Friday, September 19, 2014

Educational Readings - music/autism/ PE/Finland/ making and creating

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This weeks homework!

Study: Music Education Could Help Close The Achievement Gap Between Poor And Affluent Students
Why does this only help poor students? I suggest that all children benefit from music education. The poverty problem needs be solved by reducing inequality. Anything else is a cop out.
These findings are a testament that its a mistake to think of music education as a quick fix, but that if its an ongoing part of childrens education, making music can have a profound and lifelong impact on listening and learning.

Look at Life Through Autistic Eyes
For their senior film at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Marisabel Fernandez and Alexander Bernard created an animated simulation of life through the eyes of a non-verbal child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and her constant struggle to cope with the world around her,as they write in their artist statement.
Link to video included in this article.

Ray Bradbury on How List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity
Heres something to incorporate into classroom written language.
How to feel your way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of your skull.

5 reasons why we need physical activity in schools
So, in closing, let's increase opportunities for our students when it comes to physical activity. When we add physical activity to our overall instructional programming rather than cutting it, we might just get the results we are looking for…”

The Myth of Monotasking
This is a timely counter to GERMers spin to justify standardisation.
“… I hope, helps lower anxiety about how well we are or are not doing against some mythical standard of sustained, focused attention.  Bottom line:  the mind wanders a lot because the mind's task is to wander.

Teacher: Finnish schools let down two-thirds of kids
Heres a provocative article!
A provocative new book by teacher Maarit Korhonen calls for urgent action in Finlands classrooms to stop children being marginalised by what she sees as outdated and uninspiring teaching. The outspoken Korhonen says Finlands high scores in the PISA international rankings have spread complacency among the educational establishment.

An End to the "Close Your Door and Do Your Own Thing" Era
More than ever before, we need to work together to better ourselves and our profession. In this age of high stakes testing, the need to prepare students to be college and career ready, and with a changing teacher evaluation system we need to support one another. Our success and our students achievement are directly tied to our commitment to learn from, with, and on behalf of one another.

This weeks contributions from

The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain
Bruces comment: This sounds mighty old fashioned in this era of digital communication but the act of penmanship has a positive effect on learning. Just as the act of conservational drawing has more positive learning effects than using a digital camera. Both give the brain the time to absorb
ideas, to consider alternatives, pose questions some of us older teachers ( retired) used to believe in the importance of slowing the pace - doing fewer things well to develop a more reflective mind-set ( and also allowing time for the teacher to come alongside the learner to assist and/or challenge). Students who rush to finish ( assisted by fast moving digital technology) miss out on thoughtful learning.
So in this age of technology, I'm suggesting that students take notes with paper and pen. It's a crazy idea, but hear me out.

How the Maker Movement Is Moving into Classrooms
The Maker movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or "making" has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel.

The Student Side of Making
What do a jacket, a set of paintings, a wood sculpture, and a series of photos have to do with a student's success in life? Maybe everything.That's because making these pieces requires skills for modern learners -- namely, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and persistence.

Mastering the Teaching Game
Bruces comment: These eight ideas by Carol Tomlinson  synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught her are the most important principles for teachers to understand
There are several paraphrased points that I hope will resonate with other educators as affirmations, challenges, or both. These eight ideas synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught me are the most important principles for teachers to understand.

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