Category: Articles

How to Get Your Students to Ask More Questions

Student-generated questions put kids in the driver’s seat, advancing learning and engagement, writes expert Jackie Walsh. To encourage students to ask more questions, teachers need to grow a classroom culture where questioning is valued. Walsh shares five strategies that can help.

How Voice and Choice Evolved in My Classroom

When Brent Gilson began teacher training he vowed to one day give his students more choice and voice than he ever had in school. Follow his journey from early experiments to his growing success, thanks to insights gained from mentors like Kylene Beers, Kelly Gallagher and Marisa Thompson.

Middle School Survival: “You Gotta Get to June”

School in Spring. Freedom so close you can taste the poolside popsicles. Teachers open windows for a waft of fresh air. Sunny dispositions abound. Students squirm but they learn. Except, writes teacher Laurie Lichtenstein with weary humor, this is MIDDLE school. In Spring.

How to Improve Your Questioning Techniques

Good questioning helps students build understanding, but poor questioning can deter students from learning. How can you create great questions? Teaching expert and author Barbara Blackburn shares four strategies to involve students daily in effective class discussions.

Want Classroom Equity? Seek and Value Diversity

Low expectations and inequitable classrooms persist in many of America’s public schools, writes Regie Routman, author of Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence and Equity for All Learners. Here’s what Routman believes educators must do to address this moral dilemma.

Quick Tips for New T’s – Managing Your Time

If you are a beginning teacher, wondering about time, survival guide author Julia Thompson has created a collection of quick tips that can help you maximize every minute at school, minimize the time you spend working at home, and keep from sabotaging your own strategies.

Engaging Math Students: Compete or Collaborate?

Math students who prefer competition do a good job of creating it for themselves, writes author-educator Jerry Burkhart. On the other hand, kids who prefer collaboration and reflection need teachers to create an environment that supports their mathematical learning.

How Laughter Can Lead to Better Learning

What if students could find a way to overcome their fear of speaking, learn storytelling, and become more confident public speakers? Teaching these skills to middle graders using stand up comedy can lay the groundwork for greater success, writes actor-educator Kevin Flynn.

The Back to School Faculty Meeting (a Novel Excerpt)

Novels about school are rare and often feature a lone heroic teacher defying the odds. Instead, NBCT Roxanna Elden’s fictional account of life at a struggling urban Texas school – “Adequate Yearly Progress” – is funny, often moving, and always authentic. Read Chapter 2.

How to Teach Them All Without Sacrificing Rigor

Rather than approaching differentiation as “making it easier” for some, Barbara Blackburn suggests a strategy that assures lessons will be rigorous while also giving struggling students the supports they need. Her example involves an informational reading lesson.