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.
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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.”
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.
Current events add immediacy to history class, but with crowded curricula and the challenges of the political climate, Sarah Cooper is fine-tuning the news discussions in her 8th grade classes. She shares several stories and explains what makes them right for fall 2018.
Grading student writing in the traditional manner takes too much time and yields too little learning. Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo offers three better ways to give students effective feedback – with all the tips and how-to teachers need to make the switch. Act now. Save your weekends.
Museum educator Christa Flores shares a summer STEM partnership that introduced middle schoolers to programmable microprocessors that can perform a variety of lab-oriented tasks. Flores, a former MS teacher, says it’s time to include computer skills in science classrooms.
Anyone can doodle, writes Dr. Susan Daniels. When students doodle to represent concepts and ideas, they synthesize information and encode it in memory for easy recall and retrieval. It’s a well-researched strategy that can be used across grade levels and subject areas.
Blending in the arts is not predestined to create a failure of STEM goals, writes noted STEM author and educator Carolyn DeCristofano, who offers four reasons to consider adopting a well-designed STEAM program that protects the integrity of both STEM and arts education.
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.