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Articles tagged with: Engaging Students

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

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

30
October
2018

Choosing a Skill for Explicit Instruction in Reading

Feeling overwhelmed by all of the reading standards you need to teach? Learn how to narrow your instructional focus based on the specific needs of your students!

As a classroom teacher, it can be overwhelming to see all of the curriculum standards we are responsible for teaching. Reading instruction in particular ranges from the basics of decoding words to improving oral fluency to deeper comprehension. From time to time, it is critical that we take time to step back, look at the big picture based on data and observations, and refocus our instruction on the skills that are most needed. There are often small groups of students who might not understand a concept when it is taught via whole group instruction, and those students would most likely benefit from explicit instruction that is focused on one particular skill.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

17
September
2018

Using Text Evidence to Respond to Questions

I regularly tell my students, “Reading tests are completely manageable. The evidence is right in front of you, you just have to take the time to find it.” So often, students rush through a multiple choice test, not giving much thought to each individual answer and just choosing one that sounds accurate. Or they may have to draft a written response to a short answer question, and instead of pulling specific details from the text, they write a too brief, generic response in very vague terms. If you find this is the case with some of your students, you can teach them specific strategies to use when they are tackling any reading assessment.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

11
September
2018

How to Support Effective and Engaging Structured Independent Reading Time in Your Classroom

Independent reading is a student’s reading of a text on his or her own. It can occur anywhere- as part of an activity in a school classroom or at home and includes books that are appropriate for the student’s reading level. Independent reading has shown to be an effective complement to other reading programs in school, not only in helping students practice and develop reading skills but in fostering a greater love for reading that may carry through at home. This article discusses how to foster reading skills and strategies through independent reading.

Written by: Shayna Pond

11
September
2018

The Importance of a Growth Mindset for Students

We’ve all heard a student complain, “This is too hard, I’ll never understand.” Or maybe even, “I’m not a math person, I just don’t get it.” These statements both reflect a fixed mindset, and one of our responsibilities as educators is to encourage a shift in our students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. According to Dr. Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of motivation, a growth mindset is the “understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.” Once students have this mindset, watch their confidence soar! Even as they face academic struggles, they will understand that the struggle is part of the process of learning.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

14
August
2018

Building a Better Classroom One Strategy at a Time

Strategies that can help create a more efficient environment for student learning.

Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of every school day? Your throat hurts from all of the talking, and you never seem to make it through everything you had planned? If you are like most teachers, you have become accustomed to this feeling and can’t imagine anything different. But it CAN be different by effectively implementing just a few classroom strategies. In this article we will be looking at three strategies that can turn any classroom from total chaos to a more efficient, well-run learning environment.

Written by: Natalie Brown

10
October
2017

Exploring Literature Genres in the Elementary Classroom

Exposure to texts from a wide variety of genres opens up new worlds to readers! Encourage your students to expand their reading habits, as well as recognize the importance of each genre, with these practical tips you can implement today!

Often, students will find one type of story they enjoy reading, and never take a chance to break out of their reading rut. By exposing your students to different genres of texts, you can open so many new worlds of reading! If that alone is not reason enough to begin a genre study in your classroom, consider how every genre has its own purpose and set of features. If your students are never exposed to traditional literature such as fables and myths, they may never know the wonder of oral storytelling and passing stories on from generation to generation. If they never read biographies, they may not understand the value of telling a story in chronological order. If they don’t read informational texts from an early age, they may struggle later on with research skills and understanding content-specific vocabulary. These are just a few examples of why understanding genre is so important.

Written by: Wendy Lipe

24
September
2017

Achieve Purposeful Classroom Dialogue with Turn and Talk

Many students fall into one of two categories: the chatty ones that need to socialize frequently, or the shy and quiet students that don’t speak up. Turn and Talk is a strategy that benefits both types of learners, and can be adapted for any content area and grade level. When students turn and talk, you are providing the naturally talkative ones with content-based purpose, and you are providing the quieter kids the scaffolding and confidence they need to have a thoughtful two-way conversation with a fellow student. Turn and Talk is a tool every teacher needs!

Written by: Wendy Lipe

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