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Six Scaffolding Strategies to Use with Your Students What’s the opposite of scaffolding a lesson? Saying to students, “Read this nine-page science article, write a detailed essay on the topic it explores, and turn it in by Wednesday.” Yikes! No safety net, no parachute—they’re just left to their own devices. Let’s start by agreeing that scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Simply put, scaffolding is what you do first with kids. Scaffolding and differentiation do have something in common, though. So let’s get to some scaffolding strategies you may or may not have tried yet. 1. How many of us say that we learn best by seeing something rather than hearing about it? Try a fishbowl activity, where a small group in the center is circled by the rest of the class; the group in the middle, or fishbowl, engages in an activity, modeling how it’s done for the larger group. 2. 3. All learners need time to process new ideas and information. 4. 5. 6.

LitTunes Lesson Plans / Soundtrack of Your Life An Activity to Inspire Reflective Writing and Personal Narrative Type of Activity: Individual. Approximate time: Four 50-minute class periods. Objective: Students will write reflectively and personally. Materials: The Soundtrack of Your Life assignment sheet includes blanks for songs and artists and an explanation of each required paragraph. Setup: Play music as the students are entering the classroom. Procedure: Day One: Distribute a copy of the lyrics and play Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." Day Two: Have the students collect the titles of at least eight meaningful songs that correspond to the events they selected on Day One. Day Three: Now that the students have created an "imaginary soundtrack" to their lives, have them write a reflective letter that explains why each event and song is included. Day Four: (Wait several days after Day Three for this part of the lesson.) Bon Jovi lyrics: CLICK the musical note below for a printer friendly version of the lyrics to "It's My Life."

Top 10 Picture Books for the Secondary Classroom As a teacher of future English teachers, I am always trying to open my students’ eyes to the wonder and power of the picture book, both as an art form and as a terrific instructional tool for the secondary classroom. Being students of capital-L literature, my teacher-babies sometimes forget to consider these compact and powerful texts. It’s the best way I know to get numerous, diverse and COMPLETE texts into students’ minds. It’s hard enough to squeeze out the time in the overcrowded middle and high school English curriculum to read young adult and classic novels, but with picture books, you can read the entire work aloud, model the focus you want students to concentrate on, let them explore the craft, have the discussion, and even try it out in their own writing–all in one period! So here, in no particular order: my top ten. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Nerdy friends, you are never too old for picture books–I feel like you know that!

Top 100 - Classical Music Best Famous Popular Kickass It's the top Classical Music from movies, songs, commercials, cartoons, video games and ringtones. Scroll down for the Kickass Classical Top 100 Countdown - all the hits from #100 to #1 without all the clicking. Sort this list. Click the header to sort by Composer, Title, Year, or Keyword. On this site, click to hear the piece. iTunes and Amazon. Buy the brand new Kickass Classical Album. 100 tracks, over 9 hours of classical music. iTunes Amazon Featuring classical hits like: Beethoven "Symphony No. 5: I" Tchaikovsky "1812 Overture" Mozart "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro" Bach "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor" Rossini "William Tell Overture" Pachelbel "Canon In D" Strauss "Blue Danube" Orff "Carmina Burana: O Fortuna" Strauss, R "Also Sprach Zarathustra" Offenbach "Infernal Galop" If you like the list above... You'll hear all the pieces in the Kickass Classical Top 100 non stop. Click the YouTube player to the right. Or the SoundCloud player below.

Writing Discursive compositions (Secondary level) (Part 5): Introduction of Discursive essay (use of case studies) | ENRICHING THE INTELLECTUAL FABRIC OF YOUR MIND This is my fifth post on discursive writing. For my first post, please click here. Having discussed the technique of historical development and cause and effect, let’s take a look at writing the introduction using a case study or case studies. This is a more challenging technique since students are expected to not only have prior knowledge of the subject matter in the questions, but they also need to know specific, preferably historical or contemporary understanding of current happenings to do well in their writings. Students who wish to use this technique should read newspapers and magazines very regularly to get a firm and all-rounded grasp of global events and specific details of incidents such that they are able to elaborate well in their introductions using specific case studies. Consider the following discursive questions: i. ii. iii. iv. v. Once again, let’s consider how to write the introductory paragraph from two of the above: ii. Introduction: iv. Like this: Like Loading...

Music Machinery | a blog about music technology by Paul Lamere 5 Excellent Web Tools For Giving Students Narrative Feedback 5 Web Tools for Giving Students Narrative Feedback by Mark Barnes Teachers may reside in a society driven by standards and high stakes testing, but this doesn’t change the fact that the best way to evaluate learning is with formative assessment and narrative feedback. In decades researching more than 250 million students worldwide, John Hattie, author of Visible Learning, discovered that student self-assessment and teacher feedback impact achievement over the course of a school year far more than traditional assessment techniques. Digital Tools Make Providing Feedback Easy and Engaging While many teachers readily admit that narrative feedback is a powerful means for evaluating learning, these same educators often struggle with providing feedback, because it’s far more time consuming to write feedback than it is to simply place a number or a letter on a student’s work. 5 Web Tools for Feedback 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Providing daily narrative feedback is challenging and time consuming.

Medeltida musik: spännande fakta och musikklipp Välkommen till en artikel om medeltida musik på Begreppet åsyftar förstås den musik som förekom under medeltiden, innan renässansens intåg i mitten av 1400-talet. Den kulturella medeltiden pågick strax efter Roms fall till 1500-talet – en period om ungefär 1000 år. Introduktion till medeltida musik Ur ett teoretiskt perspektiv: Den tidiga repertoaren, som skulle lägga grund för den gregorianska sången (läs mer om den längre ner) kom från kristna samhällen i länder som Syrien och Israel. Instrument: Rösten var det vanligaste och viktigaste instrumentet under medeltiden, men visst fanns det ett antal instrument. Redan på 700-talet tog sig felor (tidiga fioler) och liknande stråkinstrument till Europa från Bortre Orienten (japp, vårt vanligaste svenska folkinstrument är ursprungligen från Mellanöstern). Sakral musik Från början var framfördes de kyrkliga, liturgiska texterna helt utan ackompanjerande instrument. Melodierna kunde vara väldigt olika till naturen. Profan musik

A Peek into our Nonfiction Research and Research Based Argument Essay Unit Last week, we completed our Nonfiction Research Unit and Research Based Argument Essay Unit, which are integrated units in reading and writing workshops. Below are the charts we created as a class during the unit. I tried to put the charts in the order (somewhat) that we created them in to help give you a snapshot of what our work looked like in our classroom. At the beginning of each unit, I always launch it by discussing the purpose of the unit with my students and WHY we are learning this set of skills. After identifying the purpose, we also think about which skills/strategies we can transfer from our previous unit to the new unit. During each reading and writing unit, we create class charts that identify the teaching points taught in each mini-lesson so students can refer to the charts throughout the unit. During reading and writing units, we create charts with examples, phrases/stems, and helpful strategies.

History Official Site of Negro Spirituals, antique Gospel Music The story of the negro spirituals is closely linked to the History of African Americans, with its three milestones: 1865: the abolition of slavery 1925: the Black Renaissance 1985: the first Dr Martin Luther King’s Day. Between 1865 and 1925 Slavery was abolished in 1865. Then, some African Americans were allowed to go to school and be graduated. At Fisk University, one of the first universities for African American, in Nashville (Tennessee), some educators decided to raise funds for supporting their institution. Just after 1865, most of African Americans did not want to remember the songs they sung in hard days of slavery. In the 1890s, Holiness and Sanctified churches appeared, of which was the Church of God in Christ. At the same time, some composers arranged negro spirituals in a new way, which was similar to the European classical music. Between 1925 and 1985 In the 1920s, the Black Renaissance was an artist movement concerning poetry and music.

Making Feedback on Writing Easy - Earlier today, I received an email from's Anna regarding a beta service for offering feedback on online student writing. What's fascinating is the approach they take to accomplishing the feedback, which give the online feedback a "paper" approach. Here's an excerpt from the email Anna Maybank, co-founder, sent me: We've created an editing experience that closely resembles scribbling notes over a physical piece of paper - something we think that's ideal for grading, giving student feedback and peer-to-peer support. We're still in private beta and we have a limited number of invitations to give away to any students (and professors!) who would like to try out the service. This link should be good for 50 accounts: The feedback Poetica enables more finely grained controls that what you see in GoogleDocs, which is what looked like to me when I first saw it. You'll see what I mean in the screenshots below...

Engagement and Personalization: Feedback Part 2 We know the relationship between feedback and achievement is strong. What about the relationship between feedback, personalization and, hence, motivation? The recently-released Gallup poll on American education in which hundreds of thousands students and teachers were polled is quite revealing. Among the 600,000 students who took the poll in 2013, those who strongly agreed with two simple statements were 30 times as likely as those who strongly disagreed with both to be emotionally engaged at school. 1. 2. The Gallup folks note, however, that our current approach to teaching and testing makes it harder for teachers to “tailor their instructional approach to individual students’ needs and to ensure that the praise they offer is personal and meaningful.” Harder, but not impossible. “Meaningful interactions at school drive student engagement. This matters. In 2009, Gallup conducted an in-depth study of 78,106 students in 160 schools across eight states…The results were dramatic. Like this:

A 6-Point Plan for Writing Success: Giving Our Students “The Write Stuff” - Columbus, OH Most of us have counted down the days until spring. But this year, March, April, and May bring a bit of trepidation to many in the education community. With the heightened demands of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and forthcoming next-generation assessments—which require a renewed emphasis on writing—many districts are concerned that students won’t be prepared. No longer will students find tests comprised of dozens and dozens of “bubble-filled” multiple-choice questions. Instead, writing—assessed at every tested grade level—will be a key factor in the next-generation assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The importance of writing skills on these new tests far exceeds traditional expectations. During the first half of the school year, I traveled across the country delivering presentations on CCSS writing and upcoming assessments.

25 Of The Best Research Apps For iPad & Android 25 Of The Best Research Apps For iPad & Android Out of all the reasons to use a tablet or smartphone in the classroom–or the library–mobile research might be among the most natural. Whether a student is… …Google’ing, Wikipedia’ing, facebook’ing; saving a resource, taking a picture of a page so they don’t have to check out the whole book, or sharing a pdf with themselves from one account to another; seeing if the National Archives, twitter, or Questia makes more sense for what they’re looking for; need to ask a peer, a teacher, or a community member about the best source for a certain data point or tidbit; need to ping reddit, Google+, or instagram community to see what important guiding question they’re failing to ask… Using a tablet–whether from Apple, Google, or Windows–is often the most seamless way for them to do so. Coupled with a pencil and a notepad, a tablet or smartphone–and all the apps and networks they give you access too–can make for a powerful combination.