Archive for August, 2008

One bar or two bar learning

My wife and I attended the State Fair and watched the steeple jumps.  The announcer stated that a jump with a single bar is harder for the horse than one with a double bar.  When the horse sees the second bar, he/she knows the extent of the jump. With a single bar, the horse is unsure of what is next.

Do we give our students double bar learning where they know the extent of their learning?  Do we give them double bar learning where they know the depth of their learning. Do we do a teacher think-aloud to reveal the cognitive heights that they need to attain?  Do we give them exemplars so that they clearly see the jump ahead?

Do you give your students one bar or two bar education?


More Structure and More Student Success

I’m rewriting some handouts and I find that rewriting usually means add much more structure. What I thought was brillantly clear remains very muddy to the students as they begin to do their new pattern of writing.  As I go over an instructional handout with the students, I mark in the margins where they “got” it and where  they seem to falter or get confused.  If they cannot move forward easily, then I have not explained it very well in the handout. When I see their final essay with this new pattern, I can tell whether the handout did guide them in becoming a better writing.

I now have broken the body of each pattern of writing into very large graphic organizer. I give them plenty of room to write their topic sentence for each paragraph, the various categories of evidence and the details of each category. I even number each detail so that they know how many are expected. If a pattern such as contrast requires a special format, I show that visually. I always include a paragraph exemplary.

I have now required a completed graphic organizer before I will correct an essay.

One of my students who did well in her writing revealed her secret, “I reread the handout, look at the example, and then use it as the model for my writing.” One of my students who did not do as well revealed her approach, “I pick a topic and then just write.”

What structure do you add to help students be more successful?

Electric Mower, Retracing Steps, and Formative Assessment

I purchased an electric mower. It works very well. It is much quieter and lighter than my previous gas mower. The only trick is I have to  always mow away from the cord. I cannot retrace my steps.

Once I got into the zen of mowing, I began to wonder  how often my students retrace their steps in my class. Does each class move them forward? Do they truly learn a new skill goal so that they can move on to a more advanced skill or goal?  Do they continually grow not just in having more facts but in thinking about how to put those facts together? Do they become more critical in their thinking about the subject?

To be more concrete, in my writing course, do students master a skill such as using a topic  sentence so that they can move forward or do they always make the same learning gap over and over again?  I can  structure my class so that they do not retrace their steps but they always move forward. I can  provide feedback and exemplars that will move them forward. I can have brief direct instruction and mini-assessments to verify that they are not going backward but are moving forward in their learning.

How do you prevent your students from retracing their steps?

Short wins or long win: Go for the Short!

As I was watching the Olympics, I was torn between watching Phelps and May-Walsh.  Phelps won a medal for each swim race he was in.  May-Walsh had to  play many different teams to advance in beach volleyball; no medals were awarded until the final match.   Do we help our students to have  short wins (the mini-goals within each standard) or do we wait until the end of the year for the long win? Do we structure our mini-goal assessments so that students can see how much they have learned (advanced)?  Do our students feel like champions after each mini-goal? Do we celebrate their short wins?  Do we have the students keep a list of all of their short wins so that they can see their progress on their learning journey?  Let’s have our students win many Gold medals for their excellent standards-based learning!

RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]

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