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  • 13 of the Best Minecraft Books for Kids Who Are Reluctant to Read

    Not since Pacman has a single game captured, the minds, hearts and imagination of kids (and adults) the way Minecraft has over the past few years. From pixelated pigs to nocturnal nasties, Minecraft has become such a cultural phenomenon it has spilled into the real world in more forms than anyone could have imagined. Costumes, […]

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  • Concept learning: Abstract concepts at play as little people think big

    At most schools a reading of Charlotte’s Web might end with a bunch of little spiders made from pipe cleaners and a few tears at the poignancy of the story itself. At Preshil independent school, the classic yarn is the stepping off point to an understanding of life cycles, problem solving and the concept of […]

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  • Appreciating What, Where and How Boys Read

    Recently, I asked a boy in seventh grade, a football player and video game fanatic, how many books he had read in the last 6 months. He responded, “two books for summer reading… maybe three if comic books count.” Then I asked him, “what would get you reading for 15–30 minutes every day, between going […]

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  • Former Stanford dean shares the 8 skills everyone should have by age 18

    Faculty, deans, advisers, landlords, store clerks, human resource managers, coworkers, bank tellers, health care providers, bus drivers, mechanics – in the real world. The crutch: We teach kids not to talk to strangers instead of teaching the more nuanced skill of how to discern the few bad strangers from the mostly good ones. Thus, kids […]

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  • In the sky above Melbourne, special needs teacher comes to the rescue

    When she first boarded Flight JQ527 from Sydney to Melbourne three weeks ago, Sophie Murphy felt an “awful tension” in the cabin. It was 10pm on a Sunday and 180 tired, grumpy strangers were sniping and squabbling over luggage space inside the A320 Airbus. Read More

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  • Creative play: In praise of getting messy

    If your Mother’s Day flower looked more like a squashed bug or you thought that cardboard Easter bunny your pre-schooler bought home was a bunyip, that’s OK, in fact, top marks. Early childhood educators say there is too much pressure on young children to replicate craft activities that say more about their parents’ egos and […]

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  • Learning From (Reflection On) Experience

    Skilled learners are aware not only of what they’re learning but how they’re learning (or not learning) it. They stop a moment during their studies to consider how much they’re retaining, assess their methods, shift gears, and test their own understanding of new material. As we’ll see, doing so is crucial to any successful education. […]

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  • How to Develop Mindsets for Compassion and Caring in Students

    Early in his career Dr. Robert Brooks became the principal of a school in a locked-door unit at McLean Psychiatric Hospital. He and his staff of teachers worked with children and adolescents who were severely disturbed and whose behavior showed their turmoil. Within the first few months, Brooks felt demoralized and dreaded work each day. […]

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  • Putting Digital Tools to Work in Numeracy

    I am currently privileged to be working with a fabulous bunch of student teachers in the third year ICT and Numeracy topic at South Australia’s Flinders University. We have explored the Victorian Researching Numeracy Project Team’s 2004 report that includes 12 scaffolding practices and the 2005 Western Australian Primary School Numeracy Research Project that identifies […]

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  • How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School

    At a recent teaching conference in Richmond, Virginia, a session on “design thinking” in education drew a capacity crowd. Two middle-school teachers demonstrated how they had used the concept to plan and execute an urban-design project in which students were asked to develop a hypothetical city or town given factors such as population, geography, the […]

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