Create an environment to be proud of.
What Would Marzano Do?
Robert Marzano's research from Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement listed nine strategies that yielded high results. They are:
If you are interested in knowing how successful each are, check out his book or visit this PDF adaptation. Warning: without the book you might not realize that there is also a matter of HOW well the strategies are implemented.
Carol Ann Tomlinson and Differentiation are synonymous in the world of education. If you haven't met her, I suggest the short video below. But buyer beware, the YouTube rabbit hole will open up so many great videos with her wisdom that you might just spend your whole afternoon immersed in Tomlinson.
Carol Ann shares the in and outs in a short ERIC article:
4 Classroom Elements to Differentiate
(for each element, she gives multiple specific examples)
Carol Ann writes how to begin differentiation in the classroom, "...there are no recipes. Nonetheless, the following guidelines are helpful to many teachers as they begin to differentiate, begin to differentiate more proactively, or seek to refine a classroom that can already be called “differentiated”:
•Frequently reflect on the match between your classroom and the philosophy of teaching and learning you want to practice. Look for matches and mismatches, and use both to guide you.
•Create a mental image of what you want your classroom to look like, and use it to help plan and assess changes.
Read the article for the whole list of how to begin tips plus much more about the differentiation mindset.
There is a lot that goes on around MCESA to support you and your students with STEM. Today, I'll wet your appetite.
Bringing STEM professionals from their workplaces into your classroom for free. Yep. You heard it! FREE!
The LIVE webinars are the 3rd Wednesday of every month. In March, Amazon gave us a tour around their Phoenix fulfillment center and explained how technology and mathematics makes it all possible.
Can't make the live event? That's okay. They are all archived to access at any time.
This is a series of videos with STEM educators posing real-world challenges to students. Educators provide students and teachers with necessary background information, guiding questions, and suggested resources to solve community challenges.
Can your classroom solve it?
This month's challenge: Conduct research about your school lunchroom and design a better system for distributing lunches or getting students through the lines more efficiently.
Get more resources on MCESA's STEM webpage.
Sharing is caring, so share this information with your colleagues.
Products brought to you by MCESA's very own STEM gurus--Darcy Moody, Brian Hoffner, and Gale Beauchamp.
Dementia is typically associated with the older population, but not anymore. Today's youth are increasingly suffering from Digital Dementia.
Have you ever spoken directly to students just to see blank stares and unresponsive actions? It could be Digital Dementia. Discovered in 2012 as a cerebral deterioration phenomena that happens with overuse of today's technology (smart phones, tablets, hand held gaming systems and such).
Here's some expert tips to recover/avoid it:
1. Use your noggin, not Google. Teach students how to concentrate on remembering.
2. Use real books. Research shows it's better for retention anyway.
3. Let them play. Increased blood flow to the brain brings in needed nutrients.
Pat Quinn, The RTI Guy, recently suggested in a webinar that teachers:
1. Focus students on posture so that heads are not tipped forward (relieves pressure to brain stem).
2. Have students do eye circles off to the left and then off to the right to eliminate eye convergence.
3. Use triads more often than pairs so that heads and eyes are moving more.
4. Let the students play! If you have to power to influence recess minutes, influence away!
Digital Dementia isn't just for kids. Make sure you are not falling into the same digital trap.
You've been working hard all year and you deserve a break. Why not take advantage of all Phoenix has to offer for weekend fun or spring break plans?
Go, do, refuel!
Did you know that this weekend, you can:
- Visit Dinosaurs in the Desert
- Experience bold Japanese sculptures in a beautiful garden
- Check out a charming Romantic comedy set in Ireland
- Sit on a blanket and listen to great bands In the McDowell Mountains
- Get your medieval on
- and much much more...
Focus on you for a change.
- High-quality, scientifically based classroom instruction
- Ongoing Assessment
- Tiered instruction
- Parent Involvement
How do I get started?
The RTI Action Network is a comprehensive website that can help support your planning and implementation.
2. Get connected with Pat Quinn, The RTI Guy
Pat is a classroom teacher with a passion for RTI. He know it can go all sorts of wrong and has the knowledge and fails to support you.
Here's Pat's next FREE ONLINE TRAINING (Link below)
Motivating Unmotivated Students
featuring Pat Quinn
Monday, February 19th
8:00 p.m. Eastern
7:00 p.m. Central
6:00 p.m. Mountain
5:00 p.m. Pacific
This 60-minute training will show you:
-- Teaching Strategies to Motivate your Unmotivated Students!
-- Strategies that save you time, energy and stress!
-- Specific ways to help under-achieving students succeed!
-- The 3 mistakes you MUST avoid this school year!
PLUS great prizes and free resources!
This online training is perfect for teachers of all subjects and grade levels K-12. You can participate from any computer in the world with internet access!
Here is the best part: You can share this invitation with ALL of the staff members at your school, plus colleagues, friends and family from other schools!
Click here to sign up...Advanced Registration is REQUIRED:
Authors Persida and Wiliam Himmele wrote Total Participation Techniques, so that every teacher could not only engage Jimmy, but assess him throughout the learning sequence using higher-order thinking prompts. One of their most famous tools for engagement are Bounce Cards so that students can bounce abound ideas, thoughts, and extended learning. Print them out today for scaffolding learning tomorrow.
Visit the Total Participation Techniques Website for more information.
Today's TXTS 4 Teachers content was provided by the illustrious Dr. Judith Campbell.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris wrote a book on a project titled, "Who's Doing the Work." Something I know you say to yourself often. But what if you did less and the students did more?
Limiting "Teacher Talk," Increasing Student Work author Tori Filler shares the meat of this project in her Achieve the Core article. She explained the after only a month and a half of working on the project, 90% of the teachers reported that their students were more engaged and that they were, in fact, talking much less than previously. Here's some tips that the participants found most effective.
- Elicit 100% participation
- Example strategy: Think, Write, Pair, Share based on a MEATY question
- Beef up discussions
- Example strategy: Reduce ping pong between one student and you. Include others teaching them how to listen first, then agree, contrast, add on, and so forth.
- Read, read differently, then read differently
- Example strategies: Increase reading time by providing support strategically, use partner reads, echo read, re-read, annotate, cite evidence.
- Build Independence
- Sample Strategies: Explicitly teach students to engage, facilitate student-led discussions, read and re-read more, and self-assessment (and how to adjust one's self).
If you visit the article, you can find the entire list of strategies.
Challenge: Do a small scale research project in your own classroom by implementing one of the strategies for two weeks. You might be surprised what you learn.
Resource attributed to Michele Rutin, Peer Evalutor and Education Aficionado.
In a recent Achieve the Core blog, Dr. Drost shared APPS for special needs students. These Apps help teachers:
help students ACQUIRE the content standards
help students PROGRESS with meaningful feedback
measure PROFICIENCY of learning
SUPPORT students in learning the content
Here is the first of three Apps that Dr. Drost shared in his blog post.
Totally unrelated but absolutley necessary.
Get your AZ bucket list here and go make 2018 a year of adventure.
STEM Pro Live airs this Wednesday from OdySea Aquarium!
STEM Pro Live! has featured engineers, app developers, researchers, business owners, and other STEM professionals from companies and agencies including Intel, Medtronic, the Arizona Coyotes, Maricopa County Air Quality, Freeport McMoRan, Arizona State University, and Butterfly Wonderland.
STEM Pro Live! broadcasts are the third Wednesday of every month (excluding June, July, and August) from 9:00 to 9:30 am. Click here to register.
Looking for more?
STEM Resources that MCESA provides are:
STEM Pro Live!
Next Generation of Innovators Speakers Series
360 STEM Adventures
Engineering STEM Identity
STEM Immersion Guide
STEM Walkthrough Protocol
STEM Teacher Support
STEM Leadership Series
Do your students raise their hands excitedly to give responses?
Do your students work together or collaborate often?
If you answered yes to either one, you might be rewarding extroverts and forgetting about your introverts.
Susan Cain founded the Quiet Revolution and immediately went to work on changing classrooms. In a 2012 TED Talk she stated that educators "unconsciously reward extroverts who dive headfirst into discussions, sometimes without much forethought." Her work shows us how to measure engagement versus participation.
Here's some tips to support your introverts:
1) End hand raising practices.
2) Evaluate body language and "facial feedback"
3) End traditional Think-Pair-Share, go for Think-WRITE-Pair-Share
4) Learn how your students learn
5) Look for culture differences. In some cultures listening is prized more than speaking.
6) Engage one-on-one
7) Help students explore their preferences
Ready to learn more?
Read Teaching Introverted Students: How a "Quiet Revolution" is Changing Classroom Practice by Brenda Iasevoli.
Watch Susan Cain's TED Talk.
Visit the Quiet Revolution website which also includes tips for parents of introverts.
Concrete - Representational - Abstract
It is how our mind works!
Ever wonder why your students don't know the why behind division, exponents or fractions? It could be that they cannot SEE what is happening which makes concepts out-of-reach.
Check out the CRA process in the video below, and while you are there, think about the vertical and horizontal alignment of the math standards.
Visit Research-Based Education and Strategies for explanations, steps to take, examples, and benefits.
Try it for a month and you won't regret it.
By this time of the year, your students are ready to take the reins. Teaching them how to run their own reading group (in any content area) frees you up to pull small groups, check in with certain students, assess students' skills, and so on.
This link will take you to a great resource for roles, instructions, graphic organizers, role cards, question stems, examples, self-reflective feedback forms, and more. You can literally implement this tomorrow. Have fun and get those students working harder than you!
What are you going to do over winter break? Check out Visit Phoenix for things to do around town.
"By using our students’ behavior as the barometer instead of the clock, we will all be able to achieve the lovely ebb and flow we envisioned before students came."
-Read about Lori Sabo's realization here.
The previous blog post comes from a teacher run Website that houses tons of resources and learning opportunities. It's called the Daily Cafe and is managed by two sisters who are also top-notch educators. I am signed up for the weekly newsletter which offers great nuggets like the one I just re-posted. The great thing is that The Sister's know our time is precious, so the nuggets are short, sweet, and to the point.
If you would like to share your favorite education resource, comment below.
******************* TIME TO DO SOMETHING FOR YOU ***********************
Proceeds support Community Food Connections. CFC is non-profit supporting small biz & local farmers.
Wed., Dec. 17
4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Phoenix Public Market
721 North Central Avenue
Hurricanes, shootings, fires, abuse, hunger... Whether first hand or second hand, bad things affect our precious youth every day.
While we would all love to protect our kids (our own and our students) from tragedy, we simply do not have that power. But what you do as the adult in charge can lessen the emotional impact and offer great support. Your actions are a game changer.
How Teachers And Schools Can Help When Bad Stuff Happens posted last month on NPR Ed supports educators with practical advice. Anya Kamenetz shares that "The National Survey of Children's Health consistently finds that nearly half of American children experience at least one adversity such as physical abuse or food insecurity, and 1 in 5 experience at least two."
She offers these reminders or starting points:
- Address community issues sensitively from the beginning.
- Remember that fear comes from a lack of control, a safe environment is crucial.
- Be aware of acting out behaviors or withdrawal. Keep family/counselor apprised.
- CARE for Teachers teaches "mindfulness: calming the body and mind through breathing and movement, and using insights from psychology to better regulate your emotions."
- Give choices to acting out rather than punishment.
You do so much everyday to help children, and they are better because of you! A fact you should never question. If you are experiencing trauma yourself, get support. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Find a support group near you ranging from grief to PTSD to adolescent support. We wish you well over the holidays and a great upcoming New Year.
The research is in. Our brains are hardwired to forget. Which may explain why the kitchen trash never seems to go out!
It's frightening to study the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve (below), but we can ALL identify! Fortunately, research also tells us what we can do in our classes to fight these odds. Scroll down for some quick tips.
Why Students Forget---and What You Can do About It by Youki Terada shares with us 5 researched strategies to make the learning "stick."
- Student Conversations "not only increases retention but also encourages active learning (Sekeres et al., 2016)."
- Practice and practice aligned activities to give "multiple opportunities to review learned material."
- Frequent formative and fun assessments reduce anxiety as students become accustomed to showing what they know.
- Mixing it up. Grouping similar problems together to have the students practice over and over in just one way decreases thinking. Mix up problems/strategies to increase thoughtful learning.
- Images (or non-linguistic representations) help students recall information by attaching context to a visual cue.
Read the full article here.
Amp up the ol' standby (letter writing) this Veterans Day.
- Wear a red poppy or yellow ribbon
- Make a care package (see Blur Star Moms)
- Visit veteran's in a VA hospital
- Teach about honoring veterans through crafts
- Use the topic to write lesson plans
- Invite a veteran to speak to your class
- Take poppy cookies or a yellow ribbon cake to the office/lounge
- Attend local events
- Commit to volunteer to serve veterans throughout the year
- Buy from a veteran owned biz
- Express thanks in person
Warning: The following event will fill YOUR bucket!
November is National Native American Heritage Month. Check out these free amazing resources to help you plan for it.
President George H. W. Bush signed a joint resolution in 1990 marking November as Native American Heritage Month. Learn how it took nearly 80 years for this honor to come about on the National Native American Heritage Month Web Portal. With this site, you can:
- Take your students to Sitka National Historical Park via virtual tour
- Find resources in a friendly guide
- Browse ready-to-use lesson plans
- Use audio and video resources
The one-stop-portal contains education and teacher resources from and is supported the following: