Monday, October 7, 2013

Three Things for Students to do: (1) Learn more words at; (2) Prepare for tests at and (3) Keep in touch with old teachers (it's a good exercise)

(1) Learn more words 
One of the best ways to prepare for university is to study words.  You can find a good list of words at

Here is a technique for "killing words that you know"  (the last line of the video is "killing the words that you don't know."   The correct sentence is "you are killing the words that you know, leaving the words that you don't know."

  (2) Prepare for tests at and learn some techniques at and
There are many things that teachers and students can learn from each other.

(3) Keep in touch with old teachers (it's a good exercise)
When I move to another school, I tell students that they are NOT losing a teacher.  They are gaining another teacher (the next teacher).  You can often find a teacher by looking for a YouTube channel that the teacher maintains.

I recently left a school in Florida.  I met 182 students and saw their work.  I hope each of them will take time to contact me in the future.   I am happy to continue to give advice if they send me math exercises. 

We had a special class in my school in Florida.  We said five things in our classes:

(a)  we're here to prepare for the future.  We are "practicing to be adults."  We don't ask permission to leave the room.  We say, "I'll be back in five minutes."... the way adults tell each other.

(b) We are here to stimulate blood flow in our heads.     
When we learn new instructions, we stimulate blood flow to the brain.  When we repeat actions and when we do activities that are known, then blood flow to the brain decreases.  See the work by Daniel Amen in youtube.

(c) Courage comes from the soul within...
It's a poem by Edgar Guest and we say it to make us stronger. 

(d) The purpose of education is... to see a world in a grain of sand....  it's the poem by William Blake...
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(e)  The musician's approach to academics:  practice, practice, practice, practice.... to master the mechanics of the academic work.  Usually I ask students to UNDERSTAND a procedure.   But I don't want to bore my students, so I usually give them no more than three exercises...  Now I know that it is better to get more and more practice... Richard E. Clark talks about the need to "automate" the procedures.

We want to do three boring things each class.   As adults, we know that doing the boring things are part of the musician's approach to academics.  I have learned from Alfred de la Rosa that the Musician's approach will lead to mastery.

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And remember...  the power of one click.  you can recommend some videos and websites.  You have "net" impact.

The following information might go over the heads of my students, but I hope someday they will return and look at it.

Watch Dr. Clark's talk and listen particularly to these sections of his six-minute talk...

Here are the key phrases

Dr. Clark's warning to teachers:   We teachers need to help students automate their
knowledge -- and repeated practice is part of the solution.
"Fully guided instruction" is described in the article
written by Dr. Clark, Kirschner and Sweller in the Jan. 2012
issue of American Educator

You can learn more by going to this YOUTUBE

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