Today’s students have never known a time when computers didn’t exist. Many are surrounded by digital options in school as well as at home. But teacher Cheryl Mizerny has noticed her 6th graders are often drawn to low-tech learning experiences. She looks at why that might be.
Sarah Tantillo offers more sage advice on how to write lesson objectives that get students’ brains racing. In this post, the literacy consultant explains why objectives must always have a compelling purpose – offering two stories from her own classroom observations.
Narrative writing and figurative language are not just for English class anymore, says teacher-author Heather Wolpert-Gawron. “Narrative strategies infuse content with creativity and with an added layer of student personality that aids in ownership.” She shares a science example.
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.
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.