5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction

For 14 years I have been reinventing my instructional wheel each summer to build student achievement.  I’ve used creative images and rhymes (anchors), interactive games (engagement), 3-Acts, Notice & Wonder, Front Loading, and constant review. However, I am not happy with just high scores on state exams. What I teach, too often, doesn’t stick in … More 5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction

Teacher Voice: when majority & seniority are not enough

Salaries and retirement benefits in educational settings are typically based on longevity and degrees completed. However, the personal benefits from that formula of compensation seem to work against professional growth.  I recently stumbled upon this Forbes article that made me wonder if teacher growth is often stymied by incentives that keep teachers in the same … More Teacher Voice: when majority & seniority are not enough

Unintended consequences in best practices: what we did TO our students when they didn’t get it

What educator has not been challenged by the question, “What will you do when your students don’t get it?”  In response to No Child Left Behind and high stakes testing, teachers have become masters at drilling concepts into students in engaging ways:  Kagan, Kahoot, Jeopardy, stations…  Teachers Pay Teachers is wildly popular, not to mention … More Unintended consequences in best practices: what we did TO our students when they didn’t get it

Redo’s for students: I do and I don’t

I suspect that most teachers experiment with retakes and redo’s and change their minds throughout their careers like I have.  Everything I decide upon, though, consistently aligns to my overarching goals which are to develop: Analytical skills Retentive mastery of content Self-efficacy Self-advocacy in asking questions To develop strong analytical skills, I capitalize on inquiry-based … More Redo’s for students: I do and I don’t

When students won’t ask questions

This photo from Lovemeow hangs prominently in my room as a visual aid to inspire transparency in learning.  I hold family meetings before school begins to explain the importance of learning math in today’s economy.  Often parents quietly mention to me that their student won’t ask questions.  Some parents are concerned and looking for answers; others are tipping … More When students won’t ask questions