Using Literacy Skills to Solve Math Word Problems When Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES) opened in 2013 in the wake of the planned phaseout of P.S. 385, which the New York City Department of Education had tagged with a D, students were struggling academically. “When we arrived, we found a major deficit across all content areas,” said incoming principal and school founder Alexa Sorden, who was particularly alarmed by the reading scores. “The first year was challenging because we were trying to come up with a plan and say, ‘OK, how are we going to make sure that all the children are reading on grade level so that they’re prepared?’” Sorden, a former literacy specialist and teacher, felt that a strong foundation in reading and writing underpinned success across all content areas—and she made it the school’s mission to be literacy-first. In mathematics, a subject area not traditionally associated with literacy, Concourse Village has developed an especially innovative model that reinforces both reading and computational skills.
Allowing Test Retakes—Without Getting Gamed Debates about exam grades and retaking tests tend to coalesce, eventually, around the same arguments. One faction prioritizes subject mastery, the idea that it’s more important to get students to take incremental steps towards proficiency than to punish them with bad grades. The other side emphasizes personal responsibility, insisting that there are very few second chances in life, and that regular opportunities to retake tests simply teach kids that consequences are negotiable. But in a recent Facebook and Twitter poll about whether our teachers allow makeup tests, the discussion took a more practical turn.
How Collaboration Unlocks Learning and Lessens Student Isolation Uri at first asked the other mathematics faculty what they thought the reason was. They came up with a range of reasons: perhaps African American students came into the university with lower math scores or an insufficient mathematical background; perhaps they were from less wealthy homes. None of these suggested reasons were correct. What Uri found, through studying the students at work, was that there was one difference—the African American students worked on math problems by themselves, whereas the Chinese American students worked collaboratively. Teachers' Essential Guide to Formative Assessment How can I use formative assessment to plan instruction and help students drive their own learning? What is formative assessment? What makes a good formative assessment? How should I use formative assessment results?
In High School, the Kids Are Not All Right I lost my first student to suicide not long ago. The student was no longer in my class at the time, nor even at the school, but I was flooded with the expected surge of feelings: overwhelming sadness, periodic despair, compulsive frame-by-frame replays of our every interaction. I felt the loss deeply. It was unspeakably tragic—for the student’s friends and family, for me, and for the world I’d hoped the student would help shape. I was haunted, too—I still am—by the fear of a similar tragedy among my raw-nerved and anxious students. And the recent spike in teenage suicides in my area has underscored this fear sharply.
22 Top Tips for Better Classroom Management Classroom management can be a challenge. In this post, I’ll share twenty-two of my top tips and ideas that have helped me have an awesome classroom. While I won’t claim to ever be perfect, I have learned so much over the last seventeen years. If this post helps some of you avoid the mistakes I learned early on, then it will accomplish its purpose! Classroom Management Tip #1: Build a Partnership With Your Students It’s true that you must relate before you can educate. Classroom Video Gallery Search form Classroom Video Gallery The Institute for Inquiry filmed two days of instruction in two Sonoma classrooms to capture how teachers were translating ideas and principles explored through professional development into their teaching practice. These classroom videos provide insight into strategies teachers can employ—and the benefits and challenges they can expect to encounter—as they support students to develop language in the context of science.
How to Do Formative Assessment in Distance Learning Whether we use synchronous or asynchronous online sessions, whether we call it distance or virtual learning, we’re all challenged to provide meaningful education experiences at a distance as the education world grapples with the impact of Covid-19. This type of learning is nothing new, but it is new to many of us and has caused us to quickly shift our practices. Formative assessment at a distance is challenging but possible, and we still need to check for understanding and provide meaningful feedback. The practices we use will look and sound different than they do in the classroom. Here are some ideas to consider.