Executive Functioning? What is that?
Simply put, executive functioning covers all the tools that an "executive" would need to carry out his/her job- all those planning skills, organizational skills, working memory, impulse control and more. Not just for executives, these tools are used everyday by each and every one of us.
Here's the quick video version:
You can get a whole lot more information from Understood.org and even download a free ebook. ""Executive Function 101 is a free e-book from founding partner the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Download the e-book to find out what executive function is and how it impacts kids with learning and attention issues. This e-book also includes an illustration of a day in the life of a child with executive functioning issues." Click here to go to Understood.org to access the ebook.
They also have a great, short article by Amanda Morin explaining 8 Key Executive Functions
Another viewpoint- Understanding the Adolescent Brain from Sarah-Jayne Blakemore in this TED talk The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain
One of the best resources online to find ways to help your students or yourself with executive function issues- like organization, is Karen Janowski's EF Toolikit.
Karen has organized these tools into
More Executive Functioning Tools!
Dr. Cheryl Temple and Lisa Givens down in Fairfax County-Assistive Technology Services have put together an amazing resource in this powerpoint .
Warning: Soapbox... not tech tools
The other day I saw a post from Edutopia featuring many different resources for the “growth mindset”. I watched the RSA animation below and found that although I believe in some of this, much of it seems to be yet another recycled idea and is now more of a meme or fad. I actually remember back when Carol Dweck’s book came out and even have a copy on my kindle. If you have been in education for a while, you have probably seen many of the same ideas come and go and get re-branded with different names and various fancy doo-dads to liven them up some.
Back in 2008 I had the opportunity to spend a day at a workshop with Alfie Kohn. If you have never read his stuff, basically he is a proponent of progressive education, who likes to challenge established ideas. He seems to enjoy taking the alternate view, but can always back up his viewpoints with literature and research. Anyway…Alfie wrote a book that I had read called Punished by Rewards. which is another viewpoint that I kind of agree with. Recently he wrote about mindset for Salon and came up with this quote that I liked, “… the challenge for a teacher, parent, or manager is to consider a moratorium on offering verbal doggie biscuits, period.”
Are these two well respected educators and researchers coming up with totally different answers to the question of praise, rewards, mindset? I started looking around the web and as usual, one can find points of view on both sides. A friend of mine, Jackie Gerstein, wrote a blog post about this a while back and stated:
"The faddish or pop culture version of the growth mindset is emerging as: “Have a Growth Mindset.” This smacks of the “Just So No” campaign of the Reagan era. Catch phrases about a growth mindset will have as much effect on actually developing a growth mindset as just saying no did on curbing drug use."
Here is a piktochart that Jackie produced as a means for personal reflection for her students. Her take on the “growth mindset” seems to be that this is an ongoing, reflective process- not a one-time pep talk followed by a lovely classroom poster.
Carol Dweck herself has now a new article on Edutopia which seems to be attempting to clarify what educators should/shouldn't be doing around growth mindset.
"false growth mindset. This is when educators think and do all sorts of things that they simply call growth mindset."
I also noticed this article from PRI with the scary title of Is the notion of 'innate genius' widening science's gender gap?
What do you think? Is this a fad? Should we look at this as another version of Gladwell's 10, 000 hour rule? Will this go the way of "learning styles"? Do you believe in the growth mindset or is this just a new version of The Little Engine That Could? If you believe in the growth mindset, how is this reflected in your practice?
I got an email today from ReadWorks that got me thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The email was a pretty typical one, with lots of passages and question sets for students to learn more about his life- with lexile levels for grade 1-12. I passed this along to some teachers, but thought that this may be a good opportunity to create a resource for MLK and a little bit of Black History Month, for both teachers and students.
One thing that really struck me was the idea of a Day On vs a Day Off and incorporating service learning as part of the celebration of Dr. King's life and contributions.
You may be aware of some these organizations, but some were new to me. Both The National Day of Service website and theGeneration On site offer not only ideas and opportunities for public service, but lesson plans for all ages as well.
Here are the 2 webmixes aimed more at students (They are both pinned to the beginning of the regular HES Symbaloo)
This one is more for teachers with lesson plans.
** added Discover kids link. You must create an account for access. Four of the 7 parts to the MLK jr unit are free, varying lexile levels.
Please feel free to add your ideas, share lesson plans, site, etc. in the comments.
Welcome back to school!
Looking for a way to spice up your lessons in 2016? Try using one of the free interactive video tools to flip your classroom, use blended learning, to help chunk materials, promote discussions and insert formative assessment into the videos you are already using.
Zaption has made a lot of changes of late. One new offering is the Zaption presenter, which allows teachers to broadcast directly to student devices, while allowing students to interact and ask questions as the video plays. So, what is this tool? It is a way to make videos more interactive right in the classroom, by adding text, images and questions.
Here's a quick video to give you a better idea. There are free and paid options, but the free options give you a lot of options.
Educanon offers another resource to create interactive videos. You can add "any of seven interactive question types and rich media into the video's timeline".
Here's what they say about themselves on their website.
Backed by AT&T and Stanford's startX, eduCanon is an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers begin with any online video (screencasts, Khan Academy, TED, etc.) and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with time-embedded activities.
Edpuzzle is yet another system to create interactive videos and track student engagement, assess their understanding. You can choose videos from a variety of sources, trim the video, add audio narration and questions and then track student progress. Easy to use and you can upload your own videos to their servers to avoid any youtube blocks for your students, or simply assign it as homework.
There are many ways to use video in the classroom as an interactive, engaging tool.
What tools do you use? YouTube has some quick and easy tools that I will show you another time...