#EduRead: Raising a Moral Child

This week's article, Raising a Moral Child was submitted by @jrykse for this week's chat. While the article is aimed at parents, quite a bit of it would apply to our classrooms as well.

Quotable Quotes:

  • Praise is more effective than rewards
  • When parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.
  • Praising their character (rather than behavior) helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person. 
  • When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.
  • If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave.
  • The most effective response to bad behavior is to express disappointment. 
  • parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation.
  • The beauty of expressing disappointment is that it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement: “You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.”
  • Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do.
  • People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character.

My Thoughts

  • At the end of the year, I like to give an award to every student in my class. I try to pick something that shows I really noticed them but at the same time I try not to be negative because I don't want that to become a self-fulfilling prophecy
  • The most loved teacher at my school is the one who is always giving students guilt trips vs strict discipline. They understand that she knows they are good students who sometimes do bad things but are intelligent enough to fix them.
  • How much more can we as teachers turn to modeling rather than preaching and repeating ourselves? What behaviors we want to see in our students should be what we begin to model without speaking.
  • For example, I preach to my students about reading directions but how can I model myself doing that visibly?
  • Can I model my mathematical thinking through modeling or writing rather than verbally?
  • What does this look like in the classroom? "You're a quick thinker" vs "You finished your work quickly"?
  • Can our praise of effort and character as high school teachers make a dent in the terrible experiences and feelings about math that students have had in the past?
  • What behaviors have I modeled without knowing it?
  • A often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character.Photo


#EduRead: What Does Multiplying Two Candy Bars Really Mean?

This week's article, "What does Multiplying Two Candy Bars Really Mean?" is about writing in math class from the April 2014 issue of Educational Leadership. 


  • "By having students write word problems that encompass a variety of contextual situations, teachers gain insight into how students have interpreted a mathematical idea as well as their preferences for problem-solving strategies"
  • "By having ELLs write their own word problems using situations familiar to them, as well as language they can manage, teachers can more easily assess their mathematical abilities."
  • "As students share their word problems with the class and invite their peers to solve those problems, they're led into discussions, both in small groups and as part of a whole-class discussion, about the meaning of their problems and how best to solve them."
  • "A problem-posing activity can bring in many forms of communication, such as writing, speaking, reading, and listening, which benefit not just ELLs but all students."

My Thoughts:

  • 'Problem-posing activities' would be a great tool for the beginning of the year or as a preview at the beginning of a unit; also could be a alternative way to assess.
  • This could go along with My Favorite No or error analysis
  • Writing their own problems could be an example of application problems for students who are using INBs or formula sheets as a resource; takes the depth past just a procedure


#EduRead: How Good Is Good Enough?

This week's article: How Good is Good Enough? is from the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Educational Leadership magazine and the article is about what "mastery" really is.

My thoughts:

  • This article was depressing.
  • I don't even consider myself a master; don't know how to teach mastery or create these type of tasks
  • If my assessments and grading are of low standards now and I have kids doing poorly, then raising my standards would mean the whole class doing poorly!
  • Just a reminder of how unprepared me and my students are for any Common Core aligned exams.


#EduRead The Many Uses of Exit Slips

This week's article: The Many Uses of Exit Slips. It is from the October 2012 issue of Educational Leadership magazine and the article definitely touches on so many useful topics, from classroom closure to formative assessment.

 My thoughts:

  • While the last three types of exit slips are interesting, I definitely would use the first type most.
  • The easiest way for me to do this would be to create a question or two ahead of time and pass out index cards at the end for them to respond.
  • What happens if you don't get through the lesson and your exit slip question doesn't apply (yet)? I guess that's where the other three types come in.
  • I want to mostly give students problems for the exit slip. Could I them group them by common errors the next day and see if they can find their error as a group without me telling them? Could this be a way to receive immediate feedback in a social setting? Does that mean I need to give them another problem to use that feedback effectively?
  • Would it be acceptable/effective to have the problem fully worked out and projected and ask students to identify their error and write it down on the index card? This incorporates writing and feedback. Would there be a more useful way to organize this so students can refer to their common errors moving forward?
  • Refer to druin's post; make a powerpoint ahead of time?
  • Laminate exit slip cards that can be written on with dry erase marker and reused?
  • Is this sustainable on a daily basis?
  • When my class spends most of the time practicing problems, what can I ask instead of a problem of the day that will give me feedback?
  • I really like the idea of error analysis; if they can see the error and correct it, I know they know it; if they can see the error but not correct it, I know they are halfway there; if they can't see the error at all, they're probably lost. For the last two groups, I could start class the next day with a correctly worked example and the original incorrect one so that they can compare. The top group could...work out a new problem or a harder version (enrichment)?
  • I like the idea of sorting kids by exit slip resposes; could keep groups different on a daily basis.


#EduRead How Am I Doing?

This week we will be reading the article 'How Am I Doing?' from the September 2012 edition of Educational Leadership. The theme of the magazine was Feedback for Learning and this article is about how to provide effective feedback to our students.

My thoughts:

  • How in the world is there time to regularly give such in-depth feedback to students? 
  • I need to work on starting class with "here is your goal of the day" and ending it with "did you accomplish our goal?"
  • Do we give a lot of this feedback verbally without realizing it? Students have no 'hard copy' to refer back to.
  • Could we use gallery walks as a way for students to give and get immediate feedback but take some of the toll off of us?
  • For those that have a lot of board space, sending as many students to the board to practice helps us as teachers see more at once and give verbal feedback with the immediate opportunity for students to use the feedback.
  • I read in the archive about asking advanced student for suggestions; we just read in the article that those students have no problem doing this. We need to ask the struggling students what feedback would help them if those are the ones that need this the most.
  • How can we make feedback social? Read Michael Pershan's "Immediate Feedback Is Too Soon For Feedback"