“One of the most important factors in student achievement is a positive connection with the teacher,” says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “An easy way to bond with kids is through writing.” She suggests two activities students will enjoy and you will learn from.
Guest posts by expert educators
What do your students need to succeed in close reading? Literacy consultant Nancy Boyles outlines 10 steps in this article, drawn from her recent Corwin book “Closer Reading.” She also includes five questions to consider before students get started.
Your first year? Now’s your opportunity to create a welcoming classroom where students will feel secure, valued and successful in the days ahead. Veteran teacher Cheryl Mizerny shares ideas that have helped her realize a “shiny, happy” place to learn.
In his final article on smart homework, middle grades teaching expert Rick Wormeli suggests ways to assess take-home assignments and manage the steady flow of “product” that homework requirements generate. Bonus idea: Homework extension certificates.
Movies and television are recognized in the Common Core standards as forms of “text” that deserve serious study. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker suggests ways that the Emmy Awards might serve as a way to engage students around familiar media.
What happens, wonders teacher & technology coach Emily Vickery, when schools rethink the use of space – “shifting from traditional approaches to an emphasis on participatory spaces that take advantage of learning research and digital technologies?”
The most effective teachers know that if you want to have a great lesson, you need to plan a great lesson, say experts Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux. Novice teachers will appreciate their handy planning checklist. Bonus download: How to overplan!
When students are challenged to “close read” a movie, they must not only learn how to deconstruct the story, they must also understand the many techniques that are used by filmmakers to create the total effect, says expert Frank Baker.
“I’ve been accumulating guiding principles for creating highly motivating homework assignments for many years,” writes expert Rick Wormeli. “Here are a baker’s dozen. Choose the ones most appropriate for students’ learning goals and your curriculum.”
Editors from The Center for Courage & Renewal introduce four short essays from a new book, Teaching with Heart, each written by an educator who reflects on an inspirational poem. Re-energize yourself as you begin to prepare for the new school year!