But it has some good points. Wasicsko, M. Teaching Children to be Discipline Problems. Analytic Teaching, 3 2. Thank you, Chrissy! Yes, that article does reference whole-class punishment and further develops the discussion. Thanks for sharing it! Excellent post Jennifer. You had the courage to say what a lot of us think about these practices in a way that is not to make anyone feel gulity about having used them.
You also offered interesting alternatives. I particularly enjoyed rading 5, one of my biggest pet peeves. Students are not challenged appropriatey by providing peer tutoring. When doing so, we simply admit that we do not know of a better way to provide them with an interesting challenge. Thank you for writing and sharing! Romain, I appreciate your saying that bit about not making people feel guilty. All five of these are so common and such natural responses to instructional and discipline situations we may be ill-equipped to respond to, so no one should feel guilty about using them…well, maybe if they keep them up after reading this, they should feel a little guilty!
Well written and researched, Jennifer. Here we are, though, almost a decade after this concept was initially debunked and yet it persists in education. Thanks, Jack. Yeah, I just learned about that this summer…was kind of mortified to realize the research had been done in and I had no idea!
I enjoyed the post very much. It was thoughtful, researched based and well written. After giving an example, I would ask the students what they thought was important to remember and then have the kids write that in their thought bubbles. At first we would do this as a class, but as the year progressed I began pausing to give students time to do this on their own and then they could share their ideas with the class if they wanted to. I also am not a fan of having students of higher ability tutor those that are struggling.
Instead I like to give those kids with higher ability the chance to work together, they challenge each other and I can differentiate by giving those students more challenging problems to work on, this frees me up to work with struggling students. Kyle, I love that thought bubble idea. Your post is timely indeed.
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In fact, I reread the story aloud a second time the next class meeting due to the fact that I thought, myself, the story was very hard to follow when there were a lot of different readers involved. In short, it just kind of ruined the story, too—no offense to students—to have so many readers taking a stab. I agree that if older students are still learning things like voice, cadence, etc.
Just plain old modeling. I have my doubts about another teaching strategy, too: the jigsaw puzzle, which in my experience often gives students incomplete access to important parts of the curriculum, especially if assigned individuals or groups do not present their information to the class in a way they can easily understand. Personally, when I was in a jigsaw group, I chose to read everything myself, to make sure I completely understood everything, so while I believe in sharing work and collaborating, I also think we need to give students access to complete texts.
Just a thought. David, your experience with the Tobias Wolff story is powerful. And Tobias Wolff stories are so rich…what a shame that students had a lukewarm first experience with that one! About the Jigsaw issue: I felt the same way. Jigsaw also has a few other variations that further strengthen learning and accountability that I was unaware of. So I put everything I learned in a post all about the Jigsaw Method. It includes a step-by-step video showing you how to do it. I invite you to give it look. Peace in, everyone! For number 5, there is a LOT of evidence in favor of peer work and even peer tutoring.
I do read aloud with students in class…middle school Language arts…. I let students read for a substantial amount of time…two, three, four pages or until a logical point where I call on another student. Everyone reads aloud in my class. I give my students who are not as fluent the others a heads up the day before as to what they will read the next day so that they can practice it at home. And they do! We discuss what we read along the way. They ask questions…I ask questions. It is slower going but I think it pays off. That is the pay off for me. I think it would be worthwhile for you to ask your students how they feel about it, or whether any of them would prefer a different method.
As long as they are comfortable giving honest feedback, you may find that some would prefer to read the text on their own. If some really do enjoy it, you may be able to separate students into two groups—those who prefer to read on their own maybe with earplugs? I hated the round robin reading at school, even multiple pages at a time. My primary interaction with any kind of student has been helping kids informally, mainly to learn to enjoy reading. I find it sad how any interest the students once had in the story was lost by the fact that it took so long to get through it in class, the other readers were boring, and school virtually punishes you for reading the whole set book ahead of time.
You mentioned in the podcast a book about giving better presentations. Was that another post or a book you read? Also it would be interesting to have another perspective to give a little discussion in the podcasts. See The Ihnatko Almanac as an example not educationally related but similar in style of just thoughts of one person with someone else to make it a conversation. It is Presentation Zen, and I did a review of it here. Hardly very little in my books. I understand what you are saying, but having higher students work with lower students as a regular thing is not beneficial for them.
You are right, they do learn great leadership skills and patience! This kind of help is something we can do without. I have to agree!
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It always helped me learn better when I explained to someone else whatever the skill was. It also gave those students who wanted to help have the chance. Helping others was always important in my classroom. They often need much more help in reading and writing. It is great therefore to have those students who shine in that area help those who struggle and then they get helped in math when they struggle. I really appreciate your thoughts and the links embedded in this post, Jennifer. This year, I have entered a new-to-me grade at a new-to-me school, and in the newness of it all, I found that I was having some doubts about my pedagogy, especially in reading instruction.
You see, I went in wanting to glean all of the information that I could from my fellow second grade teacher and the teacher who I was replacing, because they both have many more years of teaching experience than I do. It seemed logical and respectful to hear them out. This is what I heard: workbooks, basal readers, no reading groups, round robin reading. I was disappointed and confused. I knew that these things felt to me to be out of touch and outmoded. I knew that I had been educated in a fine and progressive education school.
But still, I began to doubt. They held to their beliefs to strongly. To them, workbooks were better than hunting down random resources online. Basal readers were aligned to the curriculum and offered a shared reading experience.
5 Teaching Practices I'm Kicking to the Curb | Cult of Pedagogy
Round robin reading gave everyone a chance to participate, and unlike independent reading time which is my preference you could tell if the students were actually reading. Hearing this was confusing. They were counter-intuitive to my own experience in the classroom, but they were the same methods of instruction that I had experienced when I was a young girl. And I turned out okay, right? Education has only gone down hill from then, right? I was beginning to doubt myself.
I was taught what is best and most beneficial for my students at university. I have seen it myself when I implement best practice in the classroom. Now, with your research in hand, I feel like I can very easily justify my teaching methods to my colleagues and to myself. Thank you for the well-thought out words you have written here and the well-researched additional resources you have included.
It does have a fair amount of research that supports its use for increasing on task behavior. Thank you thank you thank you for writing this article!!!!! I agree that all five of these might be OK every once in a blue moon, but they should no longer be the norm. I teach in a Technical school and we receive very little info about where our students stand with their literacy skills. I use this to get a general idea where each student stands with their reading ability. If a student is having a hard time I will not pick them again to avoid humiliating them. Is this a bad idea if I only employ it once each year?
Great question, Michael. An alternative that would allow them to skip the embarrassment would be to get the whole class started on some kind of project that will generate some level of noise in the classroom, then have individual students sit with you for 2 minutes each and read something to you without having the whole class as an audience.
Before having them start, I would even ask them to tell me how confident they are in their reading skills. After having them read—especially if they struggle—I would ask how they feel they did, and what they think they need help with.
Thank you for posting this! This article reiterated what I felt in my teaching heart. I too have unfortunately used several of these strategies in my class but I knew they were wrong. It is great that you have the research included that takes it beyond my feelings to the actual science. This is an article that I plan to share! Fantastic, Allison. Thank you for this post. Jigsaw research projects with presentations clarifier: in science. I see my fellow teachers asking students to research a particular topic within a theme then present what they learned to their classmates. I find that all this does is take the misconceptions one students has or develops and spreads it to other students.
And if you as teacher try to correct the misconception later, you embarrass the students who got it wrong the first time.
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I love to hear what others do instead…. I am nearing the end of my teacher education program. We are being taught to do these things. Your post has given voice to my concerns. Are you being taught to do all of them, or just some? Great article. I spend a lot of time trying to get my graduate special education students to understand the myth of learning styles. I flip when I see it taught in the education program at my university. So, yes it is still taught. I also encounter it in in services I have delivered. Thank you for adding this! How many teachers actually know the difference between learning and memorization?
Wow what a refreshing approach. My son is in the 11th grade and is still dealing with teachers who have this old school mindset. As a parent I thank u for this article. Great information! I am currently reading Make It Stick and have changed many of my teaching practices, especially in strategies for studying.
I use popcorn reading during reading and writing workshop. Students just pop up when they want to read their own writing. No one is forced to read and everyone who does want to read just pops up when no one else is standing, and starts reading. My sixth graders love it! I have 2 perfect examples of how whole group punishment does NOT work. When my oldest son was in middle school, boys were required to wear belts with their shirts tucked in. As could be expected, each day about 10 boys of the in eighth grade showed up without a belt.
The principal tried many methods to get them all to wear a belt, to no avail. His final effort was to not allow any boy in 8th grade to have break if more than 5 boys showed up without a belt. Within a week, I noticed that my son had quit wearing a belt. I might as well not be miserable in a belt all day for nothing. With an additional number of strikes, students would have silent lunch. I overhead my 5th grader plotting with a friend in the class about getting silent lunch for the whole class. If we get assigned seat strikes, we make sure we get enough strikes for silent lunch, too.
Here is the citation for my most recent peer reviewed article on the subject and two more will come out in the next year or two, all with similar findings :. Cuevas, J. Is learning styles-based instruction effective? A comprehensive analysis of recent research on learning styles. Theory and Research in Education, 13 3. I believe that you accurately summarized the current research on learning styles in your piece above.
Good article. I have been blessed to never have been required to use a basal reader. I search all the time for excellent chapter books. As my students get more and more into stories, this can take some time. From time to time in our fifth grade, I pick out conversation and assign parts. I started this after realizing that literally half my class or more did not realize who was speaking in heavy dialogue. Reading dialogue and understanding who said what really improved. I expose all my children to different styles of learning-singing, signing, acting it out, game playing, handwork, writing.
As to making it stick, I believe finding fun ways to review is the answer, regardless of your learning style. We work throughout the year on saying what is most important about what was learned in a five line paragraph, then one sentence, then the essence in a word. This is also a very helpful strategy. Love all the sharing we are able to do these days.
This time, I had a memory from , when I was in 2nd grade. I remember struggling, and my teacher asked another second grade student to help me. I really appreciate your articles Jennifer, and how you are so forthcoming in acknowledging that you and most readers have used these methods at some time in our practice. Teaching is not something that we will ever perfect, so it is great to have someone like you who takes the time to post about practices we should consider as we all try to improve.
This is my 30th year, and I hope I retire or they kick me out the day I think I know it all. Cheers to lifelong learning! Thank you! Very nice! I am glad to see some more information on the learning style issue. I attended professional development this past summer that included the debunking of the learning styles myth. Very informative. With the kind of learners we are handling in the 21st century, it is good to stop and question our teaching practices. Jennifer, I appreciate that in this article you have not only said what not to do, but gave some great alternatives. Thank you for sharing these helpful insights!
I would add two things. When your advanced student is helping another student they are actually using high level thinking. They also are actively thinking of another way to solve or understand the problem their peer is struggling with. Heading into my 32nd year of teaching and believing that I am a life-long learner who wants to continually refine my practice, I found your article to be one of the most helpful and interesting articles I have read in a long time.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate your honest take on these practices. I am so pleased to read your list as I try to apply and teach future teachers. I feel as if you read my mind! Thank you again! I was the high school student who counted a head to see which paragraph I had to read. Yes, I am the student who got snickers from others in the class when I pronounced Hippocrates as Hippo crAtes. Fifty years later, I still remember that day and others like it. Hi, Jennifer! Thank you for writing this article! My principal shared it with the whole faculty. I really like your suggestion of not using Pop-Corn reading because it does not directly teach reading comprehension skills.
In addition to your other strategies, I wanted to add Visible Reading as an alternative to Pop-Corn reading. As the teacher reads a sentence that is complex, the teacher stops and explains the reading decision she would make to comprehend the text. The students then collaboratively apply the reading decision to that sentence. The teacher lets students work as she monitors their process. Once the sentence is correctly comprehended, the teacher moves onto the next sentence and repeats the process. I just found about your site 4 months ago, and I feel like it was an engaging college course in pedagogy.
I appreciate this article in many ways. I agree with many of the points, especially the differentiation. I think often times this word is lost in education. I think providing a variety of learning experiences defines differentiation at best. I do not necessary agree with whole class punishment. I do think that it does have a place in education. I do not use it frequently, but at times, lights out heads down for minutes I think provides opportunity to refocus.
I do use popcorn reading as a means of a fluency strategy, not as a comprehension strategy. It is ineffective for comprehension because students are only given a sentence or a piece of a passage to read. Awesome, evidence-based tips as well as some laughs in between! Keep it up! I just finished my first year teaching and am most guilty of 3 and sometimes 5. I used 3 from October on, in a desperate attempt to get results while discouraging undesirable behavior.
I really appreciate the descriptions and links to the alternatives. I look forward to more success next year. I found that with peer tutoring, it was initially desired by my students. Everyone wanted to be a peer tutor but some of them were the ones who needed help. It quickly turned into frustration all the way around. I had so many problems I rarely used it. Hi, Ayisha! Please—Pin away! There are evidenced based peer tutoring practices such as CWPT that are well suited for getting repeated practice in academic tasks like automatic spelling, rapid solutions to math facts, reading sight words, learning vocabulary and so on.
CWPT learns itself to a reciprocal style where students help one another in mastering previously taught content. Like you stated, peer tutoring is certainly not a strategy for differentiated instruction. I found some of the research interesting and I believe that there has been a misconception about differentiated instruction.
I feel more at ease since reading this and understanding that what I have been doing in my class is, for the most part, on track with the research. Of course there are somethings I could and will change. However, I recently switched to partner reading and summarizing each page for novels and the students enjoy it much more! I also want to try the Crazy Professor Reading Game. Thanks for the practical resources provided in this article.
Thank you for reminding your readers that teachers are often products of the systems they are now teaching in. Consequently, teachers have a responsibility to interrogate the practices they grew up with and now utilize. And this interrogation may prompt us to do some unlearning. I appreciate your willingness to interrogate and reflect on really common practices. This blog post serves as a reminder that effective teachers are reflective ones. Your focus on research has encouraged me to think about my professional obligations to the field and to my students.
This is a really creative way to sustain the inquiry process. I will definitely think about this unintended effect when evaluating my own instruction. I got so good at avoiding my turn to read in elementary school. Close Can't find what you are looking for? Popcorn Reading A. The head discusses the unworkable and ever-changing behaviour policy to a room full of despairing professionals. He ploughs on regardless. After school, Melissa pops by to ask me where I got the pencils, as her siblings loved the cow.
I give her five more pencils and a chocolate for each of them. One of my form, Joe, has an enormous black eye, which he tries to hide behind his fringe but shows me when I ask. He was jumped by four lads and pummelled. So many of my students are injured day to day for one reason or another. At a union meeting, my colleagues express anger and despair at having no workable behaviour policy.
I wonder when my turn will come. At pastoral briefing we are informed that two more students have been jumped, and another two excluded for bringing knives into school. We watch a clip from Slumdog Millionaire and the students contemplate miracles and living conditions in distant slums. The head excitedly tells us about a business conference he went to the previous evening. I fail to make the connection between big business and the needs of our school, but it certainly seems to be floating his boat.
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2. Praise can do more harm than good
Monday Melissa floats around the English department at 3. Tuesday My alarm goes off at 5. Wednesday Staff briefing. Thursday At pastoral briefing we are informed that two more students have been jumped, and another two excluded for bringing knives into school. Friday Staff briefing.