A recent article in Ed Week discusses how a teacher in 1989 worked to create an engaging lesson for his students. He brought someone in with a summons for William Golding (Lord of the Flies) to court. The students then took on the roles of lawyers, dressing in suits and ties, prepping for court, etc. The culminating project was the trial. This was the final assessment for the book. Not an essay, not a multiple choice exam – an engaging project. [...]
Think back to your school experience. Your history teacher assigns current events. Go home, cut out a story from the newspaper, paste it onto some construction paper, and provide a summary. Easy. You go home, wait until the last minute, pull out the first story you see, and get the scissors and glue. The next [...]
Have you heard? School districts around the country are going 1:1! Are you ready? Of course you are! The times of projecting powerpoint slides on the front board are over. Interactive boards are no longer the next new thing. “Put your phones away” is a saying considered unacceptable in some parts. You’ve made it through all of these movements. As times change, we must adjust. Contrary to popular beliefs, while the tools we use have changed, the way we deliver our instruction has not. [...]
Those sweet September morns have come and gone. Students are over the excitement of seeing their friends and discussing their summer. Now, the demands are increasing on students. Additionally, homework is back in town and those pesky standardized test scores from last spring are rolling in. Students appear to be more and more stressed and anxiety-driven each and every year. As educators, we are challenged to engage students in our curriculum. [...]
With English, social studies, science and even math – writing is a foundational skill for every student. Of course, writing is also a frustration for many students. As teachers, we are challenged with teaching to the state standards, engaging students, preparing students for life in a global society and also embedding skills such as reading [...]
IEP implementation is demanding for special education teachers. Students are evaluated and based on their strengths and needs, a plan drafted and implemented. Evaluation and reevaluation reports often list needs including, “math fluency, reading fluency, organizational skills, executive functioning skills … SELF ADVOCACY.” As committed and diligent special educators, drafting IEPs includes SMART goals and SDI that address these needs. Finally, the team meets around a table and discusses IEP implementation. Hopefully, the team will ask the student if they understand, how they feel, etc. But what if the student were to explain what they need themselves? [...]
Planbook Plus continues to give educators the tools to plan for a highly engaged classroom. Planbook Plus is suitable for any subject ranging from Pre K to high-level calculus. Tools of the trade to create a highly engaged classroom range from using humor in the classroom, playing to student interests and applying the lessons learned to real life. Math class poses challenges when it comes to creating a highly engaged classroom. “When will I ever use this?” “How does this apply to me?” Sound familiar? Real life applications to math lessons help put the lesson into perspective for our students.
Take correlation. Correlation for many students is a bunch of dots on a graph. For math-challenged students, it is guessing “yes or no” and “strong or weak.” However, it doesn’t have to be that overwhelming for students. Check out or “demo lesson” on determining human wingspan and height. Feel free to adapt to your needs! [...]
You made it! Another fall semester is in the books and you can now enjoy your winter break. Hopefully you can go into this time off feeling accomplished. Everyone sets goals for themselves and their respective workplaces and your classroom was probably no different.
I’d wager some of your goals touched on these ideas: [...]
Worksheets. Every teacher has them. Typically, each course is indexed by binders and teachers tap into their worksheets arsenal to support or supplement instruction. Standards-aligned, rigorous, and relevant worksheets assess knowledge, but the question remains: are they engaging? More often than not, students will confirm that worksheets are not the reason they look forward to school. As the new year approaches, consider a few ideas that may save some paper and contribute to a highly engaging classroom. [...]