Teaching Tips

1 year 50 weeks ago
Learning together: one of the best parts about being an educator is the opportunity to learn from other educators, to hear about what is working, what they are struggling with, and to wonder about how to support our teaching practice in order to better meet the needs of our students. One way that we were able to do this at DSC last school year was through the DSC Support Network Newsletter. This...
2 years 6 weeks ago
It's the end of the school year and your students have had 9 months of making friends and learning to get along with and respect each other. Now is the perfect time to hold an activity where that community is expressed with something the students can take home for summer vacation. Try this activity, adapted from our Caring School Community Class Meetings "Appreciation Cards"... (2)
2 years 6 weeks ago
Your students have spent all year reading books and learning comprehension strategies. The end of the year is the perfect time for them to reinforce those skills by revisiting a favorite book from the year. Try this lesson, adapted from the Making Meaning Teacher's Manual for grade 3. In this lesson, each student recommends a book to the class for summer reading. Prior to the lesson,...
2 years 8 weeks ago
Earlier this week I was in Las Vegas working with a cohort of teachers who are a part of a writing research project that their district and I have partnered on. (The teachers in this cohort are all using Being a Writer). I always learn so much from these teachers’ work and Monday, our last meeting of this year, was no different. The meeting was on writing assessment—always a hot topic... (1)
2 years 9 weeks ago
I have been in several different states over the past couple of months facilitating work around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I have been surprised at how different states take very different approaches to implementing the CCSS. Here are just a few examples:   Maryland   Maryland is in the process of developing a new Maryland Common Core Curriculum Framework. This will be... (2)
2 years 11 weeks ago
Have you found Class Meeting topics emerging in your class that don’t quite fit those found in the program? Perhaps you—like many teachers we know—are modifying the content of a problem-solving meeting to suit the needs of your class.  One teacher I know held a meeting about the problem of “Fake Friends” (students talking about each other behind their backs)...
2 years 11 weeks ago
There has been so much conversation lately surrounding Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Should children read it? If so, how old should they be when they are allowed to? Should they see the movie? If so, how old should they be for that?  I was in an elementary school library the other day and a young sixth-grader came up to the counter to check out one of the few copies of The Hunger... (3)
2 years 12 weeks ago
As a fifth-grade teacher, I strive to provide the strongest instructional supports for my students! This includes providing instruction on reading and understanding texts of various genres. As you likely know, it is a daunting task to plan and pull together materials/resources and implement comprehension instruction that is rigorous. This led me on a search—was there something that would... (2)
2 years 12 weeks ago
I’ve spent the past year working closely with colleagues, literacy coaches, and classroom teachers who are using the SIPPS program as a means to accelerate young readers. My journey has included rich experiences teaching, coaching, and observing lessons, ongoing conversations and deepened thinking about how to support our most struggling readers and how to rigorously push them forward... (3)
2 years 12 weeks ago
from Betsy Fox
How often are you having Check-in Meetings? Do you often wonder what topics you should raise in these short 5–10 minute meetings? Here are a few suggestions based on teachers I know. At this point in the year with the Caring School Community program, Problem-solving or Decision-making Meetings occur about once a week. They introduce a topic, help build understanding or empathy for the...
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