Habits of Mind for the New Year: 10 Steps to Actually Accomplish Your Resolutions

See on Scoop.itteaching with technology

While 45 percent of people make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent of that group report achieving their resolutions. Why do so many fail? What can we do to increase our odds of accomplishing thes

Louise Robinson-Lay‘s insight:

I am definitely guilty of setting resolutions that I then forget about or put into effect only weakly and then let them wither. This post is important for those of us who want to change that. It discusses how to form a habit of thinking and action that allows you to attain your goals. Powerful.

See on www.edutopia.org

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Hexagonal Learning

After reading the inspirational post on The Learning Spy I decided to give this a go.
My year 10 class are doing Macbeth and this is a challenging play for boys who have not ever done Shakespeare before. We have watched the Polanski version of the film and have collected quotes and created scene summaries. The lesson before this one I gave students each five post-it notes and asked them to write a quote on each. When they had done this, they had to stick them on an appropriate poster named for each of the themes. This took some discussion but certainly showed me that they had an understanding of the ways that the play deals with themes and ideas and an ability to link that knowledge to selected evidence.
It was time to take it a step further. This was a slightly shorter lesson than normal because of a talk they’d attended previously, but there was enough time in 50 minutes to complete the activity and for a short discussion.
I gave students blank hexagon sheets and asked them to choose 6 characters, 4 themes, 6 quotes and 4 plot events. They were to write these on their hexagons. They were then instructed to only join hexagons to others where there was a clear link and the idea was to join as many hexagons as possible. A cluster, with many hexagons together, showed multiple links between ideas, a line, with single links, showed less knowledge of how to connect the ideas.
The boys went at this very animatedly and there was much discussion as I moved around the room, of the links that they were trying to make. Boys were quoting Shakespeare at one another and using these quotes as justification for their point of view. Negotiations were made based on the strength of their arguments. Once they had finished putting these together I asked the groups, who are quite competitive, to choose two hexagons from another group to join to their own. One group refused, as their work was ‘perfect’ as it was and there was much discussion about the fairness of this. I argued that it showed wider links and an ability to add new ideas and they gave it a go. They were able to successfully incorporate the new ideas into their ‘constructed knowledge’ and to synthesise the whole thing. There was some short time for fine-tuning, and some groups worked a bit longer on making the whole ‘beehive’ strong.
This was clearly the most energetic I have seen them and I praised them on their work and told them how much knowledge I had seem demonstrated by this work.
This was definitely a great way of getting them to show their understanding. Kinaesthetic, energising, and great scope for demonstrating multiple connections and synthesis.
There is a web site which I may try, ThinkLink, but from what I observed with my boys, the kinaesthetic option would be better for some classes.

Discovering How to Learn Smarter~ Carol Dweck’s Brainology

Via Scoop.itEnglish Classes

This article is about how teachers in many schools in the D.C. area are foregoing empty praise of the “Good job!” variety, in favor of giving students solid information that will do them some real good. That information concerns how their brains work and how their intelligence and skills develop, and it’s knowledge that should be made available to every child in the country. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck conducted the groundbreaking research showing that praise intended to raise young people’s self-esteem can seriously backfire.
Via mindshift.kqed.org