Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Use the Right Internet Search Tool

This amazing article is a must-read, not only to help students, but for teachers!  Using the internet to do research is an essential skill in the 21st Century.  Most of us use Google to look "things" up but this article points us to other alternatives which might be better choices.  There are many embedded links to these research tools.  Read to learn how to search more effectively.  Excellent! 
Be sure to let your colleagues know your thoughts in Comments below.

Teach Your Students The Right Way to Google.  Kelly Maher.  11.24.14.  eSchool News

Monday, December 15, 2014

How Student-centered is My Class?

We all have different ways and options to teach our students especially in how to use the new "stuff." Instead of focusing on methods and "stuff" we should focus our questions on how best to enhance the student's learning. Author, George Cource asks a few reflective questions which are questions for you also.   Cource expands on each.
  1. Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?
  2. What is this student's passion?
  3. What are some ways that we can create a true learning community?
  4. How does this work for our students?
The author points out every teacher's dream...."After their time with us and have a deeper understanding of how they learn, they will be able to continuously grow after our time with them."

5 Critical Questions for the Innovative Educator.  George Cource. 12.14.14. Connected Principals

Instruction in 2015 -- -What will it look like?

We have seen many changes in instruction over the past few years, but do we foresee in 2015?
This article highlights what we can expect, so teachers, "Get Ready!"  What we have already seen will become more entrenched.
Here are some highlights about how to engage both students and teachers in the classroom...
  • Student-driven learning
  • Greater individual attention
  • Smarter use of data
  • Differentiated PD
A note to the readers of this blog.  I'm sure there are areas in which you need support and encouragement.  There are over 400 posts in this blog with many articles and research reports dealing with these issues.  Please feel free to look them over as a part of your own personal PD.  As always, after reading the article below, come back and share your Comments with your fellow educators.

Outlook on instruction:  Class around the clock.  Jessica Terrell. 12.14.  DA District Administration

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yes, You Have Students WithTrauma.... How to Help in Class

A recent study, a collaborative effort of the Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego reported an alarming increase in students living and/or surviving trauma who have adverse experiences in their development along with trouble in the classroom.  Neena McConnico, Director of Boston Medical Center's Child Witness to Violence Project indicated that one in every 4 students currently sitting in American classrooms have experienced a traumatic event and the number is even greater for those living in impoverished communities!
As teachers of students living with trauma, what are some strategies that we can employ to help?  We can help students cope, learn, and heal from effects of a traumatic childhood.  How? 
The author of the following article lists and explains several powerful strategies that you can employ.  This article is an important must-read for all teachers in all kinds of districts because you have some vulnerable students in your classroom.
Please read the article and then share you thoughts in Comments below

How Teachers Help Students Who've Survived Trauma.  Jessica Lahey. 12.2.14.  The Atlantic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Your Own Habits May Contribute to Behavior Problems

Teachers may not be aware that their own habits could be affecting classroom management.  This article by Jennifer Gonzalez is quite insightful and it will be enlightening to see if some of her bad habits could also be yours. Gonzalez expands on each habit and offers alternatives. 
  1. Smiling at the Wrong Times
  2. Handling Problems Publicly
  3. All Sound, No Sight
  4. Not Waiting for Quiet
  5. Making Students Choose Between Listening and Reading
  6. Only Speaking in "Don'ts"
  7. Taking Too Long
  8. Staying Up Front
  9. Focusing on the Problems
  10. Taking things Personally
Excellent article!  Not to be missed.  After reading the article, please share your thoughts in Comments below.

10 Ways to Sabotage Your Classroom Management.  Jennifer Gonzalez.  11.23.14. Middleweb

"Minecraft" for CC Math - With and Without Computers

Sometimes we want to search for a game that is good practice for CC math, but alas, most of them are digital only.  That's fine if our students have access to digital devices during class, but that is not always feasible.  Minecraft, on the other hand has practice puzzles and games on computer but also without digital devices.  The following article lists and explains great ways to use the game in your CC math classroom.  Excellent!  After reading the article, share ideas with your colleagues in the Comments below.
  1. Let students create their world.
  2.  Create your own visual, conceptual math world.
  3. You can use Minecraft, even without access to computers.
  4. Minecraft is just one creative tool in the toolbox.
  5. Let the dog drive ---at least sometimes.
  6. Use Minecraft to help change your classroom culture into something students love.
6 Minecraft lesson ideas for your Common Core math class.  Jim Pike. 12.1 14.  eSchoolNews

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Most Challenging Standards in CC Reading & Math

This interesting website identifies the most challenging standards of Common Core Reading and Math.  Results are based on a study of 750,000 students.  Not only are the most difficult standards identifies, there are sample lesson plans available that address them.
Use the top tab to select reading or math.  Examples are for elementary and middle school.  If your school wants to purchase more lessons, there is a sample review copy available for you.

Curriculum Associates-Wisconsin. website  2013.  Curriculum Associates