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. [...]
High stakes assessments, IEP goals, summative assessments, extracurricular try outs, homework, the list goes on and on. From school age to adulthood, we are all faced with the challenge of achieving success. But what defines our success? Many state bureaucracies define success as achievement of SLOs, standardized test scores, SAT scores, etc. However, what truly defines any person’s success is their ability to learn from failure. Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure outlines ways by which parents and teachers can help students learn to fail. The importance of failure is not the act of failing, but how students learn from the failure. [...]
Depending on the calendar year, the time from Thanksgiving and Christmas Day can be between 27 and 33 days. There are still two weeks between now and the holiday break. As a teacher, you cannot afford to lose these days to distractions. How then, do you keep all your students focused during the most wonderful time of the year? [...]
Welcome to the month of December teachers! Chilly mornings and festive greetings can be found wherever you go this month. Last week’s Thanksgiving feast is now in the record books and with it we’re now officially in the Season of Giving. Now is a great time to create activities that can inspire your students to volunteer this holiday season and do some good in their communities.
To help reinforce this Season of Giving, December 5th is International Volunteer’s Day. Volunteering to help others kindles happiness (something the world can always use a bit more of.) Here are some jumping off points to get your students engaged with volunteering in their schools: [...]
Successful instruction demands the invested and active participation of both students and teachers. One of our primary goals as teachers is to avoid classrooms where students feel bored, dispassionate and effectively disengaged. A lack of student engagement is easy to see because we’ve all experienced it before. Doodling in notebooks, passing notes (or now texts) and the tried and true disengaging method of aimlessly staring out windows. As fellow educators could tell you, nothing is more deflating than a class of disinterested students. [...]