Even though the tragedy in Ferguson is fading from the headlines and our twitter feeds, the issues and social dynamics that led to it remain firmly in place and schools need to address them, says middle school dean Bill Ivey. He suggests an “incredible resource.”
The Common Core experience may leave a sour taste on some educators’ palates, middle school ELA teacher Amber Chandler concedes. But she and her colleagues are coping with new challenges and limited resources by making their own brand of CCSS lemonade.
Technology allows us to record and reflect on the writing process in ways that pencil and paper could not, says digital writing expert Troy Hicks. The MS teacher turned college prof demonstrates with a video demo’ing how we might teach sentence combining.
“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.
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!