Handling Difficult Students The First Week Of School Hoping to head misbehavior off before it starts, most teachers try to be proactive with difficult students. Even before the bell rings on the first day of school, they peruse their new roster looking for those few whose reputation precedes them. They chat up previous teachers. And so when Anthony or Karla or whoever shows up for the first day of school, they can feel the bull’s-eye on their back. They can feel labeled right out of the gate. And when students feel labeled, they’re pulled inexorably in its direction—fulfilling the prophecy it foretells. To ensure this doesn’t happen on your watch, and to get your reputed difficult students headed in the right direction, it’s best to make them feel like just another member of your classroom. Here’s how: 1. When a student with a difficult reputation walks in on the first day and is asked to sit closest to the teacher, she knows the score. 2. Kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for. 3. 4. 5. One Standard That we believe in them.
Evaluation Tools The Team Implementation Checklists (v 3.1) This self-assessment tool has been designed to serve as a multi-level guide for (a) creating school-wide PBS action plans and evaluating the status of implementation activities on a quarterly basis. Effective Behavior Support (EBS) Survey (v 2.0) The EBS Survey is used by school staff for initial and annual assessment of effective behavior support systems in their school. PBS Leadership Team Self-Assessment and Planning Tool (Spanish Version) School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET) - v 2.1 The School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET) is designed to assess and evaluate the critical features of school-wide effective behavior support across each academic school year. School-wide Benchmarks of Quality: SCORING FORM Scoring Form of the Benchmarks of Quality for SWPBS. Oregon School Safety Survey v 2.0 The Oregon School Safety Survey is an instrument developed to obtain an efficient index of perceived school safety. Functional Behavior Support Plan (F-BSP)
Fostering Relationships in the Classroom Students and teacher need to develop positive and trusting relationships in an effective classroom. It is also critical that all students, especially English-language learners, develop trusting and enriching relationships with each other. There are many activities which can be used for both introductory purposes and throughout the year to build and maintain positive relationships in the classroom. Some activities which work well to introduce students to each other and to the teacher can be used again at later points in the year as students' interests change and as they gain new life experiences. 1) Sharing Weekly Reflections Each week, we have students write about two positive events that occurred in their lives and one not-so-positive event (along with what they could have done to make it better or what they learned from it). 2) Introducing Me/3 Objects This activity is sometimes called a "Me Bag" or an "All About Me Bag." 3) "I Am" Project 5) Two Truths and a Lie 6) Four Squares
7 First Day of School Activities Students Love The first day of school will be here before you know it. Most teachers face the big day with enthusiasm, but they dread the inevitable challenge: what to do on the first day of school. Every teacher’s approach is different. Whatever your goal, here are a few things to try to get the school year off to a great start! Goal: Getting to Know Your Students How well will your incoming students know you? If you’re teaching kindergarteners (or high school freshmen, who often seem like kindergarteners), you may need to spend the first day – or the first several days –getting everyone comfortable. Teaching strategies for improving friendship skills at the elementary school... The School of Education at Gardner-Webb University has received national... We examine the classroom management characteristics of effective teachers. A few useful classroom management ways to get information from your students on... 7 great technology in the classroom apps to use this year. Plan a Scavenger Hunt Do a Self-Portrait
38 Question Starters based on Bloom’s Taxonomy - Curriculet Curriculet is free for teachers and students. Get started here. This is the 2nd post in a series on how to write better curriculets (and literacy curriculum). Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Write Curriculets By Lindsey Howe, Curriculet writer and teacher During the five months I have been writing for Curriculet, I have experimented with many different ways to tackle question-crafting. While looking for ways to improve my questions, I discovered this list of 38 question starters based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. List of Question Starter Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy This list moves through the 6 taxonomy levels with questions for each one. Level 1: Remember – Recalling Information Key words: Recognize, List, Describe, Retrieve, Name, Find, Match, Recall, Select, Label, Define, Tell Question Starters: What is…? Level 2: Understand – Demonstrate an understanding of facts, concepts and ideas Can you explain why…? Level 3: Apply – Solve problems by applying knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a unique way
Do We Really Have High Expectations for All Students? By Barbara Blackburn Do you have high expectations for your students? I’ve never met a teacher who said, “I have low expectations for my students.” The challenge is that we sometimes have hidden low expectations of certain students. One year, early in my teaching career, several teachers “warned” me about Daniel, a new student in my room. Right from the start, no matter what anyone tells us, we have to be on guard to ensure that we keep high expectations in place for every single student. Our behaviors speak loudest Of course we may believe in high expectations for all the kids in our classroom but not translate those expectations into actions that support our beliefs. Robert Marzano has spent decades researching effective teaching practice. How often do we fail to use these same strategies with struggling learners? I know I made that mistake as a new teacher. Even though I said I expected all my students to learn, I didn’t really show that to Quinn. That was an eye-opener for me.
A Classroom Management Strategy For The First Days Of School At the start of a new school year, it’s common for teachers to send home a packet of information for parents. This packet typically consists of school policies and procedures, daily schedules, papers to be signed, and hopefully a classroom management plan. This is all fine and good. But by throwing all this information together in a single packet, you’re missing an opportunity to get classroom management started with a bang. The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to send a pleasant behavioral shock wave through your new class of students and their parents. After all, they’re ripe for a change. The students who have had behavior problems in the past are either hopeful to turn over a new leaf or chomping at the bit to wrest control of the class from you as quickly as they can. Either way, the strategy I’m going to share with you sets the tone for the upcoming school year and is an important first step to creating the class you really want. The Classroom Management Packet 1. 2.
Students Tell All: What It’s Like to Be Trusted Partners in Learning Inquiry-based learning is not a new pedagogy, but it has come back into fashion in progressive education circles recently because of new emphasis on the power of students’ innate curiosity to drive learning. Inquiry-based learning asks students to discover knowledge on their own with guidance from their teachers. Rather than receiving information up front through lectures, students research guiding questions, ask their own follow-ups and get help along the way. Learning through inquiry requires more student agency and demands that teachers and administrators trust that students will ask when they need help. It also places the responsibility for completing tasks and meeting deadlines on the shoulders of students. Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia is a partnership between The School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. Science Leadership Academy students spoke about their learning experience at the school. All photos by Bailey Collins Katrina Schwartz
5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students My first year teaching a literacy coach came to observe my classroom. After the students left, she commented on how I asked the whole class a question, would wait just a few seconds, and then answer it myself. "It's cute," she added. Um, I don't think she thought it was so cute. I think she was treading lightly on the ever-so shaky ego of a brand-new teacher while still giving me some very necessary feedback. So that day, I learned about wait/think time. Many would agree that for inquiry to be alive and well in a classroom that, amongst other things, the teacher needs to be expert at asking strategic questions, and not only asking well-designed ones, but ones that will also lead students to questions of their own. Keeping It Simple I also learned over the years that asking straightforward, simply-worded questions can be just as effective as those intricate ones. #1. This question interrupts us from telling too much. #2. #3. #4. #5. How do you ask questions in your classroom?
Smart Strategies That Help Students Learn How to Learn Teaching Strategies Bruce Guenter What’s the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It’s not just what you know. To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: knowledge about the subject at hand (say, mathematics or history) and knowledge about how learning works. In our schools, “the emphasis is on what students need to learn, whereas little emphasis—if any—is placed on training students how they should go about learning the content and what skills will promote efficient studying to support robust learning,” writes John Dunlosky, professor of psychology at Kent State University in Ohio, in an article just published in American Educator. “Teaching students how to learn is as important as teaching them content.” [RELATED: What Students Should Know About Their Own Brains] • I draw pictures or diagrams to help me understand this subject. Related
Ten Takeaway Tips for Teaching Critical Thinking Suggestions from educators at KIPP King Collegiate High School on how to help develop and assess critical-thinking skills in your students. Ideally, teaching kids how to think critically becomes an integral part of your approach, no matter what subject you teach. But if you're just getting started, here are some concrete ways you can begin leveraging your students' critical-thinking skills in the classroom and beyond. 1. Questioning is at the heart of critical thinking, so you want to create an environment where intellectual curiosity is fostered and questions are encouraged. In the beginning stages, you may be doing most of the asking to show your students the types of questions that will lead to higher-level thinking and understanding. 2. Pose a provocative question to build an argument around and help your students break it down. 3. 4. "It all comes back to modeling," says Kellan McNulty, who teaches AP world history and AP U.S. history at KIPP King Collegiate. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media Imagine a world where resources were limited to what was found in the classroom or the school closet known as the "Curriculum Materials Room." Picture a world where students wrote letters with pen and paper to communicate with other students and adults outside of the building. Due to postage costs, the teacher either sent the letters in bulk or paid for stamps out of his or her own pocket. Can you recall a time when student interests like skateboarding or video were never used as part of learning curriculum because the tools needed were either too expensive or not yet conceptualized? Do you remember a time when non-traditional learners struggled, and absenteeism meant a high likelihood of students doing poorly in school, and possibly having to retake the course? If you experienced none of these scenarios, then you live in a world of possibility because you grew up with the many social media tools available to support all learners. Selecting the Right Tool Readiness Interests