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
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
Exit slips, quizzes, pre-assessment, post-assessment…we teachers have toolboxes full of ways to figure out who doesn’t get it and who forgot it. Many of us have gotten so good at assessment and remediation that a student pretty much never needs to ask a question. After all, it’s the teacher’s job to make sure each student learns before … More Do your students hide or reach?
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
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
One of the touchiest situations a teacher deals with is when a student raises a complaint and the whole class seems to jump in. It’s 30 to 1 because silence seems like congruity, and rarely will a student defend a teacher against those odds. Serious learning is unlikely to happen until the complaint is resolved. … More Mutiny in the Classroom
My school district requires teachers to collect data to show our students have grown over the year with respect to specific standards in our curriculum documents. As we teachers have grown in our understanding of learning, we have moved away from “answer getting” and toward process, but many of us have been at a loss as … More Avoiding Useless Assessments
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