When a colleague told us we should try interactive notebooks in math, we agreed and then went on our merry ways and did math the same old way for another year, so at the end of that school year, she approached us again and DEMANDED we buy an Interactive Math Journal lesson plan set. We took a look, bought it and then went on summer vacation never to think about math for a whole two months. Near the end of the summer we opened it up and it CHANGED OUR WORLD. We will never teach math the same way again. That being said, there are a few things we learned about the process and we wanted to share these tips with you so you don’t have to spend so much time figuring things out yourself.[Read more…] about Things We Learned From Interactive Math Notebooks
What do you do when you want to challenge students, but you also want them to learn? We give them critical thinking challenges. Critical thing requires many skills-problem solving, collaboration, design thinking, and perseverance. When a critical thinking question is carefully crafted, you can get students to explore learning outcomes while having fun and being engaged in their learning at the same time.[Read more…] about What About Critical Thinking Challenges?
Flexible seating is all the rage, but we’ve been using the philosophy in our classroom for years. While it would be nice to have a variety of seating options, we know it’s not always possible, but you can still have seating options without spending a dime.
Have you ever tried asking your students to find a place to sit and work? Try it! You’ll be surprised by all the places they’ll find to do their work. [Read more…] about Flexible Seating Without Money
How would you feel if you knew you were a wonderful writer but the only way you could express yourself was through modern dance? What would you do if you have to recite your report card comments by memory to each and every parent? How would you feel if you were given the choice to write your report cards any way YOU want? (Ours would be invisible!)
Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t that make you want to write the best report cards the world has ever seen?
So why are we so determined as teachers that there’s only one way to assess our students? Why can’t they have choices too? [Read more…] about Why You Should Give Students Choices
Makerspaces: They seem to be all the buzz, but the concept that drives them isn’t new. For many years, we’ve been focused on directing every moment of our students’ lives. As parents, the lives of children are scheduled to the point they never have a moment to decide for themselves what to do. As teachers, if our students don’t look like they’re working, we worry that someone will think they aren’t learning. So when did we decide as adults that play is a bad thing?[Read more…] about Why Makerspaces?
Our students love to have some choice over what they read as part of the Language Arts program. Book Clubs are one way to encourage reading and discussions-just like adults do. Students read for enjoyment and then talk about what they have read and recommend books to others. [Read more…] about Using Book Clubs