ADHD and Motivation: Why It’s a Problem and What You Can Do
With new brain research, we now know more of what happens in a brain affected by ADHD. Due to these brain differences, kids with ADHD tend to lose sight of future goals in the distractions of the moment, and they are often unsure about how to accomplish goals they still wish to pursue. Sherry Cramer, an educational therapist, shares some strategies we can use with students with ADHD to support them.
Point of performance supports are small changes we can make in a setting or task that can make big differences for kids with ADHD. Such supports might include supplying noise-cancelling headphones, preparing organized work spaces, or providing checklists for complex assignments. Also, the use of rewards and consequences can make a large different since children with ADHD are usually focused on the present moment.
Some methods that can be used to help children with ADHD in the long term and outside of the classroom are teaching them to self-manage, using if-then plans, and teaching them executive functioning skills. As teachers we need to make sure we are developing positive relationships with those students who have ADHD, continue to teach them the skills they need, and then give them opportunities to make choices and learn from mistakes. For more specifics on any of these strategies take some time to read the article.
Classroom Eye Candy: A funky science classroom
In the April Lit Bit we took a look at a high school Language Arts classroom. Here is a high school science lab that also has flexible seating for students. For more information on how this teacher created this classroom and her teaching philosophy, read the blog post.
If you are thinking about changing up your classroom next school year to allow for more flexibility, check out the resources and pictures below for inspiration and direction.
Interested in some summer reading to inspire your teaching for next year? Check out these two lists of recommended reading for teachers!
Please let me know how I can continue to assist you in making your classrooms a place of deep thinking and learning!
Your Lit Coach,
Look at this high school Language Arts classroom! We’ve talked a lot about our classroom environments during our past professional development meetings. Here is an example of a classroom that allows flexibility to meet the needs to all students. If you want to find out more about how this environment works for the teacher, Rebecca Malmquist, and her students, read the blog post. I found it to be inspiring! https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/flexible-classroom/
Rebecca Malmquist also has an affirmation station in the back of her classroom. She uses this station to allow her students to send affirmations to each other. Watch this video to see how her students feel about themselves after being in her classroom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAblJkJsW8I&app=desktop. You can see how this would increase empathy and leadership in our students.
If you want to find out how to logistically make this happen in your classroom, read her explanation here: https://sites.google.com/site/mrsmalmquist/classrooms/affirmation-station
How To Ensure Students Are Actively Engaged and Not Just Compliant
Listed below are 8 different qualities that indicate student involvement:
Research shows in classrooms where there was at least three of these characteristics in each assignment, students demonstrated sustained cognitive engagement between 84 and 86 percent of the time. When only two characteristics were present students were only cognitively engaged about 16 percent of the time. At this time of the year when I am trying to fit all the content in that I still have to teach this list will help to narrow down the best activities and assignments that will impact my students’ learning.
Please let me know how I can continue to assist you in making your classrooms a place for deep thinking and learning!
Too Many Students and Not Enough Time
We all feel the strain at one time or another. We feel that our classes are too large, we have too much to do, and not enough time in class to reach every student. This article points to differentiation being the key to helping us through these difficulties. Many of the strategies we have been highlighting in recent years during our professional development are stated as methods to differentiate and therefore be more effective in the classroom.
Transform whole class instruction into small learning teams.
Use a variety of structured dialogue prtocols to focus learning expereinces.
Focus students on deeper learning/thinking.
Plan activities based on the levels and interests of the students you have in the classroom currently.
Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk
If you are interested in improving the discourse within partner/group work in your classroom, take 6 minutes to watch this video. The video highlights an elementary school in England that focuses on oracy in the classroom. To support oracy, the teachers use discussion guidelines, discussion roles, and choosing the level of participation in structured talk tasks to help each student learn through discussion. You can see examples of each of these below.
Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement
Don’t forget about our VIRTUAL PD Opportunity! Join us on Wednesday, January 25th from 2:30 – 3:30 to discuss your results from trying the 8 different wait times listed below. Please sign up in KALPA.
Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement
In this excerpt from her book, Patricia Jennings, reminds us that the benefits of using wait time in our classrooms is not only for the students but also for us as teachers. “With conscious use of wait time, teachers’ questioning strategies become more varied and flexible, and they ask follow-up questions that require more complex information processing and higher-order thinking (Casteel & Stahl, 1973; Rowe, 1972; Stahl, 1990; Tobin, 1987).”
She also states that Robert Stahl (1990) identified eight categories of wait time.
8 reflective questions to help any student think about their learning
With these reflective questions “students have the chance to put themselves back at the center of the learning process.” Try one this week; you may be surprised by the learning your students demonstrate.
10 things to say to your Students Everyday… and Why they are Important
Ron Ritchhart has constructed this list of things to do every day to create a culture in our classrooms where student thinking is valued. These suggestions each take a short amount of time to implement in the classroom but will make a large impact over an entire school year.
Teachingchannel has a wealth of videos that show best practice instruction and how to implement it in our classrooms. You can search by subject, grade, and topic. I found this video on using talk moves to improve discourse. Check it out: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/student-participation-strategy
Please let me know how I can continue to assist you in making your classrooms a place for deep thinking and learning! I would love to help you implement some of the new routines or questioning strategies listed above.
Is Edcamp for You?
Edcamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs. The goal of Edcamp is to bring educators together to share their passion and ideas for better learning in an open format. Edcamp Lake Orion is a month away. This PPD opportunity is your chance to learn and discuss educational topics that are important and meaningful to you.
Check out these videos to learn more about the Edcamp style and how it can impact your teaching.
Independence VS. Dependence
One of the five belief sets we’ve explored this year is encouraging independence versus dependence. This article from Mindshift highlights many of the essential qualities needed for students to develop intrinsic motivation in the context of reading and writing.
What do We Lose by Measuring ‘Average’ in Education? MindShift shares an excerpt from Todd Rose’s novel The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness. In this short excerpt he talks about the need for environments to be responsive to individuality so that everyone has the chance to live up to their full potential. Many parallels can be found in the example Rose highlights about the Air Force’s design of airplane cockpits and the environment we create for our students. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/28/what-do-we-lose-by-measuring-average-in-education/
Looking for new ideas to implement in your classroom? Interested in a more differentiated approach to professional development that meets your personal and professional needs? Check out Bloomboard. With this learning platform you can explore topics of your interest and investigate curated professional development collections. Explore the hundreds of resources available to you. Did I mention it is 100% free?
Kids’ Standard: March Issue
Take a look at the March issue of Kids’ Standard. This month’s theme is “I want to be Me! ”
How Adults Can Encourage Kids to Be Original Thinkers. Adam Grant, author of Originals, writes that taking risks and embracing curiosity can lead to original ideas. He talks about the importance of getting kids to be confident risk takers. Take a moment to read MindShift’s interview with the Grant to catch a glimpse on how non-conformists move the world. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/14/what-kind-of-group-work-encourages-the-most-original-thinking/
The Power of Language
As a follow-up to our March 8 PD on language, attached to this Lit Bit is a copy of the 7 types of classroom language Ron Ritchhart shares in Creating Cultures of Thinking. Feel free to print this off to use as a reference tool as you work to incorporate language into your ideal classroom.
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at Lake Orion. The Unconference is scheduled for May 14 from 7:30 am to noon. Click here to access the link to register and learn more about the professional development opportunity.
CoT at Oakland Schools Reminder- The Celebrate Learning Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner will take place on Wednesday, March 2 from 5:00-7:30 pm. The cost is $20 per person. Please see the attached brochure for more details.
Beyond Measure at Bloomfield Hills High School: Bloomfield Hills is offering a FREE showing of Beyond Measure for parents, educators, and community members on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm. Click here to reserve a seat. http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/
About the Film: “Every day we hear stories about America’s troubled education system. And we’re told that in order to fix what’s broken, we need to narrow our curricula, standardize our classrooms, and find new ways to measure students and teachers. But what if these ‘fixes’ are making our schools worse. In Beyond Measure, we set out to challenge the assumptions of our current education story.”
Watch the Trailer: https://youtu.be/m4LTV8jat2o
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at The Center of Advanced Studies and the Arts in Oak Park. This Unconference is scheduled for March 19 from 8am-3pm. Here is the link to the website to register and learn more about this professional development opportunity. http://unconferencecasa.wix.com/edcamp2016
15 Rules of Great Teaching:
College Ready and Career Ready- How do we ensure that the students we teach today are college ready and career ready? MindShift shares some of the innovative changes happening at the collegiate level. Many of the practices we encourage at Reuther are modeled at these innovative institutions. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/02/17/innovative-colleges-that-give-students-real-world-experiences-2/
Kids’ Standard- The February issue of Kids’ Standard is now available. See what students, parents, and educators have to say about Heartfelt Learning. http://www.kidsstandard.org/?page_id=96
CoT at Oakland Schools- Oakland Schools is offering two opportunities next month to support Cultures of Thinking. Additional details for each opportunity can be found in the attachments.
Wednesday, March 2- CoT Design Studio
Time: 10:00am -4:00pm (come when you want and stay as long as you can)
View the brochure below to learn more about the CoT Design studio
Wednesday, March 2- Celebrate Learning: A Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner
Time: 5:00- 7:30pm
View the brochure below to learn more about this opportunity
Interested in sharing how students are making their thinking visible in your classroom? Consider volunteering to be a docent for the Celebrate Learning: Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner. Docents must apply by February 22.