Monthly Archives: January 2012
The best way for students to learn is to have them teach what you want them to learn. Give them a format they can use in a variety of ways and rotate students in small groups. For instance, give two students three questions to research for a presentation about a person who is significant in [...]
Middle school teachers often notice that students have difficulty understanding the concept of a first draft. One art teacher and a grade level teacher collaborated to have students create an illustrated story. Students in one class would write a story and art students would illustrate it and send it back for alignment of the story [...]
Utilize cartoons, brief video excerpts, jokes, quotes, and brief stories to launch class discussions tied into what you want students to study.
Periodically, allow students the chance to offer, anonymously, reactions to what they are learning, how they are learning it, and what they think, in general, about the course. You can distribute a two to five question survey, not require names and allow students to deposit their responses in a box on your desk as they [...]
Fred Newman of the University of Wisconsin describes a school related task as “authentic” if it has an audience beyond the teacher for a grade. When tasks are “authentic” student effort is increased, pride in accomplishment is expanded and intrinsic motivation kicks in even if external motivation (the grade) is needed to get the student [...]
When students are going to make a presentation, display a product or so anything that would benefit from an audience, invite parents either with a general invitation to all your parents or a targeted invitation to parents of the presenting students or parents you know would be interested. Success can be an audience of two [...]
Send the following letter to parents at mid-year: Dear ______, We try to keep you updated on your child’s progress in school through report cards and our availability to meet with you at any time. It would help me in my efforts to work with your child if you could send me a brief note [...]
To encourage parental involvement ask students to create, in pairs or small groups, a brief list of things they think parents should do to support their children in school. They can list some of the things their parents already do or things their parents don’t do, but the students wish they did. Use these lists [...]
Relative to yesterday’s strategy for teaching students how to “study”, work with the class to create a check list of good study habits, and then distribute a copy to every student. As they study for the next assignment, ask them to check off each study habit they actually use and to submit their check list [...]
Relative to yesterday’s strategy for teaching students how to “study”, create your own list of what one should do when “studying”, distribute it to the class and ask students to react to your suggestions and to add any of their own.