The "Always, Sometimes, Never" Strategy can be used in any content area as an invitation to classify information about a topic. Watch this one-minute explanation of the strategy using Google Jamboard.
This year, more than ever, we as educators have to address our student's mental health. No matter if we are in person or virtual, we must discuss how students are feeling, coping, and provide opportunities for socialization (in a socially distanced world). Here are some ideas I will be implementing with my students this fall.
Written by Ashley Taplin
This past month has brought about dramatic changes in our schools and our home life. But, as we continue to distance ourselves physically, it has been incredible to see educators grow even closer in united fronts to deliver enriching education to students. Below are some ideas for deepening strategies in math that can be accessed both digitally and by print copy.
Written by Randi Anderson
Throughout the past year I've spent extensive time talking, collaborating, and brainstorming ideas all focused on classroom discussions circles. The research around discussion circles is astounding for student growth. In fact, classroom discussion has an effect size of .82 which translates to a TWO YEAR gain in student achievement. See Hattie's Effect size chart for reference.
Written by Ashley Taplin
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a conference by Steve and Michelle Ventura focused on growing our teams through data, strategies, and teacher clarity. We dove into Visible Learning research, founded by John Hattie, which synthesized instructional influences and ranked their effect size on learning. Hattie found that .4 was the average effect size of a year’s growth and thus, the strategies that are identified as .4 or higher can have an even greater impact on student learning.
It’s Monday morning and many students have arrived at school feeling tired or even stressed after a weekend of busyness. Some students move slowly to prepare for the day, while others put their heads down, ready to go back to sleep. In the worst case scenario, some students may have experienced trauma-filled weekends and their brains are still in fight or flight. So do they feel like learning? Probably not. Do students have a choice about whether they feel like learning?
The art of conversation is a life skill that must be taught to students. This past month, I worked with intervention educators on reading and writing strategies for high school students.
As students work to build skill automaticity and accuracy, we want to avoid death by worksheet and provide fun ways for students to process, practice, and strengthen important neural pathways. One instructional activity that always delivers is the Kagan collaborative learning strategy Quiz/Quiz/Trade.
Looking for a FUN summer reading opportunity to keep your students reading all summer long? Try hosting a Reader's Theater group with your school or community. Invite students from kindergarten through twelfth grade to join in on the fun!
When students are developing skills or strategies, they sometimes need coaching to move them to mastery. The Kagan strategy Rally Coach can be a perfect micro-intervention for helping students achieve the daily learning targets.
How can we get all our students to share their thinking? When setting up for pair shares, students should always know ahead of time who their share partner will be. They should have a title or designation to help them know who will talk and who will listen. Each time students are going to pair share, direct specific students to start the conversation. For example, say "Partner A: explain why you think the character..." Give students a short amount of time to explain and then say something like "Partner B: Do you agree or disagree with A? Is there evidence in the text to support your thinking?"
A word cloud is an image composed of words or phrases. Individually or as a team, students create an image in which the size of each word or phrase indicates its importance to the overall meaning of the topic or text. Word clouds can be created for concepts, characters, events, and themes across content areas.
We love to show ideas from our newsletter and seminars in action! You have probably heard and read some of our posts about quick writes. It is one of the best instructional strategies for building writing stamina and confidence. Here are two educators who used quick writes in September!
Using the success criteria, teachers can closely monitor learning and provide timely feedback about each students' progress or lack there of. The goal is to watch for students to demonstrate the success criteria. If they aren't able to demonstrate the daily learning target, then we must think about what is keeping them from doing so and take action quickly. Is there a gap or misconception that needs to be addressed in order to move students forward?
Writing in mathematics is a critical component for developing deep conceptual understanding. Math quick writes are a great way to get students thinking and explaining math concepts and relationships. A quick write is an opportunity for students to think about a specific topic or respond to a math-related question. The goal is to activate prior knowledge, make connections, and explore ideas. Any question or task that requires comprehension or analysis can be turned into a quick write.
Quick writes are a great way to kick off a writer’s workshop, or any class really. Give students a short prompt and ask them to write as much as they can, as well as they can, as quick as they can. Set a timer for one, three or even five minutes and let students write or "drite" (drawing + writing) about the prompt.
Writer’s Workshop should start and end with writing connected texts.
Quick writes are a great way to kick off writer’s workshop or any class, really.
Tell students to write as much as they can, as good as they can, as quick as they can. Set a timer for one to five minutes.