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The Learning Success Blog

Teacher Saw Student Miracles with Fast ForWord

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on September 8, 2020 at 4:11 PM

 

As an educator who specialised in teaching children to read, I tried lots of different methods. Some worked with some children and some worked with others but there wasn’t one that I could say was super effective.

For 3 years I ran a reading group before school which we called Early Birds for the children who needed more help with literacy. We staffed the program with parents and volunteers and every morning before school we would see up to 15 or 16 children for a twenty-minute lesson, one on one. And when we did that, we started to see the children make progress in their reading. 

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Topics: School, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Teaching, Successful Schools

It’s the Law: Every Child Must Read at Grade Level by Year 3

Posted by Moya Gibb-Smith on August 3, 2020 at 2:12 PM

Something had to be done!

So, with a vote of 92-3 the Alabama state parliament enacted the Alabama Literacy Act beginning in 2020 to ensure that every child was reading at grade level by Year 3.

They nominated a task force to recommend a comprehensive core reading program and assessments to be used by local schools and that job fell to Tim Solley.

Solley is a kindly, bespectacled, grey-haired man who looks like he could be your kid’s soccer coach. In fact, he is a leading educational advocate and the Assistant Superintendent of the Madison School District which comprises 17 different schools.

Solley takes up the story:

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Topics: School, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Educational Neuroscience, Teaching, Successful Schools

Coroni Village: How 4 Kids are Coping Differently with School-at-Home

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 9, 2020 at 11:49 AM

Peter Barnes

Coroni Village.  That’s what my 5 year old granddaughter calls the world outside her family’s Sydney apartment, where they have been confined since the COVID-19 shutdown started.

I have no idea how she came up with that expression. No doubt it has to do with the number of times she has heard about Coronavirus. Both she and her older sister are doing school-at-home. So are their two cousins. 

“School-at-home” is a better description than “home schooling” for the situation most students are in now, with their schools shut or their parents deciding to keep them at home. That’s because “home schooling” is a deliberate choice by parents who take on the role of teachers. The “school-at-home” parents did not make that choice.

The vast majority of parents managing “school-at-home” are not teachers. They have no teaching expertise and are feeling uncomfortable being thrust into this role, even with the best remote learning support and resources from their kids’ schools. Plus, many parents are doing their regular work at home as well.

That sounds pretty tough – for the parents and the kids.

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Topics: School, Learning, Teaching

Make Educational Neuroscience Work in Your School - 7 Tips

Posted by Peter Barnes on November 25, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Peter Barnes

Educators and schools around the world are increasingly using the knowledge, techniques, and programs developed from a new understanding of how our brains learn. They are applying neuroscience in their classrooms.

Why?

As an educator, you might be asking yourself why would I do this in my school?

Here are some reasons why. Educational neuroscience can:

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Topics: Brain Science, School, Learning Capacity, For Principals

Volunteer Hindu Scripture Teacher in Primary School: Kaushik Murali

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 1, 2019 at 5:31 PM

Peter Barnes

What's involved in becoming a volunteer scripture teacher at your local primary school?

There are differences depending on which country or state you are in, and which religion you wish to teach.

But many of the challenges will be similar regardless of jurisdiction or religion. Challenges like how to teach a class of students with a wide age range - from 6 to 12 years, how to answer "difficult questions" in a way that satisfies each child, and how much focus to put on the wider cultural aspects of a religion.

Sydney lawyer, Kaushik Murali, spoke to me on The Learning Capacity Podcast about his experience as a volunteer Hindu scripture teacher

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Topics: School, Teaching

50 Year study: Behaviour influences income more than IQ    

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 4, 2018 at 6:40 PM

Peter Barnes

New research shows behaviour in high school is a stronger predictor than IQ or socio-economic background of better jobs and higher income.  

The research has been published by the American Psychological Association based on data collected from 346,660 U.S. high school students in 1960 and follow up research 11 and 50 years later.

The 1960 high school phase measured a variety of student behaviours and attitudes as well as personality traits, cognitive abilities, parental socioeconomic status and demographic factors.

The follow-up surveys measured overall educational attainment, income and occupational prestige.

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Topics: School, Learning, Behaviour, Careers, Social & Emotional Learning

4 Year Old's First School Assignment: Make a Video & Post It Online

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 20, 2018 at 5:06 PM

Peter Barnes

My granddaughter has just done her first school assignment.

Like all the other children in her kindergarten class in her local state primary school she had to make a video about her family and upload it to a password protected website for all to share.

She is not quite five years old. And she’s using technology to communicate with others and express herself. It’s a 21st century show & tell.

I expect this little girl and her classmates probably didn’t think there was anything remarkable about that project. But it’s a significant example of how technology is becoming such an integral part of our lives.

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Topics: School

Jack Ma: Teach Soft Skills, Not Knowledge, to Compete with Machines

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 19, 2018 at 4:40 PM

Peter Barnes

“Only by changing education can our children compete with machines.”  That’s what Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba believes.  Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce company. On some measures it is bigger than Amazon.com.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Ma said, “We cannot teach our kids to compete with machines.  Teachers must stop teaching knowledge. We have to teach something unique, so a machine can never catch up with us.”

Don’t teach knowledge based things from the past 200 years

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Topics: School

Is this your future classroom?

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 11, 2017 at 2:25 PM

Peter Barnes

Sydney University has published a very interesting article about how it's classrooms have changed.  To read Sydney Uni's complete post, go here.

Here is a summary of the article, which starts with this comment: 

"Today, the classroom is flexible, creative, and agile – our students are logging in and learning from all over the globe. The modern tutorial room, lecture theatre and laboratory are still hives of activity, but not in the way you remember it. Here are a handful of ways the classrooms at Sydney have changed."

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Topics: eLearning, School, Teaching, Successful Schools, For Principals

Cultures of Thinking: Simon Brooks on Using the Force of Opportunities

Posted by Colin Klupiec on July 3, 2016 at 4:47 PM

Colin Klupiec

Cultures of Thinking is an educational framework that emerged from the work of Ron Ritchhart and the Project Zero team at Harvard University.

On the Learning Capacity Podcast, I have been speaking with educational consultant, Simon Brooks about each of the 8 cultural forces in the framework. In this discussion we look at what it means to create ‘opportunities’ for learning in our classrooms.

This is Part 5 of the 8 part series with Simon Brooks about implementing cultures of thinking in our schools.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: School, Learning, Podcasts, Teaching, Cultures of Thinking

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