Six Ways to Successfully Build Relationships with Your Students By Rachael George It is all about relationships when it comes to education. This is probably something that you have heard a million times, but have you really stopped to think about the true effect relationships have on your students? Study after study has shown that a classroom teacher is the number one contributor to student achievement, even above the parent, peers, the entire school, or poverty. Here are some ways you can start building a solid foundation when it comes to relationships with your students. 1. For starters, you have to believe that you make an impact. 2. “Students these days!” Connect First as a Person In his recent book, Poor Student, Rich Teaching, Eric Jensen talks about the importance of connecting with your students. 4. If you want to keep students in school, you have to build the relationships and make learning personalized for them. 5. Students connect by talking to and interacting with one another. 6.
The Difference Between Differentiation And Personalized Learning The Difference Between Differentiation And Personalized Learning by TeachThought Staff The difference between differentiation, personalized learning, and the individualization of learning sometimes seems like a matter of semantics, but that could be that terms are used interchangeably when they’re actually not the same. The biggest difference really is the starting point. This chart from Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey clarifies some of the other differences. Related Posts A Beginner's Guide To Personalized LearningA Beginner's Guide To Personalized Learning by TeachThought Staff There is a difference between personalized learning and differentiation.
Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson? Recently, I was looking through my bookshelves and discovered an entire shelf of instruction books that came with software I had previously purchased. Yes, there was a time when software was bought in stores, not downloaded. Upon closer examination of these instruction books, I noticed that many of them were for computers and software that I no longer use or even own. I realized that I did the same when I bought a new car -- with one exception. This pattern was and is true for every device I buy. The Need to Know Too many classrooms ignore this basic learning model. Lessons, units, and topics are more motivating when they begin with a question whose answer students want to know. There is a catch, though, in using questions to begin your lesson. Have you ever forgotten the name of a song and spent hours trying to remember it? 10 Questions That Motivate Learning Questions this powerful are hard to find. Middle school math: What does Martin Luther King have in common with algebra?
edutopia Each day, teachers face the task of helping students stay engaged, show growth, and master the curriculum. How can they do this? Should they open the textbook and start teaching on page one? What DI Is and Isn't Many teachers feel overwhelmed if you mention the words "differentiated instruction." Creating an individual plan for each of my students Keeping students in stagnant groups based on data from the beginning of the year Teaching only the lower-level students and letting the higher-level students teach themselves. Instead, as stated in an ASCD infographic, differentiated instruction is when: Students can be in groups based on skills, interests, readiness, or by choice There is a "purposeful use of flexible grouping" while keeping the lesson's goals in mind Teachers are "teaching up" and holding students to high standards. Over the last three years, I have found DI easier with the use of technology. Differentiation Through Technology 1. 2. 3. Learning From Where They Are
We Grow by Embracing Our Teaching Mistakes A MiddleWeb Blog What do you do when your lesson doesn’t go as planned? When do you chalk it up to circumstances – a lesson interrupted by an assembly or a schedule change, a technology failure, or simply a bad classroom dynamic that day? When do you just admit that the problem is you? These aren’t easy questions, and as a veteran teacher, I still struggle against the urge to just ignore a wobble and reinvent the wheel each year. The problem with that solution is that it stops me from ever reaching “mastery.” I’m trying to set cues for myself to be more reflective and examine whether the lackluster unit or lesson is due to bad pacing, lack of formative assessments to gauge student readiness, or failure to engage students. Let’s look a little closer The 1932 movie based on Connell’s story. I wouldn’t say that last year’s unit on “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell wasn’t successful. In other words, it wasn’t stellar, so it was a perfect candidate for some self-reflection. Image credit
edutopia In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and crew are so intimidated by the Wizard's enigmatic personality that they struggle to talk with him on equal footing. Fear and frustration overwhelm them as they blindly accept a suicide mission to slay the Witch of the West. In return, they each receive a treasured prize: a heart, a brain, courage, and a way home. Ironically, they already have these gifts -- which they only discover after unveiling the man behind the curtain posing as the grumpy wizard. Differentiated instruction (DI) casts a spell on educators as to how it meets all students' needs. The DI elements were first introduced to me in How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms by Carol Tomlinson, and my understanding later deepened thanks to my friend and mentor, Dr. Image Credit: John McCarthy Content, process, and product are what teachers address all the time during lesson planning and instruction. Differentiating Content Watch an overview video from Khan Academy.
How to Approach Your Teaching Like a Master Chef Listen to my interview with John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey, or read a full transcript here. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 51:23 — 70.9MB) Subscribe: iTunes | Android | If you’ve been looking for a boost of inspiration lately, something to help you engage students deeply and make your teaching fun again, then I have just the book for you: The Classroom Chef, by Matt Vaudrey and John Stevens. Here’s the premise: If we want our lessons to have a long-lasting impact on our students, if we want to make our content really relevant, we need to design instruction the way a chef orchestrates a good meal, from appetizer all the way to dessert. In the book, Stevens and Vaudrey show us how they learned to do this in their math classes. The Classroom Chef: Sharpen Your Lessons,Season Your Classes, Make Math Meaningful by John Stevens & Matt Vaudrey This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Here’s a run-down of some of the book’s best ideas. Avoid Processed Food Hey!! Solicit Reviews
Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths In third grade, my daughter struggled with problems like 36 x 12, and she knew her multiplication facts. Fortunately, her math tutor recognized what was needed, and introduced the Lattice Method. For some educators, the Lattice Method is controversial. As educators, we know that learning is not one size fits all, and what's best for some students may not be for others. Myth #1: DI is a collection of strategies. There are many books, workshops, and organizations offering "differentiated strategies" that, when used, will instantly have teachers differentiating for their students. Truth #1: DI is a lens for implementing any strategy in all pedagogies. Consider that effective teachers have a wealth of tools that they use to meet student needs. The RAFTs strategy helps students develop writing for a target audience and improving their authors' craft. DI is a lens that we use ongoing during the data analysis and planning process for great strategic impact on student learning.
10 things students experience every day at school that we educators tend to forget about... So, just recently I was challenged by our middle school principal, Ty Crain. The challenge was simple... come be a student at the middle school for an entire day. This would mean starting the day at school at breakfast and following a schedule throughout the entire day just like any student would. The goal of this challenge is to experience what a student experiences and see the day-to-day operations of the middle school from an unbiased and different set of eyes. I accepted this challenge and have a new appreciation for what our students get to (have to) experience each and every day they are at school. Here are 10 things our students experience every day that I believe many of us educators tend to forget about... 1). 3).
What the Heck is Inquiry-Based Learning? Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what he or she wants to know. It’s about triggering curiosity. And activating a student’s curiosity is, I would argue, a far more important and complex goal than the objective of mere information delivery. Nevertheless, despite its complexity, inquiry-based learning can be somehow easier on teachers, too. True, it’s seemingly easier because it transfers some responsibilities from teachers to students, but it’s really easier because releasing authority engages students. Teachers who use inquiry-based learning combat the “dunno” -- a chronic problem in student engagement. Let’s face it, when you ask a student something like, “What do you want to know about _______?” In all honesty, however, what inquiry-based teachers do isn’t easy at all; it’s just hidden, and some people confuse the two. Learning Something New Triggering inquiry is about learning something new, and triggering curiosity is no small feat. Think about it. 1. 2. 3. 4.