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Chapter 2: Exercises to Improve Mental Organization

Langrehr, John Solution Tree Press PDF

CHAPTER 2

EXERCISES TO IMPROVE MENTAL

ORGANIZATION

When you ask your brain to think about something, it has to search among the words, pictures, ideas, facts, and other things it has stored in its memory. It is like looking for a page in a file, when that file is hidden in a filing cabinet. The messier or more disorganized your filing cabinet is, the more difficult it is to find the file and the page that you are looking for.

This is also true with your brain—your “mental filing cabinet.”

Your mental filing cabinet is full of files of content to think with and files of questions to ask yourself about this content. The more organized the contents and questions are in your brain, the quicker and more efficient you will be in finding the information in your memory that you want to think with.

Isn’t it amazing that your brain uses criteria, or properties, to file new examples of things you notice and learn into small “boxes” in your memory? For example, you have boxes for red things, countries, verbs, metals, expensive things, and so on. Some of your boxes have many examples in them, depending on how much you have read, what you have listened to in class, and also on what you are really interested in and good at. You have even connected some boxes to each other to help you remember things that share characteristics, such as things that are both red and made of metal.

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Medium 9781935543275

Chapter 4 Becoming a Networked School

Will Richardson Solution Tree Press ePub

On the opening day of the 2009 school year, Superintendent Lisa Brady stood in front of the 250 teachers at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey, and started a new conversation about learning in her district. “Our students are entering a different world,” Lisa said, “one that is more global, more connected, more diverse and less structured than the one we knew. Our students are going to change jobs more often than we did, sometimes changing their field as well. To be prepared, they will need the skills that we have always taught, like the ability to write effectively, speak confidently, and think critically, but now they will also need skills that we have not always emphasized, like the ability to solve open-ended complex problems using creative approaches and to collaborate with peers around the world. Most likely, they’ll need to learn ‘on the fly’ every day of their lives” (L. Brady, personal communication, September 8, 2009).

What Lisa said next is important for all of us to hear. “I only know two things for sure about the situation that faces us right now as educators,” she said. “The first is that we will need to do things differently than we have done them before, teaching in new ways, with new methods of learning using new technologies in our classrooms. The second is that the best path to those changes isn’t clear right now, and we will need every member of this community to work together to figure it out. Let me be clear about this—I need your ideas, your energy, your caring for our kids, and, most of all, I need your leadership.”

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Medium 9781935542810

1 Understanding the Basic Rights of Students With Disabilities

Margaret J. McLaughlin Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 1

Understanding the Basic Rights of Students With Disabilities

Questions Principals Ask

•  What are FAPE, LRE, and related services?

•  What rights do students and their parents have?

•  What is required under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)?

•  How do Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act affect schools?

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act is the primary U.S. federal policy that defines which students are eligible for special education supports and services and protects students with disabilities against discrimination (see appendix B, beginning on page 71, for a summary of key legal provisions in IDEA 2004). This federal law guarantees all students, regardless of their disability, a free appropriate public education (commonly referred to as FAPE). To be eligible under IDEA, a student must first be determined to have a disability that is consistent with one or more of the categories specified in the law, and the disability must have an adverse effect on educational performance that necessitates specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs resulting from the disability. Only students who meet the eligibility requirements are entitled to FAPE.

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Appendix A: The PLC Continuum

Robert D. Barr Solution Tree Press ePub

Appendix A

The Professional Learning Community Continuum*

By Robert Eaker, Richard DuFour, and Rebecca DuFour

When school personnel attempt to assess their ability to function as a learning community, they are likely to create a simple dichotomy—the school either functions as a professional learning community or it does not. The complex process of school improvement cannot, however, be reduced to such a simple “either/or” statement. It is more helpful to view the development of a PLC along a continuum: Pre-initiation, Initiation, Developing, and Sustaining. Each element of a PLC, as shown in the following pages, can be assessed during the four stages of the continuum:

 

Pre-initiation

The school has not yet begun to address a particular principle of a PLC.

Initiation

An effort has been made to address the principle, but the effort has not yet begun to impact a “critical mass.”

Developing

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Workshop/Module 6: Preparing for Tests

Ban, John R. Solution Tree Press ePub

FOCUS

Preparing for tests in the classroom

PURPOSE

Becoming familiar with strategies for helping a child prepare for tests

SKILL

Helping a child prepare for tests

REFLECTION

Sharing your thoughts, before and after this lesson, on your child’s test and testing procedures

 

Tests and examinations are an important part of school. Like most things in life, they have a good and bad side. On the good side, they measure how much a student understands about a subject. They give us an idea of how well a child is learning. On the bad side, tests trigger anxiety and fear. All too often, they are the reason why children dislike school.

Taking tests involves two processes. One is studying to prepare for the test. The other is taking the test itself. Test preparation takes more time, and some think it is the harder of the two. Taking a test, on the other hand, tends to be more stressful. It can create anxiety and forgetfulness.

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