What Motivates Students? (Center on Education Policy)

Decker Debrief May 2012- Late Start Mondays"Creating Outliers" in the 21st Century: What's Next?

TED Talks: Alan November

April 30
  • Focus: Debrief of progress and challenges led by Jude Garnier NTN
  • In May, the Decker Middle School 6th grade team will join our discussions.
Creating Outliers

May 7

  • Focus: Left Brain/Right Brain; the whole story. We will examine the ways in which our current instructional practice prepares students for the future described by Pink.
  • Required Reading:

Discussion Questions

"A Whole New Mind"
"The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind...But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind...Our has been the age of the "knowledge worker," the well-educated manipulator of information and deployer of expertise."
  1. In what ways is a the traditional role of teacher a "knowledge worker"?
  2. Create a profile of a student who is a product of predominantly L-Directed Thinking approaches in education vs. one that develops R-Directed aptitudes?

"Putting Students the Path to Learning"
According to the article, "Decades of research clearly demonstrate that for novices (comprising virtually all students), direct, explicit instruction is more effective and more efficient than partial guidance. So, when teaching new content and skills to novices, teachers are more effective when they provide explicit guidance accompanied by practice and feedback, not when they require students to discover many aspects of what they must learn."


  • Guided Instruction- "Teachers providing explicit instruction fully explain the concepts and skills that students are required to learn. Guidance can be provided through a variety of media, such as lectures, modeling, videos, computer-based presentations, and realistic demonstrations...Often, step by step explanation may gradually be faded or withdrawn until, through practice and feedback, the students can solve the problem themselves. In this way, before trying to solve the problem on their own, students would already have been walked through both the procedure and the concepts behind the procedure. Small group and independent problems and projects can be effective- not as vehicles for making discoveriees, but as a means of practicing recently learned content and skills."

  • Partial or Minimal Guided Instruction- "In contrast, those teachers whose lessons are designed to offer partial or minimal instructional guidance expect students to discover on their own some or all of the concepts and skills they are supposed to learn...students may be given a new type of (math) problem and asked to brainstorm possible solutions in small groups iwth or without prompts or hints. Then theyre may be a class discussion of the various groups' solutions, and it could be quite some time before the teacher indicates which solution is correct."

  1. Go to WallWisher and post specific scenarios in your classroom where you use Guided Instruction. wallwisher
  2. Vote with your feet: What percentage of the time is dedicated to Guided Instruction in your classroom?
  3. How does guided and partially/minmally guided instruction correlate to PBL?

Suggested Reading

May 14
  • Focus: New Minds for a New World. We will discuss ways that our work with students fits into the "big picture" of changes going on in the world.
  • Required Reading
    • A Whole New Mind- Chapters 4 & 6 (Design; Symphony) —
    • That Used to Be Us (Thomas Friedman) excerpt and commentary

' "I will be honest with you," Mr. Friedman said. "it is our view tht the American dream is now in peril." And he made his case in a recent speech, saying: "Amrieca is the tent pole that holds up the world. If that tent pole buckles or fractures, your kids won't just grow up in a different America- they will grow up in a very different world."'
"Design has also become an essential aptitude becasue of the quickened metabolism of commerce. Today's products make the journey from L-Directed utility to R-directed significance in the blink ofan eye. This about cell phones. In less than a decade, they've gone frm being a luxery for some to being a necessity for most to becoming an accessorized expression of indiviudality for many. They've morphed from "logical devices" (which emaphsize speed and specialized function) to "emotional devices" (which are expressive, cutomizable and fanciful)."

"Design is a high-concept aptitude tha is difficult to oursource or automate-and ithat increasingly confers a competitive advantage in business. Good design...offers us a chance to bring pleasure, meaning, and beauty to our lives. But most important, cultivating a design sensibility can make our small planet a better place for us all. 'To be a designer is to be an agent of change.'"

"Symphony is largely about relationships. People who hope to thrive in the conceptual age must understand the connection between diverse, and seemingly separate, disciplines. THey must know how to link apparently unconnected elements to create something new. And they must become adept at analogy- at seeing one thing in terms of another.""Seeing the big picture is fast becoming a killer app in business. WHile knowledge workers of the past typically performed piecemeal assignments and spent thier days tending their own patch of a larger garden, such work is now moving overseas or being reduced to instrucitons in powerful software. As a result, what has become more valuable is what fast computers and low-paid overseas specialists cannot do nearly as well: integrating and imagining how the pieces fit together. "
Other links of interest:

May 21
  • Focus: Planning Session for 2012-2013. We will plan and prioritize our work for next school year.

Decker Calendar -Choose four dates for team planning in 2012-2013

Choose a working group for the 2012-2013 school year:

1. Presenters for Think Forward Elementary: Module Revisions/Additions

2. Revised 20 Days to PBL: Primary and Upper Elementary Versions

3. Think Forward Elementary: Take Aways & Training Format
4. Curriculum Calendar Projects for 2012-2013