Monday Musings

from The Kravis Center 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

Dear colleagues,

Harrison, Rachel and I hope that everyone had a nice weekend!

As we head into Open Classroom Week (OCW), I distinctly remember last year falling flat on my face (figuratively) in front of my colleagues during one of my classes. Figuring out how to bounce back was key, but it helped to have colleagues to consult. I am looking forward to the collaboration and collegiality of OCW and to dessert and drinks at Sheila's after family-style on November 1. Sign up for OCW here!

The online version of this Oct. 19 NYTimes article is absolutely stunning and offers a beautiful, and sometimes heart-wrenching, look into lives and cultures of 18 year old girls throughout the world.

Have a wonderful week.

Sara, Rachel and Harrison


Project/Problem-Based Learning

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in PBL, so I have included a new category. The Buck Institute for Education seems to offer at this point the gold-standard in PBL. They also offer incredible, in depth,  professional development opportunities.

4 stages of PBL

5 videos on PBL




I really like this site which features articles written by adolescent girls. For a description of Live Girl's mission statement, click this link. Here is an interesting piece on the confidence paradox for girls.


Inspiring teachers to respond to change


Diversity and Inclusion

PD Opportunity: SPHERE event

In light of the Harvard trial, Fred Seebeck submitted an interesting article from The New Yorker on Anti-Asian bias.




"The term refers to misjudging the depth of what one knows (Carey 2015). Further, it describes the belief that a mastery over something has been achieved, when actually it has not (Lang 2016). The final class minutes can be best spent constructively assessing levels of student learning and understanding of course material."


Disrupting Illusions of Fluency reinforces how to gauge our students' understanding of a topic.

Although this article from Faculty Focus, Focus your lectures with the one-sentence lesson plan, is written for the college professor, it resonates for any level of teaching

Professional Development Opportunities


PD Opportunity: SPHERE event


Learning and the Brain: one day seminar in NY for Math teachers.

I know that some faculty are interested in pursuing the effect that Social-Emotional Learning has on students. Here is an online professional development opportunity sponsored by EdSurge on Tuesday, October 30 at 2:00. How Social-emotional Learning really affects students

More Harvard online fall classes! There are a variety of great options here as well.

One more shameless plug for Open Classroom Week! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask Harrison, Rachel or me.


Innovation and Technology


Could this article about how a school in Missouri created a robot to collect eggs lead to future collaboration between the PHI and Agriculture program?


Read about this 2-year new online college founded by former Harvard dean, Stephen Kosslyn - they give no homework!


Characteristics of a 21st century classroom


Physical Health & Mental Wellbeing (for the community at large)


Does the Satisfaction of Teaching Balance out the Stress? Don't let the title totally mislead you and make sure to read until the end!


A bit gimmicky, but a nice reminder for teachers to take care of themselves.

Are we asking too much of our schools?

This TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability really helped me to embrace my own sense of vulnerability, especially as I invite colleagues into my classes.

Neuroscience of learning (Mind, Brain, Education Strategies)


Be real and consistent: "After surveying over 38,000 students in grades 6-12, the researchers found that only 58% of students feel like their teachers respect them, while 99% of the teachers surveyed reported that they respect their students. This statistic really forced me to ask "why"?"


"Science suggests that we're hardwired to delude ourselves. Can we do anything about it?" The Lying Mind: The cognitive biases tricking your brain; a fascinating article from The Atlantic focusing on decision-making.




Latin is alive and well: How Latin got woke

(The Nation

Is Singapore leading the way? This article from the World Economic Forum explains this country's move to eliminate ranking by exam results. The author reports a compelling argument here for standards-based evaluation - is this similar to the goals of the Mastery Transcript Consortium?

Be real and consistent in order to engage kids effectively


Bloom's taxonomy revised with verbs



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