The Order of Time

7th May 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli. Who knew that a world class physicist—one of the founders of loop quantum gravity—could also write world class prose?  In this lovely little book, Rovelli introduces us to the complexities of (current) conceptions of time, where nothing is as simple as it appears.  Time, for example, may not be infinitely dissectable—it may come in tiny little timely chunks. And your time is different from my time is very different from time across the galaxy. And there may be a reason, in our universe, that time appears to flow forward—it may not be that way everywhere. The audio version of the book is read by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, which puts the book in a league of its own, audio-wise.

Unsung Heroes: 80% Of Parents Have New Respect For Teachers Thanks To Coronavirus Quarantine

This article by John Anderer in Study Finds notes that parents are gaining new-found respect for teachers even as they work to attempt to keep their children on track, learning-wise. Key grafs: “Many respondents also expressed a variety of concerns about schools being closed for such an extended period; 75% are worried their child will fall behind in their studies. In fact, 82% are even willing to pay for their child to enroll in an at-home educational program. Math (67%) was the top subject parents said they’re worried about, followed by science (64%) and reading (57%).

“So, how are parents ensuring their kids continue to learn? Most (66%) use workbooks or study sheets, while 61% are utilizing educational TV shows. Over half (56%) are having their kids video chat with their teachers, 49% are reading to their children everyday, and 37% are trying out educational apps and online tools.  Lots of respondents, though, said they’re not sure how long they can keep this up. A significant 80% wish they had more fun activities for their kids, and 68% are worried they’re running out of ideas.”

Extraordinary Kids Summit

Trish Keiller has put together an incredible online conference (including a fun interview with Barb) about how to help your kids in this new world of unusual ways of learning. Check it out!

How 3 Techniques From Cognitive Psychology Reinvigorated My Math Classroom

This thoughtful article is by math teacher Torre Mills. She observes: “For as long as I can remember, I have loved everything about math—especially teaching young people and seeing the lightbulb come on in their eyes. But, sadly, after 20 years teaching math to middle and high schoolers, I have experienced the pain of watching students struggle. Some of my most brilliant students have grappled to comprehend concepts, to remember processes and to perform well on tests. I’ve seen hardworking, eager, bright-eyed students lose hope and perform below standard and barely average in my classroom.

[But] No matter how much time we spend on the material, which is what causes me to fall behind, my students don’t seem to retain as much of the information as I’d hoped.  The repeated cycle of students forgetting what I worked so hard to teach has been defeating. In 2019, after moving into a position teaching Algebra I and II at a high school in a new district, I began to search for a solution. I knew there had to be a better way. After exploring new curriculum and sequencing changes, I wasn’t finding what I needed, so I pivoted to dive into research related to cognitive psychology—a field that is concerned with mental processes (such as perception, thinking, learning and memory). Unexpectedly, when I started exploring how the brain learns, I found my answer…”

Test-Taking and Excelling in Medical Education

This informative discussion, “Test-taking Strategies with Dr. Rosh,” covers many learning topics with a special focus on test-taking in general and medical education. Jessica is a student at Duke University’s PA program—her podcast is “The PA Process.”

A Summary of Learning How to Learn

Here is a summary video of our Learning How to Learn MOOC done by Elliott Ploutz—he also describes how, when he took the MOOC four years ago, it helped him to get a 4.0 in his masters degree studies in computer science.

How to Train Ducks

We sat drinking our morning coffee and laughing at the antics of duck training. As you will see, it can be hard to get ducks into a “Quack House.”  If you’re looking for a relaxing, upbeat ten minute interlude, you’ll love this beautiful story about learning and the acceptance of failure. [Hat tip: Brian Taylor]

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

View more Cheery Friday e-mails >