William M. Ferriter

William M. Ferriter is a sixth-grade science teacher in a professional learning community near Raleigh, North Carolina. A National Board Certified Teacher, he has designed professional development courses for educators nationwide.

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Managing Your Class, No Matter the Size

Are You a YouTube Recommendation Engine for Your Students?

Categories: Technology

Let’s start with a simple question: are your students spending any of their free time watching videos on YouTube?

Here’s the answer: most likely.

While there is little direct statistical evidence of YouTube use by elementary-aged children, 81 percent of parents of children under age 11 who were surveyed report that their children are consuming content on the popular video-sharing website.

Marketing companies—who produce some of the most detailed statistics on YouTube use—report that 74 percent of kids between the ages of 12 and 24 use YouTube on a weekly basis, that YouTube captures about 30 percent of the total screen time of teenage users, and that the average teen spends about an hour each day watching YouTube.

Now another question: do you know what kind of YouTube videos your students are watching? Read more

Student feedback can include: "I noticed that..." and "I'm not sure I see..."

Practicing Peer Feedback: More Observations, Less Evaluation

Categories: Instruction

Over the last several years, I’ve done a ton of experimenting in my sixth-grade classroom with peer feedback—structured opportunities for students to give and receive feedback from one another.

That’s primarily a function of efficiency. Teaching close to 120 students with a wide range of skills and abilities every single year makes it darn near impossible for me alone to provide feedback to the learners in my classroom. If the best feedback is both timely and directive—an argument that Bob Marzano made nearly a decade ago—we need to teach students to look for guidance and support from one another, rather than simply waiting to receive feedback from classroom teachers, who are perpetually buried in stacks of papers that need to be graded. Read more

Interviewing teachers for a PLC

The Most Important Interview Question I Bet You’ve Never Asked

Categories: PLC

Let me start with a simple truth:  There is no single decision made by the principal of a professional learning community more important than who to hire to fill vacancies on individual learning teams.

After all, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty—working with students, influencing colleagues, shaping decisions, impacting public relations—for years to come. Heck, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty long after you have left for a new position.  Read more