Lesson planning is hard. Sometimes we struggle with just learning the tools and fail at actually creating a meaningful learning experience for students.
Not all students best express their knowledge of a concept through writing or best learn a concept through strictly reading about it. Some students like to demonstrate their learning through pictures, some through demonstration, and others still through writing. All students are more engaged if you tie the learning to a real world problem, something that applies directly to them.
National Geographic for Teachers I Love Real Data!!! My typical joke is “Who is Bob and why is he carrying 40 watermelons?” As a math teacher pretty much the entire textbook is “who cares?” it’s hard to engage students with contrived word problems. However, I believe students DEEPLY CARE! They want to change the world and be influential. This is… Read More »National Geographic Educator Resources
ELA Lesson: Claim, Evidence, and Elaboration The art of the lesson plan is knowing your students and creating an engaging lesson for the students you actually teach. This is the problem with pre-made lessons from the publisher, they don’t know your students. An English teacher, after noticing his students were really into the television show The Office created a hook… Read More »The Office is on Fire – Claim, Evidence, and Elaboration
National Geographic creates and shares so many amazing resources for educators it is mind boggling. I was privileged to participate in the National Geographic Educator Summit #NatGeoEdSummit where one of the many things shared was about their research at Mount Everest. The photos, storytelling and data were amazing but @NatGeoEducation takes it further to create resources for classrooms to use… Read More »PBL: Mount Everest and the Global Water Supply
What are you curious about? What questions do you have? A Guest Post by Marcia Carrillo Based on the work of @ramusallam These are the questions I was asked after watching a Verizon commercial, in which a bicyclist rides throughout San Francisco and his path is captured on his phone in the shape of a heart, which he sends to… Read More »Sparking Curiosity to Engage Students in Learning with @MarciaMentor
A tweet by Jon LeFevre indicated that a clip up chart was put up in a faculty meeting. Turns out, no surprise, the adults didn’t like it. So why are we doing this to kids? We utilized a clip chart with ADULTS during our training this morning. Turns out that adults absolutely hate this public display of behavior. Resulted in… Read More »Clip Up Chart in the Faculty Meeting
Creating Infographics in Foreign Language Courses A Guest Post by Barbara Kurtz Challenge: I want my students to WANT TO LEARN. I want them to be capable of communicating about a variety of topics in Spanish. They need to learn with an AUTHENTIC AUDIENCE AND PURPOSE. They need to use language with an AUTHENTIC PURPOSE: this isn’t memorizing words or… Read More »Infographics in Foreign Language Classes with @bjkurtz
What is the Difference Between a Project and PBL? On Twitter, Edutopia gave an example of the difference between a project and PBL and provided a video. As I struggle to provide my students with authentic PBL projects I gather resources and information on what PBL is to help me get started. Project: students spend one hour crafting a Mars… Read More »Project or PBL via @edutopia
How To Sketchnote: A Step-By-Step Manual for Teachers and Students by Sylvia Duckworth Reviewed by Erin Whalen The perfect combination of pedagogy and practice, Sylvia’s new book begins with an overview of why doodling is not just okay, it’s beneficial to the learning process. Sylvia then shares ideas and instructions on sketching – LOTS of them! The book also offers… Read More »Doodling Matters – and it Makes a Difference!
Design Lessons to Include Current Events This morning a teacher in New York texted me excited about finding a website that uses real data to allow people to track the fire spreading each day. This week I was working with a college student using the math program ALEKS. One of the many frustrations I had with the program was the… Read More »Textbooks Do Not Update for the News
Add Context to Lessons Context is not one of the 4 C’s but it should be. When designing lessons I ask myself “why would the STUDENTS care about this?” What context can they relate to? How does the context answer the question “when will I ever use this?” Dollar Sign I was working with my 3rd grader on decimals. She… Read More »Add a $: Context Matters
Customized English/Language Arts Units with CommonLit.org A Guest Post by Barton Keeler So I have two daughters (grades 7 and 9) who are homeschooled by my wife who has a variety of other Independent Study students on her caseload. She, my wife, is tasked with the responsibility of creating high level, individualized lesson plans for ALL STUDENTS in ALL SUBJECT… Read More »Creating Customizable ELA Units for Free Using Commonlit.org by @bartonkeeler
Are the Students Learning or Is the Teacher? A Guest Post by Erin Whalen I have had the privilege of hearing Alice speak several times now, and while I have learned a LOT from her, there is one particular phrase that has really made me stop and think about my own practices. It’s sort of a gut check; the type… Read More »Who’s Doing the Learning?
Use Google Sheets to Guide Class Analysis Every week the New York Times is providing a graph for teachers to use with their students. Using this free activity you can easily include ANALYZE into your lesson plans. The problem with a class discussion can be that not all students can participate in each prompt. “What do you think is going… Read More »Create a What Do You Notice Google Sheets