Blogs on Lesson Plans

Blogs on Lesson PlansRSS
Maurice EliasOctober 8, 2013

In Dan Goleman's new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, he shows the importance of being able to direct and sustain our attention on everything from, well, everything! Not paying attention is downright dangerous. The inability to focus and sustain attention can rob us of relationships, deep knowledge, career accomplishment, peace of mind, and high test scores. But, as Goleman's book makes clear, we can learn to focus.

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Philip McIntoshOctober 1, 2013

The quality and skill of the teacher is one of the most important factors (if not the most important) influencing the success of any learning environment. But you can stand at the front of a classroom and teach until you are blue in the face, and it doesn't guarantee that any learning actually happens. So what separates successful teachers from less successful ones? Anyone will tell you that it's relationships. That's why it is critical to establish and maintain positive relationships with students throughout the school year. It's also not a bad idea to get some learning to happen while you're at it.

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Rebecca AlberSeptember 27, 2013

What is new and different in the Common Core? When it comes to the writing standards, a heavy emphasis on audience for one thing, and this is very good news. The "audience" for student writing was once the lone teacher sitting after school with her cup of coffee, a red pen, and a stack of essays or other writing projects. And sadly, she might have been the only one, besides the student writers, that ever read them!

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Mary Beth HertzSeptember 26, 2013

CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.B.5: Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.

Most math instruction for younger elementary students (K-2) is based around number sense. Students are given opportunities to compare and contrast numbers, add them up, subtract them, identify place values and solve basic word problems. In third grade, students are asked to apply this knowledge to explore and recognize patterns and relationships between addition, multiplication and division.

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Curriculum-sharing websites can be a fantastic way to collect materials and best practices beyond the four walls of your classroom. When Vanessa Vega wrote her popular post "A Primer on Curriculum-Sharing Sites" a few years ago, the landscape was a little less crowded -- and a little less complex. The Common Core has added a new layer to the planning process for many teachers, and with countless sites that house giant collections of dubious quality, looking for teaching materials online is a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack proposition. So how do you cut through the noise to find the best?

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Todd FinleySeptember 6, 2013

Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores. Journal prompts and concept questions can focus students on nutritious academic content and initiate a positive tempo for the next 90 minutes of class.

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Andrew MarcinekAugust 19, 2013

There’s no denying that most of us are engrossed daily with technology. The attachment is evident in just about every public place. Mobile devices, for many of us, have become our closest friend. In April, the Telegraph reported on toddlers becoming so addicted to their iPads that they required therapy. While this is an extreme case, it's not too far from reality. The mobile device has become our community hub. It's where we go for information and to socialize. It's the new water cooler. In short, our most intimate relationship is with a machine.

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Maurice EliasAugust 16, 2013

Dara Feldman, in her inspiring new book, The Heart of Education, makes a strong point that every child -- indeed, every person -- is endowed with the capacity to live a happy, principled life. What is needed is some direction and support to make this happen, and the start of school is an ideal time to set this in motion.

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Judy JesterAugust 15, 2013

I sell literacy. I do. If I don't sell kids on wanting to learn to read and write as well as they can, they won't. Sometimes it's an especially hard sell for kids in middle school, both for those who are competent in these areas but choose to be illiterate, and for those who have always struggled with these skills. You've heard the old axiom, "What you plant in September, you reap in June," so it's crucial to set the right tone from the start. Here's what I do.

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Anne ShawAugust 14, 2013

Unlike many of the current posts and articles in educators' discussions these days, this post does not address anything related to technology or the CCSS. It addresses a topic of much greater importance -- the emotional environment of the classroom. Without an excellent, intentionally designed, emotional environment (one which builds authentic community in the classroom), the standards and the technologies are of little value. As Steven Covey and many others have said, "First things first!"

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