CATEGORY: Teaching Strategies

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We are dedicated to providing the most effective educational resources. We know students are as varied as the educators who teach them, and we strive to support all educators through these meaningful differences. We don’t want to tell you what (not) to do; instead, we want to show how others in similar positions have found success through their own projects and initiatives.

  • 4 Great Activities that Get Students Moving and Make Learning More Fun

    Posted April 26, 2017

    Activities that get students moving can keep them engaged and provide an outlet for their pent-up energy. Getting students up out of their chairs makes learning or reviewing content fun and memorable. Just make sure you take a few crucial considerations into account when choosing movement-based activities for your students. Time and space: Think about…

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  • Visual Rhetoric: Teaching Students to Decode Media Images

    Posted April 25, 2017

    From a young age, students get inundated with images. From advertisements to political cartoons to the pictures accompanying news stories, images are everywhere. Because images convey meaning just as words do, students need to learn the principles of visual rhetoric. This knowledge helps students better understand visual arguments in the world around them, and it…

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  • The Right Way to Respond to a Student’s Wrong Answer

    Posted April 24, 2017

    Getting students to participate in classroom discussions is an essential part of teaching, from kindergarten through adult education. And while the specifics of each situation vary depending on the subject matter and the students’ age, all teachers should be prepared to respond to the student who answers a question but gets it wrong. Robert Jolles,…

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  • Try These Tips to Improve Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

    Posted April 12, 2017

    Students need strong critical thinking skills to read and write effectively in high school and college. Furthermore, many jobs require employees to think critically to analyze data, choose the best course of action and act on their choices. The earlier students cultivate critical thinking, the more skilled they will be at producing sophisticated, thoughtful analyses…

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  • Let Students Choose their Assessments and Watch their Creativity Bloom

    Posted April 11, 2017

    It’s easy to fall into a routine of assessing students the same way over and over. But letting students choose from a menu of assessments can do them a lot of good — and make you a better teacher. Sure, it takes time to create alternative assessments, but there are tons of resources online that…

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  • Why You Should Teach Students about the Multiple Intelligences Theory

    Posted April 5, 2017

    Students often equate intelligence with grades and/or test scores. But teaching students about Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory can show them that they are all intelligent in different ways. This perspective can boost their confidence and increase their motivation to learn. What is Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory? Gardner is a professor of education at Harvard…

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  • 6 Keys to Structuring Successful Student-Centered Class Discussions

    Posted March 28, 2017

    A student-centered discussion gives your class an opportunity to take ownership of their learning and truly engage with each other. But young people have a natural tendency toward chaos, so you need a clear structure to make student-centered discussions succeed. Here’s how to create that structure: Set the stage Before beginning, talk with your students…

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  • Why Students Who Embrace Short-Term Failure Have a Better Shot at Long-Term Success

    Posted March 27, 2017

    My students never know what to make of my “I hope you fail” lecture. After years of teachers asking for the right answers, they aren’t accustomed to someone highlighting or requesting the wrong ones. Students’ failures tend to linger, creating mental baggage that interferes with learning. Lifting the burden requires us to address failure head-on…

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  • How to Strengthen Students’ Analytical Skills Outside of a Writing Assignment

    Posted March 23, 2017

    Most students struggle with analysis — observing a set of facts and interpreting what they mean. Given that almost any writing assignment, from a middle school book report to a doctoral dissertation, requires analysis, it’s incumbent on teachers to help students improve their analytical skills. Students often do a fairly decent job of identifying facts…

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  • 5 Ways to Involve the Community in Your Classroom

    Posted March 22, 2017

    Connecting your students to their local community gives them real-world experiences and helps you maximize available resources. Young people develop a sense of civic duty when they see first-hand what their community has to offer and what they have to offer to their community. Here are some ideas to get you started. Bring the museum…

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  • How Do We Teach Civics in Such a Polarized Political Climate?

    Posted March 21, 2017

    America’s political polarization makes teaching civics feel like navigating a minefield these days. Wary of upsetting parents or students, instructors may be looking more toward the elections of the 19th century than those of the 21st. While historical events are essential to students’ understanding of modern governance, it is equally important that civics or history…

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  • 8 Tips for Building Successful Project-Based Learning Units

    Posted March 10, 2017

    Designing a successful project-based learning unit can seem like a daunting task. We want it to be innovative, full of 21st-century learning skills, and so meaningful that our students proudly remember every detail for the rest of the year. But how do we accomplish all this? These eight tips can keep you moving in the…

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  • Poetic Justice: Pushing Poetry Beyond the Bounds of Language Arts Class

    Posted March 8, 2017

    The first piece of writing I ever memorized was a poem. These days, students have a more mixed view of poetry and give the form very little thought, but it doesn’t have to be that way. April is National Poetry Month, which makes it a good time to expose classes to poetry in unexpected places….

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  • Snow Day Delay: Revising and Adjusting When Weather Interrupts Classroom Plans

    Posted March 1, 2017

    While we might dream of great white mounds of snow forcing schools to close, snow days often throw an unexpected kink into lesson planning. December and January have the highest rates of snow days nationwide, but late-spring snowstorms are notorious for catching us off guard in cold-weather climes. Here are a few tips for making…

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  • To Help English Learners, You Need Ways to Reduce their Affective Filter

    Posted February 27, 2017

    If you’ve ever struggled to speak another language in a foreign country, then you have an idea of how nerve-wracking school can be for English learners. The stress you experience creates what experts call the affective filter — an emotional response that can lock down the mental processes of learning a new language. Stephen Krashen,…

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  • How to Engage the ‘Hiding-Out’ Students in Your Class

    Posted February 23, 2017

    No matter how engaging we think our best lesson plan is, a couple of students won’t participate. How do we draw them out of their shells and get them to stop “hiding out?” I’ve found the key is to approach each of them with curiosity and a desire to connect. Why students ‘hide out’ in…

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  • Looking Back, Looking Forward: Promoting Student Growth via Reflection

    Posted December 5, 2016

    A lot of teachers like to encourage reflection among their students. After all, taking the time to reflect on experiences is integral to the learning process. Ideally, reflection lets students consider current ideas and explore how their knowledge is evolving. The key to effective reflection is to make sure you’re considering why your students are…

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  • ‘When Am I Going to Use This?’: Building Cross-Curricular Lesson Plans

    Posted November 28, 2016

    On our way to school today, my daughter joined a time-honored tradition of student pushback, uttering, “But when am I going to use this?” I understand her frustration. As an educator, I’m in a unique position to see evidence of the skills I’m teaching students in a variety of content areas. For some students, though,…

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  • Preschool: Play-Based vs. Academic Models

    Posted December 23, 2015

    Early childhood education is incredibly important to a child’s future academic and professional success, which is why many education advocates point to preschool as a crucial point of entry that gives children the means to succeed later in life. There is no single teaching method that guarantees success in preschool. Instead, teachers rely on multiple…

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  • 4 Effective Learning Models for Students

    Posted February 3, 2015

    Each student is different, and when it comes to learning styles, the ones that prove the most effective depend on who is being taught. One of the ways in which teachers can maximize the effectiveness of their time in the classroom is to rotate the types of instruction that they’re using, making sure that there…

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