Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notes from the end of the semester

*By teaching our students differently (based on SES, culture, race, etc.), we are securing their position in society. Break the mold.

*Students must learn to self-advocate. They need to know how to stick up for themselves, their beliefs, interests, and passions. They need to learn to have the confidence to do this while remaining respectful.

*Overcoming a learning disorder is NOT done through motivation. Offering bribes or punishments will not help a student that simply cannot do the task.

*Comprehension has more to do with background knowledge than vocabulary. A student may understand all vocabulary but still not comprehend the question. On the other hand, a student may answer a question correctly but not understand why.

*If you want to reduct the risk of plagiarism, decrease the opportunities to plagiarize. Students cheat because it's easy. Make it hard. Alternate and personalize assignments.

*Discuss what plagiarism is. "I want to know what you know, not what your neighbor knows. You will not get in trouble for not knowing content. Just be honest!"

*Introduce Stephen Hawking during science. He is one of the smartest people alive, and he has a disability. Encouragement that anyone can succeed.

*Cute math jingle: "Dividing fractions is as easy as pie; just flip the denominator and multiply."

*If something is boring, there is a reason why. It may be too hard or a skill they've already mastered. It may just not catch their interests. Let students feel free to tell you, and make efforts to make their learning more fun!