The Problem with Fidget Spinners . . . is not the distractions. It’s not the noise. It’s not even the obsessive collecting. It ain’t the disruptions to classmates. It’s not the who’s-got-the-best-spinner drama either. It’s definitely not that they annoy some teachers. And it’s not that they may cost parents a lot of money.
It’s that kids need them. It’s that our youth – and our society in general – see school as an experience that is so mind-numbingly, torturously boring that we assume that kids need something to fidget with during it. It’s that learning, in many classrooms, is seen as a passive behavior and that students need something active to do with their hands while it happens.
Make learning experiences that make your students want to put their spinners away.
In a training webinar for the PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) Institute’s DoS (Dimensions of Success) Observation Tool, the facilitators discussed how the 3rd of their 4 domains – STEM Knowledge and Practices – was based on the STEM Practices outlined by the NGSS‘ (Next Generation Science Standards) “A Science Framework for K-12 Science Education.” I think that these 8 practices are fantastic and that schools should place a focus on integrating into the curriculum maps for all content areas, not just science. Here they are: Continue reading STEM Practices
I’m not sure where I found this video – at some point I put it into my YouTube Watch Later playlist – but when I sat down with my lunch one day and watched it, I was blown away by how spot on it was.
After researching a bit, I discovered that this video is from Green Acres School in Maryland. The gentleman in the center with the beard is Neal Brown, who appears to be their Head of School. To his right, with the dark hair, is Dan Frank from the Francis W. Parker School. To Brown’s left is Robert Shirley from Charleston Collegiate School. There is a series of videos from this event that I intend to watch in the future – probably over a turkey sandwich, bowl of cottage cheese and some Doritos – but for now I’d like to reflect on my favorite parts of this one.
Check out the video and then meet me in the space below the video to see some of my thoughts. Continue reading Reflections on “Misconceptions about Progressive Education” Video
Often, when we are presented with a new, high-quality, research-based way to promote student learning, educators identify the obstacles. The roadblocks. The logistics.
My response to those logistical roadblocks? One of my favorite quotes, which I’ve found credited to Ryan Blair:
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
Continue reading A New Acronym for PBL