Blogs on Lesson Plans

Blogs on Lesson PlansRSS
James Marcus BachNovember 29, 2013

Editor's note: Internationally recognized coding expert James Bach dropped out of school at age 16. A few years later, he was one of the youngest hires at Apple Computer. His book Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar shows how anyone can create their own education on their own terms.

Bite-Sized Logic

To teach critical thinking, start by bringing a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats to class. Hold it up. Shake it. Ask the kids, "Can you tell me what this is?"

"Cereal! Frosted Mini-Wheats! Mini-Wheats cereal," they will say. Some may call out other answers, even silly ones. Smile about that. Funny, irrelevant and unique responses are all good at this point in the exercise.

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Anne-Lise HalvorsenNovember 21, 2013

As an assistant professor in the College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU), I have spent the past six years working with a team of faculty members and doctoral students, and coordinated and taught the senior year and internship year courses of elementary social studies methods. I am also a field instructor. Year after year, we find that pre-service teachers, particularly those specializing in the lower elementary grades, rarely observe social studies instruction in their field placements. In cases where they do have this opportunity, the instruction is often rushed or superficial, reflecting a national trend wherein elementary social studies are marginalized. One response we offer to this problem is a lesson study assignment during the internship year.

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Ashley NahornickNovember 12, 2013

Connecting Design Thinking to Your Area of Expertise

Many of us have sat through long lectures believing the material did not connect to us at all. This should not be the case with design thinking, a process that involves rethinking and reframing problems to make things easier, more streamlined or different. However, many people view design thinking as an insular activity that does not mesh with their specific domain of expertise. This should not be the case. Design thinking can relate to any topic.

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Matt DavisNovember 5, 2013

Many teachers this year are updating existing curriculum for the Common Core. And it's going to be a long process for everyone. Here, I've collected some open resources that might help in that process, with links to lessons that can serve as building blocks for Common Core-aligned units. The emphasis this time is on English language arts in middle school.

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Rebecca AlberOctober 31, 2013

My first year teaching a literacy coach came to observe my classroom. After the students left, she commented on how I asked the whole class a question, would wait just a few seconds, and then answer it myself. "It's cute," she added. Um, I don't think she thought it was so cute. I think she was treading lightly on the ever-so shaky ego of a brand-new teacher while still giving me some very necessary feedback.

So that day, I learned about wait/think time. And also, over the years, I learned to ask better and better questions.

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Ashley HutchinsonOctober 24, 2013

Note: Ashley Hutchinson co-wrote this post with social studies teacher Stephanie Noles and instructional coach Mike Flinchbaugh, both of whom are her colleagues at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, North Carolina.

Stephanie was having one of those days when everything she thought she knew about working with young adults seemed miscalibrated -- when tempers flared without cause and student motivation disappeared despite her careful planning. That was the day we decided our students should come with written instructions.

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Matt DavisOctober 17, 2013

There is an abundance of math open educational resources on the Web. So many, in fact, that Education Week asked, "Why is There More Open Content for Math than English?"

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Brian PageOctober 17, 2013

The goal of this lesson is teaching students how to use their mobile phones for financial management and financial decision-making. The best moment to provide dedicated financial literacy coursework is in the latter grades of high school. A "just in time" financial education is student- and behavior-centered, and incorporates tools that our students use every day -- such as their mobile phones.

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Maurice EliasOctober 16, 2013

Did you know that when reading, one's mind will wander 20 to 40 percent of the time while perusing a text, regardless of whether it is a book, blog, email, narrative, essay, or anything else? This is one of many fascinating findings reported in Dan Goleman's new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence and it calls us to remember that students can't learn what they are not paying attention to.

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Autumn WareOctober 14, 2013

Comic book writers are indebted to scientists, and they demonstrate their gratitude by giving these real life mega-minds special places in the pantheon of superhero mythologies. Bruce Banner, who goes Hulk when angered, developed the Gamma Bomb for the US government. Susan Storm, also known as the Invisible Woman, holds four doctorates in biochemistry and still finds time to save the world. Even the X-Men's Beast is a much-lauded biochemist. Close study of comic book universes and the science concepts upon which they are founded can be enlightening for students and teachers alike. Boys and girls are riveted by the unique powers and compelling personalities and histories of superheroes.

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