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Listening

Today, there is a lack of compassionate listening and willingness to try to understand views that differ from our own. Social media exacerbates this problem. It is easy to quickly retweet or repost views that match our own or vilify…

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Relevance

When I ask teachers what strategies they use to motivate students, one principle that comes up often is making the content relevant.  Relevance is less about what content you present but more about how the learning task is presented.  Students…

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Connections

Student absences are frustrating for teachers.  We spend so much time dealing with issues related to students with poor attendance that we can be tempted to throw our hands up in despair.  Before you give up in frustration, over the…

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Sharks and Leaky Water Bottles

Early Monday morning, I joined Gary Larson’s heating and air conditioning class for a presentation that he labeled as “sharks, swimming, showers, leaking water bottles and heat transfer.”  I could already tell from the title of the presentation that this…

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Small Groups

On a recent trip to our Table Rock campus, I joined three classes that used a small group activity to enrich the class.  If implemented well, small group work can keep our students’ energy level high and make the material…

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Scaffolding

Imagine teaching a child to ride a bike. You put them on a bike, give them a shove, and watch them go careening down the hill only to crash in a bloody mess after a few terrifying feet.  We would…

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Observation

When I moved out to my farm, I was eager to see deer running around outside my back window.  I was disappointed that I never saw them.  Then one day a friend who was an avid deer hunter came by…

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Effective Lecture

When faced with a large amount of material to get through a teacher might think that the lecture is the best way to cover the material.  To paraphrase Angie Miller, our Teacher Education Department Chair, a teacher’s job is not…

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Another Perspective

In a recent survey of employers released by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (Falling short? College learning and career success, 2015), almost all employers surveyed (96%) believed that a college education should give students experiences in solving problems…

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Reinforcing Skills

Imagine yourself in an airplane that is making an emergency landing on the water.  In the midst of panic, can you grab your life vest?  This summer I flew to LA and half-heartedly listened as the flight attendant gave us…

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