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29
January
2019

Establishing Classroom Procedures

Research supports teaching methods such as project based learning or inquiry based learning, where the teacher serves as a facilitator and students take charge of their own learning. However, before those methods can be successful, teachers need to have already established a classroom culture in which students know what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they do not meet those expectations. This culture begins with consistent classroom management procedures.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

29
January
2019

The One-Pager: A Literary Response Activity For Grades 3 - 8

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.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

29
January
2019

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER)

A Writing Strategy to Help Students Make Connections with Science Concepts and Labs

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.”

Written by: Kimberly Anderson

21
December
2018

Opening Minds with Open Ended Math Problems in the Primary Classroom

Wait, so, what is the RIGHT answer?” “Sarah got a different answer than I did…how can we BOTH be right?” You will most likely hear all kinds of responses like this when you start to incorporate open-ended math activities into your classroom. At first, they’ll probably make your students look at you as if you have two heads. But, these kinds of reactions will begin to subside once your students have been exposed to the idea that there are many ways to solve problems, even math problems! Encouraging this kind of “endless possibility” thinking is an effective way to teach your students to challenge themselves and think outside of the “normal” problem solving thinking.

Written by: Alleah Rostohar

20
December
2018

The Importance of Planning for an Expository Writing Essay

Are your students facing an upcoming writing assessment, with a focus on expository writing? Do they struggle with how to begin this style of writing? This article will break down how to teach the skills of analyzing a writing prompt and creating a solid plan that will give your students the confidence to write a well-organized expository essay.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

19
December
2018

Improving Writing Fluency in Reluctant Writers

In a typical classroom of elementary or middle school students, writers can most likely be grouped into three categories. First (and usually the fewest in number) are those students that have a natural affinity for writing. They never have a shortage of ideas and will write for as long as you allow, often wanting more time! Then there are the students who may not love to write, but they can usually do what is required of them without much prompting. Finally, there are the reluctant writers. You know the ones…they complain they can’t decide what to write about, they use every stalling tactic ever tried, and they may even be outright defiant, simply refusing to work. This article will teach you three basic, but key, strategies that you can easily implement into any grade level classroom, which will encourage writing. The strategies include building stamina, writing across the disciplines, and writing for authentic purposes.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

17
December
2018

The Value of Rubrics for Assessment

In what year did World War II begin? What type of energy is generated from the sun? How many cookies are in 15 boxes if there are 6 cookies in each box? These types of questions are easy to assess. The student response is either right, or it’s wrong. You can simply assign a point value to each question and easily determine a grade. But what about when your students are sharing an oral presentation and slideshow about an endangered animal they spent an entire week researching? Or if they are writing a personal narrative about a special moment in their life? How about if they are conducting a scientific investigation on the states of matter and submitting a detailed lab report? How do you assess these types of assignments fairly where there is so much room for variation in quality? In these cases, a rubric is exactly what you need.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

17
December
2018

Backwards Design in the Classroom: Planning with the End in Mind

Are you letting your favorite lessons design your unit instead of designing it around student goals?  Are you thinking more about what you want students to do rather than what you want them to learn?  In this article, we will take a look at what it means to plan with the end in mind and the steps needed to make your instruction more meaningful and focused for your students.

Written by: Natalie Brown

13
December
2018

Pre-Reading Strategies: Setting the Stage for Successful Reading

What is done before a student begins to read a new text is critical to their reading and comprehension success. This article will describe important pre-reading strategies you can use in your classroom to ensure the success of your readers. In reading this article, you will learn how you can you ensure that your students get the most out of their independent reading time. Set the stage for success with practical pre-reading strategies you and your students can implement right away!

Written by: Wendy Lipe

13
December
2018

A Glimpse at Project Based Learning in the Classroom

As an educator, you have probably heard of Project Based Learning, or PBL, but might have been overwhelmed by all it seems to encompass. Take a close glimpse of an actual PBL project in action in the classroom to see that it is completely manageable!  After reading this article, you will have a basic understanding of Project Based Learning and what it looks like in the classroom.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

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