What is Genius Hour? It’s a learning opportunity that gives students time to pursue their passions, explore interesting ideas and create something that they choose and will be proud of. Can we engage students during the pandemic via distance learning? Yes! Here’s how.
Creating opportunities for frank and healthy student conversations about social issues is especially significant as we face a global pandemic that affirms our humanity. Middle grades teacher Nancy Costanzo’s read alouds and writing ideas can help online and in class.
Dr. Lindsay Portnoy’s sound research, detailed checklists, and illustrative classroom stories in “Designed to Learn” will inspire you to fine-tune or jump-start your design thinking approach to instruction, writes teacher, author and curriculum leader Sarah Cooper.
Add dimension to student book talks with Lynne Dorfman’s version of the Book-in-a-Bag project. And it works online, as students introduce their books by sharing a paper bag covered in images they recreate from fiction or nonfiction and by pulling out representative objects.
In Writing, Redefined Shawna Coppola proposes alternatives (comics, podcasts, etc.) to traditional writing assignments to welcome the students who aren’t drawn to essays and book reviews. Literacy coach Pam Hamilton likes the ideas but wonders if teachers are ready for them.
Design thinking allows students to own the knowledge they’re acquiring by connecting content in meaningful ways to their homes, the activities they engage in, their reasons for learning, their transformative life experiences, and their special attributes. Dr. Lindsay Portnoy explains.
What the Robbs have done so well is share their experiences as researchers and as educators and provide detailed procedures, anecdotes and insights to guide teachers as they help students become avid readers, writes teacher educator and middle grades veteran Linda Biondi.
Adjusting instruction to virtual learning can be a challenge, and it’s tempting to create easier lessons, says teaching expert Dr. Barbara Blackburn. But educators “need to ensure we hold students to standards that promote deeper learning, no matter the delivery system.”
What can we do to encourage kids to choose nonfiction more frequently for personal enjoyment? Cate Gerard and Sunday Cummins share what Cate discovered when interviewing middle graders about their reading habits and recommend class and virtual strategies and resources.
This is not a casual, read-in-an-afternoon book. It is more like a math master class filled with ways to deepen students’ understanding through a problem-solving approach. Veteran math teacher Michael Hernandez highly recommends its tools and models from start to finish.