After reading this article, readers will understand the three critical steps of backwards design in lesson planning, as well as the rationale behind it. They will be able to work through those three steps in order to plan a lesson or series of lessons for any upcoming unit.
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Many people often think that a formal assessment is a sufficient way to check their students’ understanding. While these assessments are certainly useful to determine your students’ level of content mastery at the end of a unit, checking for understanding is something that should happen regularly throughout a lesson.
If you are fortunate enough to work in a co-teaching situation, we encourage you to try station teaching and/or alternative teaching as instructional models. Station teaching is perfect for when you want to implement a variety of learning activities, and alternative teaching is an excellent method of differentiating instruction for two groups working at different academic levels.
Have you heard of inquiry-based learning, but weren't really sure what it entailed? Have you tried to implement it in your classroom, but not sure if you’re hitting the mark? Read on to find out the difference between true inquiry and flawed inquiry.
The key to success for all students is easier than you might think! Designing a differentiated classroom is one of the most impactful ways to progress the learning of each and every child. Today’s classroom is more diverse than ever before which is why it is crucial for educators to implement differentiation strategies that address each child’s readiness, interests, and learning profile. Learn how you can simply and effectively help your students on their road to success through differentiation in your classroom.
Identifying and writing the letters of the alphabet is a foundational step in every learner’s literacy knowledge. There are countless ways to practice these skills and it can be challenging to know which ones are most effective and engaging. We’ve explored hundreds of strategies and decided on our top 4 favorite ones. These engaging activities will give your young learners plenty of opportunities to grow their alphabet knowledge and practice identifying, writing, and using letters in a variety of ways.
Keep in mind as you read, we have also provided a number of great free resources below to help you teach your students the alphabet. We will discuss each resource in this article, so please take a look at these tools as you read! So, here we go!
It is now independent practice time for your lesson, and to an outside observer it appears that students are silent, working hard, and grappling with task at hand. All looks well, but how do know that students are actually mastering the material they are working on and will be ready for your planned exit ticket or mini assessment?
This is where Active Monitoring comes in. One of the major responsibilities of a teacher during independent work is to actively gather real-time, objective-aligned data that will enable direct action when student misconceptions are identified. A more focused, strategic example of Active Monitoring, Aggressive Monitoring, can be highly effective in catching student misunderstandings and ensuring student mastery prior to the actually assessment. In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of how to use Aggressive Monitoring in your classroom.
Many teachers that I have worked with often ask, “how do you keep everything for your small group organized?” It’s very simple…a Small Group Planning Notebook! Having everything in one notebook and organized will maximize the time with your students. Often teachers will succumb to piling everything on their desk and deciding, “oh I will organize it later” - I’ve been there. However, simply keeping all your small group planning in one binder from the start, will prove to be beneficial not only for you but your students as well. In this article we will take you through the process of setting up and managing your own Small Group Planning Notebook, and provide you with all the resources you will need to get started!
Have you ever had students respond, “I don’t know. It just did,” when asked to analyze and interpret their classroom lab results? We all want our students to “think like a scientist,” but often they fall short in connecting the dots between the lab results and the science concepts. Claim-Evidence-Reasoning or CER is a writing strategy that can develop a student’s analytical thinking and argumentative writing skills to turn that “I don’t know” into “aha, so that’s why we got those results in the lab.”
The dreaded book report. Students don’t enjoy writing them, and if we are honest with ourselves, we as teachers don’t enjoy reading them. Yet we still need an effective way to assess our student’s knowledge and depth of understanding when they have completed a novel study. This article will provide you with one simple activity you can use with your students that can be customized based on specific skills you need to assess.