Saturday, September 22, 2012

Comatize or Energize?

Comatized students,

 "I told you my teacher was boring,"   said my son in a picture message he sent.  This teacher must have been beyond boring.  Wake up.  This is possibly a theft of taxpayer money.   If you are comatizing your students, or if your colleagues are, now is the time to change.   We are teaching a generation of powerfully equipped students who could change the world...if educators foster the skills to know how, foster the drive to care, and model the critical thinking skills, and give these students an opportunity to 'solve real world problems,' as the Common Core says.    

There are some CC-Naysayers out there claiming we should "stop" this movement as it's not in educational law.  Well, have you ever tried to stop a moving train?  Have you tried to swim against a rip-tide? Somethings just don't make sense.    We can run from the CCSS tsunami, grab a life preserver and hope it will keep us afloat, or we can hop on a surf board and hang ten!  I am riding the wave and it will be a grand ride!   The educational model which reached the baby-boomers of the 50's does not fit the Millennial student. Look above.

With all the action verbs in the standards, the Common Core is just the change we need to wake up education.  Please read this post on CCSS Powerverbs, if you haven't understood why the CCSS is an engaged learning model.  The CCSS is founded on reading, math, and brain-research principals which can be found in the footnotes to Appendix A.   These support the movements to read, read more, read more non-fiction, and discuss, digest, define, make conclusions, research, create knowledge products, and share your knowledge.  This is deep learning.  This is the change education needs.  

The shifts were based upon the research.  For instance, the 50-50% shift to non-fiction was based upon brain-research, not reading research.  This was the research of David Sousa and how the brain learns.  New knowledge needs to be attached to prior knowledge, to make it into long term memory.  High Schoolers are arriving at 9th grade with a vast vacancy of prior knowledge, and this knowledge can't be built over night.  That is why the CCSS says read 50-50 non-fiction/fiction from grade 1: to build the knowledge bank of our students--so that when they arrive in High School there will be something there for 'contextual adaptation.'   

Wake up your lesson with a little engagement--with a little power.  Pick a powerverb, integrate technology, and infuse information.   If you are looking for a new powerful tool, try the visual thesaurus!  This is a great new tool to spotlight the prominent roll and embrace another great shift of the Common Core!      

Here's a fun tool to try, if you are looking for something new and powerful to energize instruction and embrace one of the shifts...the visual thesaurus!   Visit: 

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