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'MindLadder' suggests the future of assessment

There is a new teaching tool that uses "the most current understanding of how the children learn" to provide instruction as to how to best improve the learning of every child on an individual basis. That's the claim. Here's the link to a much fuller explanation of how this works. It takes a lot of work/child to set up the initial assessment, but then has a number of teachers who are singing its praises.

Oh, and it's $15/child/year.;_hbguid=aad77d55-6dcc-47bc-bf7a-d623374632ad

If it works, I'd say that it is very much worth it. However, I can't see a high school teacher using this for all the students.

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Award for K-2 inquiry science ed

There are some of you who will be interested in applying for this award . . . and some of you will truly deserve it!


Guidelines Now Available for the Zula International–NSTA Early Science Educator Award

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Virtual Desktops and blogging

First, we had discussed "moving away from the use of textbooks." Along those lines in one of the newsletters I receive there was this special report. Here's the title:

eSN Special Report: Virtual Desktops
How virtual desktops will revolutionize personal computing


. . . and it speaks to the idea of moving away from the use of textbooks.


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Finally -- a lab activity for my chem class

After doing the DNA extraction activity (which I initially thought would be totally useless to me), I found enough in it to make it very useful as a lab during the chapter on mixtures and solutions.  I can use it to illustrate "like dissolves like", polarity, ion attraction and repulsion, the terms hydrophilic and hydrophobic, and model building.

Here's the lab:

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Edutopia as a source for inquiry and project based learning

For a year or 2 now I have subscribed to edutopia, an organization started (or at least funded) by George Lucas.  It's stated purpose is to further the use of inquiry-based and interdisciplinary methods of education.  Each month (or several times a month by the # of emails I get from them) they find or create and disseminate ideas, suggestions or plans for project based lessons for all age groups.  One article I just came across that had meaning for me can be found at:

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Another source for interactive net-based learning.

We are admonished as teachers in the 21st century to have our students "utilize technology" in their learning. Normally, this means to have the students learn by doing work using computers and the Internet. Sometimes this seems to complicate the learning process unnecessarily by bringing into the process an additional variable. I'm feeling more and more, tho, that our kids are so much more comfortable online than they are offline. As a result, they may be easier to reach if they are engaged online during the learning process. That's one reason I like Webassign. It is non-threatening and (to a degree) non-judgemental (at least emotionally).

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The first offerring:

The first Friday offerring is a demonstration of a service that I have found very helpful in getting students to do homework that is not simply copied from others . . . and that we teachers don't have to mark.  A few years ago I found a new service that was a web-based means of assigning homework . . . and more importantly having someone else mark

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Introduction to Alan Bronstein

This section is one that I believe most of you can skip . . . if you are looking for actual content.

At the moment I am teaching chemistry at my own high school, Central, in Philadelphia.

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