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Even this comparison can be made more rigorous

Deepening Students’ Knowledge Using Similarities & Differences

By Scott Sterling Just like a computer or office, the brain needs to organize information in a way that makes it easily accessible while enabling further growth. For example, if you can’t classify and find information related to the solar system, how are you supposed to understand astrophysics? Students need

A pretty simple set of criteria

Incorporating Decision Making Into Lessons

By Scott Sterling; adapted from Gwendolyn Bryant’s concurrent session at Building Expertise 2014, “Decision Making for CCSS: A Cognitive Process” Human beings make hundreds—perhaps thousands—of decisions in a day, from the mundane to the life changing. So it’s easy to think that decision making occurs naturally in all of your

Does this remind you of your classroom? That could be a good thing

Harnessing Controversy and Conflict in Class

By Scott Sterling Last month, we discussed conative skills. You won’t find conative skills on many pacing guides or curricula, but students need to master them. Our list from that post included: Interpreting situations Cultivating a growth mindset Developing resiliency Avoiding negative thinking Taking various perspectives on an issue Interacting

The most cognitively complex task in the history of the world.

Planning a College and Career–Ready Lesson

By Scott Sterling A few weeks ago, we discussed planning a rigorous unit. Of course, a unit is made up of individual lessons. Those lessons need to be focused on the goal of college and career readiness, as dictated by your state standards. However, on a daily basis, what does

Formative assessment is all we have—you can’t hook the kids up to a brain scan

Best Practices in Formative Assessment

by Scott Sterling The “greats” do it without even thinking. Those who are the most organized write it into their lesson plans. The rest of us have good days and bad days with it, and that’s OK. I’m talking about formative assessment, the great equalizer in educational practice—namely because it

You may want to be a little more organized than this.

Effective Student Surveys and How They Inform Instruction

by Scott Sterling, Learning Sciences International Let’s have fun with a metaphor. If your school were a car dealership, whose job would everyone have? You, the teacher, are obviously a salesperson. In fact, many attempts have been made to equate education with sales. Your assistant principals might be service managers,