One important aspect to education that has quickly been pushed aside to make way for more testing is character building. The arts are a great place to house these valuable skills, because we innately build character through arts presentation. Whether stepping on stage for a dance performance, a one-act play, or a music concert, student artists are building their character traits on a daily basis. Highlighting these traits through reflection will help students to make […]
We have all heard of Project Based Learning (PBL), and some of us may have even dabbled in building PBL curriculum and classrooms, but with the time constraints of standards, testing, pacing guides, and mandated curriculum how can we possibly find the time? Moreover, how can we ensure that students are learning the information needed to be successful on standardized assessments, which unfortunately still drive our educational system? So often we revert back to the […]
Behavior management is the big bugaboo for many a teacher. It can make or break you since without good management you cannot create a positive learning environment and get to the business of teaching. Many years ago I discovered something called Responsive Classroom and I fell in love with the approach because it centers on empowering the child, it stresses the importance and power of language used by the teacher and it reminds the teacher […]
After a month in my new position, I have had the opportunity to observe many classrooms each with varying teacher personalities and even more student dynamics. But with each classroom, I found that there are a few things that work in just about every situation. I have compiled the top 5 strategies, for new and veteran teachers, to building a smooth structure in the classroom.
Every Student Every Day
The first, and most important, strategy for a […]
Who couldn’t use a new arts integration strategy to put in their bag of tricks? Today’s Periscope PD is from the session I shared last Tuesday evening all about the Expanding Sentences strategy. In this short, 10 minute video, I explain how we can take a common reading strategy and use it to help our students take their artistic work to the next level.
What’s great about this is that you can use it as a way […]
Building leadership in the classroom is an amazing way to really place responsibility, ownership, and accountability into the hands of the students. However, it is essential that all procedures are well established before proceeding to building student leadership. If you need help with establishing procedures check out my last three articles:
Back to School
Practicing Procedures Part I
Practicing Procedures Part II
A mentor once told me “don’t do for the students, that which they can do for themselves,” […]
Procedures are essential to the structure of the classroom, without them the majority of our time will be devoted to putting out fires instead of igniting curiosity. If you find yourself running into some procedural roadblocks, it’s not too late to develop and practice the class structure. Last week we took a look at some ideas for procedures in Practicing Procedures Part I. This week we will continue looking at the 10 procedures presented in […]
For most of us, we are moving into the second week of school. Classes are starting to level out, most of the schedule changes have been made, and we are beginning to delve into our favorite part… the content! However, if you find yourself running into some procedural roadblocks, it’s not too late to develop and practice the class structure. This week we are going to take a look at some ideas for each of […]
Two words streaming though campus hallways across America.
With these words comes the anticipation of a new school year and the reality of the work that is ahead. For me, these words hold a new meaning as I step into my first full time position as an Instructional Coach. As my responsibilities have shifted to coaching new teachers on campus, my weekly articles too will start to adapt to these new experiences, while maintaining a […]
I have a confession to make: I have TERRIBLE stage fright. As a musician, this is a real challenge. Even now – after almost 30 years of performing experience – my knees knock uncontrollably whenever I start to sing. I don’t dare play the piano in public because my hands shake the minute I know people are watching. Want to know a secret of performers everywhere – this is actually more common than you might […]
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 […]