CATEGORY: Curriculum & Instruction

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This section is devoted to information for improving student academic achievement with resources devoted to research development and curriculum implementation. Articles will direct you to online resources that will help students inside–and outside—the classroom. The relationship between “what to teach’ (curriculum) and “how to teach” (instruction) is also explored.

  • How to Show Students that Word Choice Matters

    Posted April 18, 2017

    It’s easy to mark up students’ papers with circles and write “WC” or “Word Choice” to encourage stronger verbs and adjectives. But how do we get them to see the value in choosing words wisely? Here are some ideas to expand students’ minds and improve their writing: Show the shift in meaning Looking closely at…

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  • Self-Placement: Helping Honors Students Thrive when They Choose High-Level Courses

    Posted April 17, 2017

    Right now, students across the U.S. are registering for next fall’s high school classes — including honors and advanced placement. Traditionally, schools used test scores or previous coursework to place students in AP or honors courses, but lately more students can self-place in these courses. Students getting into high-level courses essentially because they want to…

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  • Compare-and-Contrast Essays: 3 Keys to Helping Students Get Better Grades on Compositions

    Posted February 21, 2017

    Whether they’re comparing a book to a film adaptation or contrasting two speeches, students inevitably get many compare-and-contrast essay assignments throughout their academic careers. How can teachers help them write stronger essays and earn better grades? It’s always a challenge because many students simply look for differences and similarities and report them. To succeed, they…

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  • Why Some Schools are Rethinking Grading and Evaluation

    Posted February 3, 2015

    Most schools follow standard grading systems, with a letter scale of A through F, and a corresponding numerical value used to calculate students’ grade point averages. Although this system helps us to understand and track student performance on a universal scale, there are some drawbacks to the method. Some critics argue that assigning numerical or…

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  • Award-Winning Texas Teacher Mines the Potential of Project-Based Learning

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Fifth-grade math teacher Todd Nesloney became an educator in part because he hated math — and didn’t want other students to struggle like he had. His mission was certainly a success. Five years in, his classes consistently scored among his Texas district’s highest on standardized tests. But Nesloney wasn’t happy. He didn’t so much feel…

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  • 4 Tips for Teaching 2nd Grade Writing

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Teaching writing at the second grade level is a task that requires patience and appropriate strategies. While it might seem easy to write at a second grade level, students are still learning the basic skills required to form words, sentences and paragraphs. Below are a few tricks teachers can use to help these students learn…

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  • 4 Books for your 6th Grade Summer School Reading Program

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Reading summer school programs can be a very effective way to bring struggling students up to speed. However, students won’t get as much out of their summer reading if they aren’t interested in the books. Below are four books that are sure to keep students engaged and paying attention during a 6th grade summer reading…

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  • 4 Books for your Summer High School Reading Program

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Reading summer school is not something that a lot of students enjoy, however, with the right books, lessons, and interactive materials, students may find themselves enjoying their assignments. Below is a selection of good and well known books that will likely engage students in a summer reading program. “The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston…

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  • 4 Tips for Developing a Health Education Curriculum at Your School

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Before science provided the evidence needed to confirm its importance, health education was recognized as being a vital part of every K-12 curriculum. Educators have always understood, for example, that physically healthy and active students were better able to learn. The key to any effective school health curriculum has to be a high degree of…

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  • 4 Ideas for Creating an Elementary Physical Education Curriculum

    Posted March 5, 2013

    For educators, designing an effective physical education (P.E.) curriculum for elementary school can be both fun and frustrating. Young students are typically motivated to run and play, but creating a curriculum that meets necessary school and state requirements can sometimes be difficult. Below are four ideas for developing a basic elementary school physical education program…

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  • 3 Tips for Creating Middle School Reading Curriculum

    Posted March 4, 2013

    By creating a reading curriculum for middle school students that is challenging, sets high expectations and provides effective instruction, teachers are able to encourage students to strive harder and achieve greater results. Reading curriculum is an important part of English literacy, and teachers need to select materials carefully based on the grade level. Here are…

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  • 4 Books for Your Summer Middle School Reading Program

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Middle school students and summer reading don’t always go together. However, summer school is an important experience for many students. For this reason, it’s important to choose books that will engage young readers and keep them interested. Below are four books that work well for any summer school program geared toward middle school students. The…

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  • 5 Ways to Exercise Essay Writing for Elementary Students

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Few skills are as critical to educational success as essay writing for elementary students, and kids can get a leg up on their craft by exercising their skills in a variety of ways. Learning the basics through simple practices ensures that children understand what makes an essay effective and successful, and prepares them for further…

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  • 4 Sample Reading Comprehension Passages for Middle School

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Reading comprehension passages in middle school are an important part of language arts curriculum. The middle school years are the time when reading skills must be solidified, and students have to learn to approach written material in a sequenced, logical manner. Once the student reaches high school, reading skills across the curriculum will be both…

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  • 4 Examples of K-5 Reading Comprehension Sheets

    Posted February 26, 2013

    There are enough statistics on literacy to fill a book, but half of the adults in America would be unable to read it or the related reading comprehension sheet. The Literacy Company estimates that as early as 2020, successful participation in business and society will require strong reading and comprehension abilities that are currently accomplished…

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  • Advice for Assessing Grade Reading Levels

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Teachers and parents struggling to slot children into grade reading levels need a common scale with defined criteria to ensure that they present the child with reading materials that are challenging and engaging enough to build skills. Educators have developed several scales to use for assessing children’s reading levels, and many children’s books have labels…

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  • Executive Functioning Strategies for Children to Thrive School

    Posted February 24, 2013

    While exact definitions vary, “executive functioning” or “EF” generally refers to the cognitive ability a person has to engage in problem-solving and goal-oriented behaviors. EF can embody any or all of the following: the ability to identify a problem, develop a solution, create a plan, the ability to execute the plan, a good attention span,…

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  • 5 Lesson Plans for Women’s History Month

    Posted February 23, 2013

    As March rolls around each year, teachers start creating lesson plans for Women’s History Month that help to emphasize the importance of women throughout history. These lesson plan ideas can help teachers integrate the importance of the role of women in society into many different school subjects. Painting like great women Many people think of Picasso, Monet and van Gogh when…

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  • 4 Biology Project Ideas for High School Students

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Biology Projects are great teaching tools educators can use to boost student interest in the subject and spark classroom participation. Testing plants and gravity Testing root growth in relationship to gravity is a fun and simple idea. To do this, students need to cut a strip of paper towel approximately one inch wide. Then, they…

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  • Advice on Improving your Elementary Math Instruction

    Posted February 15, 2013

    In many ways, elementary math instruction is stuck in outdated techniques of the past. That doesn’t have to be the case for your students. Some new methods of elementary math instruction are proving themselves very effective, and can easily be incorporated into an existing lesson plan. If you’re looking for some ways to spruce up…

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