Yesterday, we looked at some of the things that are weighing down teachers’ to-do lists during this back to school season. Some of the items that showed up on the list? Classroom set-up. Establishing activities for the first few days of school. Setting expectations for your classroom. Lesson planning. Community building. Figuring out how to …
A Simple Education App May Reach The Top Of The App Store Charts BuzzFeed Remind, an education app that allows teachers to communicate securely with their students via text, surged yesterday to number three on the charts among free apps in the...
Nancy J. Herr's insight:
Remind has already been discovered by many principals and teachers. Now it is adding more features and is on its way to being a top app,. Maybe it's time you tried this free app
The combination of the A+nyWhere Learning System (A+LS) and A+ LearningLink (A+LL) gives educators the ability to place students at the appropriate level of intervention, predict how well students will perform on state tests, prescribe appropriate instructional material, and track progress to determine if the interventions are truly working.
Response to Intervention or RTI is an essential approach that brings science and the art of teaching together. Response to Intervention practice promotes education through innovation and creativity. The foundation of the entire approach is firmly grounded on taking decisions based on data analysis of student’s learning capability. RTI perceives: Sophisticated dedication and improved collaboration …
"Tennessee has a different plan. Anticipating a drop in scores under Common Core, our state is rolling out another initiative, Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²), at the same time to ensure that all kids have the supports they need to successfully transition to Common Core."
On a recent school visit, I was discussing student engagement with a group of school leaders when a member of the group offered the following observation: "I think teachers are reluctant to turn the class over to a guided activity because they are concerned about classroom management."
Teachers cannot teach if they cannot manage classroom behavior. They know that and we know that. Unless we build teacher capacity to engage students in guided group activities, they will be reluctant to "stop talking" because they are afraid they will lose control. In other words, teachers must be taught what to do when they stop talking and students are working.
Remember, the brain that does the work does the learning. If we expect to dramatically increase the amount of student work and simultaneously decrease the amount of teacher talk, we must build the capacity of teachers to check for understanding and facilitate group processes while keeping all the students on-task.
Most teachers make the big mistake of spending too much time with a few individuals and while they are "fixing" those few students, the rest of the class gets off-task. It does not take long for teachers to figure out that this is not working and they revert back to their comfort zone and a teacher-centered style of instruction.
Furthermore, the natural tendency to "fix" struggling students actually has the unintended consequence of creating "dependent" students, who quickly learn that, if they wait until the teacher stops talking to raise their hand, the teacher will come over and do their work for them. So, not only are were losing control of the class, but we are creating dependent learners who will not even attempt to complete the assignment because they know the teacher will bail them out.
Years of implementing a school wide instructional framework taught me that our teachers had to have a strategy for keeping students on-task and engaged while they circulated through the room. Fred Jones’s Praise, Prompt, and Leave (PPL) strategy is one that we found particularly useful for strengthening student engagement.
Keys to Implementation of PPL
We asked teachers to:
Begin the year using groups of two (collaborative pairs), which were easier to manage and easier to keep on-task.
Chunk the lesson or task into smaller segments.
Keep the outcome in mind. The goal was not to fix students, but rather to ensure that they were on-task and that the students demonstrated understanding of the task at hand.
Don't let too many students get to far off course! When needed stop the group activity and re-teach a key point. The only way the teacher knows whether students are off course is to circulate throughout the classroom checking for understanding.
Motion creates emotion. An effective teacher moved around the classroom with ease and did not get stuck instructing one or two students.
Every 10-12 minutes of group activity refocus the students and point out any key concepts or share your observations.
Follow a simple three step process:
Praise - Point out where the student is and what the student has done so far.
Prompt - Tell the student what to do next and that you will be back to check on them.
Leave - Spend as little time with each student as possible. The goal is to check on the understanding of all students not to re-teach a few students.
I just read a post by my friend, Tony Sinanis, #EdCamp: What's The Point? Tony had an unconnected colleague attend an Edcamp. The colleague was most impressed with the ever-present passion. Accordi...
Nancy J. Herr's insight:
The bottom line to every teaching method must be learning. But we also need to take a long view on just what learning we are trying to instill. Technology isn't the answer to everything, but neither is doing what we've always done.