3 Fresh Ideas for Small Group Instruction and Teach Chat Update

Posted by Brainspring on 21st Jan 2015

3 Fresh Ideas for Small Group Instruction

1) The teacher should work with the struggling students in small groups.

2) Keep the members and skills covered in small groups flexible.

3) Think of ways other than designated “centers” time to meet with small groups.



Can a standardized test really compare how “smart” students are in different countries?

I hope you enjoyed getting into The Smartest Kids in the World.  I’ve been forcing myself not to read ahead too much, but it’s hard to not keep going!  For me, Ripley has the perfect mix of information and story.  I’m surprised how much I’ve learned already because it feels like reading for pleasure, not reading to learn.

I’ve been posting most of my ideas in the Teach Chat group on Facebook as I go along (I totally encourage you to do the same), so this isn’t going to be a long post about what I think.  It’s what you think that interests me. 

First of all I’m wondering, do you think PISA is a fair assessment?  Do you even think there is a fair way of judging one country against another in terms of education?

As I posted on FB, PISA really surprised me.  Before learning about how the test was structured and what kind of questions it asked, my first impression was, “No way.  How could any standardized test possibly measure students’ problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills.”  After reading more in the book and looking into PISA online, I have completely changed my mind.  In fact, now I’m wondering why most of the standardized tests we give in the US for education aren’t more like PISA.

Secondly I’m wondering if any of you have experience with education in another country.  Maybe through study abroad, foreign exchange program or personally knowing someone who has studied in the US and another country.  Please share your insights!

Post your responses in the comments here or in the FB group.  You don’t just have to answer my questions; feel free to ask your own questions or just share your thoughts!

And let me know if there is anything you’d like to discuss or any suggestions you have for keeping everyone engaged and sharing in Teach Chat.

One more thing!  Let’s read through Chapter 4 in the next 2 weeks.