Oct 6, 2013
Young Learners 6298 Views
At a certain phase of early age development, children seem to be inseparable from their toys. Although the basic purpose of toys is to simply create fun time playing, toys manufacturers are encouraged to provide educational-oriented toys in order to help children to learn and develop fundamental abilities such as cognitive thinking, physical skills, problem-solving, numbers, language, colors, and more. Since toddlers or preschoolers are getting more familiar with digital-based games, educational toys manufacturers will have to overcome difficult challenges in the market. Toys factories need to be very creative, so they can provide interesting, fun, yet educating toys for children.
Basically, toy and education can be combined into something interesting and addicting which attracts children to keep developing important skills in life. Nonetheless, parents should be aware that children play with different types of toys based on any particular stage of early age development; for instance, ...
Oct 6, 2013
E-Learning/CALL 2960 Views
Project-based learning (PBL) is a method teachers employ that requires students to integrate and synthesize skills from different subjects to solve complex, real-world problems. It focuses on active learning through the completion of hands-on projects rather than passive absorption of information. PBL is not a new technique and it can certainly be argued that this process has been the foundation of all learning since the earliest times. However, in our digital age the PBL method can be enhanced remarkably when combined with the use of digital portfolios or ePortfolios as they are more commonly called. Students and teachers can now use ePortfolios to collaborate on projects in real-time and develop perceptive skills while obtaining feedback from their classmates and teachers on their work. ePportfolios can be especially useful in group projects as they facilitate student collaboration. PBL through ePortfolios provides distinct advantages for students:
Students are encouraged to ...
Oct 6, 2013
Teacher Training 3359 Views
Formal assessment often creates fear within the student such that it prevents them from performing at their best. Therefore, it is important for the teacher to give students practice assessment items to allow them to gain experience in doing assessment under exam conditions to ease that fear. This informal assessment helps both the teacher and student gauge how they are progressing and what they need do to prepare for the real thing.
In classes with a wide range of ability, there are strategies you can use to help prepare all your students to do well in formal assessment by using your informal assessment as preparation.
Below are ideas to consider as part of your informal assessment:
It is important to find out what understanding of each new topic your class has as a starting point for your teaching.
Use frequent, quick, short tests to consolidate the basics.
Practice any new assessment task before you use it formally.
Make sure the format of your informal assessment reflects the ...
Oct 6, 2013
Teaching 3117 Views
In parts 1 and 2 of "How to ask critical thinking questions," I discussed the importance of teachers asking proper questions. Also, making sure the questions are not just a restatement of something that was just taught.
I mentioned the idea of having the proper weight time and helping the students to learn how to answer higher level questioning. Teachers have to practice asking higher level questioning and planning the right questions to ask during a lesson can not be something asked at the spur of the moment.
Part 3 will discuss how to adjust the level of questioning for students. Sometimes the teacher may need to begin with questions on the knowledge level of Bloom's Taxonomy, such as, "What color is the ocean on a map. " However, teachers should not leave all of their questions at the knowledge level.
Moving to higher level questioning is intended to stretch the student's thinking. Cognitive or evaluative questioning helps the teacher determine whether the student is comprehending ...
Oct 6, 2013
Teaching 3294 Views
Developing critical thinking questions can be challenging for teachers. So, how do we create inquiries that drive critical thinking? Teachers should ask questions that create ongoing thinking. When we receive an answer from a student, we have given them permission to stop thinking. When the questions continue, the thought processes continue.
Making sure we cover content for students to recall is stopping their thinking processes.
· Provide content that encourages thinking.
· Provide content that requires thinking to encourage learning.
When students have quality questions, thinking and learning are occurring. Quality questions are the result of quality thinking. When the question, "Is this going to be on the test?" is asked, the student has stopped thinking and are not engaged in the learning process.
Inquiry drives or directs thinking. If we as educators do not continue to ask questions about our field of study, our profession would die. According to, "The Role of Socratic ...
Oct 6, 2013
Teaching 3046 Views
While receiving my Master's of Education in Secondary English I realized I was asking the wrong types of questions of my students. The answers I was getting were not what I wanted. I wanted deeper thought provoking, earth shattering answers.
This is when I began the task of changing my questioning techniques. I researched the power of the questions I asked and found that the types of questions I asked were not helping my students think and learn. I was focused on the answer instead of the question.
I also realized that when I did ask questions that required the students to think, I was thinking in my head, "Please hurry up, I've got two more points to give you before the bell rings." Thus, me reverting back to the knowledge based, yes, no type questions.
The idea of the content coverage, I felt, dictated the type of question I asked. Coverage of standards are very important in public schooling. As your test scores reflect your ability to cover the standard and "hopefully" teach it to ...
Sep 29, 2013
Classroom Management 3871 Views
Being a great ESL teacher is so much more than just knowing a lot about the English language. Nothing exists in a vacuum. You’re never just explaining English grammar principles or drilling vocabulary. You’re interacting with real live human beings, each with their own unique temperaments, needs, and ESL goals. The more students you attempt to teach at one time, the harder you may find it to effectively manage your classroom time and attention, which means your students are likely to learn far less from you than they could.
Class Size Matters
Working in small groups is generally much more personal than working in large classroom settings. When you have, say, fewer than 10 students at a time, you are given a far greater opportunity to really get to know them. You can learn how best to interact with each of them. You don’t have that luxury with a room of 30+ restless young people, especially if most of them didn’t choose to be in your class. This problem is further compounded when ...
Sep 23, 2013
Classroom Management 3684 Views
The first day of school, perhaps even the first week of school, should be devoted to two things: expectations and procedures. However, before we tackle that subject it might be wise to address the elephant in the room; your primary objective in the classroom. It may surprise you to learn that many teachers get this wrong, but your primary responsibility is to teach, not to be your students friend or to build their self-esteem, those two things tend to happen of their own accord if you are doing the first thing properly. This notion that kids need to do things to boost their self esteem is rooted in erroneous pop psychology. Your kids well develop great self esteem as they learn. Conversely, if they aren't learning no amount of self-esteem exercises will help. The current trends have left us with students who are supremely self confident, even though they know less and are less prepared than their predecessors.
With this in mind, we need to set the bar high at the beginning of the year. ...
Sep 23, 2013
Other 4475 Views
Government has a big role in providing its citizens proper education. Pakistan has undergone a number of changes since 1980s. Recent policy changes is slowly shaping the nation, making it look more and more like Western nations that embrace "Americanization." Pakistan is rapidly losing its social democratic status. Unfortunately, the so-called economic restructuring that is currently taking place is having adverse effects on the Pakistani school system and its students also. By analyzing the changes made to Pakistan's education system we can track neoliberalism's level of growth in the country. Privatization of education means transferring taxpayers' money designated for public education to luxuries of the Government, corporations, and/or individuals instead of to public schools, colleges, and universities. For the poor and middle class people, to have access in proper education, government's educational free facilities are most vital; should be available.
It is undisputed that common ...
Sep 23, 2013
Classroom Materials 2920 Views
Recently, I wrote about the concerns some teachers had about technology in the classroom as revealed by a Pew Research study, especially the concern that many new technologies serve to distract more than teach. However, this was not their only concern. 71% listed distraction as a concern but another 58% said that new technologies were making it more difficult for students to learn to write well.
My wife teaches at a major university where students are required to write in APA format. She frequently complains about the deplorable grammar students employ as they get tired or draw too close to an important deadline. Their prose begins to take on the qualities of their texting, which be sheer practice has become their default writing style. Even though this may be a university problem, it is easy to see how this trend would extend to the lower grades as well.
48% of teachers said technology actually lowers the quality of homework. It should come as no surprise that students prefer ...