“Again!” He pushes the book back into my hands. “Again, Ms. Sylvan, AGAIN!” We’ve read this one four times already today. “We’ve read this one so many times! Would you like to pick a different one this time?” “NO! THIS ONE! AGAIN!” Again. This one. Nothing else will do.     If you work with …Continue reading

Turning the Table

“I’ve taught you everything I am to teach you this year.  I’ve taught you new content and strategies to use to understand that content.  Now it’s time for you to choose what you would like to learn more about and use what I’ve taught you this year.” How does this sound to you?  Interested?  Here’s …Continue reading

Reflection = Growth

“Self-reflection is a humbling process.  It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things . . . then better yourself.”  – Sonya Teclai The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards states, “Thinking analytically about teaching is complicated because teaching is complicated.”  Teachers generally have little time for self-analysis and reflection, yet …Continue reading

No Quick Fixes

“Every spring, education-related newspaper and magazine stories raise the alarm that schools are teaching to the test. Scores of articles and editorials paint a disheartening picture of frustrated teachers forced to abandon good instructional practices for a relentless stream of worksheets based on boring, repetitive test-preparation materials.”  Craig Jerald It’s hard for teachers to stay …Continue reading

Math Stretches

Runners stretch before a race, so that their muscles are warm and ready to perform at optimum levels.  Just like those athletes, our students need to warm-up to get their brains focused and ready for quality thinking and learning.  Math Warm-ups are an important component of Laney Sammons’ Guided Math framework. When we give our …Continue reading

Dialogue Not Monologue

Mind Frame 5:  Teachers engage in dialogue, not monologue – John Hattie  Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning  Research has shown that teachers talk between 70 and 80% of classroom time.  Traditionally a monologue flows from the teacher and then the students are asked to complete a task to demonstrate their understanding.  From …Continue reading