Monthly Archives: December 2020

Blog of the Week: 18 December 2020 – A masterful no opt out by Danarius Frazier

Every once in a while, you come across an example of a teacher using a technique in the classroom that captures almost everything you wanted to say about it–Why a teacher would use it. How.

It’s a case study in how to apply a tool to advance learning and it pushes your understanding of the idea even a little more–you see it and think: Yes, that’s what I was trying to describe all along, even if you never quite did.You see it and you say: “Yes. That’s it.”

That’s how I felt last week when I watched this clip of Denarius Frazier using No Opt Out in his Geometry class at Uncommon Collegiate High School so I wanted to …

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Blog of the Week: 11 December 2020 – Pupils can learn more effectively through stories than activities

A randomised controlled trial found that children learn about evolution more effectively when engaged through stories read by the teacher, than through doing tasks to demonstrate the same concept.

The scientists investigated several different methods of teaching evolution in primary schools, to test whether a pupil-centred approach (where pupils took part in an activity) or a teacher-centred approach (where pupils were read a story by the teacher), led to a greater improvement in understanding of the topic.

They also looked at whether using human-based examples of evolution (comparing arm bones in humans with those in animals), or more abstract examples that were harder to emotionally engage with (comparing the patterns of trilobites), produced better…

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Blog of the Week: 4 December 2020 – Zooming In and Out

My wife is a photographer. She really enjoys photographing everything from births to kindergarten graduations to senior pictures. When she began, she had a pretty good camera and stock lens. Over the years she has acquired, among other photography gadgets, different types of lenses. One specializes in wider angles, one allows her to zoom in and photograph tiny newborn fingers and toes, and one is fixed (she calls it her ‘nifty 50’). I have been lucky enough to be privy to her editing of photos. It is quite interesting to see how different lenses provide unique perspectives on the same scene. Zoom in and a family seated on a blanket appear surrounded. Zoom out and you see they are actually in a large field and the focus changes to mountains in the background. An array of lenses allows for the ability to photograph the same information from different perspectives. 

I see knowledge the same way. Knowledge gives us the ability to zoom in and out, to see both…

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