Pedagogy

Fairness

It started last year during a study period. The upcoming tests were serious business and my job was just to be a teacher in the room. Technically, it is the students’ time to use as they see fit. Disruptive behavior isn’t allowed, but if a student wants to quietly play …

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Woman in front of mirror with towel on her head.
Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogy

Teaching Topless

I’d like to share a really nice presentation below by Valerie Otero, professor of science education, and Edd Taylor, assistant professor of math education, both with the University of Colorado at Boulder. And then I’ll bother you with some thoughts about it.   The unifying theme here is the pyramid …

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A display of several colourful hats
Pedagogy

The Wearing of the Hats

Hello there! Nice to meet you. Is your life as busy as mine? During a normal day I can take on all the roles we encounter in our lives as teachers. I may be the student who struggles with what she perceives as unfair demands of a teacher. Or who …

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Pedagogy

A Quick Guide to Due Diligence

I want to be a good skeptic and a good teacher, but I have a thousand tasks to do both in and out of the classroom and things like “fact-checking” get relegated to the procrastination pile. In a perfect world, I would make sure I’m not unintentionally passing on any …

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A row of cups that look like faces.
Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogy

You Cannot Not Have Conceptual Understanding

In education, we seem to take some delight in shoveling a confused mix of folksy connotations into sciencey-shelled words and phrases. Some of my colleagues would call the result edujargon, though I think that word allows us to feel too smug about our own obtuseness—as though the problem is that …

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EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnology

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part II)

This is Part 2 of a piece about visualizing assessment data, designed to help teachers see more information about an assessment than just the class average.  If you missed Part 1, stop now and go read it first.  I will assume that you have assessment data in a tidy format …

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Excel Example of filtering at work
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationTechnologyUncategorized

Use Microsoft Excel to be More Data Driven (Part I)

As a teacher, one of my tasks is to assess how well students are comprehending the material I am teaching. There are many ways to assess student comprehension, but this post will focus on using Microsoft Excel to extract meaningful information from formal assessment data.  I am defining a formal …

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EducationPedagogy

Keeping high standards when you are a sucker for a sob story

Yesterday Apostrophobia wrote about one of her regular courses that is designed to be challenging and build problem solving skills.  She talked about the journey students take as they go through the course particularly one student who saw the value of the course and went the extra mile to not …

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An open book and its reflection
EducationPedagogy

Building Knowledge From Facts

Every year my students write down some version of this definition: “Period: a row on the periodic table.  The atoms of elements in the same period have the same number of electron energy levels.”  They memorize it and can spew it out on a test or quiz, but they don’t …

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EducationPedagogyTechnology

Technology blues

So I have spent the last several weeks convincing myself my hard drive wasn’t really failing, and then of course it did.  My computer’s in the shop and this blogging platform doesn’t like tablets too much.  I haven’t even been able to congratulate Dan on his recent achievement, so yay …

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