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Skills That Student Must Have

skills-that-studentThere are two noteworthy patterns on the planet that represent a central test – and numerous open doors – to our instructive framework. One is the world is moving from a modern economy to an information economy. The other is the rising era – raised on the Internet- – is contrastingly propelled to learn.

These two strengths, contends Dr. Tony Wagner, co-chief of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group, propel us to reconceptualize instruction in this nation. In his mindful investigation of future industry needs and instruction status concentrates on, Dr. Wagner has recognized what he calls a “worldwide accomplishment hole,” which is the jump between what even our best schools are instructing, and the must-have aptitudes without bounds:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination

Dr. Wagner points out that in today’s digital age, the “Net generation” is, among other things, accustomed to instant gratification and use of the web for extending friendships, interest-driven, self-directed learning; and are constantly connected, creating, and multitasking in a multimedia world—everywhere except in school.

In order to motivate and teach this generation, the school system must be reinvented to be accountable for what matters most. That means to do the work–teaching, learning, and assessing–in new ways.

Students must acquire knowledge, but “we need to use content to teach core competencies,” he states.

Great Online Students Tips

online-studentsIf you’ve never taken a class online before, the concept might seem too good to be true – no worrying about getting to class on time, being called on to speak about a topic you’re not really comfortable with, or sitting in an uncomfortable chair for way too long.

You might imagine sitting in your comfiest chair, relaxing your class time away at a time that is completely convenient for you. But as with any fantasy, reality is hiding just behind the corner, and it’s important to take a good look before you jump right in.

So if you’re up in the air about it, take a page from some folks who have been successful in their online classes. Here is a short list of tips to get you thinking about if online learning is right for you.

Know What Kind Of Learner You Are

Depending on the type of class you’re taking, much of online learning happens in a lecture-based format. If you don’t already know, find out what type of learner you are, and supplement your lecture accordingly with visual or hands on practice. You might want to find a local interest group for the subject you’re working on – for example, a weekly Spanish conversation group or lunch table might be a great supplement to your online Spanish class.

Be Self-Disciplined

This should go without saying, but when there’s no one else around, you need to police your own class and study habits. First, set aside a specific time to ‘take’ your class. If you’re trying to fit it in with laundry, child care, or other work, you either won’t get it done or it won’t have your undivided attention. Once you’ve made the time, actually spend the time attending to the class work. If you wouldn’t get up twelve times and miss a few minutes of class each time during an in-person class, then don’t do it when you’re home alone watching class from your computer, either!

Have The Right Technology

It seems obvious, but you have to have access to technology that works in order to be successful in an online class. An internet connection that goes in-and-out (and not like the burgers!) isn’t going to help you get through the class. Similarly, if you’ve been writing up your papers and doing research on a clunky old computer, investing in a new one can help ensure you can work as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you’re constantly arguing with your technology, you won’t be able to focus as much on the learning aspect.

You Need To Be Able To Work Alone

Sometimes, when I feel particularly lazy as I head out for my run, I make sure to run on a well trafficked route so that I’ll be too embarrassed to stop and walk – I’m not ashamed to use the other people around me as motivation! If you’re someone who really needs other people around them to stay motivated, learning at home (alone) might not be the best for you. While some online classes incorporate group work, not all do, so if that’s your cup of tea, check first.

Let Yourself Take Breaks

Don’t be your own slave driver! Time management is important to make sure you don’t burn out. As mentioned before, scheduling a time that is just for your online class(es) is important, but make sure to schedule time for other things, too. Don’t aim to get half your work done in one day – parceling it out will make it less stressful, and help you retain what you’re learning more effectively.

Know The Reason Why Body Language Matters for Teaching

body-language-matters-for-teachingGetting a good command of your gestures, facial expressions and posture could help you improve your classroom instruction, a new study has found.

Research from Austrian education scientists indicates that body language is a pivotal component in how teachers reach students.

“Education scientists from the University of Graz investigated this aspect for the first time in a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. Bernd Hackl, head of the Institute for Teacher Education, and his team explored the significance of teachers’ nonverbal communication, or, more precisely, corporal expressions and physical communication, during classroom interaction,” according to News-Medical.net.

Correctly using body language to captivate students is described by the researchers as winning over an “unpredictable audience” similar to how an actor operates.

“It is teachers’ body language which gives them credibility and determines whether learning processes will be fostered, or not, as the case may be,” lead researcher Bernd Hackl said, according to the article.

While body language in the classroom rarely gets discussed as a tool for implementing learning, Hackl says his team’s research indicates a time for a change.

As teachers aim to fulfill four repetitive goals (providing a relaxed setting for learning, integrating the learners in a collaborative school environment, challenging pre-existing knowledge and skills, and, finally, being able to demonstrate such knowledge and skills to the students and thereby make the mastering of them easier), the researchers say that their attempt to do all four simultaneously leads to a phenomenon where teachers’ words and body language drift apart, resulting in a non-ideal learning situation.

“Although the students will not be aware of this fact, let alone be able to [verbalize] it, they can nevertheless sense it and thus withdraw from learning activities in what seems to be a demotivated manner.”

Tools for Substitute Teachers

You’ve joined to be a substitute educator, and now you’re pondering whether it was truly such a smart thought? Will you have the capacity to control the understudies? Will you comprehend fifth-grade math? Will the educator leave definite arrangements? Will it be as awful as you’ve heard it can be?

The sort of substituting background you have is basically up to you, say the subs we conversed with. All you need to do to survive, they say, is be readied, be proficient, and never let them see you sweat!

Be Prepared

“The first ten minutes set the tone for the whole day,” Peg Arseneaux, a former classroom teacher and long-time sub from Glastonbury, Connecticut, told Education World. “Have an introduction of yourself ready. Establish the fact that you are you and not the regular teacher. Point out that things will be a little different and that that’s OK. It could even be fun! This is especially important with younger kids.

“I usually tell students that I have only two rules,” Arseneaux added. “Don’t talk when I’m talking, and be respectful. I’ll add more rules if they’re needed, and I tell the kids that as well. If you get them under control right away, your day should go pretty well.”

Over the years, Arseneaux has developed some rules for subs that can help your day go smoothly too :

# Arrive at your assignment earlier than requested, especially if it’s the first time you’ve been in that particular teacher’s class.
# Familiarize yourself with the physical set up of the room.
# Follow the plans that are left for you. Don’t disregard them and do your own thing. If you have questions, ask other grade-level teachers.
# Correct all the work the students do and leave it for the teacher to see. (I usually don’t correct creative writing assignments because they’re so subjective.) Try to keep track of who finished what and leave that information for the teacher too.
# Leave a full report about what you did and did not cover as far as lesson plans are concerned. Also mention student behavior, especially positive things. If any major negative episodes occur, write down what happened and also fill in another teacher or the aide.
# Don’t shut yourself up in the classroom. Go to the teacher’s room and introduce yourself. The more you’re seen, the more jobs you’ll get.

Never Let Them See You Sweat

“I like the flexibility subbing provides,” Arseneaux told Education World. “And I like the fact that I can actually teach without having to worry about the daily ins and outs of the regular classroom teacher’s administrative duties. What I don’t like is getting those 5 a.m. computer calls telling me there’s a job for me and then having to push the right buttons on the phone, in the dark, to get the assignment.

“Another thing I don’t like,” Arseneaux added, “is not having clear instructions on morning routines and having to look for such items as attendance cards and lunch slips.

“Of course, the absolute worst situation is not having sufficiently detailed plans to work from,” said Arseneaux. “It’s not necessary to provide minute-by-minute instructions, but subs need more direction than ‘9:00 to 9:45 — language arts’ and a couple of teacher’s guides tossed on the desk.

“That doesn’t happen to me very often, though,” Arseneaux pointed out. “Usually, even when a lesson goes more quickly than anticipated, the teacher has provided a folder with extra work in it. If you use that folder, be sure you let the teacher know what you did. If you can’t find anything left by the teacher, other teachers from the same grade level can be very helpful. If all else fails, I use some of the following tried and true techniques:

  • Sing! Teach primary students a song they might not already know — such as “Biscuits in the Oven,” by Raffi or the kids’ version of Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes is also a favorite with young students. The songs all have motions and are very lively and easy to learn. You might ask students to teach you their favorite song.
  • Play! Kids of all ages like games. Try Games That Teach. Hangman is fun, but be sure to establish the rules before you start to play. Twenty Questions is a game that older students can enjoy.
  • Read! Get a book from the classroom shelves, another teacher, the school library, or your bag of tricks. Sometimes a simple art project, such as drawing a picture of a favorite part of a story or a different ending, can add interest to a reading activity and stretch the time. Students might also write a sound script for a poem by supplying different sounds for each stanza or mood.
  • Write! Most students today have writing journals. If they don’t, provide them with one of Education World’s printableWriting Bug work sheets or distribute paper and provide them with a list of possible topics from Writing Prompts/Journal Topics. You might also let students write about anything they want. Allowing them to write about their impressions of the substitute can be very amusing — depending on the group!
  • Homework! Let the students start their homework. This always goes over big and helps give you a ‘good guy’ image.
  • Manage! Some quick classroom-management ideas can also come in handy. Write the word RECESS on the chalkboard and erase a letter each time you have to correct the class. Each erased letter results in five minutes of lost recess time. Another favorite is to have students make flowers out of construction paper and tape each one to a drinking straw ‘stem.’ Throughout the day, look for students who are behaving well and staying on task. Each time you catch a student being good, write his or her name on a flower and place it in a flowerpot or vase. At the end of the day, leave a ‘bouquet’ for the classroom teacher.

You might also try one of the quick and easy lesson plans Education World has put together for you this week!

Be Professional

“Of course, there are some things you can’t control, no matter how well prepared you think you are,” Arseneaux pointed out. “There was the time, for example, when a second grader got on the wrong bus to go home because she wanted to be with her friends, or the time I discovered from a teacher’s lesson plans that I was the only grade-level teacher going on a field trip to the museum!

“At times like those,” Arseneaux said, “all you can do is do your best and hope for the best” — and use every trick in your Education World Substitute Teacher Survival Kit!

Social Media Impact of Education

The Positive

# By spending so much time working with new technologies, students develop more familiarity with computers and other electronic devices. With the increased focus on technology in education and business, this will help students build skills that will aid them throughout their lives.

# Social networking has increased the rate and quality of collaboration for students. They are better able to communicate meeting times or share information quickly, which can increase productivity and help them learn how to work well in groups.

# Social networking teaches students skills they’ll need to survive in the business world. Being able to create and maintain connections to many people in many industries is an integral part of developing a career or building a business.

#The ease and speed with which users can upload pictures, videos or stories has resulted in a greater amount of sharing of creative works. Being able to get instant feedback from friends and family on their creative outlets helps students refine and develop their artistic abilities and can provide much needed confidence or help them decide what career path they may want to pursue.

# The ease with which a student can customize their profile makes them more aware of basic aspects of design and layout that are not often taught in schools. Building resumes and personal websites, which are increasingly used as online portfolios, benefit greatly from the skills obtained by customizing the layout and designs of social networking profiles.

The Negative

# Many students rely on the accessibility of information on social media specifically and the web in general to provide answers. That means a reduced focus on learning and retaining information.

# Students who attempt to multi-task, checking social media sites while studying, show reduced academic performance (http://viralms.com/blog/2011/04/how-social-media-affects-students/). Their ability to concentrate on the task at hand is significantly reduced by the distractions that are brought about by YouTube, stumbleupon, Facebook or Twitter.

# The more time students spend on social sites, the less time they spend socializing in person. Because of the lack of body signals and other nonverbal cues, like tone and inflection, social networking sites are not an adequate replacement for face-to-face communication. Students who spend a great deal of time on social networking are less able to effectively communicate in person.

# The popularity of social media, and the speed at which information is published, has created a lax attitude towards proper spelling and grammar. The reduces a student’s ability to effectively write without relying on a computer’s spell check feature. (source)

# The degree to which private information is available online and the anonymity the internet seems to provide has made students forget the need to filter the information they post. Many colleges and potential employers investigate an applicant’s social networking profiles before granting acceptance or interviews. Most students don’t constantly evaluate the content they’re publishing online, which can bring about negative consequences months or years down the road.

Save Money for School Tips

As an instructor, you know the difficulties that accompany spending in any event $500 of your own cash every year on school supplies for your classroom. Since you’ll likely be purchasing and recharging supplies all through the school year, sparing cash where you can before doing a reversal to-class is basic, and Education World needs to share 10 ways you can be all the more monetarily insightful this time around. You can spare cash this back-to-educational season by:

# Knowing When to Splurge

The reality of the back-to-school supply shopping game is that sometimes you’re just going to have to splurge. For things that you’re going to need to last you all year-round, it’s best if you shop for durability even if it means spending the extra dollar. This applies to binders and notebooks, data storage and protection devices, and any other technology you need to invest in this year to get your work done. This “Where to Splurge” list from Staples is a handy resource for this topic.

# Knowing When to Save

Just like it’s important to know when to splurge, it’s also important know where to pinch your pennies. This is especially applicable when looking at items that are patented as the “next-best-thing” for teachers, a phenomenon that happens every back-to-school season. Do your research before buying something super trendy, and certainly don’t go overboard on financing something that has little testing in the classroom to support its usefulness.

# Taking a Look at New Supply Deals and Savings

Okay, now it’s time to weed through all of the deals and savings that are marketed just for you. Find out what kinds of sales big retailers like Target, Staples, Office Depot, and Walmart have going on this year, making a point to check them all out before just shopping at one. This site is a great resource for doing that: http://www.passionforsavings.com/back-to-school/

#Buying Supplies Wholesale

As you know, the need for school supplies persists year-round, not just during the start of the year. For this reason, buying the things you need most throughout the year might be a good thing to do in bulk. It’s a costlier method upfront, but will save you a lot by the end of the year if you’re smart. A site like OrientalTrading.com is a favorite of educators for this purpose, but there are tons of places that offer bulk school supplies as well.

# Checking Out This Online Consignment Store for Teachers

There’s a reason this site launched on Teacher Appreciation Day; Pass the Apple is a marketplace designed to help teachers save money on classroom supplies.

Here’s how it works:

“At Pass the Apple, our goal is to help alleviate a huge financial burden for teachers. The system is simple: Teachers who are retiring or who no longer need gently used classroom furniture or supplies can list their materials on Pass the Apple. Due to the fact that most of the materials are used, they are listed at anywhere from 50% to 80% off retail prices.”

An online consignment store for teachers, getting discounted supplies as well as peer reviews on materials has never been so easy. Not to mention supplies are sorted by grade, targeted learning area, price, subject and more so you can quickly find exactly what you were looking for.

# Seeing What Supplies You Can ‘DIY’

Using August downtime to see what supplies you can DIY is a super smart move.

Looking for cute but thrifty organizers to store your desk supplies?These cork vases and containers, for instance, are made using supplies you probably already mostly have and turn out looking both cool and chic.

DIY possibilities are nearly endless thanks to the large body of resources available via sharing sites like Pinterest.

# Knowing Your State’s Sales Tax Holidays

17 states participate in sales tax holidays, typically before the school year begins to help both parents and educators save on back-to-school supplies. Unfortunately, not every state has a sales tax holiday and many are doing away with them after deciding revenue losses are too hefty to maintain. But if you’re in one of the 17 states that still does participate, why miss out? Do a little research to make sure you don’t miss the blink-and-you-miss it savings and plan your shopping accordingly.

# Taking Advantage of Year-Round Discounts Available to Teachers

There are a good number of companies out there that provide discounts to educators year-round. Don’t forget about these places this back-to-school season because you got distracted by the bright and shiny offers from places advertising their season-specific deals. If you’re in need of new classroom attire, for example, clothing stores like J. Crew and Ann Taylor Loft provide educators with discounts on in-store purchases all year round. For supplies, popular craft storeA.C. Moore offers a 15% education discount to teachers on both sale and regular priced items.

# Familiarizing Yourself with Free Apps Designed to Help You Organize and Plan

Educational apps are all the rage right now, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because there are a ton of free ways to supplement learning in the classroom, bad because it takes a lot of time to decide what’s useful and what’s not.

If you’re smart about looking through the latest EdTech trends, however, you could save yourself a lot of time and money spent looking through sites like TeachersPayTeachers. For example, TES Teach with Blendspace is a mobile app that’s free for download and provides teachers with quick access to 2,300,000+ lessons and 1,600,000 resources, a virtual discussion option and a lesson editor. These lessons and resources are totally free and available on your phone, a much better and certainly cheaper alternative to TpT in our opinion.

 

 

Decrease Anxiety in Classroom Tips

# Encourage self-awareness. In addition to discussing grit, it can also be useful to develop a lesson plan that explores the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety so that students can recognize the signs in themselves and fellow students and offer a helping hand.

# Teach time management. Students will have less stress in their lives when they feel organized and like they are on top of their assignments. This is especially important if you also opt to provide flexible due dates in, say, the form of packets that can be completed as students go. Combined, these two strategies will keep students motivated and on top of their work without feeling anxiety about due dates.

# Give As for effort. Or if not an A, then at least make sure you’re adding extra points in for a nice, determined effort, even when the ultimate answer is wrong. This will encourage students to take risks and persevere, rather than feeling like they’ll only “win” if they’re perfect.

# Designating a safe place for at-risk children. Outside of mentoring, tutoring, and coaching, children should have a designated safe adult in the classroom, whether that’s the classroom teacher, the school psychologist or the school nurse. This person should be a calming and empathetic presence, equipped with coping strategies individualized to the given student.

# Provide exemptions for especially anxiety-inducing activities. To a shy student, answering a question on the board or reading in front of their classmates may be an insurmountable task. It may be an unnecessary one too, as long as they are still participating socially with other students in some way and progressing at grade level in a one-on-one setting.

# Teach mindfulness and meditation. Today’s schooling system puts a heavy emphasis on outcome-based learning, but just as important is staying in touch with one’s emotions. Setting aside time to, for example, have students meditate before starting an exam, will not only help reduce anxiety in the present, but will also teach coping strategies for the long term.

Know More About Stress Affects the Brain while Learning

A battle or flight response might be helpful in a few circumstances, yet it is very impeding in the classroom. Whether nervousness comes from test taking or from an unsteady home environment, the brains of understudies encountering abnormal amounts of anxiety look not the same as the individuals who are not — and those brains carry on in an unexpected, too. In this article, we’ll investigate the neural and hormonal reactions that support an understudy’s anxiety reaction, and make a couple of proposals for keeping on instructing through the difficulties it presents.

# What Happens to the Brain During a Stress Response

The body and the mind react to stretch with an intricate course of hormones and neurotransmitters. At the point when a tyke’s faculties see threat, their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) framework discharges steroid hormones (glucocorticoids). This incorporates the essential anxiety hormone, cortisol, which directly affects the heart, lungs, course, digestion system, insusceptible framework and skin. The HPA additionally fortifies the arrival of catecholamine neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline), which enacts the amygdala, which thusly triggers a dreadful reaction. The mind then discharges neuropeptide S, which builds readiness and sentiments of nervousness.

# How Stress Inhibits a Brain’s Ability to Learn

Together, the HPA system will keep a child’s stimulated and ready to run. But while this may be good for truly life or death situations, this stress response makes learning difficult, as the stimulated senses are not those associated with deep learning. Think about it this way: would you be able to memorize the times tables when you were being chased by a bear? Of course not. But while this may be obvious, the reasons why this is the case is more complex than you might expect.

# The Hippocampus and Memory Storage

In the short term, acute stress prevents memory storage. According to a 2008 study by University of California Irvine researchers, when cortisol reaches the hippocampus, the brain’s primary structure for consolidating information from short term into long term memory, the structure’s dendritic spines disintegrate rapidly. That’s important, because dendritic spines are the protrusions that branch off of neurons. Learning and memory storage happens effectively when neurons are repeatedly activated across their synapses — a process that effectively tells the brain that a stimulus, behavior or habit is important to retain. When dendritic spines degrade, the brain’s ability to identify and store important information is significantly inhibited.

# The Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Function

Fortunately, dendritic spines can grow back (though in the long term, their loss may actually shrink the hippocampus). However, as the team at This American Life explored in their comprehensive 2012 episode, Back to School, when a child experiences prolonged stress, their brain repeats the same responses again and again, thus strengthening the neural pathways that control the stress and fear responses. In essence, the brain is learning to stay stressed or to escalate to a stress response quickly. This is like any type of learning; for example, a brain that is repeatedly taught to add 2 plus 2 will go from a convoluted to a more streamlined and finally an instant thought process.

And it’s not just that this heightened stress reaction is a problem in itself; it’s that it short circuits other neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex. Specifically, executive functions like self-control, impulse control, memory, and reasoning — skills that are essential to successful learning. Some studies indicate that cortisol even has the ability to flip a switch in stem cells so that they actively will inhibit the forming of new connections in the prefrontal cortex, while hardening pathways that run between the amygdala and the hippocampus.

# Identifying At-Risk Youth

Both acute and chronic stress are bad for students of any age, but the effects are particularly dangerous in early development. As the This American Life episode explores in-depth, students that live below the poverty line, are the victims of neglect or abuse, or have a parent with a history of mental illness or substance abuse are far more likely to struggle with attention and self-control. Of course, nothing is certain, and it is possible for, say, an impoverished student with present parents to thrive. But each one of these factors does indicate a significant risk and the need for early interventions.

What Educators Can Do

Teach Grit
According to economist and Nobel Laureate James Heckman, who was interviewed for the This American Life episode, cognitive skills are set around age 10. However:

“Social skills, personality traits, the ability to stay on task– these can be taught. And these can be taught at later ages. And there’s a malleability there that actually offers a new perspective on social policy– how social policy might redirect itself towards those more malleable soft skills.”

If you’re tapped into education circles, this should remind you of two trendy buzzwords du jour: resilience and grit. Indeed, rewiring the brain, just like persevering through skill mastery, requires determination, continual effort and pushing through perceived failures. As we discussed recently in our article on this subject, educators can teach this skill by creating lesson plans on grit and exploring the concept explicitly. However, for the most at-risk youth, individual coaching outside of the classroom will prove most effective, both in terms of teaching grit directly and for teaching subject specific concepts.

About Google Classroom

With the late declaration of Google Classroom, school regions and instructors the nation over that are as of now coordinating Google Apps for Education into their classrooms are anticipating the chance to access Google’s work process arrangement. While there are as of now various work process arrangements and methodologies inside Google Drive that classroom educators can take that reach from manual association and document/organizer sharingto propelled computerization with devices, for example, Doctopus, Google Classroom gives a reasonable choice that strikes an equalization – mixing tight incorporation with Google Drive, a natural interface and propelled highlights that accomplished Google Drive clients are searching for.

# Due Dates – When creating an assignment, a teacher indicates a due date for the work. Once submitted by the student prior to the due date, the student is instantly limited to “Viewing” status on the document, allowing for teacher grading to occur.

# Turn in & Return – When students turn in their work, a teacher can provide feedback while the student has Viewing status. When work is returned to the student, the student is switched back to Editing status to continue working on the document.

# Big Picture View – Both teachers and students can see all of their classes from the Home screen of Google Classroom. This allows for an overview of upcoming assignments across multiple classes.

# Communication – Through a combination of class announcements generated by the teacher, and integrated commenting features for assignments, teachers and students can have the ability to increase communication between assigning and collecting assignments.

# Class Setup – A class code is generated for each class that students can use to join a class. This process eliminates the need to create rosters ahead of time.

# Google Drive Integration – When a teacher uses Google Classroom, a “Classroom” folder is created in their Google Drive account with a sub-folder for each new class they create.

# Student Organization – When students use Google Classroom, a “Classroom” folder is created in their Google Drive account, with a sub-folder for each class they join.

# Automation – When creating an assignment that is a Google Document, Classroom will duplicate and distribute individual copies of the Google Document to each student in the class.

 

Assure Your Students Learn While Creating Tips

Teachers need to help their students move past the flashy excitement of the best creation tools and establish a laser focus on their learning objective. Student work should be an expression of learning not just the mastery of a tool.

# Start with your specific learning objective.

Define the objective of your lesson clearly and effectively, then communicate it to you class. Allowing your students to have freedom and choice is much easier when those options revolve around a clear mission. Framing that mission for your class is where it all begins, and if done incorrectly, where things can come undone.

# Make asking “How will this show mastery of the learning objective?” your classroom mantra.

Doing this will help students to keep the assignment on task and evaluate the effectiveness of their work and allowing them to reflect on their current knowledge. This constant articulation of the learning objective in their own words develops a crucial metacognitive skill: the ability to evaluate their own progress.

# Engage in evaluating the PROCESS of creation and not just grading the finished product.

Technology creates well-polished products. At first glance, a well-edited video or a visually pleasing presentation can impress, but upon further evaluation, it may be of little substance. Creating check-ins and opportunities for peer and teacher review can keep the learning objective in view as well as support the development of skills. Watching a student construct meaning, formulate how to express it to an audience, and THEN create a presentation, offers more opportunity to foster growth than just collecting an assignment ever will.

# The idea to be expressed comes before the tool used to express it.

In reality, all products are in essence an essay expressed through a different medium. Whether you call it a “main idea,” a “thesis,” or something else, all student projects should begin with one. This is the student’s unique take on demonstrating the class objective, and should guide their research, organization, as well as their choice of tool.

About Career and Technical Education

Advocates of the legislation say it’s a crucial step towards ensuring that students who pursue CTE are receiving access to quality programs. Many argue that because pursuit of CTE is unfairly labeled as a second-tier choice compared to the pursuit of a four-year degree, millions of U.S. students are being denied access to quality CTE options.

“Unfortunately, there is often an unnecessary prejudice attached to career and technical education. It’s frequently referred to as the ‘other’ track, with the incorrect implication that it’s the path individuals take if they won’t be able to handle the rigors of a four-year college,” says Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) in a post for The Hill.

“In reality, students who pursue CTE complete a diverse curriculum where they learn important life skills such as problem-solving, research, time management and critical thinking. They are more engaged, perform better and graduate at higher rates than their university-bound counterparts. We should be celebrating those achievements and studying how we can translate them across the board,” she says.

Foxx’s statement is supported by recent studies. In April, a report commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute studied student data from Arkansas and found that students who are exposed to career and technical education are more likely to both graduate, pursue higher education and be employed.

Arkansas is considered to be a forward-thinking state when it comes to CTE; new requirements have led to 89 percent of the state’s high school students being enrolled in at least one CTE course.

According to the Seventy-Four, the education community is almost unanimously behind the new CTE legislation that is expected to pass today.

“It has the support of career and technical ed advocates, the country’s largest teachers union, superintendents, school boards, and scores of business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce,” the Seventy-Four said.

In other words, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is expected to pass with no problem, meaning CTE is expected to get a 21st-century update that many say has been a long time coming.