Ideas from the experts.
eTips are brief, only a sentence or two, designed to get your creative juices flowing for improving learning. Generated from CLI consultant experiences and from successes within partner districts, you’re likely to find something you can use to better your classroom practices!
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Developing vocabulary proficiency not only helps students’ comprehension, but also supports their learning in other content areas. Semantic mapping is a vocabulary instructional strategy where students think of familiar words related to the target word and create a word web. Pictures can also be added to the web as another way to support their understanding. This can be done as a collaborative activity where students support and extend one another’s thinking.
When developing curriculum, be cognizant of any prerequisites required to support new content that is introduced in a grade level. Look at the previous grade level to determine if any gaps exist within the standards and then decide if it is locally important to the district to have that content explicitly included in the curriculum.
When we facilitate, our focus is on creating a space for our learners to reach the intended goals or learning outcomes. Developing a question-based agenda not only promotes engagement as learners are able to cater discussions to their needs, levels, and interests, but also elicits the opportunity for authentic learning and collaboration.
When planning which type of assessment to use, it is important to consider the cognitive level of the verb in the learning target being assessed. Selected response, constructed response, and product and performance assessment items are all valuable, but deciding which type is best suited for the level of the verb will lead to valid assessments that accurately measure mastery of the learning outcome.
The new year is upon us and a perfect opportunity to try something new. What is something new you will be trying in 2023?
“I’m through, what can I do?” is a question we have all heard in the classroom. Using anchor activities provides students with an opportunity to revisit or extend their learning in a meaningful way that is connected to the learning target. After classwork or independent practice is complete, students can engage with anchor activities such as independent reading, journaling, vocabulary activities, or art projects related to the content to deepen their understanding.
Creating a long-term plan is an essential element in any system. A Long Range Plan is one of the crucial initial steps of the Curriculum writing process as it utilizes the district’s goals to create actionable steps and focus areas for each year and content area.
Revisit the Long Range Plan frequently to insure each content area is undergoing each phase of the curriculum process while making sure school and district goals are being met.
From the youngest learners to adult learners, building in breaks is important for all ages. Breaks provide an opportunity for learners to help reset their brains and return to work more focused. Try incorporating a variety of breaks throughout the day such as movement, mindfulness, breathing, or exercise to provide students with an opportunity to refocus and re-engage.
Formatively assess students using the Think-Pair-Share method. After asking a question or providing a prompt related to the learning target, provide students with time to think of their response. Have students pair up with one another to discuss their responses, and then share ideas with the larger group. Throughout the stages of this process, teachers can make formative observations to assess students’ understanding of the content while students are engaged in collaborative conversations with their peers.
There is plenty to be thankful for in all aspects of our lives. Share what you are thankful for with someone!
Classroom discussions utilizing a fishbowl method allow students to explore varying perspectives, dive deeper into topics, and actively engage while scaffolding content. Organize students into two circles- one large circle and a smaller inner circle. Students in the inner circle have a discussion while students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes.
After developing the curriculum for a subject area, it is a good idea to review it every five or six years. This is an opportunity to consider any new state or national standards, gather additional teacher input, and look for cross-curricular connections from other subject areas that maybe had not yet been developed when the target subject area was first written.
Provide a space for students to share ideas and ask questions that will empower their voice and classroom conversations. Students list their ideas or questions in the parking lot during or after a lesson. Teachers answer or reply to items in the parking lot and talk through the ideas with the class.
Reflection is a powerful tool that not only helps students make sense of concepts in relation to themselves, but can also serve as a means of assessment. The 3, 2, 1 strategy is a lesson reflection tool that can be used as a formative assessment and prompts students to write or communicate three things they learned, two things they want to learn more about, and one question they still have after learning about a topic.
Student engagement is such a treat! Share your favorite trick for keeping your students engaged!
Incorporating movement into your instruction has many benefits for your students including increasing their focus and engagement. Movement can be incorporated seamlessly into your instruction in a variety of ways including having students act out content vocabulary, implementing gallery walks, or using think-pair-share.