Even with all the usual basics in place, the small things novice teachers do could be wreaking havoc on your whole classroom management system. Middle school veteran Jennifer Gonzalez identifies unproductive habits, along with more effective alternatives.
Guest posts by expert educators
Expert Frank W. Baker wants to convince teachers that toy advertisements are a great media literacy teaching tool. Video clips and colorful ‘print’ ads abound on the Internet and are sure to engage students. Baker provides some good discussion questions & lesson ideas to get started.
When teachers ask all the questions and then rush to supply the answers, “the result is a cognitive disconnect,” says author Nanci Werner-Burke. Stop usurping the “right to wonder” by teaching students to ask deep, Bloom’s-friendly questions of their own.
When bickering and bullying began to weaken her classroom culture, 6th grade teacher Mackenzie Grate tried a simple but powerful strategy involving pink and green sticky notes, 30 brown paper bags, and some brutal honesty. The results were impressive.
Teachers who begin lessons without telling students “what we’re doing and where we’re going” are kidnappers, says Sarah Tantillo. Don’t take your middle graders on a mystery ride. Use the RPM strategy to write rigorous, purposeful, measurable objectives in any subject. Cheatsheet included!
For ELA teacher Cheryl Mizerny, the most effective learning strategy often begins with students working collaboratively in small groups. Mizerny shows how this works during a Grammar, Usage & Mechanics lesson and another on the characteristics of personal narrative.
Principal Matt Renwick says our definition of data has to broaden substantially if we expect to paint a complete picture of student learning. Renwick describes how two middle grades teachers are using technology to help meet the qualitative assessment challenge.
Want to improve relationships between families and school? Teachers benefit when learning is reinforced and supported from home. Consultant Barbara Blackburn has tips on how to PAIR with parents and avoid school-side mistakes that weaken engagement.
If politicians have a “license to lie” in campaign advertising, how are our students going to know who and what to believe? Critical thinking skills are paramount, says media literacy consultant Frank Baker, who shares insights and resources tied to Common Core and social studies standards.
Learning to code is an important new literacy. But how, wonders edtech coach Emily Vickery, do we close the opportunity gap between those who have access to coding instruction and those who don’t? Vickery suggests some resources that can help less advantaged students cross the divide.