This is the first post in the Teaching Tools You Gotta Have series. I plan to discuss a different teaching tool each week! Generally, these will be inexpensive yet highly useful. So, be sure and check them all out! With individual student whiteboards, you can save paper, make learning fun, and keep your whole class engaged all at the same time. There are many uses
I believe that most teachers don’t really know what is going on socially in their classroom. Not because they aren’t paying attention or because they don’t care, but because much of the social interaction – especially negative interactions – happen at lunch or recess, before or after school, or intentionally behind the teacher’s back. As adults we can’t really, truly know what is going
Word searches are stupid because they have very little educational content other than that the words in the search are usually vocabulary words from an area of study. Not only that, they take very little thinking to solve. Basically, just scaning for letters. They are the ulitmate form of busy work. Here are some ways to make them less stupid: Use clues instead of a list of words If
School is all about evaluation. Everything from written work to behavior to how neatly one keeps one’s desk is up for judgement. And then of course there are those endless batteries of standardized tests. While this is the easiest and perhaps most effective way to get the desired result, ultimately, it can have harmful results. Among other things, it trains children to look for external validation, discourages
Please take this post in the spirit of fun and lightness in which it is offered. One to write a detailed lesson plan on how to change the light bulb to be turned into the administrators for review at least a week before the light bulb is to be changed. One to be sure the lesson plan includes plans for how to differentiate the changing of the light
Every classroom has a culture. Some aspects of your classroom culture might have evolved organically, while others have been carefully planned and implemented. You may be pleased with some aspects of your classroom culture and not so pleased with others. As the teacher, you are the primary architect of your classroom culture. For that reason, it may be good to reflect a bit and see if
Most likely, there are times and spaces in your day when not much learning is taking place. Here are some easy ways to sneak a little learning into those spaces. Look in Line Put up interesting and relevant things to look at on the walls where your students usually line up. Some ideas include: Current vocabulary or spelling words, mental math problems fun science,
This is Zig-Zag. When I was teaching third grade, he was our class mascot. In his physical form, he was a large, light green, stuffed snake that I had bought at IKEA. He usually resided in our class Book Nook. But Zig-Zag was much more than a stuffed snake. He was very much a part of our classroom culture. Here are some ways that Zig-Zag
When I was in college I had to take Statistics (Psych major, Ed minor). The professor that taught the class had a reputation for scaring the bejeebies out of his students – a reputation that turned out to be true. Not looking like you were actively trying to solve whatever problem he presented was an invitation to ridicule. Voicing that you didn’t understand was worse.
I am so happy to be hosting my first guest post from the authors of Technology in Class. Technology in class offers a wealth of information, not just on technology, but also on teaching strategies and education issues. They have a knack for finding lots of useful and interesting links as well. I student taught at a nationally recognized high school for academic excellence.