Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student by Mike Schmoker

By Mike Schmoker

Bestselling writer Mike Schmoker describes a plan for significantly enhancing pupil studying that's outfitted on 3 middle parts: a centred and coherent curriculum (what we teach); transparent, prioritized classes (how we teach); and practical studying and writing, or actual literacy. With this "less is extra" philosophy, educators can assist scholars study content material at a deeper point, enhance better severe considering talents, and detect extra essentially how content-area recommendations impact their lives and the realm round them. either a choice to motion and a blueprint for growing more desirable school rooms, concentration: raising the necessities for greatly enhanced scholar studying will problem your assumptions approximately education and exhibit how educators who've embraced this method speedy accomplished brilliant effects.

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As a result of this stunningly simple model of leadership, ever y teacher in that school actually taught the curriculum and actually provided sound lessons, almost every day, in line with what we all know about effective instruction. Of course, some did these things better than others—but all did them. There was no test prep whatsoever , but test scores at this school were among the ver y highest in the state. Of even more importance, I would estimate that all students in that school read and wrote four to five times as much as students in typical schools.

3. Resolve conflicting views encountered in source documents. 4. Solve complex problems with no obvious answer. These four simple habits of mind can powerfully inform student reading, writing, and talking in ever y discipline. For that reason, I will be referring to them (or their approximations) throughout this book and in the subject area chapters. But even more radically believe these four standards could productively replace ,I almost all of our current K–12 English language arts standards, as well as the confusing verbiage that accompanies standards in areas like science and social studies.

The following two brief cases should allow anyone to see the possibilities. Simplicity, Clarity, and Priority in the Classroom Some might remember a teacher I described in my book Results Now (Schmoker, 2006). His teaching consisted of the oldest, bestknown curriculum and teaching practices, and was rich in authentic literacy practices. His only technology tool was an overhead projector. I obser ved him a few times during his first year at the lowest-achieving high school in our community . Watching him, I had an epiphany: All he did was actually teach a sound English curriculum, rich in reading and writing, using ordinar y, structurally sound The Importance of Simplicity, Clarity, and Priority • 21 lessons (those which incorporate the same basic elements we’ve known for half a century).

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