Standards-driven reading lessons often force students to “take” rather than “make” meaning from complex texts, says educator Dorothy Barnhouse. To deepen understanding, she recommends letting students first “notice” and think about the textual layers.
In our lives beyond school we expect understanding, trust, and a sense of fair play. We want our concerns validated and taken seriously, and we want our voices to be heard. Our students are entitled to the same, says veteran teacher Elyse S. Scott.
Looking for lessons to support a Common Core standard? Want to see what other teachers have crafted in your grade or content area? Amber Chandler recommends AFT’s vast ShareMyLesson website to meet these needs and connect with fellow educators.
Teaching children how to meaningfully participate in math conversations can be daunting, say educators Elham Kazemi and Allison Hintz. The authors of Intentional Talk share four principles to help teachers lead deeper, more productive discussions.
The Common Core standards expect students to read increasingly challenging texts across the curriculum. Barbara Blackburn, author of Rigor in Your Classroom, highlights key factors associated with text complexity that teachers need to consider.
Middle level students want to know how their studies relate to their lives, writes teacher-author Sarah Cooper. “The history we teach reaches them best when it involves novelty, humor, meaning, a sense of self, and a connection to the real world.”
Teachers who let students choose their own research paper topics are often overwhelmed by all the activity and material – and end up with poor results. Consultant Sarah Tantillo suggests adapting the Document-Based Question (DBQ) Approach instead.
In a 7th grade classroom where students are used to sharing ownership and know how to think on their feet, what does the teacher do when he asks a question and there’s absolute silence? Smile at all the parents in the room and trust the kids.
Educators can create classrooms where students control their own learning and still meet the demands of a Common Core curriculum, says 5th grade teacher Pernille Ripp, author of “Passionate Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students.”
We can’t support rigorous learning unless we make sure students are ready for the experience, says teaching consultant Barbara R. Blackburn. She suggests three quick ways to assess prior knowledge, including the LINK small/whole group strategy.