Often what stands in the way of teacher change is a lack of awareness about what needs to improve. Sharing some aha moments, ‘Smarter Grading’ author Myron Dueck tells how he changed the way he tests and assesses students and manages project learning.
Literacy expert Laura Robb offers her research-based argument for refocusing American school reform on strategies to strengthen support for teachers and promote opportunities for all children to become creative, divergent thinkers and problem solvers.
Whether you’re a principal, staff developer or teacher leader, you’ll find ideas to convey your PD message effectively in this checklist adapted from “The Ten-Minute Inservice” by experts Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux. One tip: Walk your talk.
Amber Chandler has participated on both sides of the Parent Teacher Conference. Here she offers novice teachers five strategies they can use to establish productive relationships, address parent concerns, and find ways to help parents “do something” for their children.
ELA consultant Mike Fisher urges educators to not be distracted by the so-called “close reading” anchor standard in the Common Core. “Close reading is not a thing. It is not a skill. It is not a big idea.” The true objective, he says, is reading comprehension.
As teachers help their students meet Common Core standards through close reading of the movies, they may want to include costume design in their lesson plans, says Frank Baker. In many movies, director Martin Scorsese has noted, “costume is character.”
When youth in the middle know their “sparks” – their inner energizing interests – they’re more likely to stay engaged in school and develop a sense of purpose. Expert Susan Ragsdale shares motivational research & activities to help uncover those sparks.
One hallmark of rigor in the classroom is an effective grading system, says PD consultant Barbara Blackburn. Teachers with ineffective practices often overvalue simple tasks and need to be clear about the “what, why and how” behind their grades. She analyzes a weak social studies grading rubric.
When ELA teacher Ariel Sacks wrote a book tying the teaching of novels to student empowerment, her hopes for reader interaction were modest. Now she’s become part of a community of connected educators, digging deep into everyone’s ideas.
The spectrum of health issues our students face is mind-boggling, but our response to their needs shouldn’t be. With forethought and guidance from school personnel, worries about children with health conditions can be reduced, says teacher Beth Morrow.