Scrolling through Twitter and I see this: I stared at the screen for a moment before I re-tweeted it. At first, I didn't know why this was so intriguing to me, but then it dawned on me. As educators, we tell students, "there are no stupid questions," whether we believe it or not. Some teachers even … Continue reading Stupid Questions
If you are not using learning stations in your classroom, you are really missing out! Whenever I used stations, I was always beyond pleased with the outcome. Student engagement was up, and I was able to help my more introverted students who would not ask for help in the bigger group setting. Once I saw … Continue reading Student Learning Stations
Teaching students to analyze anything can be a daunting task. So when students have to make sense of all of the characters in a short story or novel, and THEN analyze them, the frustration can reach a boiling point for both the teacher and the student. To mitigate these frustrations, graphic organizers can be a … Continue reading Secondary ELA: Analyzing Characters with Graphic Organizers
The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model systematically transitions the responsibility of learning from the teacher to the student through four different phases. At each phase, the teacher and student share different responsibilities that decrease for the teacher and increase for the student as the class progresses through the model. Ideally, teachers would use this model … Continue reading Gradual Release of Responsibility Model
Common Core Standards are rigorously robust. Each standard is so layered, that there are many things a student needs to master in order to be proficient with the standard. As a result, there are a multitude of ways to assess student proficiency for each standard. When looking for ways to teach the standards, it is … Continue reading Lesson Planning: Turning Standards into Learning Targets
Understanding that students may not have the skills they are "supposed" to have to navigate grade-level text is difficult on both students and teachers. For this reason, I always spent the beginning of the school year teaching my students reading strategies and comprehension skills that we would implement for the rest of the year. Instead … Continue reading Secondary Reading Comprehension – Gradual Release
In a never-ending testing environment, formative assessments can be overwhelming. District-mandated assessments PLUS classroom assessments are a recipe for student shutdowns. But don't fear, try any of these methods to spruce up your classroom formative assessments. Students love the games, and teachers can use the information to drive instruction. Quizlet Live: Quizlet Live randomly places … Continue reading Interactive, Paperless, Formative Assessments
As a secondary curriculum coach, I have been in dozens of classrooms and done hundreds of observations. There is no one way to be a great teacher. That said, a master classroom isn’t a specific set-up of students and chairs, or board configuration and posted lesson plans. Instead, a master classroom has engagement, not compliance. Students drive … Continue reading What is a Master Classroom?
Today’s teachers are facing an uphill battle. With students coming in less and less prepared, climbing expectations of teachers have reached, what can feel like, an impossible level. Limited resources and ineffective professional development only further compound teacher frustration, resulting in rapid burn-out and high teacher turnover. As a former 10th grade ELA teacher, I … Continue reading Welcome to The Master Classroom!