Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Impact of Negative Words

In my book, Classroom Motivation from A to Z, I share a quote from Derwin Gray, a retired NFL player.  He said, "Negative words are like hammering a nail into someone's heart; even if you pull it out by saying I'm sorry, it still leaves a scar.".  This story shares a similar sentiment. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lessons Learned from Differentiated Instruction

Here's a great article about a middle school teacher's experience with differentiated instruction.  It is worth the three minutes it will take you to read it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tic-Tac-Toe for Differentiation

Last week, I linked to a list of differentiation strategies.  One of those mentioned was the use of a tic-tac-toe board to detail a variety of activities for students.  It's one of my favorites, because it allows you to include activities tailored to multiple intelligences, readiness levels, or topics.  Here's a page that includes a downloadable word template of a tic-tac-toe board.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quick Video for Leaders

Just for leaders!  A wonderful quick video on achieving results.  Justin is a great friend and he does wonderful work.  Take a look.   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Here's a great (albeit a bit older) infograph about effective vocabulary instruction.  Check it out!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Art of Teaching

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.  
Mark van Doren

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Effective Homework

Are you receiving my e-newsletter?  This month's topic is Strategies for Effective Homework.  If
you've already signed up, you should have 
received it yesterday.  If you haven't signed up, use the link at the right.  I'll resend it every day, so be on the lookout!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Characteristics of Effective Questions

Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe describe seven essential characteristics of effective questions.  How do your questions measure up?

1.     Is open ended
2.     Is thought-provoking and intellectually engaging
3.     Calls for higher-order thinking
4.     Points toward important, transferable ideas
5.     Raises additional questions
6.     Requires support and justification
Recurs over time

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Difference You Make

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.  Victor Hugo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Questioning Skills

Here's an archive of my newsletter on Quality Questioning.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan your questions.  You may adapt them during the lesson, but simply "going with the flow" will not help students understand the content at a rigorous level. When teachers carefully craft their questions, a higher level of understanding is achieved than when all of the questions are spontaneous.

For more, click here. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

14 Free Resources for Primary Source Documents

This is a great blog post with 14 free resources for primary source documents.  I think you'll find them very helpful.