Early in my teaching career, I learned that if I can manage classroom movements, I can manage behavior. If I can manage behavior, students learn better.
An earlier post discussed the importance of quick and easy transitions between activities. David Ginsburg discusses smooth transitions in terms of …Continue
Since reading Bill Ferriter's post on whether or not true formative assessment is possible, I've been wondering how I could make my own formative assessments more efficient. This post features a screencast of me looking at student work for the purposes of formative assessment.
Formative assessment is continuous assessment. In the context…Continue
I shied away from tech productions projects. I was a scaredy-cat. Why? Whenever I gave my students a video project, the products demonstrated fun and engagement, but little learning.
I needed to learn how to help students create quality productions.
Over the past three years, I've discovered a system that helps me help students create media productions that…Continue
Added by Janet Abercrombie on September 19, 2011 at 7:13am — No Comments
It's never too early in the year to begin thinking about Parent Night.
The thought of talking for an hour to a group of adults seems daunting. Even with children, I try to speak no more than five minutes before directing them to an activity that synthesizes what was shared.
I have parents and students do the talking. Here are some suggestions if you want to get parents and students more active in the process:
1. Have parents active from the…Continue
Added by Janet Abercrombie on September 16, 2011 at 2:30am — No Comments
I have been going home exhausted. Yes, I'm getting used to early mornings. But I think the most draining aspect of a new school year is fielding the hundreds of questions fired at me. I'm sure you've heard them:
Procedural questions can be handled by…Continue
Added by Janet Abercrombie on September 8, 2011 at 8:19am — No Comments
One of the most important things we can teach students is to be a critical viewer of visual media. Can we believe everything we see?
My teaching partner and I created a 17-second iMovie: http://youtu.be/bnYYyL0wq30
We then gave students access to the 18 smaller clips from which the movie was…
I have pretty high expectations for student organization and transitions between activities. I don't want student to lose precious learning time. That said, I don't want students to be robots.
How do I show students I care about them, honor individual quirks, and still clarify my expectations for our learning time?
Clear instructions are written on the board as students arrive - and for each transition. In the past, I wrote steps for students on…Continue
Residents of Southeast Asia understand typhoons. As the winds pick up, people in the community scramble to secure windows, haul terrace furniture inside, and stock up on food.
The pre-service week has been a typhoon of activity, with my focus shifting to and from classroom arrangements, …Continue
Added by Janet Abercrombie on August 31, 2011 at 9:21am — No Comments
Added by Janet Abercrombie on August 28, 2011 at 4:00am — No Comments
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Added by Janet Abercrombie on August 24, 2011 at 3:17am — No Comments
Today was "T Minus 5". Students arrive in five working days.
Two feelings: chatty and overwhelmed.
Importance of Chat
Each school year begins with faculty and staff assemblies. I look over a sea of roughly 300 people, about a third of whom I know fairly well. I want to hear about their summers. I want them to expand on their Facebook updates - all the fun stories they didn't post.
I think the importance of beginning-of-year chat is…
Added by Janet Abercrombie on August 22, 2011 at 3:05pm — No Comments
Added by Janet Abercrombie on August 8, 2011 at 2:30am — No Comments
Added by Janet Abercrombie on July 10, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments
Added by Janet Abercrombie on July 5, 2011 at 2:39am — No Comments
Each year I become more and more excited about teaching students to research. Here is my evolution in teaching research skills:
1993-2001: Teach students to read nonfiction and take notes so that they can report learning without plagiarizing. Yawn.
2001-2006: Teach students to read nonfiction online and in print. Scour the internet to identify the best websites for kids to use. Develop webquests.…
Added by Janet Abercrombie on July 4, 2011 at 3:30am — No Comments
I have a fear of commitment...to bookmarking sites.
Maybe I'm too picky. I'm waiting for the "Holy Grail" of sites: The free site that easily organizes both documents and websites and then pushes those items to my mobile devices. I want to put everything in one place - for free. I dream that this perfect system will one day appear on my dashboard and it will be love at first sight.