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Showing posts from December, 2014

Creating Authentic Thinkers

I read a tweet the other day by @realscientists that said, "We've raised a generation of people who can DO math, but most don't UNDERSTAND what they're doing..." and if I could have made a standing ovation tweet, I would have.  Perfectly said.

Maybe the tweet had such an impact on me because it is something I noticed this year in my classroom.    One example in particular is that my students do a pretty good job with the math but are struggling with the problems.  In other words, they can find a NUMBER but they struggle to find an ANSWER to a problem.

I have a few theories as to why this is happening and what we can do to fix it.

One, they are terrified of failing.  They've gone through hardcore testing for at least 3 years now and because of the stakes of those tests and their fear of failing them, they have allowed that to bleed into their every day academic lives and are now governed by it.

Two, they've never had to.  This isn't a dog on their p…

'Tis the Season...for testing...

Here we are, two weeks away from an extremely well deserved break, spending a great amount of time...testing.  Now is about the time that I start drawing out my plans of my latest, yet to be invented invention.  This invention is called- wait for it- iBrain.  No, that name isn't very creative.  Test Eliminator 2000.  Ehh, let's go with iBrain.  Anyways, iBrain looks like a USB cable that plugs into the ear of a student- any ear.  The other end plugs into a computer.  You wait 5 minutes while everything the student has learned up to THAT point is downloaded into a convenient little, easy to read, spreadsheet.  Bingo bango boom, you have what you need to plan the upcoming semester.  Oh yeah, and all the accountability stuff too.  5 minutes is all it took.

Of course I am being facetious and thinking rather wishfully.  I know.  I understand the need to assess our students for both planning purposes and accountability purposes.  I get it.  We (my students and I) get it.   I just r…