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I have spent decades exploring how to best support students when we can only truly control the seven or eight hours a day they are in our care. How do we then find ways to make a positive impact that is self-sustaining, while keeping the learning rigorous and the programs relevant on campus?
In order to achieve success with the use of graphic organizers, the teacher has to select the appropriate organizer, understand it, plan for how the organizer will be used to promote thinking, and develop appropriate questions and tasks.
Although context has many applications for helping to understand unclear situations, it also can be an important guide for educators seeking to compare and evaluate student progress.
Context is so important that we teach students how to use clues to understand new vocabulary words when reading. Context makes a difference when understanding ambiguous situations that might be easily misunderstood if you don’t understand what happened most recently in the passage or you don't have the culturally relevant information that helps us understand what we are reading.
If we as educators can’t provide frameworks and processes for students to have intelligent and respectful conversations about the leadership of our country, where are our young people going to learn to be active citizens? In my mind, learning the art and practice of civil discourse is an integral responsibility of public education in the United States.
Talking yourself through complex tasks (the walk) really works. We should be using this process when we teach and also encourage students to do it themselves when they are facing academic and other challenges.