Problem-Based Learning: Our Brains Abhor Cliffhangers

Our brains don’t like unresolved issues, writes El Paso Schools IT director Tim Holt. “Hollywood figured out long ago that cliffhangers are sticky — that our brains remember unresolved issues longer than plotlines that just plod along.” In his latest post about the advantages of problem-based learning, Holt says PBL lessons should also keep students busy resolving the unresolved.

Assessing Student Progress Using Blog-Based Portfolios

The beauty of blog-based digital portfolios, says teacher-author Kathy Cassidy, “is that as the children and I are constantly assessing their learning in a formative and summative way, the students are also demonstrating their growing knowledge for a wide audience and learning about digital citizenship and appropriate online behavior. What great by-products of the assessment process!”

Some Low-Cost Summer PD Ideas for Connected Educators

Summer is a great time for educators to hone their classroom skills, deepen their content knowledge, and grow as professionals, says history teacher and connected educator Jennifer Carey. With computer access and an Internet connection, you can bring professional development to your own living room at little or no cost. Jen shares four ideas she’s pursued herself.

Scaffolding Quadratics: 2 Things My 8th Graders Taught Me

We’re studying quadratics in my 8th grade class. Even the name can strike fear in the heart of the most competent adult. I didn’t want it to be that way for my math kids. I wrote a good lesson plan and then I let students help me modify it. Essentially, they “taught” me how to teach them better through the interaction and feedback we gave to each other during the learning process. We built the scaffold together.