Archive for the ‘Instruction&Curriculum’ Category

  • Putting the “A” in AP

    on Dec 17, 14 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy • with Comments


    It seems as though everyone is jumping on the AP bandwagon. Schools are offering professional development and a variety of incentives to implement this program. Advance Placement courses are intended to replace freshmen level course at the college level. This allows high school juniors and seniors to receive college credit early. Sounds great, right? Well, students only receive the credit if they score a “3” or higher on the AP exam (and for some colleges, a “4” or higher). How do you prepare students for such a test? Here are a few things I have learned

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  • Avoiding Round Robin in All Subject Areas

    on Dec 15, 14 • in Elementary Classrooms, English Language Learners, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy, Policy, Science, Social Studies • with Comments


    I am always amazed that Round Robin reading still exists. The empirical evidence has shown that it is an ineffective teaching method. Just being an observant teacher would make you realize the kids are bored and off task. Worst of all, it brings humiliation to students who struggle with reading or English. So how do we engage children in material that is new? How can we share text with a group? How do we build structure that encourages participation in the reading process? There are two areas that seem to fall into the Round Robin

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  • Money Talks: Classroom Incentives That Work

    on Dec 15, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Special Education • with Comments

    Classroom incentives that work

    Let’s go ahead and get real right here and now. You probably have a handful of kids in your classroom who are intrinsically motivated. We can lament all day long about yesterday’s kids and how we used to just do our homework because the teacher said so and complain about the fact that kids these days just don’t value time the way we used to. None of that helps us. You’ve probably also realized that the mounting zeros in the grade-book, the lunch detentions, and the administrative referrals mean literally nothing to a child who probably

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  • Using Food to Teach Fractions: Math You Can Eat

    on Dec 11, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Mathematics, Special Education • with Comments

    Teresa Image

    Like most students I teach, my students all got taught multiplying fractions the classic way. You multiply the numerator by the numerator and the denominator by the denominator. You either learn the method or you don’t (just like any other procedural method you learn in math). Many kids take to concrete methods of learning better than abstract methods, though–especially struggling learners. Using food to teach fractions, though? Brilliant. When I came across the brownie pan method while running my usual extensive internet search for concrete teaching methods, I got really excited. Not only could

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  • STEAM Inspired Spin on Social Studies

    on Dec 8, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Policy, Social Studies, Technology • with Comments

    STEAM  +

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects joined forces with Art (Design) to become STEAM, the acronym which stands for education that deliberately promotes 21st century transformations in thinking. Social studies is not included as a focus and I like to think it’s because it is at the root of of the original STEM.  As a social studies educator I’m struggling to make that more apparent so I attended the November, Vermont State Technology Conference hosted by  The makerspaces and new tools were exciting and innovative but I wanted something that would not change

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