Cooperative Writing is a paired activity where two students complete a writing task together. Cooperative Writing can be an excellent support strategy for struggling students, students with special needs, or English Language Learners (ELLs), because it can be an opportunity for stronger writers to help their peers who might struggle with writing. For example, ELLs can learn new vocabulary from native English speakers and improve their speaking skills as they communicate together about the given topic. Or, advanced students can coach each other on ideas for providing additional detail within their sentences. Students can share ideas and collaborate verbally on the writing before drafting, which takes some pressure off the more struggling writer. It can also help to build the confidence of both students, encourage the growth of social skills, and help to improve the sense of classroom community. It's a simple, fun activity for students that maintain engagement throughout your lesson.
In a classroom context, positive affirmations are phrases and acknowledgments of positive aspects of a child’s personality, effort, behavior, or other characteristics. When affirmations are present in your classroom daily, it helps to set a positive tone within your classroom environment and enriches children’s perceptions of themselves. You may be most familiar with positive affirmations as a way for students to acknowledge aspects of themselves and use them as a mantra to help them continue to behave in a certain way. For example: “I am kind. I am smart. I am a hard worker. I am a helper. I am a leader.” Recited often, individuals may begin to have a healthier outlook on life, their character, and what they are capable of. The point of positive affirmations is to acknowledge yourself and others from a place of positivity and not criticism. This helps create motivated and happy children who value themselves, their work, and their peers.
A simple verbal strategy to check for student understanding throughout your lesson is the Student Response System and is the focus of this article. This strategy presents questioning prompts in multiple-choice or true-false format for students to answer in real-time. Students will respond to the prompts using pre-made cards with A, B, C, D, True, False, or other information to indicate their selection of an answer choice displayed on the board. The student response system can be prepared easily by cutting out printed cards, laminating them, and making them available to each student in your classroom. If you have it available at your school, there are also electronic versions of this student response system, commonly known as Clickers. Physical devices may be available for use at your school, or you may have an app or website that you can access to employ an online student response system.
Multi-sensory structured teaching involves the use of visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language we feel) tools that can enhance student learning of language. When students struggle with a language-based skill, for example, children with dyslexia that may struggle with reading, teaching in multi-sensory ways can help improve a child’s skillset in certain areas. For students who struggle with spelling due to dyslexia, ADHD, an auditory or visual processing disability, or other unknown issues, multi-sensory approaches to teaching the phonological skills underlying spelling work can help improve student outcomes. This blog article will teach one method to help students improve their spelling, regardless of the cause of the spelling issue.
Have you found yourself spending too much time dealing with behavior issues in your classroom? Do you sometimes feel as if you have spent more time correcting a student’s behavior rather than teaching? If so, this article will discuss the ABCs and how to use them to take a deeper look at behavioral issues.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. That definition can seem overwhelming to educators when they are told to include SEL in their curriculum. Read on to find out three simple strategies you can incorporate into your daily classroom routines that encourage the social-emotional growth of all your students.
When we hear the term differentiation, we often think of helping students with learning difficulties by providing students the right support so that they can be successful at high levels in the classroom. This is the most common practice, but differentiation can mean so much more! Learn some common strategies for differentiating the content you teach, the process by which your students learn, and the products they complete to demonstrate their knowledge.
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.
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!
STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING PARENT-TEACHER COMMUNICATION WITH A PHONE-CALL PLAN OF ACTION
Imagine This: You have a student in your classroom that consistently cannot or does not meet classroom expectations. You have tried implementing the right responses to her misbehaviors in class, and you have worked diligently to correct behavioral concerns so that she can be successful within your class. You have referred her to an administrator, and you have called her parents a few times. After your third phone call to her parents, her mother begins to defend her child’s behaviors, and comments that you never have anything nice to say about her child. Or, maybe her mother is simply exasperated with her child and is communicating her own frustration about her child to you. This negative response (often cultivated in families by phone calls bearing bad news) don’t do anything to support or help the child.