Category: Teaching Practice

Primary focus on good instructional practices

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.”

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.

How to Avoid Kidnapping Your Students

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!

Small Groups: Kids Often Learn Better Together

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.

10 Things I Learned Sitting in a Classroom

A week of sitting in a teaching seminar has left Sarah Cooper inspired but also thoughtful about how students experience daily classroom life. “I felt new empathy for having to follow teachers’ instructions all day long.” Read her 10 takeaways.