Instruction

Five Keys to Personalizing Deeper Learning

Five Keys to Personalizing Deeper Learning

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Instruction, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Student Engagement, Technology

Based on Personalized Deeper Learning

Here’s a scenario to get us started: A colleague, Tom, is shoulder-deep advocating for technology as the best way to personalize learning for every kid. To start, he favors that every student be on a computer. For him, tech makes life easier for teachers.

I feel compelled to challenge Tom’s belief that every kid must have a digital program for every subject, all day, every day, if his teachers are going to personalize learning. (For starters, his declaration eliminates personalized learning for students who have neither a computer nor the internet, and most of those whose classrooms may have limited devices.) Read more

Acing Your Observation

Acing Your Observation

Categories: Instruction, School Improvement

Based on Kindergarten From A to Z

Many of my colleagues are eagerly awaiting the day when we can return to our physical classrooms full time to resume teaching as we have always known it to be.

However, there is one part of that process we are not looking forward to—the return of the dreaded observation. To some, the observer may be likened to the mother-in-law character from those 1950s sitcoms who comes into the house with white gloves, looking to find fault with everything. Read more

How We Know What We Know

How We Know What We Know

Categories: Instruction, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Thinking about Thinking in IB Schools: How We Know What We Know (Fogarty, Pete, 2020) examines teaching techniques in International Baccalaureate schools, focusing on a curricular framework that is used on the international instructional scene.

For students influenced by the high expectations of this “IB kind of study,” their performances show evidence of thought and a rare mindfulness for young learners. That said, this is a practical guide framed by the fine curricular beliefs crafted by the founders of the IB schools (2018) and the Theory of Knowledge (2014). Read more

Vocabulary Reigns Supreme

Vocabulary Reigns Supreme

Categories: Instruction, Literacy

Based on Literacy Reframed

“After we learn the mechanics of reading early on, through phonics and decoding, reading growth then depends, more than anything, on our ability to develop students’ knowledge base and vocabulary” (Lemov, 2015; Pinker in Hirsch, 2016; Shanahan, 2011, 2014; as cited in Schmoker, 2018, pg. 270).

This makes perfect sense because the true roots of reading are in the “knowledge learned and knowingness retained,” both of which are embedded and conceptualized as the reader makes meaning of the message. Read more

Preparing to Teach Online | (PREP) Pandemic Response and Educational Practices

Preparing to Teach Online: Blending What’s New With What You Already Know

Categories: Instruction, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, Technology

This entry is the 13th in a blog series called Pandemic Response and Educational Practices (PREP), which aims to highlight and further the important work educators are doing amid the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

Based on Creating the Anywhere, Anytime Classroom

“I’ve been teaching for 24 years, and I am now being asked to teach online. I love my job, and when it comes to teaching, I feel like I know what I’m doing. But in this moment, I don’t know where to begin.”

—Gloria, fourth-grade teacher Read more