Scaffold Like an Ant- A simple scaffolding example

I am teaching a class where I allow the students a set amount of time to draw out what they know about a subject. Today, the students did their pre-class work, then came to class, and we began to draw things out. At first they look at me a little funny when I ask them to draw. Then, they dig in and explain what they think the subject is all about. Usually it takes about 25% of class time to get them through this phase. Today, they wanted to remain in this drawing/ scaffolding phase. They were going deeper than any class has ever gone in their reasoning and understanding of a difficult subject. It was pretty cool.

Here is what I do in my classes… (the ant is an analogy, I don’t get to teach about ants).

Ant Scaffolding

What would you add?


New Teacher Journal- Before the First Day

Often we step into a teaching situation with an idea about how it will go. We have created a story in our mind. But, when we show up on that first day with students sitting in front of us… and the story doesn’t play out like it did in our daydreams… what do we do?

This is the first set of journal starters for new teachers. These will get some of the story out of our head and onto paper. Another infographic (coming soon) or two will delve into what happens when we need to adapt the story.

The clickable text is partially serious and partially for your amusement…

New Teacher Journal 1

RSCON4 Presentation PowerPoint (yes I am using a ppt…)

I have been busy adding lots of new infographics to go along with my RSCON4 presentation- The Power of the Educational Infographic.

Here’s the whole presentation.

The Recorded Presentation

RSCON4 Presentation PDF
Power of the Educational Infographic

See you Friday or watch the recorded video of RSCON4 later.


Bloom’s Blooming Taxonomy

How do we learn?

Bloom and friends suggest it’s in an order. I think my learning might be a bit more chaotic… but they are the experts. This order begins with the simplest behavior and then moves to the more complex. I think of it as a tree that grows. We start off at the bottom of the tree with the new shoots, and then move up to the fully formed peaks. Coupled with other research, it gives educators a starting point to help scaffold.

Blooms Taxonomy

Learning and the Brain- A few quick facts

What do we and don’t we know about the brain? It used to be that we thought we knew it all. Well, maybe not all. But, over the last couple decades new research reveals and debunks some of our previously held knowledge about the brain. Here are a few quick facts about learning and the brain.