Only a decade and a few years in, how can we fully describe the twenty-first century learner? So far, this we do know: She is a problem solver, critical thinker, and an effective collaborator and communicator. We also know that a deeper learning environment is required in order to nurture and...Read More.
What's ideal when it comes to collaboration in our classrooms? Here's one coveted scenario: several children gathered at a table engaged in a high-level task, discussing, possibly debating an issue, making shared decisions, and designing a product that demonstrates all this deeper learning.Read More.
Pacing a lesson so its nearly seamless takes expertise and practice -- and can be one of the greatest challenges for new teachers. For those more seasoned out there, here's a scenario many of us can relate to from the early days: way too much time for one learning activity, while not enough for...Read More.
When we think about all the different ways we check for understanding in the classroom, a go-to strategy for many teachers has always been the exit slip or exit ticket. For this strategy, students write at the conclusion of learning, sometimes on a half-sheet of...Read More.
Do you have more students than ever this year? With serious education budget cuts in most states, we are seeing class size reduction programs as a thing of the past in many schools. Teachers semi-new to this profession may be experiencing class sizes above 30 for the first time. In a recent...Read More.
I've had first days in the classroom that were pure poetry and others that were pure... well, you know. There's things out of our control that can make that first day a tough one for sure. But there's also things we can do beforehand to set the stage for success.Read More.
Start with the end, a veteran teacher told me my first year teaching. In my young, inexperienced teacher mind, that meant "fun project." And though there's not a thing wrong with fun, the end assessment needs to be about the learning and not about the product. Starting with the end means we need...Read More.
If a student dropped to the linoleum floor hungry and ill, as a classroom community, we would come to her aid immediately. We would offer food and comforting words and search out medical support from the school nurse and possibly even dial 9-1-1.Read More.
I don't know about your students, but so many of mine, coupled with Senioritis, were DONE after state testing. (The well had run dry, no blood from a turnip -- all those sayings applied!) With just a few precious weeks left in the school year, what do you do to keep the kids energized and...Read More.
I made a good number of blunders my first year teaching that still make me cringe. I learned though. And it's fair to say, when it comes to managing a classroom, most of what we learn as new teachers is trial by fire. It's also smart to heed the advice of those who have walked -- and stumbled...Read More.