Grading is one of the aspects about teaching that I don’t think we’ll ever figure out completely—at least most of us. I always started every year with a system of inboxes and outboxes and plans to get everything graded and returned quickly, yet it fell apart within weeks—if not days. Multiple choice quizzes—especially when we … Continue reading How to Minimize Grading and Maximize Learning
In the time since I promised to write this blog post, I listened to an interview with Gianandrea Noseda, the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in which he explained how he prepares pieces of music for performance. He wants his audience, and his musicians, to see old music with new eyes (or ears?). I … Continue reading How to Write Quality Questions for any Text
On the day before Thanksgiving break, a science teacher at my school brought her students to the media center computer lab to complete a webquest. She had curated texts and websites related to an upcoming unit and created a multiple-choice reading check question for each source. Students were expected to visit the links, read the … Continue reading The Million-Dollar Question: How do I get them to read?
How do you know if your students are really learning? Do you wait until the test? What if I told you there was a way to check their understanding and to improve it--at the same time! And if it’s done right, it typically takes fewer than five minutes of class time! The virtues of … Continue reading 5 Simple Ways to Improve Learning in Every Class
I do not think anyone who has ever graded a project, essay, or performance doubts the usefulness of a grading rubric. We know that a rubric done well allows teachers to clarify our expectations, providing concrete guidelines for students removes subjectivity from classroom assignments enables students to assess their own work or seek feedback from … Continue reading How to Simplify Your Rubric and Get Better Results
Although I’m far from crafty or handy, I love the idea of repurposing. Every time I pick up a Real Simple magazine or watch HGTV, I get ideas. Rarely can I pull them off, but sometimes I can turn a party tub into a pool-towel holder or a bath mat into a wall hanging. I … Continue reading Concept Circles: A Bright Idea…Repurposed
This year, essential questions are the big deal at my school. Administrators expect to see them prominently posted whenever they come in to the room. Recently I found myself the "substitute" in a 9th grade English class while the teacher was out on a short medical leave. I loved the chance to get back in … Continue reading EQs: Off the Walls and Onto the Desks