The Big Fresh June 6, 2015 The Wow! Scaffold
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
Sugatra Mitra, a professor of educational technology in Newcastle, England, studies self-organized learning and just how much children can teach themselves. He put kid-height computer kiosks in remote villages all over India (computers with programming in English and no directions), and just left them there to see what the children could figure out. The computers were equipped with “remote desktop” technology so that Sugatra Mitra could remotely observe what the children were doing. In village after village, children who began with absolutely no computer proficiency taught themselves English, computer skills, and even science simply by working together and experimenting. In fact, after nine months of “self-organized learning” the children who had never used a computer before had the same level of computer skills as an office secretary.
Next, Sugatra Mitra decided to see if some of the poorest children in India could teach themselves something really challenging: the science of DNA replication. As a control group, Sugatra Mitra selected students in an affluent, private school who were working with a teacher who was a trained biologist. He found that village children were able to teach themselves a pretty impressive amount of DNA science, but after a certain amount of time, they hit a wall and the children working with a teacher were at a substantial advantage.
This week we look at ways to celebrate and build communities. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris
Contributors, Choice Literacy
Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins are the writers and thinkers behind Burkins and Yaris -- Think Tank for 21st Century Literacy, where their blog and their instructional resources have drawn a national audience. Their book Reading Wellness is available through Stenhouse Publishers.
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All hail Ruth Ayres, the queen of literacy celebrations! She shares some useful tips in Respond, Reflect, Rejoice: The 3 Rs of Writing Celebrations:
Betsy Hubbard created and leads Chalk-A-Bration, a wonderful way to get kids outdoors to celebrate literacy and life. It's a great activity to include in your planning for next year or for regular summer celebrations of learning if you are leading sessions with students in the coming weeks
Our summer online courses include new offerings from Jennifer Schwanke on how principals can evaluate and support literacy instruction, and from Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan on designing book rooms. You can view descriptions and registration information at this link:
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Melanie Meehan recommends linking goal setting to small celebrations as a great way to build community and skills at the same time:
In an encore video, Katie Doherty uses the "I Am the One Who" activity to link community building and writing in her middle school classroom:
New PD2Go: Clare Landrigan leads a small reading group after a fifth-grade demonstration lesson:
RF.5.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
That's all for this week!
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