Words of Wisdom #6: Student Academic Success

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ACADEMIC SUCCESS – SHOWING STUDENTS THE LINK BETWEEN EFFORT AND OUTCOME Now we know the truth of this statement, but unfortunately it is not always something that students understand.  And it is our job to help students connect the study habits, behaviors, and habits of mind with the resulting academic success that follows when they engage these three.  We must help students see what and how they need to do to experience academic success. The Kappan once ran a cartoon of a student after school saying to his friend:  My teacher’s really tricky – I study hard and she gives me […]

Words of Wisdom #5: Classroom Procedures

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  CLASSROOM PROCEDURES – KEY TO CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT    No doubt you have a picture in your head of how an effective classroom should run.   You have an ideal image of what things students should be doing – and how and when and where.  The goal is to get that same image in your students’ heads.  And believe me, none of them have yet passed Mind Reading 101.  These ideas are realized through your teaching of classroom procedures.     I blush to admit that the following story is true… TRUE STORY – BUT NOT THAT YEAR…YET It was the second […]

Words of Wisdom #4: Problem Prevention in the Classrooom

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Repeated eye contact and physical proximity — a recipe for problem prevention in the classroom. Teacher “withitness” can not only prevent misbehavior before it occurs, but also it can improve classroom climate and increase student engagement.   PROBLEM PREVENTION IN THE CLASSROOM Well, of course!  This one seems obvious.  Nip “stuff” in the proverbial bud before it gets a chance to blossom.  Problem prevention is the goal.  But the trick is HOW do you do it?  It starts with something from WOW #2 – that thing about your two best classroom management tools being your eyes and feet.  Making periodic, […]

Words of Wisdom #3: Check Student Understanding

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“Are there any questions?” isn’t a reliable method to check student understanding. But substituting the words “What are you wondering?” or “What have I not made clear?” creates the opportunity for students to express safely what they do not yet understand.   A CHECK FOR BRAVERY, NOT STUDENT UNDERSTANDING   “Are there any questions?” Here is a ubiquitous interrogative phrase teachers utter after just about any explanation. Teachers generally intend it to check student understanding.  But consider it from a student’s point of view – especially if you are an adolescent student.  Here is an invitation to appear ignorant before your […]

Words of Wisdom #1: Teacher Sharing and “Stealing”

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Teacher sharing and “stealing”… a prescription to increase teacher effectiveness (and to avoid burnout).   TEACHER SHARING As you continue in your career, you will do some things really well. When you do, share them.  We are a profession, and that is what professionals do.  When doctors discover cures, they tell other doctors so more people can get well.  When teachers discover effective management strategies, teaching techniques, home-school communication methods, and any of those other great things we do, we too must share. Teacher sharing is truly a moral responsibility. The story is told of a third-grade teacher in a […]