“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”
Play is a powerful teacher! As we shift from what we have come to understand as traditional school to distance learning, we hope teachers, parents, and students can take comfort in knowing that play is the work of childhood. Play is how children learn.
The research proves there are many different types of play:
Media play is the focus of this list of 10 Online Tools for Playing, Teaching, and Learning. We hope you will find it helpful and informative!
How I wrote the new course: Learning on the Move!
We miss Prince.
The musical genius and influence of Prince are part of Minneapolis, the city where I grew up, live, and where I found myself as I sat down to write a new course about kinesthetic learning called Learning on the Move! In need of inspiration, I turned to Prince, and other music, to get me moving, motivated and ready to write.
To honor both Prince and what the research says about the necessity of movement in learning, please listen, dance, and sing as you scroll through the playlist I listened to while writing Learning on the Move!, a course that assures us learning happens from the feet up!
How to engage students in educational podcastsIn Minnesota’s Land of 10,000 Lakes, we enjoy the time-honored tradition of leaving the sweltering summer heat behind and heading north to a cabin, a campground, or any where we can find water to swim, frolic, and cool off.
Last weekend, my 24 year old daughter and I packed up the car and took off in search of one of those 10,000 cool, blue lakes. As we traveled, we scrolled through staticky radio stations looking for something we could both enjoy. That’s when we exclaimed, “podcasts!”
Podcasts are stories or educational information to be listened to, much like a radio show. What makes podcasts unique and modern are their convenience, availability, and the breadth of topics.
Students and Teachers Say the Funniest Things!
Art Linkletter devised the clever moniker, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” and made a lot of money capturing parent stories of precocious children saying amusing things. If he had asked teachers about things they heard in the classroom, he'd have a wealth of new material to add. We asked teachers to weigh in with some of the interesting things they have heard, interactions in which they have participated, and general missteps from the mouths of teachers.
We share them here to illustrate the messy and humorous days of teachers, and to highlight the very real vulnerability that we ask of ourselves and our students to show in the process of learning. Enjoy!Read More
Adapting to How Students Learn BestBlake was a junior in high school in my first year of teaching. He was in my 6th period of the day. His hair flopped over his twinkling and mischievous eyes, and we had a great relationship. We’d joke around and tease each other. He drew a lot- hysterically funny comics, especially. He was a gifted swimmer who consistently performed well in the pool. He also liked to create things and tinker around with different materials.
Unfortunately, he just didn’t want to be in my English class. Blake missed assignments, failed tests, refused to retake or submit things late. I coaxed, cajoled, tried to meet him halfway, find alternative assignments. Results were few and far between; he straddled the line between a D and a F for most of the trimester. Blake’s mom, his science teacher, and swim coach were involved with the effort too. We even went down to the 11th hour- having him submit some work so he made it above a D so he could swim to compete in the state swimming meet. He barely scraped by.Read More
Let Your Students' Creativity Shine!Did you know that children are born with a higher capacity for creativity and imagination than adults? According to a study conducted by NASA, out of the 1,600 school children (4-5-year-olds) tested on their ability to develop new and innovative solutions to problems, a full 98% of them fell into the genius category!
It’s a fact that kids are creative geniuses when they arrive at our school doors, however, this creativity greatly diminishes over time. Perhaps this downward trend occurs because we encourage the safe, secure route in our educational system. Maybe it’s because we teach children to follow directions and to excel on standardized tests that only measure limited knowledge and skills.
So how can teachers help students find their inner creative genius? How can we create a learning environment that honors divergent rather than just convergent thinking? Below we outline 4 great action steps for tapping into your students’ innate ability to create, innovate and solve problems.Read More
Using real-life experiences to increase student engagement
The Bachelor, Survivor, American Idol, Real World, Deadliest Catch, Shark Tank, Duck Dynasty…the list goes on and on. While these shows often seem like just a teacher’s guilty pleasure, they go beyond encouraging procrastination and providing a reason to eat an entire bag of popcorn in one sitting. These shows are based on reality, and they typically suck us right in!
What does reality have to do with these shows? Very little when you actually pay attention to the “stars” and the plots clearly sketched out by writers and producers. That being said, reality does have an impact when we are working to engage learners in the classroom. We could take a cue from how these engaging shows are structured. Real-world learning increases engagement, creates opportunities for students to make connections and develops student skills that will be used in adulthood. This authentic learning provides a reason to the student who is always asking, “Why do I even need to know this?” Real world learning activities often allow students to make an impact on a larger scale. And, if this type of learning is done well, it will suck your students in too!
Here are six methods for bringing the real world into your teaching:
Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.
Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!