Category: Essential Core Instruction

Tip for Teachers: “Wrong” Answers Are the Ones That Deepen Learning

By Shannon Pretorius You ask your class a question, expecting a particular answer. You planned for that answer, but the students’ responses are completely different from what you anticipated. What do you do? Too many times, I’ve seen teachers barely acknowledge the unexpected answers and say something like, “No, that’s

Helping Parents Understand Why Math Instruction Has Changed

By Kimberly Wood “What is it with this new math?” How many of you have heard this question from parents as they try to help their kids with homework? With the switch to rigorous college and career readiness standards, many parents feel that the math being taught in the classrooms

High fives at Lodge Community School in Evansville, Indiana

Verifying Learning: Who Learned the Lesson in These Scenarios?

By Shannon Pretorius You have the most amazing math lesson planned for today. It is interactive, engaging, requires student collaboration, and you didn’t even have to spend your own money to fund it. Students will be analyzing classroom objects based on their attributes and classifying them into specific geometric categories.

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Building Rigor and Engagement Into Academic Vocabulary

Six tips to get students excited about acquiring new words. By Kristin DeJong Remember the days when a teacher would hand us a spelling book and tell us to complete exercises in it? We would memorize each word and then take a dictation quiz at the end of the unit.

Lockerman Middle School's Coaching Tree

Lockerman Middle School: The Vision, the Work, the Legacy

By Theresa Staley How a Maryland school has come together to alter its legacy and move the needle for students. Not far from the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay lies the picturesque countryside of Denton, Maryland, where the bellowing wails of Wildcat honor personify the solidarity and spirit of

Wheels of Fortune: How and Why Learning Target Focus Wheels Should Be Part of Your Instructional Design

By Theresa Staley What learning target focus wheels are, how they improve classroom learning and climate, and how you can implement them in your instructional design. Wouldn’t it be spectacular if one student-centered resource could provide all of the assessment information teachers need, and beyond that, build a climate of

5 Essential Strategies to Help Students Meet Rigorous Standards

By Carla Moore Are your students developing high-level cognitive skills? Critical thinking, analysis, generating and testing hypotheses—these are all important goals of revised state standards. As schools implement new standards, we should be seeing much more evidence that teachers are gradually scaffolding student learning to help students reach the highest levels