Optimism is alive and well in many schools. It’s not dependent on school demographics or staff longevity, say Jack Breckemeyer and Debbie Silver. It flows from a leader’s ability to demonstrate optimism in action, to inspire others to join in, and to teach them how.
Ask teachers for some Do Now synonyms and they’ll come up with terms like Warm-up, Quick Review, and First Steps. Teaching coach Sarah Tantillo’s favorite is Brain Defibrillator. When done right and used routinely, she says, Do Nows establish a norm of urgency in your class.
Facilitating science-based research around real world problems empowers students through the skills they acquire and the subject knowledge they gain, says teacher Angela Duke. And what better topic than climate change? “The environment of the future will be theirs to live in.”
During classroom discussion, paired Think Times provide a break in the action that helps teachers use student responses to shape effective feedback to learners, says expert Jackie Walsh – provided we “explicitly instruct our students in the what, why, and how of these time-outs.”
Understanding all aspects of a student’s learning “portrait” is critical for us to ensure their success. Although we typically look at areas like readiness or ability, notes teaching expert Barbara Blackburn, we also need to consider culture, Maslow’s hierarchy, and SEL.
The 2018 State of the Kid survey by the Highlights organization reveals appreciation for teachers is increasing among kids aged 6-12. And tweens are finding their voice and aspire to use it for change. But areas of concern remain, explains Editor in Chief Christine Cully.
An effective Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) throughout a school serves every student while it helps identify and support those with learning disabilities. To demonstrate, teacher educators Barbara Blackburn and Bradley Witzel share four instructional strategies.
Recently Sarah Tantillo worked with 8th grade teacher Bianca Licata to analyze students’ difficulty in effectively explaining how evidence supports arguments in their writing. After they identified causes and potential solutions, Licata tested their ideas in class.
What improves achievement by an average 11 percent, increases appropriate social behavior, improves students’ attitudes, and reduces stress? Social Emotional Learning. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shares brain-wise strategies to blend SEL into your everyday practice.
The use of open-ended, visual tasks is a very non-traditional way of teaching and learning math. But its potential for expanding students’ mathematical creativity and understanding makes it well worth exploring! Math education consultant Jerry Burkhart shares examples.