I’m always on the lookout for a handy student group work strategy. This one, Clock Partners, is one of my favorites! Sometimes when you prepare for group work, you stay up too late the night before making sure everyone has just the right partner. Have you been there? I have! And, honestly, even if it goes well- it leaves me… Read More
Class Discussion Norms (In my class, these become our Community Norms and replace any “rules”) Equity of Voice: Monitor your airtime. As a group member you are responsible to be a speaker AND a listener. You are also responsible to invite others to speak. Equal(ish) airtime is the goal. Our community values all voices. Active Listening : Eye contact, nodding, being… Read More
Using Sentence Stems and Explicit Instruction for Classroom Discussions Teaching discussion skills can be daunting! You know you want productive, positive discussions… but how do you get there? Here’s some of what works for me! Body Language & Politeness Matter Eye Contact: looking directly at the speaker lets them know they have your attention Inviting Posture: Facing your body toward… Read More
What a productive week it has been… in terms of my thinking. I feel like I have made incredible progress, even though nothing tangible has happened… yet! I knew before this school year began that I wanted to get my students blogging. I also knew I was in love with the idea of Genius Hour. Here it is, January- and… Read More
Jigsaw it! Regardless of the subject, brain research tells us we need many rehearsals (+20…yikes!) for new learning to stick! Learners rehearse learning when they are actually engaged in it. And, just to be clear… a worksheet with 20 math problems does not equal 20 rehearsals…( awwww, maaaan!) So, let’s consider the value of a jigsaw!
What would parents think if they knew? I find that the majority of first year teachers I support teach in multi-age, self-contained special education classrooms. Many of the challenges they face are unique to this setting and predictable to administrators and veteran teachers in the school. Many of these challenges are also driving potentially long term and high quality special… Read More