Count on it, writes STEM educator Anne Jolly, spring is almost here and your students’ energy and concentration are about to start slipping. Nice weather and seasonal events interfere with lesson continuity. How can you snag your kids’ interest again? Citizen science!
Memory research leads us to an important insight: not only do we have to help students store information, they also need to be able to retrieve it. Expert Marilee Sprenger shares 13 rehearsal and retrieval practices to make learning stick. Re-reading isn’t one of them.
Implement the elements of reciprocal teaching – predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing – using Lori Oczkus’s revised book on reading comprehension. ELA teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith likes the guidance in starting the scaffolded discussion method and more.
Dina Brulles and Karen L. Brown help teachers think through the challenges of grouping and offer resources to develop effective groups and differentiate as needed for specific purposes. Teacher Kathleen Palmieri finds the author’s guidance on behavior particularly helpful.
Teaching with Mathematical Argument can help support students as they reason through math problems, shifting the focus from “the answer” to the processes that lead to clearer understanding. Cynthia McBride likes the inclusion of assessment and parent communication advice.
Although some teaching strategies have been around for a long time, not all the “classics” are actually effective at engaging students in authentic ways. Bryan Harris and Lisa Bradshaw, the authors of Battling Boredom, explain why some common practices just don’t work.
Glen Pearsall’s Fast and Effective Assessment focuses on making life easier for teachers while improving students’ learning and understanding, writes consultant Anne Anderson. Pearsall includes lots of ideas and efficient tools to create feedback that benefits students.
One area of Matt Smith’s teaching “that has improved tremendously since my novice days” is facilitating productive discussions. Students need to engage in active talk to process complex ideas. This won’t happen until teachers master “wait time” and stop affirming too much.
Student discussions fueled by doubts and personal questions can push learning very deep, says teaching consultant Jackie Walsh. To set the stage, educators will need to address Teacher Mindset, Classroom Culture, Teaching Modeling, and Student Skills and Dispositions.
Kids are always posing questions as they grow, but research shows that when they enter school, it’s mostly teachers doing the asking. Teacher educator Molly Ness offers six ideas for promoting questioning in our classrooms and letting student curiosity drive learning.