In one county in California, alternative education and special education students are starting to return to school with new heightened health protocols.
A fold-out table now blocks the entrance to Marin County’s Community School, where a staff member in a face mask stands, poised with an infrared thermometer and a container of Clorox wipes. As students arrive, she scans each child’s forehead to make sure their temperature reads no higher than 100.4, then asks four questions about their health.
“Do you or anyone you live with have close contact with anyone with a prolonged cough, fever, flu-like symptoms, or with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the last 14 days?” she begins. Once the health and safety i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, the student enters the building and heads to class.
An inside look at a teacher-designed instructional model that combines blended learning, student self-pacing, and mastery-based grading.
Chaos is one of the most amazing and challenging aspects of the teaching profession. No matter how hard you plan, your students walk into your classroom every day with different backgrounds, skills, and states of mind, and you have to roll with that.
For most educators across the country, nothing is more challenging than effectively differentiating for all learners—it’s a cardinal principle of effective instruction that is extremely difficult to execute well. When we use traditional lectures with a fixed pacing guide, meeting the unique needs of all students can feel like an unconquerable task.
Digital portals like Google Classroom and Moodle can benefit students who struggle with organization and executive function.
Students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often have difficulty keeping their things organized. Have you ever looked inside the backpack or desk of a student with ADHD? It may have looked like a hurricane had torn right through it.
That doesn’t happen because such students are lazy or careless—students with attention challenges are typically not geared for this type of organization, and many of them also have concurrent learning and developmental disabilities like dyslexia, spectrum disorders, fine motor delays, or sensory integration issues that may add to the struggle.
A 2017 study found that cell phones that were turned off and stashed away silently reasserted themselves—distracting working students anyway.
Many studies have investigated the so-called “downstream” effect of cell phone presence on learning. Students who split their attention between a learning task and texting on their cell phones or accessing Facebook, for example, perform poorly when compared to students who are not dividing their attention.
But recent research from the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests that cell phones might have a negative “upstream” impact on learning, too.
Good technology integration isn’t about using the fanciest tool, it’s about being aware of the range of options and picking the right strategy—or strategies—for the lesson at hand.
The biggest obstacle to teaching online probably isn’t the technology. Teachers seek out educational technology, in fact, because it “can have considerable positive impacts on student performance,” according to a 2016 study—improving test scores and allowing teachers to assess student achievement more efficiently. The big problem is how to integrate it: Beyond the sheer number of tech tools available, the same researchers identified “inadequate professional development and training” as the primary obstacle to using technology productively in classrooms.