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March 21, 2017

Twitter Chats Complement Class Discussions

Twitter chats enhance classroom learning by engaging more students in the conversation. They enjoy using social media and therefore prefer to engage in a discussion using the format. When was the last time you heard a student complain that he/she wasn't able to say everything they wanted to or realize an idea to the fullest potential? Check out how you can implement this tool in your classes.

March 16, 2017

Make Standards Visible in Mastery Communication

Assessing students is a serious business and the better we get at it, the more students get out of it, enabling them to start doing it for themselves becoming more independent learners. We simply can't value things like "USB- remains in class" when it comes to assessing learning.

March 14, 2017

Have You Provided Students Enough Feedback for Growth?

Learning is an on-going process and it seems inadequate and arbitrary to try to label learning along the way when it looks so different for so many students. But since many of us are in the situation that does require grades, we must make sure students and parents aren't surprised when progress reports or report cards come. Even if your comments are pre-written, make sure to provide meaningful comments to aid in understanding the snapshot you are providing.

March 09, 2017

Tips for Capitalizing on Lost Instructional Time

As teachers, when we are called away to meetings, especially of the unexpected variety, with little time to plan for the loss, we need to have protocols in place in our classrooms that inspire and encourage students to use the independent substitute time to continue their learning.

March 05, 2017

How Robotics Motivated Me to Stay in School

Long Island City High School student, Giselle Galindo shares how robotics helped her want to stay in school, opening her up to a whole world of learning she didn't even know she was interested in. Programs like the one Giselle describes are instrumental in keeping our students in school and excited about learning. Read about Giselle's love of robotics.

March 02, 2017

Traditional Report Cards Are Obsolete

Report cards were a solution once that probably made some form of communication easier. However, the kind of communication it fosters sends the wrong message about what learning should be. As we shift the mindset about learning, we also have be mindful about the sub-conscious messages we send systemically about what learning actually is.

February 26, 2017

For Students, Blogging Doesn't Feel Like Work

Imagine a classroom of kids, engaged in writing because they like it; they want to do it. No more sighs and audible "ahs" when it comes time to blog. It's easy and it's fun and best of all, it doesn't feel like learning, but it is.

February 19, 2017

Twitter Can Improve Text-Based Class Discussion

Class discussion can be challenging when you have a large class and only a few students who seem prepared to speak. Too often we allow the reticent folks in the room to silently sit and watch while their classmates control the discussion.

February 16, 2017

Using Data to Determine When a Do-Over Is Necessary

There will be times when scrapping what happened altogether may be the best plan and just starting over or moving on and then circling back at another time, but more often then not, it's worth it to just pause and reflect. These moments can yield a great deal of learning for everyone, including us.

February 12, 2017

Empower Students to Be 'Captains of Communication'

Read how Science teacher, Brian Klaft builds student communication by empowering students to be table captains. "Even though there is some tweaking to be done with this strategy one thing is for sure, putting my strongest communicators in leadership roles has made my classroom higher functioning. I see it in their conversations, in their collaborative work, self written work, and assessments. It has helped all students grow in many ways. Give it a try the next time you rearrange your class. It won't take long for you to see the positive results."

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