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Instruction

Be Careful With Themed Instruction

THEMES MAKE SENSE IN MANY WAYS Many teachers plan their instruction in terms of “themes” – also referred to as “central ideas” or “big topics.” Numerous outcomes, or – more often – components of different outcomes, can be taught in the same timeframe by using a theme. Sometimes the outcomes/components are from different subject areas, such as combining a math measurement outcome with a science outcome that requires application of …Read More

Specifying Pacing Guides to the Component Assessment Level

At the beginning of each academic year, teachers should plan how long they believe it will take to teach the curriculum. Called curriculum mapping by some, a pacing guide can be arranged in a variety of formats. The overall purpose is to provide teachers a timeframe for instruction and assessment of the curriculum. A key to a pacing guide is that it is a guide and it may need to …Read More

Teaching for Reflective Learning

In the E-Hint titled A Reflection on Reflective Learning is a suggestion that schools help students encourage and promote reflective thinking as a supplement to today’s emphasis on learning related to criterion-referenced high stakes tests. It discussed the notion that helping students think about their learning will do much more to ensure applications that are meaningful and relevant in an increasingly demanding world. That E-Hint was addressed to curriculum coordinating …Read More

A Reflection on Reflective Learning

It’s amazing how much blather emanates from our mass media, while interactive modes of communication limit us to tweets and posts that are meaningless information bites. Blather and information bites seem to dominate us in the real world, and in education we ask students to fill in bubbles on multiple choice tests or give short answers that are easy to classify as right or wrong. What is considered the most …Read More

Free Online Assistance for Instruction and Practice

The September 27th (online) and 28th (print) 2011 editions of Education Week contain an article by Grant Wiggins, co-creator of Understanding By Design. Titled, “Common-Core Math Standards Don’t Add Up,” the article tells us that while Dr. Wiggins is in favor of national standards, and applauds the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards, he is very critical of the corresponding math standards because of their lack of authenticity. Dr. Wiggins says, …Read More

How to Survive Budget Cuts without Sacrificing Student Learning

There is nowhere in today’s economy that hasn’t been affected by budget cuts. Employees are asked to do the same or even more with less funding and teachers are not excluded. Although some call for even more cuts, the vast majority of parents, other members of individual communities, and charitable organizations understand the importance of education and are willing to do what they can to help. With that support in …Read More

Finding Time for Elementary Science and Social Studies

In almost all elementary classrooms these days, there is heavy emphasis on teaching reading and math. Large blocks of time for both subjects are mandated and well-protected. Many teachers feel that the time left for science and social studies is not sufficient for both content and skills instruction. Since is it not possible to literally create time, teachers must instead use time in more inventive ways. A solution being explored …Read More

Hints for New Teachers

Every year many new educators enter the classroom for the first time. With so much emphasis on testing these days, some important issues can get overlooked in the orientation process. Those crucial areas include classroom management, organization, and communication. A few simple suggestions can make a big difference in the overall success of the year, so consider placing these hints in your new teachers’ packets. Classroom Management The first suggestion …Read More

The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom’s original Taxonomy of Cognitive Domain was published in 1956.  Commonly referred to as “Bloom’s Taxonomy,” it has been translated into 22 languages, and is one of the most widely used references in education.  In the 1990’s, one of Bloom’s former students, Lorin Anderson, headed up a new group of educational theorists and researchers to review and update the original taxonomy.  After six years of work, the revision was …Read More

Whose Students Are These?

 Team Teaching for Interventions As teachers work to meet the needs of the individual students in their classrooms, they become personally invested in each student’s success.  This is not a new situation nor is it one that most teachers or school officials would identify as needing attention or “fixing.”  However, in the current school climate where we must bring all students to a more proficient level of performance, we might …Read More