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Mindfulness in the Classroom. For me, it all started with a simple chime.

Mindfulness in the Classroom

That’s how I first implemented the core practice of breathing — on purpose — into my classroom’s daily routine. The chime was a simple, calming sound to alert the students it was time to breathe. Sure, I felt a bit silly asking kids to bow their heads and mindfully breathe, but I did it anyway and, with each passing day, the chime and breathing practice were just part of our classroom culture — a routine I looked forward to throughout the day. Growth Mindset: Moving From I Can't To I Can't Yet. This is the first in Marion Ivey’s Getting Better Together series, Moving From I Can’t To I Can’t Yet.

Growth Mindset: Moving From I Can't To I Can't Yet

Marion and all the Teaching Channel Laureates are going public with their practice and seeking support in getting better from colleagues and the Tch community. Last year, on the first day of school, I asked my kindergarteners to draw self-portraits. I passed out hand mirrors to each child and said, “Draw yourself the way you look today.” One little girl looked at me, batted her long lashes, and said, “I can’t.” Four Strategies To Create A Culture of Success in Middle School. If you’ve ever taught middle school, you know it can be challenging.

Four Strategies To Create A Culture of Success in Middle School

But you also know what a special place being in the middle can be. Middle schoolers enjoy laughter. They’re curious. They’re starting to think like adults, but still enjoy being a kid. iTeach and iLearn: No More Crappy Homework. Please forgive me for using "crappy" in the title of this post if that language offends you.

iTeach and iLearn: No More Crappy Homework

But I decided to start things off this way, because it describes the quality of work so many teachers assign. I am pointing the finger at myself here first of all. I have assigned my share of shoddy, low-quality, busywork over the years. I just read this brief piece from Edutopia, entitled "Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question. " 13 Strategies to Improve Student Classroom Discussions. Questions inspire!

13 Strategies to Improve Student Classroom Discussions

When educators pose thought-provoking questions to their students, they send a powerful message that students’ ideas about what they read are valuable. Great Books' professional learning courses, webinars and consultation days help educators gain new instructional strategies, pose higher-order and text-dependent questions, and encourage classroom discussion. Asking the right questions at the right time is a skill best cultivated over time. Educators who learn the art of effective questioning help their students develop the capacity to think critically, to analyze and comprehend challenging texts, to listen carefully to new perspectives, and to communicate complex ideas both orally and in writing.

Four questions that encourage growth mindset among students. Teachers have long battled with how to get their students to become more resilient and improve their mindset.

Four questions that encourage growth mindset among students

One popular theory, pioneered by Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, is the idea of growth mindset. Dweck explains that some students believe ability is malleable and can be improved (a growth mindset), while others think it is set in stone, probably decided at birth (a fixed mindset). Evidence suggests that those with a growth mindset seek out feedback on how to get better, persist with work for longer and cope better with change – all attitudes teachers want to develop in their young charges. How can teachers encourage a growth mindset? Nurturing Growth Mindsets: Six Tips From Carol Dweck - Rules for Engagement. Washington Stanford researcher Carol Dweck clearly tapped into a powerful and compelling idea when she linked the concept of growth mindsets to academic success.

Nurturing Growth Mindsets: Six Tips From Carol Dweck - Rules for Engagement

As fans of Dweck's research can quickly explain, people with fixed mindsets see strengths and skills as inate traits, like eye color. You're either born with them, or you're not. But people with growth mindsets recognize that the brain can grow and change through effort, and they embrace failures as opportunities for developing new strategies and approaches to learning content and concepts they find challenging. Enthusiasm for Dweck's work has spread rapidly, and her name is a buzzword in many schools as teachers buy into the idea that helping students shift their mindsets can lead to academic gains. Using Choice Boards to Differentiate in the Classroom. As I grew more experienced in the classroom, I also grew more comfortable with students making choices and working independently.

Using Choice Boards to Differentiate in the Classroom

As the teacher, I didn’t have to have the control all of the time. When I did relax a little bit and hand some of that control over to my students, I realized I was also increasing the level of responsibility students had for completing their own work. When all of my students were doing the same thing at the same time, it required very little effort on the students’ part. Giving them choices meant now they had options, but they had to do the work individually rather than relying on the teacher or other classmates.

One of my favorite ways to give students choices is using choice boards. De Bono's Hats. Resources for Teaching Growth Mindset. Empowering Students Through Multimedia Storytelling. Perceptions of people and events are very much dependent upon who you are and what your experience has been.

Empowering Students Through Multimedia Storytelling

Events in Ferguson and Baltimore, among others, highlight our misunderstandings of each other, and how the same facts can be interpreted entirely differently. What's worse, people of color and underrepresented groups are defined by journalists covering these events, who themselves don't reflect the ethnic composition of our country as a whole. Recent studies have proven that stories can change perceptions and even make people more tolerant. Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Verbs [Infographic] When using Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy (a revised take on Bloom’s devised by educator Andrew Churches), it helps to have a list of verbs to know what actions define each stage of the taxonomy.

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Verbs [Infographic]

This is useful for lesson planning, rubric making, and any other teacher-oriented task requiring planning and assessment strategies. The Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy verbs in this handy infographic apply specifically to each stage of the taxonomy. They progress from LOTS (lower-order thinking skills) to the HOTS (higher-order thinking skills). 22 Powerful Closure Activities. Too many university supervisors and administrators criticize the absence of lesson closure, a dubious assessment practice likely caused by the improper use of Madeline Hunter’s lesson plan model (PDF) as a de facto checklist of eight mandatory teaching practices -- anticipatory set, objective and purpose, input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice, independent practice, and closure -- a custom that Hunter decried in 1985 (PDF). Although it offers multiple benefits, please don't view closure as a professional must-do.

What Is Closure? Closure is the activity that ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression, a phenomenon that Colorado State University professor Rod Lucero calls the recency effect. Teachers use closure to: Check for understanding and inform subsequent instruction Emphasize key information Tie up loose ends Correct misunderstandings. Teaching Tools.