Education News

Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction

As educators, we know that learning is not one size fits all. Yet differentiated instruction (DI) remains elusive as a major part of formal planning. Myths about DI persist despite work by respected advocates such as Carol Tomlinson, Susan Allan, Rick Wormeli, and Gayle Gregory. What follows are prominent misperceptions expressed about DI, presented here so that we can separate myth from truth….read more

Research-Based Tips for Providing Students with Meaningful Feedback

In recent years, research has confirmed what most teachers already knew: providing students with meaningful feedback can greatly enhance learning and improve student achievement. So what exactly are the most effective ways to use feedback in educational settings?…read more

Supporting LGBT Students in Your School

Research has continuously shown that LGBT adolescents and teens face higher risks for depression, anxiety, self harm, and suicidal behavior than their heterosexual peers. There are a handful of factors that may contribute to these statistics, including: discrimination, bullying and harassment, family rejection, lack of representation, and isolation. Educators know that in order for meaningful learning to take place, students must feel safe and supported at school….read more

Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

What strategy doubles student learning? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment. Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning according to a benchmark, formative assessment monitors student understanding so that kids are always aware of their academic strengths and learning gaps….read more

25 Critical Thinking Strategies For The Modern Learner

Critical thinking is the engine of learning. Within this complex process are so many other relevant themes that contribute to learning: creativity, analysis, evaluation, innovation, application, and scores of other verbs from various learning taxonomies….read more

How They Get It: A New, Simple Taxonomy For Understanding

How can you tell if a student really understands something? They learn early on to fake understanding exceptionally well, and even the best assessment leaves something on the table. (In truth, a big portion of the time students simply don’t know what they don’t know.) The idea of understanding is, of course, at the heart of all learning, and solving it as a puzzle is one of the three pillars of formal learning environments and education….read more

249 Bloom’s Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking

Bloom’s Taxonomy’s verbs–also know as power verbs or thinking verbs–are extraordinarily powerful instructional planning tools. In fact, next to the concept of backwards-design and power standards, they are likely the most useful tool a teacher-as-learning-designer has access to. Why? They can be used for curriculum mapping, assessment design, lesson planning, personalizing and differentiating learning, and almost any other “thing” a teacher–or student–has to do….read more

Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students

What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? It would be saying to students something like, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes — no safety net, no parachute, no scaffolding — just left blowing in the wind.
Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things….read more

How to Minimize Digital Classroom Distractions

Classroom technologies such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and wireless internet access offer exciting opportunities to enhance and deepen the learning process. However, using technology in the classroom can also bring multiple distractions to students. Here are some proven techniques for keeping students from using digital devices inappropriately in your classroom….read more

Prison School Teacher Achieves Excellence with Victorian Award

Given she was sitting within the walls of Parkville College, a school which operates within Victoria’s highest security youth justice centre, perhaps it was something akin to the slamming of cell doors or loud buzzers and alarms going off. I do know that I didn’t expect to hear what Katherine Tsagaris had to tell me….read more