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 How to Leverage Critical Thinking Challenges to Your Advantage
Are your students using your makerspace and now you want to show off their hard work? Host a Maker Walk. Picture a science fair, but so much cooler because it’s filled with the creations your students made in your makerspace!
This can be done with school’s makerspace or you can just use the creations your students have created from your classroom’s makerspace (like us),[Read more…] about Host a Maker Walk
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 had 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!)
Imagine how different your life would be if you were given the choice to do or say certain things.[Read more…] about How to Differentiate Using Choices
How do we create a classroom community where all students feel they are equal and belong? It turns out we’ve had more combined grade classes that straight grade classes since we began teaching, so we can’t imagine teaching any other way. First of all, we call it a combined class rather than a split class. It’s the first thing we do with parents because our combined classes are not like the old ‘split’ classes.
When students come into our classroom on the first day of school they immediately collect into two different groups-the lower grade and the upper grade. They don’t know each other well and like to sit with their friends. We don’t give students a seating plan right away (or sometimes at all) so we can see which relationships form or are already in place, but then we slowly start changing their mindset about the combined class.[Read more…] about Creating a Culture of Community in Your Multi-Grade Classroom
Project based learning can be a challenge because it moves the control from the teacher to the student. When we began our teaching journey, controlling every aspect of student work from beginning to end seemed like the right thing to do. As we’ve evolved as teachers, we learned that loosening the reigns has many benefits. Check out some of the best reasons we use project based learning in our classroom.[Read more…] about The Reasons For Project Based Learning
Have you been learning about growth mindset and wanting to try to instill some determination in your students? Have you heard of the learning pit? It might be the key to teaching students to learn how to learn.
Do you have students that break down during tasks that require a bit of problem solving? Are they frustrated? Do they yell and scream of run out of the classroom? You need the learning pit.
Teaching students to overcome challenges can be difficult when we live in a society that is all about getting things done quickly. We have technology, parents and constant distractions constantly telling students they can learn anything anytime with little or no effort. As a teacher, this is very challenging when students feel they’ve failed, get frustrated or give up right away.
This was what was happening in our classroom. Students that could manage challenges were more successful overall because they kept working until they got it. It felt like it was a lack of effort, but it was much more than that. So we started investigating and researching best practices to help us teach students to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.[Read more…] about Use the Learning Pit to Teach Growth Mindset