Saturday, May 14, 2022

Parents and teachers can read books to elementary and middle schoolers

 Parents and teachers can read books to elementary and middle schoolers.

 Here are two great lists of math-related stories that parents and teachers can read with students.

There's a an elementary grade literature book list for STEM subjects at

Middle school math fiction books  are at

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Critical Thinking and the Creation of New Ideas

Critical thinking is a vital part of the education process. Engaging students in the development of critical thinking skills can lead to analysis and synthesis, leading to the creation of new ideas for goods and services that ultimately will benefit the citizens of all countries.

Consider that critical thinking occurs when students' affective filters (anxiety levels) are low. They will be lower when they are talking with one another than talking in front of the class, responding to teacher questioning. 

Another point is to have students use critical thinking when researching by using higher thinking skills of analysis and synthesis, such as investigating a topic from multiple perspectives by using a variety of sources. When I wrote nonfiction books about photography, I would do just that. Here's how: When I read through an article, I would write questions I'd have about material in the article that weren't answered in it.  Then I'd research an additional article looking for the answer that I had questions about from the first article. This works out well. It would be a good idea for to model this for students before you do a research project.

Consider metacognition, which is thinking about your own thinking. Teachers can do this by modeling think-alouds. Think-alouds provide readers time to pause while reading, so that they can clarify their thoughts about the content of a reading selection.

When a teacher models engagement in this process, he/she will do it aloud to model verbalization of thoughts. They can begin by saying, "When I begin to read fiction, I read the first few paragraphs to figure out what the setting and plot are, along with what the characters are like (character traits) (Block & Israel, 2004). 

Block, & Israel, S. E. (2004). The ABCs of Performing Highly Effective Think-Alouds. The Reading Teacher58(2), 154–167. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Critical Race Theory Information-- Paulo Freire and Power in Relationships

Paulo Freire coined the term banking information in order to express a lesson being taught by the teacher with students being passive recipients of knowledge. He advocated for collaborative learning, so that students interact with each other and the teacher.

If you research the differences between teaching by banking information where the teacher has most of the power and teaching using collaborative learning by student interaction, you'll discover that the latter is more democratic, which is the value Freire emphasized in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed ("Paulo Freire," n.d.).

Freire used concepts such as vertical teaching and horizontal teaching to define the relationships between two types of instruction, and he equates each to the power the relationship has.

Vertical Teaching



Horizontal Teaching

teacher ↔ student

Power in relationships is an important concept in education. Critical Race Theory is concerned with people who are oppressed because they have less power in society than those who are not. 

Paulo Freire. (n,.d.). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Culturally Responsive Teaching Study is Awarded Nearly $400,000

 There are organizations interested in supporting research by and for practitioners on processes, projects, initiatives or aspects of practice that they are involved in. 

One good one is The Institute of Educational Sciences offers grants for educators to initiate educational programs and studies such as producing curriculum for teacher professional development programs. 

There is an interesting amount of money to develop a professional development program focusing on culturally responsive teaching (CRT). See

The Institute of Educational Sciences offers grants for educators to initiate educational programs and studies such as producing curriculum for teacher professional development programs. 

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has established 14 programs of research (topics) under its Education Research Grants Program.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Assessment and Rubrics

Utah Education Network

Instructionally sound assessment requires more than implementing meaningful tasks and standards. Teachers must develop the capacity to analyze student work, as well as the leadership ability to train students to do this analysis. The Rubistar website with you where you can create your own rubrics.

An assessment is an appraisal of the learner developed by the teacher observing a student and his or her work. An effective lesson plan should contain several opportunities for assessment throughout the plan. It can consist of pretests for determining what students already know, questioning intermittently throughout a lesson and quizzes. An evaluation is static and represented by a grade, a rank, or a score, that a student earns. Assessment is more dynamic, with reflective observation, whereas evaluation is static.  

Formative assessments that monitor progress are given more frequently than summative assessments (or evaluation), which usually occur at the end of a "learning cycle" to measure. Finally, learning outcomes affect your assessment and vice versa.