|Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.6||June 2009|
|Cover Story by Graysen Walles|
|Teaching – The Power of Influence|
|The impact of teaching is clear, and the influence of the profession is immeasurable. All it takes is one moment, one situation, one discussion to turn the life of a young learner.|
|Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching|
|Nine Year Summary of Articles, 2000 to 2009|
|On April 26, 2009, President Obama hosted the four 2009 finalists for America’s top national teaching honor, the National Teacher of the Year award. Alex Kajitani, who teaches mathematics at Mission Middle School in the Escondido Union (Elementary) School District in San Diego County was one of the four finalists.|
|»||The Three R’s for Summer— Rest, Relax and Recharge! Sue Gruber|
|»||Buddy Programs for Elementary Schools Leah Davies|
|»||Moving to September Todd R. Nelson|
|»||Ronald Reagan and the Art of Influence Marvin Marshall|
|»||The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac|
|»||Substitute issues: Bathroom Passes & Anger Management Barbara Pressman|
|»||Preparing Students for Travel: Films and Immunizations Josette Bonafino|
|»||A Message to Share with Parents about Summer Learning Dorothy Rich|
|»||Classroom Clean-Up and Clay in a Can Rick Morris|
|»||Schools and Filters: Ice Age, the Meltdown Matt Levinson|
|»||Effort: It Can be Taught! Deborah Granger|
|»||Homework: Damned if you do, and if you don’t Alan Haskvitz|
|»||Parents Are Recruits, Teachers Are Responsible, Kids Are Victims, and Schools Are Culpable For At-Risk Problems Bill Page|
|»||12 Ways to Stop Conflict in its Tracks! Susan Fitzell|
|»||Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VIII Hank Kellner|
|»||The Writing on the Wall Tim Newlin|
|»||More Brain Teasers Steve Sherman|
|»||Teacher of Facts - and of Life Rachelle Ann A. Abad|
|»||Grant Writing Tips Kimberly McCloud|
|»||Bald is Beautiful! Teachers, Students Lose Locks to Fight Childhood Cancer David Peter Marchesseault|
|»||Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman|
|»||Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria|
|»||The Lighter Side of Teaching|
|»||Video Bytes; Literacy Empowers (Illiteracy Awareness), The Underground Railroad, Wikis in Plain English - CommonCraft tutorial, Twitter in Plain English – a CommonCraft tutorial, Naturally 7 music group on Tavis Smiley Show, Tour the International Space Station!|
|»||Teacher Blogs Showcase|
|»||Printable - Ice Cream in a Baggie Recipe|
|»||Featured Lessons, Wisdom from the Chat Achives, and Timely Printables Especially for June!|
|»||What Is A Document Camera? What Does It Do?|
|»||Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers|
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Effort: It Can be Taught!
In order for students to pull their hands out of their pockets and climb up the ladder, we need to help them understand that the climb can be made with effort. And the effort to climb each rung will move them onward and upward towards success.
|by Deborah Granger
New contributor to the Gazette
June 1, 2009
“Success is a ladder you cannot climb with your hands in your pockets.” ~American Proverb
Effort. As teachers, we understand the significance of this one word. But for many of our students, the “ladders” they need to climb appear too steep, too high, too dangerous. Some students believe that they will never reach the top because they might fall off the ladder, the whole ladder will topple over or they are afraid to climb it in the first place. And so they do not set foot on even one rung; they keep their proverbial hands in their pockets.
Not all students realize the importance of effort. I would even generalize to say that most do not understand the correlation between effort and success. One of the most significant research studies that I have ever read states that “students who were (explicitly) taught about the relationship between effort and achievement increased their achievement more than students who were taught techniques for time management and comprehension of new material.” (Van Overwalle and DeMetsenare, 1990)
Climbing the Ladder- One Rung at a Time
The most important planning I do as a teacher is to examine my own thought processes when performing a task. I recognize that I cannot teach my students anything unless I am cognizant of the thought processes that lead to the accomplishment of that task. As I pondered how to teach my students about the relationship between effort and success, I developed a checklist of processes that I use when I learn.
As my students were developing an understanding of effort, this checklist became the focus of the beginning of every lesson. There was a great deal of dialogue about each tactic. Students were expected to keep a record of the learning tactics that they used as I taught. I modeled through think alouds how I use each learning tactic myself. I wanted my students to understand what each tactic looked like and sounded like.
My classroom vernacular now regularly includes the words “learning tactics.” Students have taken ownership of their learning tactics as evidenced by the discussions that follow the culminations of lessons.
Case in point: Joshua expressed to me that he was not clear on how to subtract mixed numbers. I asked him if he could pinpoint where his understanding was breaking down. He told me that he did not understand how to regroup when necessary. I asked him what learning tactics he used. He explained that he looked at the teacher, thought about the topic and asked questions. So, I asked him to consider adding another learning tactic as I explained the process of regrouping with mixed numbers again.
Joshua decided to come up to the front of the room and lay on the floor to be closer to the board where I was writing. After the lesson, I gave him five problems to try independently. He was overjoyed when he got them all correct! I asked him how he accomplished his goal. He showed me that he had created a list of the steps that I had demonstrated. In short, he had created his own graphic organizer to help him remember the information.
“Oh, you used writing to help you, and you made it into a graphic organizer! Do you think this made a difference? “
“Yes! I understand now!” Joshua was one happy little boy!