Category: Teaching Practice

Primary focus on good instructional practices

3 Ways We Can Offer Students More Choice

Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”

Students Will Thrive in a Culture of Effort and Joy

NBCT and new principal Rita Platt shares the five beliefs that make up her teaching philosophy and serve as the framework of her new book Working Hard, Working Happy. Learn what she “knows to be true about teaching and learning” and why you might want a credo of your own.

7 Time-Saving Ways to Balance Teaching Tasks

Is it ever possible to do everything needed to be a consistently effective teacher? Look over Barbara Blackburn’s strategies to develop circumstances where you can thrive: avoid perfectionism, try incremental change, peruse helpful time management resources, and more.

Well-Designed ‘Do Nows’ Set the Pace for Learning

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.

Put Some Bang at the Beginning of Lessons

How we start lessons makes a huge difference in learning during the remainder of our class instruction time. Teaching consultant and author Barbara Blackburn shares strategies to employ three keys to beginning lessons with a bang: focus, activation, and excitement.

Seasonal Teacher Fatigue: Regroup & Recharge!

When spring fever rises and summer still seems far away, newbie and veteran teachers alike may feel they’re losing their focus and their students are drifting. Check out Elyse Scott’s five regrouping and re-energizing strategies and “do what’s right for the kids.”

12 Daily Touchstones Can Improve Our Teaching

Bryan Goodwin & Elizabeth Ross Hubbell make a compelling argument that teachers can improve their impact on student learning by using a “do-confirm” checklist based on 12 essential daily touchstones that represent current research on what works best. Pilots do!

Sorting Teacher Bias and “High Expectations”

“High expectations” shouldn’t be about teaching obedience or expecting cookie-cutter work from all students. Middle school educator Cheryl Mizerny offers her take on teacher attitudes and practices that help or hinder student efforts to achieve their very best.

Nurturing a Culture of Teacher Inquiry

Kevin Hodgson joins two middle level colleagues to share a cross-school collaboration supported by the National Writing Project that engaged teachers in investigating how to use writing strategies and inquiry learning with students in all content areas.

5 Ways to Make Kids Hate Your Class

Veteran educator Cheryl Mizerny is surrounded by committed teachers, but she knows that even the most well-intentioned can fall into bad habits that may make some students dread coming to their class. She shares the warning signs of five problem behaviors.