Strategy of the Week

Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content

Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content 

What letter comes after “P” in the alphabet? What sound does the duck make on Ol’ McDonald’s farm? How does a bill (sitting there on Capitol Hill) become a law? Once the connection is made, it can be hard to separate a song from its content.

Students are more likely to internalize what they are learning when teachers scaffold the content using a chant or song. This is especially true of English language learners. Watch this 2:00 video to see a few examples of chants and songs in action.

Using Chants and Songs to Scaffold Content

Share out: What is a song or chant that your students enjoy? Let us know what it is and why they enjoy it!

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

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Making Hallway Transitions Easy and Efficient

Making Hallway Transitions Easy and Efficient

Venturing out of the classroom can be an exciting time for students. They might be going to lunch, recess, the library, or some other interesting location. The actions of excited students can range from a small smile to running in circles and screaming as loud as possible. Depending on what they are doing, some students could be a distraction to their neighbors or other classrooms while transitioning from one location to another.

Establishing expectations and procedures for hallway etiquette will minimize distractions and create a positive school climate. Watch this 2:36 video to learn some management strategies that make hallway etiquette attainable for all students.

hallway procedures

 

Share out: Do you have a unique trick or strategy that makes hallway transitions more efficient? Share it with us!

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Depth of Knowledge and Cognitive Demand

Depth of Knowledge and Cognitive Demand

An Introduction to a Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Chart

Differentiating instruction for students can be a tough endeavor – ensuring that every student not only reaches mastery, but also feels challenged and engaged along the way. Norman Webb’s DOK chart is a useful tool that teachers can reference to help choose an appropriate level of cognitive demand for students. But what is a DOK chart? And what does it have to do with cognitive demand? Watch this 1:04 video to find out.

Depth of Knowledge and Cognitive Demand

Share out: How do you help your students reach higher levels of cognitive demand?

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Using Technology to Facilitate Learning

Using Technology to Facilitate Learning

How 1:1 Can Lead to Facilitation of Learning

While implementing technology, it can be easy for teachers to focus on the rules and procedures of student use, or for students to only access the tools during designated assignments. But, to take full advantage of the technology, students need a more flexible environment that allows teachers to facilitate student learning by promoting inquiry and incorporating voice and choice in using these tools.

In this 5:12 long video, Ms. Kristi Meeuwse, an Apple Distinguished Educator, discusses how being on the “bleeding edge” of 1:1 implementation helped enable her to be a facilitator of learning.

Using Technology to Facilitate Learning

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Teacher Collaboration Through Classroom Video

I’m the Only Math Teacher in My School. How Am I Supposed to Collaborate?

Teacher Collaboration Through Classroom Video

When it’s done right, personalized learning has a profoundly positive impact on student learning. Can the same be said for its use with teachers? For many educators, the answer is…we don’t know yet. In the words of an administrator in this segment:

“We always talk about what education is supposed to look like for students, but we seem to not deliver that to teachers.” 

teacher-collaboration-through-videoTeacher Collaboration Through Classroom Video

This 6:35 video shows how a small district in Georgia found an innovative solution to enable its isolated middle school math teachers to learn from each other.

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Silent Communication with Students

Silent Communication With Students? Here’s How.

Talking Chips, Three Before Me, and Parking Lots

As teachers increase their students’ voice and choice in the classroom, they provide less whole-class direct instruction and more personalized, just-in-time guidance. In order to minimize interruptions from other students, teachers develop procedures to strategize classroom communication. See several of them in this 3:08 video.

silent communication

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Flexible Pacing: The Treadmill Metaphor

Flexible vs. traditional pacing: What’s the difference for students?

Flexible Pacing: The Treadmill Metaphor

As part of a personalized approach to education, flexible pacing is gaining recognition among educators. There are articles, interviews, and descriptions of its benefits over traditional pacing all over the Internet.

What you’ve probably never seen before is a group of students all running at the same time on a giant treadmill. Why in the world would they do that? And where’d they even get a giant treadmill anyway?

This 1:50 animated video illustrates the dramatic difference between flexible and traditional pacing.

Flexible Pacing: The Treadmill Metaphor

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Personalized Strategies to Meet Individual Needs

If you gave students a microphone, what would they say about their school?

Innovations High School Salt Lake

At Innovations High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, there are teachers, students, and classrooms. Beyond that, its student-centered, personalized instructional model differs strikingly from more traditional school environments. In this 2:33 video, hear what teachers and students have to say about the variety of instruction and support offered there.

Bonus School Improvement Innovation Summit feature!

Ashley Innovations High School

This 5:09 video presents Ashley, an Innovations High School student addressing the 2014 School Improvement Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City. Ashley movingly describes the difference that her principal and teachers have made in her academic and personal life.

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Supporting Teachers – Students Perspective

Sharing Thoughts on Caring, Supportive Teachers

Building a supportive relationship with students can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. So, to make those relationships more manageable, take little steps that can lead to great accomplishments. Sometimes a simple smile can start the relationship that makes a student feel more comfortable in class.

In this 5:34 long video from the 2014 School Improvement Innovation Summit, Maria Argueta, a high school student from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, shared her thoughts about the caring and supportive teachers who took those little steps by sharing personal interests and listening to questions.

Maria Argueta

Share out: How do communicate to your students that you care for them?

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Redirecting Student Behavior

Redirecting Student Behavior – A Classroom Management Segment

“Pay attention!” Don’t you wish you could have a dime for every time you’ve said that? Keeping students focused and on task might be the most common classroom management challenge.

akili academy

In this 2:04 minute video, teachers from Akili Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, share some their strategies for redirecting student behavior in a respectful, non-confrontational manner without interrupting the flow of their lessons.

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

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