. Sadly, many parents have become so focused on academic knowledge and fame that common sense has fallen by the wayside.

Common sense is something most of us understand intuitively, but is difficult to define. It is a combination of wisdom and self-discipline.

According to Wordnik wisdom is, “The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” Wisdom is not something that can be found in a textbook, taught in a classroom, or downloaded from the Internet. It is not tested through standardized tests like the SAT, MCAT, or GRE. Instead it is something that comes with exposure and experience.

The same dictionary defines self-discipline as, “Training and control of one’s conduct.” Self-discipline is generally modeled and taught at home through structure, responsibility, consequences, and praise.

Before the age of helicopter parents, most kids developed common sense as part of everyday life. Children were given considerable responsibility. Parents set expectations and there were consequences for poor choices. Only the winners received trophies. Through the school of hard knocks kids gradually learned how to present ideas, communicate with others, and alert people of delays. They came to understand the importance of punctuality and how to diplomatically address problems.

Now many parents are so worried about the “perfect” D1 sports program, landing a lead movie role, etc. that they do too much of their kids. It is often better to set general extra-curricular involvement requirements and establish minimum effort expectations rather than micromanage.

Finally, it is important for children to take responsibility for their actions. If a child is going to be late, he/she should notify the adult in charge. When a child damages property, he/she needs to earn money for the repair. And when a child performs poorly on a test, he/she needs to get a poor grade rather than have his/her parent negotiate with the principal.

Stepping out of the micromanagement role is challenging. However, it is easier once we realize our children need an environment that fosters common sense to become truly brilliant.