Every year, writes teacher leader Jennifer Smith, schools “muddle through” standardized testing days trying to design schedules that take less time away from productive learning. Her 5th grade team tried a fresh approach that both engaged and energized test-weary kids.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Educator and author Roxanna Elden shares some practical advice from her Disillusionment Power Pack that can help novice teachers discover ways to channel their personal strengths and experience into classroom success. She also points out pitfalls to avoid along the way.
When Cheryl Mizerny polled her students about their stress levels, she found both social and school related concerns: noise, homework, time management, grades and testing. She shares actions teachers and schools can take to mitigate stress and promote student growth.
Alexis Wiggins has taken a 1930s Socratic discussion strategy and enriched it to provide more detail about process, assessment and self-reflection. Teacher Joanne Bell finds Wiggins’ Spider Web technique a useful tool to develop learners ready for 21st century employment.
Mary Tedrow makes a strong case for daily student writing that generates ideas and wonderings not only in English but all content areas. Sarah Cooper finds Tedrow’s detailed guide to using Daybooks and her recommendations on grading and indexing particularly helpful.
Middle grade students crave role models and great stories. Author visits provide both in a very tangible way. Learn how media specialist & NBCT Christina Dorr arranges a steady stream of tween and young adult novelists through her school and read 10 tips for doing it yourself!
Coach Elizabeth Stein invites co-teachers to extend their MLK Day reflections and consider how Dr. King can move us on a very conscious level to co-create equity in our inclusive classrooms, using four action steps that include speaking our truth and accepting discomfort.
Research has given us a better understanding of fun, but educators still struggle to make it part of classroom learning. Curtis Chandler shares 10 questions he asks as he works to create challenge and playfulness in his lessons. Engaging apps and tools are part of the mix.
Practical teachers concerned with helping kids move forward as readers know that giving them access to engaging texts at their approximate level is an important strategy, says school librarian Rita Platt. Read her arguments for avoiding an either-or approach to leveling.
Many millions of people who tune in to the 2018 Super Bowl will be there to watch the pricey, high-engagement commercials. Media literacy consultant Frank Baker explains how to teach about these “super ads,” approaching them as informational text worthy of close scrutiny and analysis.