Year: 2014

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

The tools have changed, but the skills are still just as crucial

The Importance of Recording and Representing Knowledge

By Scott Sterling You would think that needing to understand how to record and represent knowledge has lost importance in the age of smartphones, BYOD, and tablets. After all, to record knowledge, a student only has to tap the “record” button. That practice might accomplish one goal (having access to

It’s hard for students to think about any perspective but their own

Helping Students Examine Their Reasoning

By Scott Sterling The more rigorous college and career readiness standards, on which most states are embarking, universally call for students to have a deeper interaction with knowledge. It’s not enough to simply remember things—they have to be able to use new knowledge effectively in order to achieve goals, such

The people who work here need skills that are only found in a humanities classroom

Incorporating STEM in Your Humanities Classroom

As we discussed last week, the full name of the Common Core ELA standards document is? “Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects”. The implications of that wording are a two-way street. Just as we explored how STEM teachers can

If STEM people can’t communicate, we don’t get to find out about their innovations

Incorporating Literacy in Your STEM Classroom

By Scott Sterling This is something that not many people have paid attention to: do you know what the full name of the Common Core ELA standards document is? “Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.” The new standards aren’t

Feedback comes in many varieties—and they’re all useful

Deliberate Practice in the Wake of a Bad Observation

By Scott Sterling As a teacher, you’re used to observations, especially if you work in a Marzano-inspired system. You do your best to prepare, but sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Perhaps a projector bulb blows, a more challenging student had extra Nutella with breakfast, or it’s just that

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

Scales are the map and goals are the destination

Generating Student Buy-In for the Standards

By Scott Sterling You might think that the standards, whatever they look like this year, are in the domain of the teacher. After all, it’s your job to make sure your students meet them. They just have to sit there and absorb your knowledge, right? We all know that last

Every lesson is a new task that moves the student toward a larger goal, but the lesson still has a goal in itself

Melding Goals and Scales with Project-Based Learning

By Scott Sterling Perhaps in response to college and career readiness standards and their desire to have students working in more real-world ways, teachers across the country have begun adopting what is called project-based learning. Project-based learning (PBL) is the concept of an entire lesson, unit, or even curriculum designed

You can’t help but smile at this

Fostering Positive Thinking and Resiliency in Students

By Scott Sterling I’m not one who memorizes a bunch of quotes, but one of my favorites comes from Henry Ford: If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. I applied that philosophy to my approach with students. If you have