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20
March
2019

5 Ways to Help All Students Succeed in a Differentiated Classroom

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.

19
March
2019

4 Engaging Strategies to Teach the Alphabet

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!

Written by: Alleah Rostohar

18
March
2019

Building A Small Group Planning Notebook

How to set up a small group planning notebook and maintaining notes and organization.

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!

18
March
2019

Using Aggressive Active Monitoring to Maximize Student Learning

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.

Written by: Laura Burrow

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

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