Motivation and Education

Motivation and Education

The following is from an article featured in the education section of USA Today on January 28, 2008: “Teachers have long said that success is its own reward. But these days, some students are finding that good grades can bring them cash and luxury gifts. In at...
Tell Me Everything You Know

Tell Me Everything You Know

I have invented a new educational game. I call it “Tell Me Everything You Know.” Here is how the game works in my grammar class: I write a sentence on the board, set a time limit, and then have the students write down every grammatical fact they can name...
The Real Math Magic: Understanding vs Memorizing

The Real Math Magic: Understanding vs Memorizing

These children are not treated like human calculators, they are treated like thinking beings. And when they truly grasp the concepts they are using, when they can explain them fully and articulately, when they retain them because they are not memorizing, but understanding–that is real math magic.

The Writing Process: One Step at a Time

The Writing Process: One Step at a Time

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (or NAEP), the average high school student is an incompetent writer. To evaluate their writing ability, testers asked high school juniors to write a paragraph based on notes they were given about a haunted...
The Failure of Field Trips, Part 2

The Failure of Field Trips, Part 2

In my recent article “The Failure of Field Trips,” I explained what is wrong with traditional school outings. The typical field trip is irrelevant to the students’ education, either because they have been unprepared to appreciate it by their...
The Failure of Field Trips, Part 1

The Failure of Field Trips, Part 1

Many educators stress the importance of field trips–opportunities to get students out of their desks and away from their books, and to give them direct, vivid, sensory experience with the world around them. Reflecting on my own education, these excursions off...