Don't Raise Your Hands Students

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." ~ Thomas Paine   This morning I woke up and had a topic for today's blog post all set in my head. Then as I began my normal morning routine of reading my Feedly and Zite feeds I came across an article that really got me thinking. It takes me about 25 minutes to drive to work and the entire ride all I could think about was the article and the impact it could have on students. The title of the article was Some Aussie schools ban students from raising hands in class, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. This method of teaching was developed following some research that found that smarter students answer the vast majority of questions, which has been dubbed "The Hermoine Granger Effect," after the extroverted bookworm in the Harry Potter series....
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Touching and Concerning

  "Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple choice test" ~ Sir Ken Robinson   This morning during a beautiful drive into work I listened to a story on the radio that was both touching and concerning at the same time. One of our local radio stations was doing a their morning show live at the Children's Hospital to help support a fundraising campaign. During one of the segments they interviewed a young 12 year old girl that just a few years earlier was fighting for her life at that very same hospital as a result of a brain tumor. The girl and her mother both gave touching recounts about their time at the hospital and all the wonderful staff that helped them through a very difficult and challenging time. The young girl was very articulate and charming as she explained what her condition...
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The Case Against Grades

Yesterday an interesting tweet caught my eye around the same time that our Learning Network was meeting to plan for our next Learning cycle.  The tweet caught my eye not so Discussing writing lists in the Kindergarten classroom at Tweedsmuir P.S. much for the content of the tweet but because a familiar name was cited - Alfie Kohn.  Alfie Kohn is the author of 12 books and many articles in the fields of education, parenting and behaviour.  He is a staunch critic of rewards and competition and is very outspoken about education's fixation on grades and test scores.  I first came across Alfie's work during my third year of teaching when I was looking for a book about creating a classroom where students had jobs or roles as part of a collaborative community.  Punished By Rewards happened to be the first book that caught my eye that day at Chapters.  It...
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