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Learning to Teach in High Gear

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The Teaching Life, Voices | 5 comments

In her new book Teaching in High Gear: My Shift Toward a Student-Driven, Inquiry-Based Science Classroom, Marsha Ratzel recounts a transformational journey marked by a gradual shift from teacher-centered to student-driven education and bolstered by a powerful virtual network of colleagues from around the world. Here’s an excerpt!

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Sharing Real-World Projects Sharpens the Literacy Skills of Connected Students

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, STEM learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices |

When students are connected, all learning has the potential for being language intense and leveraged to build literacy skills, writes STEM coach Brian Crosby. Opportunities arise that motivate your students to interact at a high level and require them to be articulate to be understood. Add constructivist learning activities around STEM and Maker projects and watch the literacy skills grow.

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Are You a Thought-Provider or a Thought-Provoker?

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 8 comments

Our job as educators is to be thought-provoking instead of thought-providing, says Wisconsin principal Matt Renwick. One-to-one technology is only as good as the meaning students make with it. Our students will make meaning if what we present is meaningful to them. This means taking advantage of strengths that may in the past have been seen as problems. “Talking” and “arguing” are fine examples.

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Start with Why: The power of student-driven learning

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The Compelling Need for Change, Voices | 13 comments

Why do we have so many students who are frustrated and bored, just waiting to be challenged? We’ve made education about manipulation and hoops instead of inspiring our students to pursue learning that matters to them — learning that can help them make a difference in our communities and the world. By beginning with the Why questions, says teacher Shelley Wright, we can create powerful student-driven learning environments.

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