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March 12, 2012

There Are No Stupid Questions, But...

It's fine to encourage students to speak up by telling them there are no stupid questions. Yet students' willingness to ask questions has less to do with us encouraging them to do so than how we respond when they actually do ask questions. Unfortunately, teachers often respond to questions in w...

February 25, 2012

Mandatory Homework--for Teachers

In my recent post, Don't Prevent Students' Mistakes, Prepare for Them, I wrote that lesson planning should be more about anticipating students' errors and preparing to help them learn from those errors than trying to develop presentations that prevent all errors. "Sounds good in theory," a teacher ...

January 02, 2012

Don't Prevent Students' Mistakes, Prepare for Them

It's common knowledge that people can learn as much from their mistakes as anything. And yet traditional teaching methods often deny students the chance to learn from their mistakes by preventing them from making mistakes. In social studies and science, for example, a lot of teachers tell student...

October 15, 2011

Students at the Board: Confidence Booster or Buster?

Presenting solutions to homework or class work in front of the class can be a real confidence booster for students. But it can also be a real confidence buster for them if they come to the board thinking they're experts and their answers turn out to be wrong. And if that's not deflating enough for...

July 02, 2011

Technology: Teacher Enhancement, NOT Replacement

Web 2.0 applications. Mobile learning. Digital portfolios. Flipped classrooms. Just a few of many topics I learned more about at the recent International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE), and plan to tweet/blog about in the coming weeks. But what stood out to me at ISTE even m...

March 27, 2011

The "Do Now" or "Do Never"?

It's common--and good--practice for teachers to have a short activity, often called a "Do Now," on the board for students to work on as soon as they enter class. Many teachers use the "Do Now" time to handle administrative tasks like taking attendance or organizing lesson materials. Then, after five...

December 19, 2010

Situation-Specific Student Seating

Having students re-orient their seats to suit each situation is an often-overlooked key to keeping them engaged, says David Ginsburg.

November 28, 2010

Why Extra Credit is Extra Wrong

Quick-on-her-feet English teacher Helga Vutz sends students the right message by saying no to their request for extra credit.

November 24, 2010

The Overhead Projector: Don't Overlook It (Part 2)

In a prior post, David Ginsburg explained why teachers should use a projector rather than the board. He now provides pointers for using projectors to their full potential.

November 21, 2010

Directions for Giving Directions

Effective instruction and assessment practices apply as much to giving directions as they do to delivering academic content, says instructional coach David Ginsburg.

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