Performance Dip

Most of us have at least a couple of weeks under our belts this school year.  If your new school year is anything like all of my startups, you have been directed asked by your administrators to implement some initiatives. Teachers love new initiatives.  We love going to PD. We love receiving a big binder... Continue Reading →

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Safe to Smile

The first day of school sets the tone.  If you come across as an old-school ogre, it'll be Christmas before you're kids will feel safe around you.  So smile.  Make a positive first impression.  Build relationships.  Start as you mean to go on. Begin school on day one with your most engaging, well-crafted lesson.  Include... Continue Reading →

Fake Reading

I just read a great article that offers tips to combat "fake reading" and to build genuine reading stamina -- something our kids are sorely lacking. In Berit Gordon's article "Choice Reading and the Class Novel: The Cure for Fake Reading," she advocates teaching close reading skills through teacher-selected passages of class novels.  To build... Continue Reading →

Reading and Writing Strategies

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has done an awesome job scouring the planet for research-based best practices designed to optimize student learning.  They've sequenced and bundled these strategies so students could be explicitly taught how to learn.  But, the strategies are great in isolation when used to support non-AVID lessons that need scaffolding. I've searched... Continue Reading →

Creating Meaningful, Standards-Based Lessons

  Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Throwing dirt into a shoebox and piling old, old plastic soldiers inside is not my idea of a... Continue Reading →

4-3-2-1 Formative Assessment

One of the key factors for time efficiency in the classroom is monitoring student progress routinely.   We need to know if our students are learning what we're teaching.  Finding out on the test day is too late for the kids.  If they don't know the content by then, they fail the assessment. When time... Continue Reading →

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