Thursday, April 19, 2018

Teaching Tip #144




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #144

A very interesting tool - if you're thinking of going to a student centered classroom - Explain a Website.  This app allows you to record you actions and voice as you explain how a website works.  How interesting would it be to put this on all our students' computers and have them analyze their favorite websites?


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Teaching Tip #143




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #143

It’s become our mantra around here – this year more than ever – but it’s totally true: “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”

I saw this on Twitter and I thought this is what great culture looks like.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Teaching Tip #142




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #142

What would students be able to fill in during your slideshows?

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Teaching Tip #141




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #141


This was aimed at beginning teachers, but can’t it apply to us all?

Commandment #10 – Keep ahead of your game

How do you keep ahead of your game?  One thing that I’ve found that always happened to me as a first year teacher was that I was – if I was lucky – just a day or two ahead of the students.

I thought those days were gone until we got new curriculum.  Then I was back to being just a couple days ahead of the students.

So how do you stay ahead?

When it comes to curriculum, I fear the only way (at least for me) to do this is through experience . . . the experience of teaching it several times.  And that takes, well, time.

But when it comes to staying ahead of the game in terms of PD, I think there are a number of ways I try to stay ahead: I’m a voracious reader.  I devour podcasts (in fact, we started a podcast club last summer to stay ahead of the game). I love talking shop. I spend 45 minutes a day on Twitter soaking up interesting articles related to teaching and English.  I go to conferences (TIES and MCTE have been excellent places to both learn new ideas and to see that what I’m doing in class is right in line with what others who are pushing the envelop are doing too).

How do you stay at the top of your game?





Friday, April 13, 2018

Teaching Tip #140




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #140


This was aimed at beginning teachers, but can’t it apply to us all?

Commandment #9 – Google it

I once read that teaching is the art of acting like you have known your whole life what you just learned that morning.

Google, though, either makes that easier than ever or irrelevant.

Why bother to act like you’ve known it all your life, when you can show students your curiosity and passion for learning?

Aren’t those the traits we want them to take away from our classes?


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Teaching Tip #139



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #139


This was aimed at beginning teachers, but can’t it apply to us all?

Commandment #8 – Have clear procedures for classroom behavior

This is a must for young teachers . . . even for veteran teachers.

And this is something I constantly struggle with.

I try to build our classroom procedures right in to our classroom culture.

Our classroom core values last year were –

1.  Failure is essential and inevitable; the key is to learn from our failures.
2.  Keep it simple, but make it significant.
3.  Be open minded and explore new things: STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
4.  Respect ideas that aren't your own.
5.  Take something new from class everyday.

These help guide us in our procedures and how we treat each other.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Teaching Tip #138




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #138


This was aimed at beginning teachers, but can’t it apply to us all?

Commandment #7 – Maximize your teaching time.

I think Mr. Froiland is a master at this.  Students often talk about how not a moment is wasted.  I’m envious of this.

I don’t do a good enough job maximizing my class time.  One tip I am going to use from this article is to set time limits.  Hard time limits.

I like to truncate my block into at least three or four different sections.  One might be an intro activity of 10 minutes. Another might be a write assignment of 15 minutes.  A third would be a reading assignment of 40 minutes. And wrap up with an exit slip activity that sets us up for the next day.

In fact, I’d like to see us return to look at some of the best practices we have adopted for the block.  And breaking up the block into sections was one of them. But my problem is that I don’t have firm time limits.  So if students are reading quietly, I’ll let them keep going. Inevitable, a few finish early and go on the MacBooks or take out their phones.  I don’t stop this since several others are still reading, but I’m not maximizing the time of those on their computers or phones.

I need to get better at that.