In the process of reviewing data from the new statewide progress-monitoring assessments, my principal and I found an area we could tackle for schoolwide improvement: morphology.  It’s kind of a scary word if you’re not a reading teacher, but it’s actually something we can (and do) teach across the curriculum all the time.  We just […]

This is the third post in a series focused on improving our practices for reading during class. First, I offered some do’s and a don’t for in-class reading assignments. Then, I shared some online sources for free supplemental texts. Here are some options you can use to gauge your students’ understanding of the texts they’re […]

Last week I wrote a list of tips for including more reading in your lesson plans, but I didn’t talk about what to read.  Obviously, your textbook is a good start, but there are so many interesting sources of additional texts that may deepen your students’ understanding while engaging them a little more than dry […]

Getting kids to read in class is often a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the biggest obstacles may just be your approach–so let’s start with what not to do:  Don’t: Round-Robin or Popcorn Read.  Beyond the primary grades, students should NEVER be asked to read aloud a text they haven’t read […]

By far the most creative thing I did this year was the final exam I created for my leadership class–a cross between a virtual scavenger hunt/escape room and a test.   I had done a lot of research into digital puzzles and creating escape rooms while helping a colleague earlier in the year, and although I […]

Yesterday evening I found myself in the pool, playing inner-tube-tossing games with my 11-year-old daughter.  I didn’t want to go swimming.  After one-week back at school, and one more to go before the students arrive, I have a multi-page to-do list that grows each time I talk to someone (including myself).   As she modeled and […]

Regardless of where we are located, it’s looking like we should be prepared for some form of distance learning at some point next year. Last spring, one of the most frustrating aspects of my remote teaching experience was the constant barrage of emails and texts from students and parents asking how to log in to […]

Students in my district are still scheduled to start school in person on August 17–at least those students who don’t, or can’t, choose one of the e-learning options.  As teachers, we need to plan to accommodate 25 to 30 kids in our classes because we have no idea how many kids will show up.  It […]

Relationships will be more important than ever this school year.  Last spring, we were sent home for the fourth quarter in my district–like teachers and students across the world, we tried our best to teach and learn from home.  It was not a success, but it wasn’t a failure either.  The main reason we didn’t […]

No doubt about it–video is a powerful learning tool. Here are three quick tips to improve the quality of the YouTube videos you share with your students.