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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in successful teaching and learning

Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

As a teacher, I often expect my students to think critically. If you're a teacher I bet you expect the same.

As a parent, you wish for your kids to be able to critically evaluate the choices an important situation offers to make the smart, most beneficial decision. I know I do and while I realize my son and my students will not always make the best decision in every situation, I want them to be equipped with the tools that increase their chances.

Critical thinking is such a tool.

It can, and perhaps should be applied in both personal and professional life.

But in school, critical thinking is expected but not taught explicitly. Just do it works for a shoe brand but rarely for people.

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Posted by on in General

Mastery learning doesn’t have to be scary.

A lot of times when I talk about Mastery Learning with teachers, I can see them slowly start back away and sometimes even getting noticeably scared. I’ll be honest, it can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Giving up control, managing a self-paced classroom, and transitioning to Mastery Learning can be done if you take it one step at a time.

Let’s look at 3 small steps you can take to help create a Mastery Learning classroom for yourself.

Plan For the Content NOT the Calendar

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Last modified on

Posted by on in General

As you read this you probably have a lot of ideas floating through your head about the amazing learning activities you’re going to experience with your students. Whether it is an idea you read about in an article, something a colleague of yours has tried, or an awesome PD session you’ve attended, it’s time to put those concepts into action! Regardless of how far into, or away from, the start of the year you are, I’d like to share 7 simple ways that you can start increasing student success in your classroom today! 

1. Set Systems and Routines:

I don’t want to beat a dead horse here ,or echo the wisdom of Wong and Wong, but the key to any successful instructional environment is systems and routines. Students will do better in an environment that is safe, predictable, and positive in nature. I would also argue, based on experience and observations, that it is a foundation of systems and routines that can allow for greater student freedom in the classroom. By providing this type of environment you will allow your students to thrive! 

2. Let Students Set The Pace:

If you did an evaluation of the most common reasons why management issues occur, or what causes student frustration to increase, or if you reviewed the most common interventions for special needs students, pace would be at the core of it all.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Engage Their Inner Rebel.

Adolescence contains the makings of a perfect storm. At a time when young people are establishing a sense of self and getting a grasp on how the world works, they also have limited freedom. There are rules. Everywhere. They have “written” and “unwritten” rules to follow at school, at home, in society at large. Navigating these rules is a large part of growing up—and many young people rebel as part of a healthy development process.

The storm clouds are building at my place. My eldest daughter will soon be a teenager. While I’m very eager to see where these years will take her, I’m also slightly apprehensive about what’s coming.

Should I run for the hills? Install deadbolts on the doors? Sign up for some extra therapy sessions? 

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Think. Design. Create. Test. Analyze. Think. Design. Iterate. Test. Solve. Improve. Solve better.

Think you're done? Think again!

The Design Thinking Process is really a cycle that looks something like this:

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2251.JPG

Take the iPhone. Apple releases a new model every year. Why? Profit of course! But, each version is better. It offers something new. Something desirable. Something that solves a past problem and improves the user experience.

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