Too Many Students and Not Enough Time
We all feel the strain at one time or another. We feel that our classes are too large, we have too much to do, and not enough time in class to reach every student. This article points to differentiation being the key to helping us through these difficulties. Many of the strategies we have been highlighting in recent years during our professional development are stated as methods to differentiate and therefore be more effective in the classroom.
Transform whole class instruction into small learning teams.
Use a variety of structured dialogue prtocols to focus learning expereinces.
Focus students on deeper learning/thinking.
Plan activities based on the levels and interests of the students you have in the classroom currently.
Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk
If you are interested in improving the discourse within partner/group work in your classroom, take 6 minutes to watch this video. The video highlights an elementary school in England that focuses on oracy in the classroom. To support oracy, the teachers use discussion guidelines, discussion roles, and choosing the level of participation in structured talk tasks to help each student learn through discussion. You can see examples of each of these below.
Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement
Don’t forget about our VIRTUAL PD Opportunity! Join us on Wednesday, January 25th from 2:30 – 3:30 to discuss your results from trying the 8 different wait times listed below. Please sign up in KALPA.
Slowing Down to Learn: Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement
In this excerpt from her book, Patricia Jennings, reminds us that the benefits of using wait time in our classrooms is not only for the students but also for us as teachers. “With conscious use of wait time, teachers’ questioning strategies become more varied and flexible, and they ask follow-up questions that require more complex information processing and higher-order thinking (Casteel & Stahl, 1973; Rowe, 1972; Stahl, 1990; Tobin, 1987).”
She also states that Robert Stahl (1990) identified eight categories of wait time.
8 reflective questions to help any student think about their learning
With these reflective questions “students have the chance to put themselves back at the center of the learning process.” Try one this week; you may be surprised by the learning your students demonstrate.
10 things to say to your Students Everyday… and Why they are Important
Ron Ritchhart has constructed this list of things to do every day to create a culture in our classrooms where student thinking is valued. These suggestions each take a short amount of time to implement in the classroom but will make a large impact over an entire school year.
Teachingchannel has a wealth of videos that show best practice instruction and how to implement it in our classrooms. You can search by subject, grade, and topic. I found this video on using talk moves to improve discourse. Check it out: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/student-participation-strategy
Please let me know how I can continue to assist you in making your classrooms a place for deep thinking and learning! I would love to help you implement some of the new routines or questioning strategies listed above.
Is Edcamp for You?
Edcamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs. The goal of Edcamp is to bring educators together to share their passion and ideas for better learning in an open format. Edcamp Lake Orion is a month away. This PPD opportunity is your chance to learn and discuss educational topics that are important and meaningful to you.
Check out these videos to learn more about the Edcamp style and how it can impact your teaching.
Independence VS. Dependence
One of the five belief sets we’ve explored this year is encouraging independence versus dependence. This article from Mindshift highlights many of the essential qualities needed for students to develop intrinsic motivation in the context of reading and writing.
Take a moment to view Chevrolet’s new ad on fueling your hustle. It might just be the motivation you need to refuel your purpose as you tackle the last quarter of the school year.
What do We Lose by Measuring ‘Average’ in Education? MindShift shares an excerpt from Todd Rose’s novel The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness. In this short excerpt he talks about the need for environments to be responsive to individuality so that everyone has the chance to live up to their full potential. Many parallels can be found in the example Rose highlights about the Air Force’s design of airplane cockpits and the environment we create for our students. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/28/what-do-we-lose-by-measuring-average-in-education/
Looking for new ideas to implement in your classroom? Interested in a more differentiated approach to professional development that meets your personal and professional needs? Check out Bloomboard. With this learning platform you can explore topics of your interest and investigate curated professional development collections. Explore the hundreds of resources available to you. Did I mention it is 100% free?
Kids’ Standard: March Issue
Take a look at the March issue of Kids’ Standard. This month’s theme is “I want to be Me! ”
How Adults Can Encourage Kids to Be Original Thinkers. Adam Grant, author of Originals, writes that taking risks and embracing curiosity can lead to original ideas. He talks about the importance of getting kids to be confident risk takers. Take a moment to read MindShift’s interview with the Grant to catch a glimpse on how non-conformists move the world. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/14/what-kind-of-group-work-encourages-the-most-original-thinking/
The Power of Language
As a follow-up to our March 8 PD on language, attached to this Lit Bit is a copy of the 7 types of classroom language Ron Ritchhart shares in Creating Cultures of Thinking. Feel free to print this off to use as a reference tool as you work to incorporate language into your ideal classroom.
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at Lake Orion. The Unconference is scheduled for May 14 from 7:30 am to noon. Click here to access the link to register and learn more about the professional development opportunity.
CoT at Oakland Schools Reminder- The Celebrate Learning Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner will take place on Wednesday, March 2 from 5:00-7:30 pm. The cost is $20 per person. Please see the attached brochure for more details.
Beyond Measure at Bloomfield Hills High School: Bloomfield Hills is offering a FREE showing of Beyond Measure for parents, educators, and community members on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm. Click here to reserve a seat. http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/
About the Film: “Every day we hear stories about America’s troubled education system. And we’re told that in order to fix what’s broken, we need to narrow our curricula, standardize our classrooms, and find new ways to measure students and teachers. But what if these ‘fixes’ are making our schools worse. In Beyond Measure, we set out to challenge the assumptions of our current education story.”
Watch the Trailer: https://youtu.be/m4LTV8jat2o
PPD Opportunity: EdCamp
There is an EdCamp coming up at The Center of Advanced Studies and the Arts in Oak Park. This Unconference is scheduled for March 19 from 8am-3pm. Here is the link to the website to register and learn more about this professional development opportunity. http://unconferencecasa.wix.com/edcamp2016
15 Rules of Great Teaching:
College Ready and Career Ready- How do we ensure that the students we teach today are college ready and career ready? MindShift shares some of the innovative changes happening at the collegiate level. Many of the practices we encourage at Reuther are modeled at these innovative institutions. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/02/17/innovative-colleges-that-give-students-real-world-experiences-2/
Kids’ Standard- The February issue of Kids’ Standard is now available. See what students, parents, and educators have to say about Heartfelt Learning. http://www.kidsstandard.org/?page_id=96
CoT at Oakland Schools- Oakland Schools is offering two opportunities next month to support Cultures of Thinking. Additional details for each opportunity can be found in the attachments.
Wednesday, March 2- CoT Design Studio
Time: 10:00am -4:00pm (come when you want and stay as long as you can)
View the brochure below to learn more about the CoT Design studio
Wednesday, March 2- Celebrate Learning: A Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner
Time: 5:00- 7:30pm
View the brochure below to learn more about this opportunity
Interested in sharing how students are making their thinking visible in your classroom? Consider volunteering to be a docent for the Celebrate Learning: Gallery Walk and Strolling Dinner. Docents must apply by February 22.
Stories Teachers Share: MindShift just released a podcast devoted to teachers sharing their stories. “Stories Teachers Share” is about what it’s like to be a teacher and what we can learn from them. The first two episodes are live.
My favorite No: Leah Alcala, a middle school math teacher, shares a strategy on how to use mistakes to quickly clarify concepts. She chooses her favorite mistake problem and uses it as a re-teaching opportunity. Take a moment and watch this teacher strategy in action at https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/class-warm-up-routine. I’d be happy to brainstorm ways you can take this math strategy and adapt it to your content area. Let’s collaborate together!
Ways to flip a Kid and turn His Day Around: Vicki Davis, also known as @coolcatteacher, offers ten ways to help make a student’s day better. Be sure to check out her post to learn more. http://www.coolcatteacher.com/10-ways-to-flip-a-kid-and-turn-their-day-around/
State Superintendent discusses his plan for achievement and accountability: Our State Superintendent, Brian Whiston, met with Arina Bokas to discuss meaningful learning, relevant assessments, and engaging communities to create support systems for success of every child. Click here to watch his interview and hear his educational plans. https://youtu.be/gD2Y5oDy9PE
Think Tank Offering: There will be an after school Think Tank offered on Tuesday, January 19 from 2:30-3:30. We will continue to focus on building and re-building impactful lessons and unit plans for our students. Bring a teaching partner and your lesson materials. You can login to KALPA and register for this course: 564140. It counts for PPD! https://www.kalpapdms.com/
Kids’ Standards: The January issue of Kids’ Standard is available. The theme for this month’s issue is Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn. Be sure to check out what students and teachers have to say about it. http://www.kidsstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/jan16-web.pdf