Student Learning Experience Archives - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

Student Learning Experience

 
 
Dealing With Test Anxiety

Dealing With Test Anxiety

Video Blogger Kate Cohen discusses test anxiety which affects students, parents, educators now more than ever before.
Research shows that stress can play a beneficial role in competition including high stakes tests. Kate gives test taking tips for educators on how to best deal with test anxiety and use it to your advantage.

 
Teaching To the End

Teaching To the End

Which is your most difficult month? When asked, teachers will usually choose between September and June.
Some find that the transition from summer to school that takes place in September is the most challenging. They point to the fact that students have come off a long break, with little or no organized (or sometimes even unorganized) learning having taken place for more than ten weeks. Requiring students to settle down into a regiment of classes, tests and homework, after the summer hiatus is no small feat.

 
Marriage, Insanity and School

Marriage, Insanity and School

“Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage. Such wisdom of the ages, penned by American wit Ambrose Bierce, can be easily adapted to learning as well. We might say, “Learning is a love affair of the intellect, significantly diminished only by constant exposure to school.”
As the summer months roll in, there is a palatable sense of excitement in the air. Students count the minutes until that final bell rings; quite different from teachers and administrators who count the seconds. I once heard someone say that schools are the only environment in which everyone in attendance would rather be somewhere else; OK, schools and graveyards. Of course there are notable exceptions, but the rule holds fast to such an extent that it behooves us to question if it really has to be this way.

 
Surfing USA

Surfing USA

In case you haven’t noticed, our kids spend a lot of time on the computer. ‘Everybody’s gone surfing’ meant something very different when the Beach Boys sang it than it does today. A virtual world of unlimited – but hopefully not unfiltered – information and media content awaits, a simple click away. A dizzying array of choices are offered, allowing them to individually answer the clarion call of ‘where do you want to go today?’ When they enter the world of the Internet they are in charge, the world is at their fingertips and they assume the role of both navigator and pilot.

 
Care Why or Why Care?

Care Why or Why Care?

After my last post, discussing the critical importance of the ‘why’ question, I received the following feedback:

The need is to CARE why… so many students do not care about knowledge; they care about “fun” and socialization. They have no idea that their time at school is to provide them with information that will shape their future. 40% drop out before completing secondary school… almost 1/2 of the nation is not prepared to lead the nation into the 22nd Century.

The point is well taken. How can we talk about teaching students to critically process information when we struggle to get them to care about the information in the first place?

The point is well taken. How can we talk about teaching students to critically process information when we struggle to get them to care about the information in the first place?

 
Yes Virginia There is a Khan

Yes Virginia There is a Khan

Well, now the secret – if something millions of people already know could be called a secret – is out. And many in the education community are getting nervous, very nervous. Yes, Virginia, the Khan Academy really does exist. Yes, forget about pencils, forget about books, and certainly forget about teachers’ dirty looks. Sol Khan will teach you all you need to know.

 
You Make Learning Fun

You Make Learning Fun

Not a day goes by, somewhere in the world, where the following conversation does not take place:

Parent: I want my child moved to the other 5th grade.

Principal: Why?

Parent: Because the teacher in the other 5th grade, Mrs. Jones, is a much better teacher.

Principal: You know I just can’t move around children.

Parent: I understand, and I’m only asking this one time. And, by the way, why does my child always gets the inferior teacher?

Principal: I don’t understand why you think Mrs. Jones is a better teacher. Your child’s current teacher is an excellent educator. Your child’s excellent standardized test scores prove he is learning a tremendous amount.

Parent: Yes, but Mrs. Jones is so much more fun. After all, isn’t making learning fun more important than what they actually learn?

 
The Golden Rule Revisited

The Golden Rule Revisited

Has it been over 2000 years already? Time seems to fly by when you’re having so much fun. Of course, I’m talking about all those philosophical discussions that have taken place trying to figure out the secret to raising the moral child. Many of us feel it is of upmost importance for schools to be involved in this worthwhile pursuit; the question is in what capacity?

 
Moral Education: Is it for children?

Moral Education: Is it for children?

I hope you’re not one of the many people whose eyes start to glaze over when we begin to talk about the place of moral education in our schools. “Shouldn’t that be left to religion?” is a frequently heard comment. But the most common is, “Aren’t they a bit young to start thinking about stuff […]

 
Virtual Learning

Virtual Learning

I always teach my kids never to call anyone stupid. So you’ll have to excuse me for my language when I ask, “How stupid can they be?” No, I’m not referring to my kids, I’m referring to all those who are riding the wave of the newest craze, virtual education.

 
Why do I have to know this stuff?

Why do I have to know this stuff?

We have previously argued that educators must play the role of both facilitating the learning process and filtering the acquired knowledge so that students not only learn but also know what they must remember. The expiration date of unfiltered knowledge will be determined by the date of the final test. The point made was that if students are asked to remember almost everything they learn, (an impossible task) they will respond by forgetting almost everything they learn. Clearly communicating to students which knowledge is of enduring value is the key to solving the ‘why our students know so little’ syndrome.

 
Why do our children learn so much and yet know so little? – Part One

Why do our children learn so much and yet know so little? – Part One

Renowned humorist Dave Barry reflects on his college experience and writes:

College is basically a bunch of rooms where you sit for roughly two thousand hours and try to memorize things… Basically, you learn two kinds of things in college:

Things you will need to know in later life (two hours). These include how to make collect telephone calls and get beer and crepe-paper stains out of your pajamas.

Things you will not need to know in later life (1,998 hours). These are the things you learn in classes whose names end in -ology, – - -osophy, -istry, -ics, and so on. The idea is, you memorize these things, then write them down in little exam books, then forget them…

After you’ve been in college for a year or so, you’re supposed to choose a major, which is the subject you intend to memorize and forget the most things about.

While Barry may be somewhat diminishing the value of a college education, he has hit upon an important issue that effects schooling at almost every level. Put simply we may ask: Why do our children learn so much and yet know so little?