Malleable Misconceptions

Article by Chad Huelsman

Everyday our students enter our classrooms with preconceived notions about knowledge and their abilities. It is imperative that we, as educational influencers, identify these preconceptions and take the proper measures to support students in advancing their learning. David Ausubel (1963), an American psychologist known for research work on “meaningful learning,” stated “the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.” Even though Ausubel’s insights into teaching and learning are critical to advance new knowledge, Audrey Sewell (2002) posits that our students’ prior knowledge can either be a “bridge” or “barrier” to new learning for them, especially when it comes to addressing student misconceptions.
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Noisy Classrooms and Student Discourse

Article by Kathleen Jones

Noise and lots of it. A cacophony of young voices speaking at once. It is a room full of 2nd grade math students; students who are oblivious to my presence and engaged in conversations with their peers. What, though, is all the chatter about? Recess? Video games? Gossip? Not even close. These students, sitting in groups of 2 and 3, are sharing their ideas about whether the sum of two odd numbers always produces an even or odd number. This topic, it turns out, was posed as a question by one of the students in the class. The teacher, in turn, instructed the class to discuss this in small groups. While viewed as an amazing environment to some, others might wonder what the big deal is all about. Moreover, why take up valuable time having students, especially this young, talk about math? Why not simply reveal the solution to them and move on? Why? Students’ creativity and inquisitiveness must be recognized and valued as a necessary tool for learning. We must foster nurturing classroom environments that are rich in collegiality and student discourse.
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What’s in Your Suitcase? Unpacking Standards

Article by Dorothy Reynolds, Sharon Cooley, and Pam Groach

Why is unpacking the standards an important aspect of teaching?
Imagine yourself on a family vacation with your suitcases filled to the brim! Your spouse wants you to quickly gather your beach items and head to the beach. But wait! Where did you put the sunscreen? Which suitcase has the popup shelter? How about the swim suits? And your wide brim hat? Yikes! Before you make your way to the beach, maybe you should unpack the suitcases and organize your belongings. After all, you do have multiple events scheduled this trip. You do not want to find yourself on the beach without the essentials.
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Ohio’s Revised Learning Standards – Resources and Strategies

Ohio’s Department of Education (ODE) recently announced its new “Learning in Ohio” webpage. In addition to the revised standards, ODE also provides other resources and strategies that can be useful to classroom teachers. This item summarizes some of our favorites for ELA.
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Finding Time for Tech

Article by Katie Currens

Many teachers don’t have time to fit keyboarding or computer games into their already too-tight schedules. As a consultant, I like helping teachers look at their time in a different way. We certainly don’t want to add anything to plates that are already full, so instead we can look at how to integrate technology into what we already do. Below are a few ways you can add a technological spin in your class.
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Intentional Planning in Language Arts

Article by Katie Currens, CUES Consultant

Essential questions are often talked about when planning a thematic unit. We use them as a way to provoke inquiry and to have students dig deeper with their own questions as a way to reach a greater understanding. As professionals, we know the value in inquiry, but sometimes we seem to forget just how “simple” it can be.
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Inspiration, The Podcast: Curiosity

Do you want to breathe new life into your classrooms? Check out our free podcast on “Curiosity” from our “Inspiration” series (embedded below). If you want to learn more, click here to sign up for our new PD scheduled on January 26, 2017. Administrators and teachers will not only learn new strategies and examples for infusing classrooms with inspirational traits, they will also leave with one of our new teaching guidebooks, Inspiration: Breathing New Life into Classrooms (included in registration fee), designed to help teachers (and schools) transform their practice.
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Inspiration, The Podcast: Joy

Do you want to breathe new life into your classrooms? Check out our free podcast on “Joy” from our “Inspiration” series (embedded below). If you want to learn more, click here to sign up for our new PD scheduled on January 26, 2017. Administrators and teachers will not only learn new strategies and examples for infusing classrooms with inspirational traits, they will also leave with one of our new teaching guidebooks, Inspiration: Breathing New Life into Classrooms (included in registration fee), designed to help teachers (and schools) transform their practice.
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Student manipulatives and novelty

One of the teachers I work with found that her students were not responding to a graphic organizer for Claims-Evidence-Reasoning. The organizer was designed on a regular sheet of paper, and for all intents and purposes it felt a bit like a traditional “worksheet.” Though I think there is a significant difference between graphic organizers and worksheets, I fear even the association can be anathema to learning. That at least seemed to be the case for this teacher’s class. Her solution, a fold-able that was as simple as it was elegant, reminded me about the power of novelty in aiding student learning.
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Re-Thinking Homework: Book Review

Article by Michael Ross

In this post, CUES consultant Michael Ross reviews the upcoming guidebook Re-Thinking Homework. We are also offering a new professional development session by the same name on October 20, 2016 – but registration ends on Friday, October 14th. All participants get a copy of this new guidebook. Sign up today!
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