Let It Marinate: The Importance of Reflection and Closing | Edutopia

Amanda Lickteig

I love the term marinate when referring to reflection! In a recent Edutopia blog post by Joshua Block, he describes providing students time for letting ideas sink in and then giving them an outlet at the end of class to share their epiphanies.

This semester, I’ve gotten into the practice of doing an exit ticket with the students in my teacher education classes using the online and app-based program Socrative.  I knew that reflecting on the essential and guiding questions of each class was a powerful tool for student understanding and assessment and I found the printed reports that Socrative emailed after each “quiz” helpful in following up with students personally after class.  However, I have been thinking about the importance of reflection even more as the semester draws to a close. This post came at a perfect time to push me into exploring the whys behind reflection.

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One scientific insight for curriculum design

Frequent quizzing improves learning…who knew!

Joe Kirby's blog

I’ve made the case before that our curriculum and assessment isn’t designed with memory in mind. Here’s what I spoke about at ResearchEd York: what we can do to improve how much our pupils remember of what they’ve learned.

There’s a mismatch between what science suggests and what schools do on this.

A century of scientific study converges on a key insight for our design of curriculum and assessment: an insight that can be put work immediately, widely, at no cost, and to great effect.


In the scientific literature there are hundreds (if not thousands!) of studies on this, some from as early as 1907, and the research in the last decade is particularly prolific:


In 2013, five cognitive scientists (Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, Willingham 2013) collated hundreds such studies and showed that practice testing has a higher utility for retention and learning than other techniques:


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The Pygmalion Effect

Class Teaching

pygmalion effect

Whilst perusing twitter last night Dan Brinton shared this video, featuring Professor Robert Rosenthal talking about the Pygmalion Effect – described above:

The whole idea of teacher expectations shaping the intellectual performance of students is a very strong one – and fits in very nicely with the principles of ‘Growth Mindset’ and an ‘Ethic of Excellence’.  What interested me in this video though were the 4 key factors that teachers can implement in the classroom, to make the effect happen.  By observing how teachers acted with students they thought needed to be pushed and challenged, we can in fact focus in on how we should be working with all students, all of the time – in an attempt to raise our expectations of all.  A short summary of the 4 factors follows.

1. Climate

Create a warm classroom climate, in terms of what we say to students and non-verbal cues.  Be nice to…

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‘Quick wins’ #16 – SLANT – Building habits in the classroom.

Help students become more involved in their own learning!!

Never Stop Learning

Image via http://olms1.cte.jhu.edu/29618 Image via http://olms1.cte.jhu.edu/29618

Why? I’ve struggled to get 100% attention from students 100% of the time. Quite often when I instruct students I’ll use the “3,2,12 technique to get students attention, which works well. But I then struggle to retain attention. This is made especially difficult when teaching in a Computing room – the lure of the computer screen can be too much for students. A typical instruction will have to be halted within seconds to address students who’s eyes have wondered back to their computer screen.

Possible solution. I needed a routine to retain student attention. I started my research by looking at Doug Lemov’s excellent collection of videos for his ‘Teach like a Champion’ book. I came across the video below.

It was during the video I saw a poster on the wall of one of the classrooms with the word ‘SLANT.’ Further investigation led me to…

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Grit and Growth Mindset

Grit mindset

The Anxious Educator

Edutopia published an article about teaching grit and growth mindset – two things I will most certainly teach (or at least start teaching) within the first few days of school.

At this point, I’m basically just re-blogging from the original source, but one of these days I’ll have actual lesson plans to post. I hope.

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Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes | Edutopia


Reading and Writing in the Middle

Hoping my preservice teachers see this on this blog….it’s at the heart of our work this semester. FEEDBACK! Feed Up Feed Back Feed Forward! Mistakes are the rulers of growth!!

Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes | Edutopia.

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Financial Literacy Resources

Financial Literacy

The Anxious Educator

Edutopia published several articles about teaching financial literacy:

Financial Literacy: Resource Roundup is an excellent article with links to other articles about why teaching financial literacy is important. It also provides links to websites for teaching this subject to all grade levels.

Resources and Lesson Plans for Financial Literacy focuses mostly on the curriculum created by Ariel Community Academy. It has a whole unit on goods and services as well as other links to other resources around the web.

Financial Fitness for Life is another terrific website run by the Council for Economic Education (not Edutopia). Search by grade level, and all the resources are provided.

Revolution, Responsibility and Football: Teaching Financial Literacy to Middle Schoolers: This article has links to curriculum and websites geared towards middle school.

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