A couple weeks ago I posted my first Coach’s Corner article addressing some of the prevalent issues my new teachers are facing, and I received a wonderful comment on the post from Brad Foust, he commented, “Surprisingly, far too many teachers, including veteran teachers, simply don’t write lesson plans anymore. They either use the teacher’s edition plans that come with whatever book they’re using, or use worksheets in the place of self-constructed lesson plans. When […]
Recently I have taken on a new position, that of instructional coach for our first-year teachers, and it has been an exciting transition, but the more I work with our new teachers, the more I remember the craziness of first year teaching. This is the motivation for my new series “Coach’s Corner”, where we will explore the authentic situations first year teachers encounter, provide valuable tips and tricks for the first year, and offer new […]
Ah, testing. It is a regular fact of life in today’s public school classroom. One of the great challenges I found when I was a classroom teacher during testing was fatigue. We want our students to stay motivated, stay alert and stay focused. We also want them feeling good about themselves and relaxed enough to do their best work. The arts have so much to offer to have our students in the best frame of […]
Gestures are powerful. Whether it is a child who has little to no language and points to indicate what s/he needs or a fellow driver who wishes to indicate her/his displeasure with a maneuver you may just have executed without rolling down a window, gestures can communicate a great deal. Many of us unconsciously use gestures as we speak but it turns out gesture may actually be an important aspect of language development and that […]
“Ms. Moore can we change it and go like this?” Ah, the sweet sounds of student engagement and creative thinking! Some fourth graders said this to me as they were rehearsing raps and corresponding dance sequences that I taught them designed specifically to address science concepts students in the school system had been missing on the state standardized tests. Because these lessons I am modeling are part of a research grant they need to be […]
One of the ways I love to integrate is through the use of stations. I find this to be both practical and authentic to a laboratory experience for students. When using stations, students are able to be active in their learning, collaborate through cooperative groups, and engage in hands-on experiences that bring their learning to life. For the teacher, it requires some setup time beforehand, but then it runs fairly smoothly depending upon the stations […]
Supporting the common core through the Arts can come in many forms, one effective strategy can be found in the anchor standards of college and career readiness as presented by the Common Core State Standards via the reading strands. The reading standards administer the following objectives: read, determine, analyze, interpret, assess, integrate, evaluate, delineate, and comprehend. So how do we as arts educators support the development of critical reading while we prepare for performances, […]
This week marks the end of the first quarter at my school, and as I reflect I have realized there are some policies, routines, and procedures that need to be changed prior to entering the new quarter. Out of curiosity, I asked some colleagues about their reflections on the first quarter and whether or not they found themselves wanting to alter or modify some things; resoundingly everyone said yes, which begs the question… is it to […]
Todays article is more of a rhetorical question, so I pose it as an open forum style opportunity to generate discourse and provide food for thought as we reflect on our own practices. As educators, we strive to both care for our students emotionally and prepare them for their futures mentally, but this can often become a blurred line. How do we find the balance between ensuring we are caring for our students but in […]
Remember when you first decided to become an educator? Why? Why did you make that most important of decisions? I seriously doubt it was on a lark, to make a lot of money or for the “summer’s off.” It’s really worth examining the deeper (and deepest reasons) why we chose to be educators. Whether you are succeeding wildly or stagnating, the initial “why” (the source of all that you do) can be revelatory and game-changing.
Last week I delivered a series of workshops called “Embracing Change” to a governmental agency. The curriculum was interesting and applicable to work, home and personal life. Part of the workshop examined personal working styles and how they influence our response to change. I have never been big on personality profiles and assessments. I have found that people use them to peg each other and not for their good qualities! They seem to use the […]
It’s time to share a new Arts Integration Strategy! As summer is now in full swing, it’s nice to start keeping a list of strategies that you can use to help you integrate the arts throughout the upcoming school year. All summer long, we’ll be sharing with you NEW strategies that you can take and tweak to ensure a creative, yet focused start to your fall lessons. Please remember, though, that an arts integration strategy […]
When we step out of our majors and decide we are going to peruse a teaching credential, we do so wearing proverbial rose-colored glasses. We think to ourselves, I am going to change the world, I am going to make a difference, I am going to be the best teacher ever!
And then you enter the classroom…
You are bombarded with issues like classroom discipline, differentiated instruction, high-stakes testing, IEP’s, 504s, adjunct duty, and meetings, upon meetings, […]
I visited almost fifteen schools this past year as an arts integration expert and saw many great teachers and students working together to create great classroom experiences. At the same time, I saw some classrooms where learning had stagnated and the students weren’t responding well to the teacher. Here’s my shortlist of five “warning signs” of a dysfunctional classroom. Do you recognize yourself in one or more? If so, don’t worry! We are all human […]