May in Saskatchewan is the beginning of spring, tulip shots appear, crocuses bloom. School teachers prepare for the end of the school year, while university professors dash off to conferences. It’s a great time to reflect on what you’ve done differently in the last year to improve your students’ experience of learning. This is the 7th carnival and I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you for submitting! Thank you for reading! Next month we will have a guest editor for the first time. If anyone would like to act as a future guest editor, please contact me.
Question of the Month
Is differentiated instruction a reasonable path to take to make inclusive education more attainable?
This is a really difficult topic for me because my daughter is severely dyslexic; her early school years were nightmares of bullying and refusals to accept her as part of project teams. Sometimes the teachers were the biggest bullies because they treated her like she was stupid instead of disabled and gave her tasks to do below her intellectual level because she couldn’t read. I finally pulled her out of the school system and home schooled her. She became a strongly self-directed learner and developed a talent for movie making. When she returned to school in grade ten, she initially had people refuse to have her on their team because she would pull their mark down, but teams who accepted her quickly learned that her creativity and research skills paid off. Unfortunately, she quit school in Grade 12 because she didn't get the help she needed with math and science (a not uncommon issue since accomodations are easier to develop in english and the social sciences.)
Laura Robb recommends differentiating reading instruction. When I taught in Adult Basic Education, we had a 1/2 hour reading time everyday where students read a book of their choosing from the school library. It was a very useful tool for improving literacy; students read everything from how to books to romance novels. They also learned to use a library. Once a month, students wrote reports on what they learned from their reading.
Creating Life Long Learners (one of our regular writers) explores Differentiate This! Part One: Why?
Active Learning in the News
The Bohol Chronicle from the Philippines reports “Through games, as an active learning process, AMA will direct students’ attention to the competencies or skills that will equip them to survive college and succeed in future jobs.”
Accredited Degrees lists the Top10 free math and science online courses.
State of the Brand reports People with autism get a second chance in Second Life.
Thoughts on Active Learning
Sharp Brains (another regular writer) shares his interviews with 15 cutting-edge neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists on their research and thoughts.
World Scientific has published a new book on creativity for teachers.
Polishing the Pearl has some interesting ideas about using silence as a communication tool. In Wait Five Minutes, he discusses violence.
To Struggle is a Gift writes about the value of discovery learning.
LOLA Project Papers is part of The Sustainable Everyday Project (SEP) that proposes an open web platform to stimulate social conversation on possible sustainable futures. There are some great suggestions for teaching sustainability to young people on this site.
Distance Degrees lists Tips for Transitioning the Special Education Student into Adulthood.
Pimping Your Grades suggests Students: Use the Link Memory System to Memorize Anything.
The Library Collective has a great activity for reading the book Little Pea to preschoolers.
Teachers Call explores How to Teach Speaking in ESL classes.
Learn English Articles submitted Effective Ways to Practice Business English.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking has published downloadable guides to critical thinking in 9 languages.
Thank you to everyone who submitted this month. Submit your blog article to the next edition of active learning blog carnival using our carnival submission form before June 8th.