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The Cycle of Continuous School Improvement

The Cycle of Continuous School Improvement

How does a large urban district achieve consistent improvement in teacher effectiveness? Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, uses the Cycle of Continuous Improvement to help their educators and students reach higher levels of performance. This 11:25 video outlines the five steps of their cycle with explanations and examples.

Cycle of Continuous Improvement

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Goal setting and plan development
  3. The observation process
  4. Mid-cycle goals review
  5. Summative evaluation

The Cycle of Continuous School Improvement

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Group Work and Teacher Guidance

Group Work and Teacher Guidance

Imagine that your class is working on group projects. Everyone is on task, you’re helping each group precisely when they need it, and students stay on pace to finish by the due date. Sound too good to be true?

Well, you’re right! It is!

But that doesn’t mean you can stop trying. This 3:35 video has a few group guidance strategies that can help you bring your project dreams that much closer to reality.

Group Work and Teacher Guidance

Share out: What project management strategies do you use? Share them with us!

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Great Benefits of Project-Based Learning

The Benefits of Project-Based Learning

As summer approaches and your planning shifts from this to next school year, you might consider building in some project-based learning (PBL) experiences for your upcoming students.

What exactly is PBL and how does it benefit both teachers and students? In this 3:56 video, you’ll see students eager to learn (and share what they’ve learned) about chemical elements, crickets, household appliance tools, and even compost. You’ll find out why it can have such lasting positive impact on students’ growth and achievement.

project based learning

Share out: What do you know about / do with PBL?

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Student Presentations and How to Make Them Great

How to Facilitate Great Student Presentations

Ah, class presentations. They’re a source of pride, joy, frustration, despair, and everything in between for students—and their teachers too.

Facilitating presentations can be a great way for students to reinforce their own learning and teach their peers. Of course, there are specific skills that make presentations more effective and meaningful for both presenters and audience. This 2:16 video highlights some of the benefits and effective practices of student presentations.

You can also learn through this interactive demonstration of effective vs. ineffective student presentation practices. Once you’ve completed the activity, you can download an adaptable checklist (Word file) to help your students prepare for their next presentation.

Teaching Students to Teach

Share out: How do you help your students prepare for individual or group presentations? Let us know!

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Listening Skills for Students

Listening Skills for Students

Listening is one of the most important skills that students can practice while in school. Every aspect of a student’s academic career is impacted by their ability to actively listen. For most students, active listening is not an innate skill. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can teach to help them gain this skill.

In this 2:48 video, teachers and students go over three steps to active listening:

  • Look at the person speaking.
  • Wait until he or she is done before you speak.
  • Respond with words or gestures that show you heard what he or she said.

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

listening skills for students

Share out: How do you encourage your students to listen to each other? Let us know!

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Pythagorean Theorem Lesson for Secondary Students

Pythagorean Theorem Lesson: Geometry in the Real World

For students, schoolwork with real-world relevance is key for learning. Activities and projects that introduce new content into familiar contexts have a greater chance of being successfully applied by students in later, less familiar situations.

In this classroom video, geometry teacher Mr. Robert Oswald gives his students practice using the Pythagorean theorem and principle of triangulation to solve the real-world problem of locating a missing cell phone in their area.

Pythagorean Theory Lesson

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

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Using Nonverbal Praise Routines

Using Nonverbal Praise Routines

Nonverbal praise routines are quick, quiet, gestures designed to increase student engagement and classroom community with minimal disruption to learning.

In this 1:40 video, teachers and students demonstrate nonverbal praise routines, such as thumbs up, snaps, and sending “magic” or “love.”
Using Nonverbal Praise Routines

This video comes with a downloadable guidebook.

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Model Reading by Thinking

Model Reading by Thinking

Solid reading involves more than just sounding out letters and words—it engages thinking on many levels. When teachers use modeling, coached practice, and reflection, they can help their students to think while they read and build their comprehension.

Good readers:

  • Draw on background knowledge as they read
  • Make predictions as they read
  • Visualize the events of a text as they read
  • Recognize confusion as they read
  • Recognize a text’s structure as they read
  • Identify a purpose for reading
  • Monitor their purpose for reading the text

Source: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/using-think-alouds-improve-reading-comprehension

Using Think-Alouds to Model Thinking and Reading

Teachers use think-alouds to model the relationship between thinking and reading. They verbalize their thought processes and demonstrate connections that good readers make between background knowledge and information in a text.

This video segment above features a variety of classroom examples showing teachers implementing think-alouds with their students. The segment also comes with a downloadable study guide that offers pre- and post-viewing discussion prompts as well as links to additional resources for teaching reading comprehension.

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

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Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Instructional Variety

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Instructional Variety  

If you were a farmer who had just one gardening tool, how frustrating would your work be? What would happen to the growth of your plants?

This analogy to teaching helps explain why educational frameworks like Universal Design for Learning (UDL) advocate for teachers to develop a variety of strategies to help them reach all students.

And so, in the spirit of instructional variety, we offer you two resource options for this Strategy of the Week:

An interactive version of this teaching-as-gardening analogy.

Teaching as a Gardener

And, a document with descriptions of and resources for using nine different instructional strategies and approaches.

teaching strategy

Try the Interactive Lesson

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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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