Proven Strategies to Increase Student Achievement

Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

Proven Strategies to Increase Student Achievement

Exerts from:
Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement
By Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock

The following items have been proven by research to increase student learning and achievement. The items are ranked according from the most affective strategies to those which show less improvement. Even the items on the bottom of the list are worth considering since they do help achievement.

1. Identifying Similarities and Differences: This category includes compare/contrast, creating analogies, classifying, and creating metaphors. Venn diagrams and graphic organizers are useful tools.

2. Note taking and summarizing: For more info about note taking, click here. .http://www.wisdominteaching.com/?p=303

3. Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition: Rewarding, when done incorrectly, may have a negative impact on learning. Reward is most effective when it is contingent on the attainment of some standard of performance. Tell the student exactly what they did a “good job” on. Rewarding with tangible objects, like candy, can cause negative result, unless the desired objective has been met and the student knows what they were working toward. One good method of rewarding and recognition is Pause, Prompt, and Praise. Ask the question, pause to let the student think, prompt them if the answer is incorrect and then offer praise when they reach the desired answer.

4. Homework and Practice: Please be sure that the homework is appropriate practice that the student already understands to a certain degree. Asking a student to practice a skill they have not at least partially mastered only creates frustration. The student may then just give up.

5. Nonlinguistic Representations: Research shows that pictures and drawings help students understand and remember concepts. Examples are graphic organizers, time sequences, mental pictures, and drawings.

Please check tomorrow’s post for more info.

Note Taking Tips for Students

Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

Taking notes in class – tips for students

  • Don’t try to write down everything your teacher says
  • Pick out the important points
  • Learn to paraphrase the material
  • Good notes are always shorter than the actual material
  • Write notes in the form which is most comfortable for you
  • Develop your own shorthand (for lectures and class discussions)
  • Leave plenty of space between your notes for later additions (This allows you to add things the teacher may say later, which organizes the material)
  • Underline any important points with a highlighter
  • Write any questions you have in the margins
  • Summarize your notes at the end of the period or as soon as you can                                                                          Learning to take good notes will help your school performance! I hope these tips for taking notes will help.
  • Note Taking

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think
    One skill that is very important in learning to learn (or thinking) is note taking. Notes should be taken from oral presentations (lectures) and while reading important materials. This helps students remember the information and promotes concentration. Research has proven that the actual writing down of notes is equal to hearing the material ten times! When this concept is explained to students they may not complain as much about taking the notes.

    The following activities can be classified as taking notes:

  • highlighting;
  • underlining information;
  • making a transcript of what the teacher is saying;
  • outlining the main ideas of the textbook or the discussion
    Note taking allows the student to become actively involved with the material. The material must be organized, encoded, and then integrated with previous knowledge. When students ask themselves questions while reading, the material will be understood better. When allowing students to underline (or highlight), check to make sure they are not underlining too much. This means that they are not organizing or sorting the material which is a higher level skill. When students are actively note taking, they also need to summarize the material. Check to see if they can pick out the main idea.When students study, their primary goal should be to understand relationships between the topics and supporting detail. They need to use a note taking system that helps them understand relationships. There are several strategies designed to help identify important relationships.
  • Reading maps/charts
  • Diagrams (graphic organizers)
  • Creating cards (including flash cards)
    Allowing students to occasionally use the notes for a quiz reinforces the idea that note taking is important. If they can see the relevance of their notes in the test questions, they begin to see the importance of good note taking.
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    More Ways to Teach Children to Think

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

    More Strategies (Ways) to Teach Children to Think

  • Encourage students to talk to themselves while they think. This is easier for parents to do at home than for the classroom teacher.
  • Play thinking games with the child, such as brain teasers and word puzzles. Board games can also be helpful. I play a review Battleship game (thanks to Mrs. Brockman for sharing the idea) that helps review basic facts but also requires thinking strategies to win.
  • Relate subject matter to everyday life and to previously learned materials.
  • When students are taking notes, occasionally allow students to free note. This is writing down any triggers in their mind that will help them remember the information. Example: Italy is shaped like a boot.
  • Encourage students to work together on higher level activities. Other students may be able to model this thinking process. Students enjoy learning from each other.
  • Always provide feedback. Praise the child if they are thinking correctly but never criticize them if they are incorrect. Instead lead them to the correct answer by giving clues, prompts. Remember learning to think is a process.
  • Ways to Teach Children to Think

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

    Strategies Teachers and Parents Can Do To Teach Children To Think

  • Help students overlearn basic skills and fact. This allows them to focus on the actual thinking process.
  • Model the thought process. Orally discuss the steps you took in determining the answer.
  • Then ask the child to explain the thought process involved in creating their right answers.
  • Ask students to articulate what they have learned by asking questions that require explanation. (Do not use yes/no questions.)
  • Use graphic organizers. They allow you to know instantly if the students are able to classify, organize and list information.
  • These are some ways to teach children to think. There will be more tomorrow.

    Teaching Children to Think (con’t)

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

    What are some basic skills that students need to be able to learn to think for themselves?

    1) They must be able to focus their attention on the task at hand.
    2) They need to be able to set and reach goals.
    3) They need to be able to talk positively to themselves about tasks they are trying to learn. (Self-evaluation)
    4) Cognitive restructuring needs to occur. This means the student is able to rephrase or restate the information. (Note taking can be a good way to teach this skill.)

    Dr. Stanley Greenspan feels that thinking is emotionally based learning. If it becomes part of our thinking, we remember it. He feels we can encourage thinking in our children by playing simple games, asking logical question, and having deep conversations.

    ***Brainteaser and thinking puzzles not only help children learn to think, they are fun! Here are some interesting links that can help increase thinking skill.

    Teaching Children  to Think

    Teaching Children to Think (continued)

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

    Dr. Stanley Pogrow has developed a program for teachers called HOTS, higher order thinking skills, for at-risk students. Dr. Pogrow has found that traditional teaching benefits at-risk students until the end of third grade. Then these students don’t make the leap to “understand understanding”. Pogrow believes that most children develop these necessary thinking skills through normal interactions with their parents–during “dinner table conversations.” At-risk students are raised by adults who can not or do not engage in reflective conversations with them. They lack basic communication skills and the ability to “think about their own thinking.”

    One skill that is important to independent learning is notetaking. This allows students to think about what they are learning and then rephrase the material in ways they can easily understand.


    The American Society of Training and Development and the U.S. Department of Labor recently conducted a study of basic workplace skills. This study concluded that there were thirteen basic skills essential to success in the workplace:

     

  • learning to learn
  • listening
  • oral communication
  • problem solving
  • creative thinking
  • self esteem
  • goal setting/motivation
  • personal and career development skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • teamwork
  • negotiation
  • organizational effectiveness
  • leadershipSo learning to learn, or think, should be a top priority for our education system. If students are to be successful students, workers, and leaders they must be able to think for themselves.
  • Teaching Children To Think

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Learning to Think

    Teaching Children To Think

    Can children be taught to think? According to recent research, the answer to that question is yes. Designing a classroom that fosters the thinking process is difficult and time consuming. Deciding how to assign grades to questions that have no “correct” answers takes time. But if teachers will “teach outside the box” then students learn to “think outside the box”.

    A teacher’s job should not be to teach a list of facts to students. It is easy to teach this way and of course, some facts are necessary. But the goal of education should be to create students who can think and learn for themselves. It is much more difficult to design classrooms where thinking is the prime goal. And with state and national mandated curriculum, it is becoming more difficult to do this.

    Dr. Srikanta Swamy has observed that most teaching focuses on convergent thinking. This type of question will have one correct answer and children can learn the answers by rote memorization. But divergent thinking, the ability to think of new and creative answers, creates a student who can think for his/herself.

    Dr. Srikanta Swamy  states that teachers may induce thinking in children by activities such as riddle solving, class discussions, and presentation of case studies. He also feels that at the physiological level, silence and meditation can improve thinking capabilities. And most importantly, children need to understand the power of positive thinking.


    There are some simple, but effective, ways to help students learn to think. The teacher must set high standards for the students. One way to raise the standard is to ask higher level quesitions. In this type of questioning, the student must know the basic (rote) information and then analyze it or use it in some manner. Asking “why?” challenges the student to think and solve problems. Projects and activities allow the student to be creative. Classroom discussions not only force the students to think, it helps develop communication skills.

    Teaching children to think requires planning but it can be done. Divergent thinking is the wave of the future. Help your students ride it to success.

    A Teacher’s Hope

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Poems for Teachers

    A Teacher’s Hope

    As I look around my classroom
    All my students I can see.
    My wish for all these children
    Is that they be all they can be.

    Each of them is unique
    With different learning styles.
    And as I get to know them
    Sometimes I make them smile.

    Their backgrounds are varied
    But all that means to me
    Is that all these precious children
    Need different blessings to receive.

    Yes, I’m here to teach them history,
    But this one thing I know.
    There are more important things to learn
    Before I let them go.

    Knowledge is important
    For this we should all strive,
    But wisdom is a blessing
    That keeps hope alive.

    So early each morning  

    I fold my hands to pray,
    That God will let me be a blessing
    To at least one of them this day.

    If I can make a difference
    In just one student’s life,
    Then my mission is accomplished.
    I can go forward without strife.

    Poem–A Teacher’s Hope 

    A Teacher’s Prayer

    Posted by sharont6     Category: Poems for Teachers

    A Teacher’s Prayer

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Please bless me
    Into usefulness this day.
    I hold these precious children
    In my heart as I do pray.

    Please fill my classroom
    Now with your holy love
    As I pass on the wisdom
    Sent to me from above.

    I also need patience, love,
    And guidance, too.
    And please protect my spirit
    As I pray now to you.

    And then I heard an angel
    Whisper in my ear.
    “Your heart will be broken
    By the children you hold dear.

    But keep your sights set
    On high and lofty goals,
    Even though you’ll face
    Rejection in your soul.

    For some children will be harder
    To love than all the others.
    These will be the jewels upon your crown,
    When you do bother.

    For teaching is a spiritual journey
    That only the brave will make.
    You’ll have our help and guidance
    With every step you take.”

    As I raised my head,
    I looked around in surprise,
    Visions of their futures
    Seemed to flash before my eyes.

    And in confusion,
    It slowly dawned on me.
    That each of their successes
    Would be partly due to me!

    A Teacher’s Prayerpoems for teachers