Strategy of the Week

Personalized Learning in Action

Personalized Learning in Action

As you know, there’s a lot of conversation in the Edworld about implementing personalized learning. This 4:45 video from Charleston, South Carolina, is worth a thousand words. The guidebook for the video is available here.

Personalized Learning Students

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Share out: What are your expectations and hesitations with implementing personalized learning?

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Classroom Video and Review Tools

Magic Engagement: Classroom Video and Review Tools

Schools and districts around the country are discovering that personalized learning helps increase their students’ engagement and achievement. So how does personalized learning work for teachers and their PD?

In Georgia’s Newton County Schools, one technology tool is making a big difference. Teachers film themselves teaching and upload the video to the Edivate Review tool. Their colleagues around the district—in particular, those teaching the same course at their own schools—can then write feedback about specific moments in the video.

Edivate Review works, according to district leaders, because teachers get prompt, specific feedback from colleagues, and also because the teachers themselves are driving it (their participation is voluntary). In the words of one administrator,

It’s really a good thing when teachers latch on to ideas like this and they grow it themselves. So you have teachers telling other teachers about how great this tool is. It’s not…the district office coming down from on high to tell them that they must do something.

Watch this 6:38 video above to learn more.

Share out: Would this technology solution increase your teachers’ engagement with their PD? If not, how could it be adapted to meet their needs preferences?

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Thinking Hats for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

Is This the Holy Grail of Student Facial Expressions?

Thinking Tools for “A-ha” Moments

For educators, is there a more anticipated and rewarding moment than this?

the aha moment

This girl attends a school in the UK that has adopted the Thinking Schools program. (Learn more about Thinking Schools here.)

One of the central strategies that Thinking Schools use to promote higher-order thinking is a technique called “Thinking Hats.” Our 4:51 video above explains how the Thinking Hats technique helps students analyze situations using a range of cognitive and emotional skills, such as gathering information, identifying pros and cons, reporting feelings, and seeking creative explanations.

Students who practice discussing issues from the perspective of various Thinking Hats develop critical thinking strategies that can serve them in the classroom—as evident in the pictures above—and for the rest of their lives.

Download the guidebook for the video here.

 

Teach us: How do you challenge students to reframe their perspectives on the problems they encounter? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.

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End the Year with Project-Based Learning

End the Year with Project-Based Learning

With state tests over, assessment work all turned in, and the sun shining, it’s hard for students to stay in the classroom for the last couple weeks of school.

End-of-year projects can help. They offer students a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment than videos and word searches, but they too run the risk of being disengagingly fluffy. Creating a scavenger hunt or building an obstacle course might not feed students’ hunger for new experiences or prime them to keep exploring and learning over the break.

Fortify your end-of-year activities with project-based learning (PBL). This PBL overview video outlines what is needed for a great project. Even if you don’t have the same resources as the schools highlighted in the video, you can still enhance any project by applying PBL principles.

Download the guidebook for this video here.

Teach us: What activities do your students enjoy most at the end of the school year?

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Supporting the Challenge of Growth

Supporting the Challenge of Growth

Thank you, teachers, for another school year. Thanks for challenging your students, watching over them as they struggled, and encouraging them to keep at it until they reached success.

As you probably know, your students watched as you struggled. They observed you keenly as a role model for how they should face their own challenges and setbacks.

This video is only 1:40, but it’s a powerful tribute to teachers who nail the big life lessons their students need: You will struggle, but you can do this. I’m behind you, and so are your peers. The brief conversation between these two students says it all.

You can download the guidebook for this video here.

Teach us: What rituals or final lessons do you end the school year with in your classroom?

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Classroom Meetings Eight Building Blocks for Success

Classroom Meetings Eight Building Blocks for Success

Classroom meetings have been around for a long time—as you can tell by this video above!

So the question is: how relevant are they in today’s schools?

Educational approaches come and go, especially those associated with the “traditional” model. Which strategies stand both the test of time and the shift from schooling in an industrial-based to a knowledge-based economy?

As more teachers and schools create increasingly personalized, learner-centered environments, the need for student self-management and responsibility increases. Can a classroom democratized by choice and voice regarding curriculum, pacing, and even workspaces be governed by a teacher-centric approach?

Classroom meetings may well be more relevant today than when this video was filmed. (Anyone want to try guessing the year?)

Apart from its entertainment value and throwback to 4:3 aspect ratio, the video outlines eight “building blocks” of effective class meetings. If you’ve never done a class meeting before, the end of the school year might be the perfect opportunity to take half an hour and give one a try. More information can be found in the guidebook to this segment.

Teach us: What old-school, tried-and-true learning do you stand by? Let us know by commenting.

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Elementary STEM Lesson using 1:1 Devices and Google Classroom

STEM 1:1 Devices Using Google Classroom

Does giving feedback save you time? The power of classroom apps.

Classroom apps like Google Classroom and Edmodo can reduce teacher workload, allowing them to focus on what matters most: giving meaningful feedback to students.

But how well do students interact with the apps? Watch this 3:45 video to see a 5th grade teacher’s strategies for using Google Classroom with a successful hands-on lesson about prepositions.

The segment also comes with a downloadable study guide that includes additional resources and reflection questions for vocabulary supports and instruction.

These materials are part of a comprehensive series of videos and downloadable resources available only on Edivate.

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Using Context Clues to Determine Word Meaning

Using Context Clues to Determine Word Meaning

Whether in poetry or another subject, when students encounter unfamiliar vocabulary, it can stop them in their tracks. Learning how to use context clues—information that comes before and after an unknown word—helps students determine its meaning.

Common Types of Context Clues

  1. Root word and affix: People remembered her fondly as a benevolent [bene = good or well; vol = to wish]
  2. Definition: A perennial plant grows back after winter.
  3. Description: Some birds like to build their nests in inconspicuous spots — high up in the tops of trees, well hidden by leaves.
  4. Synonym: Betsy took a break from teaching to serve in the Peace Corps. Despite the hiatus, Betsy’s school was eager to rehire her when she returned.
  5. Antonym: I miss Mr. Fry. Our new principal is cranky and unapproachable. Mr. Fry was so affable.
  6. Cause and Effect: Because we lingered too long at the restaurant, we missed the beginning of the movie.
  7. Inference: e.g., You don’t need to worry about talk to Mr. Fry. He is an affable

Source: Reading Rockets

Teaching in Action

This video segment on Edivate, 12th Grade Words, Words, Words: Determining Contextual Meaning, features Ms. Alyssa Montooth, an ELA teacher at Druid Hills High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and interrelated teacher, Ms. Cassandra Domineck, as they help students master unfamiliar vocabulary encountered in their study of Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. Students identify specific context clues to determine which vocabulary word has the appropriate connotative and denotative meaning to fit in the provided sentences.

The segment also comes with a downloadable study guide that includes additional resources and reflection questions for vocabulary supports and instruction.

These materials are part of a comprehensive series of videos and downloadable resources available only on Edivate.

**Can’t log in to Edivate or forgot your password? Contact Edivate Support at 855 337-7500 or support@schoolimprovement.com.

Poetry 180: A Poem a Day

Poetry 180: A Poem a Day

Remember when US Poet Laureate Billy Collins introduced Poetry 180: A Poem A Day for American High Schools? Have you taken the challenge? Good poetry is short enough to afford opportunities for reading every day, varied enough to resonate with different groups and individuals throughout the year, and complex enough to intrigue and challenge students. If you decide to take the plunge, check out the helpful resources below to support you as you begin.

5 Tools to Support Daily Poetry in the Classroom 

  1. Poetry App from the Poetry Foundation
  2. The Writer’s Almanac
  3. Magnetic Poetry
  4. Poetry Out Loud
  5. Poetry 180

Source: Edutopia

Teaching in Action

This video segment on Edivate, 4th Grade Poetry Lesson – Elementary, features Ms. Fallon Farokhi, a teacher at the Edith Bowen Laboratory School in Logan, Utah, guiding students to write and publish their own poetry.

These materials are part of a comprehensive series of videos and downloadable resources available only on Edivate.

**Can’t log in to Edivate or forgot your password? Contact Edivate Support at 855 337-7500 or support@schoolimprovement.com.

Using Poetry in the Classroom

Delicious Poetry for the Classroom

In recognition of National Poetry Month, why not dedicate a poem to your classroom? Even if you teach a subject that doesn’t seem compatible with poetry, providing opportunities for students to read or write poems can cultivate high engagement and interest.

10 Ways to Use Poetry in Your Classroom

Consider these engaging ways to infuse your classroom with poetry this month and beyond:

  1. Activate prior knowledge
  2. Establish theme
  3. Explore language
  4. Focus on facts
  5. Set a scene
  6. Inspire writing
  7. See new perspectives
  8. Ignite curiosity
  9. Provide pleasure
  10. Capture character

Source: Reading Rockets

Teaching in Action

This video segment on Edivate, 1st Grade: Delicious Interactive Poetry Writing, features Ms. Stephanie Buquoi and her 1st grade class at Shiloh Point Elementary in Cumming, Georgia. Students explore the poetic forms of haiku and cinquain and identify words that appeal to the senses in order to create poems of their own.

The segment also comes with a downloadable study guide that includes additional resources and thought-questions for poetry and reading instruction.

These materials are part of a comprehensive series of videos and downloadable resources available only on Edivate

**Can’t log in to Edivate or forgot your password? Contact Edivate Support at 855 337-7500 or support@schoolimprovement.com.