Category: Articles

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The 6 Characteristics of Effective Praise

Most educators use praise in their classrooms. However, students can interpret praise positively or negatively and teachers need to know the difference. Author and consultant Barbara Blackburn looks at six characteristics of effective praise that can motivate students to strive and thrive.

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A Teaching Observation Self-Defense Strategy

Can one period of observation reveal a teacher’s skills and accomplishment? In Amber Chandler’s district, which uses the Danielson rubric, it’s 50% of her evaluation. How to defend yourself? She suggests a well planned pre-conference and serious portfolio building.

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4 Fun Virtual Field Trips to Try This Winter

No funding for field trips? Concerns about travel safety? Consider taking your students on a virtual adventure instead. Teacher-authors Billy Krakower, Jerry Blumengarten, and Paula Naugle share four of their favorites and offer plenty of other ideas!

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Six Ways to Look at a Middle Grades Kid

Thanksgiving is a good time to express our affection for those great and goofy middle grades kids and the special breed of educators who relish teaching them. Here are six MiddleWeb posts pinpointing their unique qualities and ways we can support them as they grow.

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Analyzing the Media Through Docudramas

Do your students know that when they watch docudramas, they’re not watching history as it actually happened? Do they understand movie makers’ “artistic license” for condensing history into 2-hour films? Frank W. Baker suggests media-oriented films and teaching strategies.

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Here Come the Toy Ads

Toy commercials, so pervasive on TV during the holidays, are a great way to jump-start media literacy discussions with students. Expert Frank Baker has lesson ideas.

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Are You Ready for a Genius Hour Classroom?

Genius Hour is an inquiry-driven, passion-based strategy designed to excite and engage students around the unrestrained joy of learning. Teachers Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi make a case for the weekly time investment and share tips for getting started.

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How Leaders Grow a Positive School Culture

Because of the powerful way school culture shapes the activity of students, teachers, and administrators, it’s worth investing the effort to assure it sends a positive message. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn suggest leadership actions to build values.