Excellent Teaching

prepare for virtual learning

6 Steps to Prepare for Blended Virtual Learning

Are you facing a year’s worth of learning experiences designed for regular classroom instruction, not knowing where to begin to convert it to a whole new world of learning? (But not in a cool Aladdin/Jasmine kind of way with a song and a flying carpet.) You probably aren’t describing the

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girl with online class

How to Make Distance Learning Engaging

We can make distance learning more engaging for learners. I know this is true because I’ve been engaging hundreds of students simultaneously in distance learning, and I’m going to tell you all of my secrets. The key to engaging students in distance learning is energy. You know how they say

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Country's English Teacher

How I Became the Country’s English Teacher

Saturday morning at 7:28am I became the country’s English teacher. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, which is how these things usually work. The Idea for an Online Course Appears I had been thinking about the implications of school closures due to COVID-19, and my mind was

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Parent Forms in clipboard - Beginning of the Year Parent Forms

Beginning of the Year Parent Forms

Sending home classroom parent permission forms typically occurs at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, no one teaches you how to do it. In college they don’t help teachers learn any of the really important stuff, like how to operate the copier or run a laminator, and I know they

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menus - Making Choice Menus Better

Making Choice Menus Better

Choice menus (sometimes called Extension Menus or Choice Boards or fifty other titles) are a foundational technique for many teachers. Typically, they’re a grid somewhat like a tic-tac-toe board that has different options students can choose from to complete some task or project. Just do a quick search and you’ll

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Group Work Feedback: How and Why

If you want to do group work really well, you need to allow the students to give feedback on how they worked in groups, and you need to share that feedback in a loving, gentle way. Here’s how. Why you need to solicit feedback from students You need to offer

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books and pencils - Trying to Make School Better for Gifted Kids

Trying to Make School Better for Gifted Kids

Here’s a newsflash: school is not designed for gifted kids. When you recover from the shock, read on. Depending upon who you talk to, school is designed to: Create an educated (and ideally compliant) work force Develop productive citizens Provide free childcare Correct all of the problems created by ineffective

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apple & books

Gifted Teachers Speak: You are Enough

I don’t know about you, but I’ve really been enjoying the Interview with a Gifted Kid series. I’ve interviewed gifted kids and grown up gifted kids, and now I’m sharing an interview I did with two fabulous gifted teachers from Louisiana. These women know their stuff. Here’s their experience: Cheryl

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group work project with stop sign - Fixing a Group work Project

Fixing a Group Work Project

A 6th grade social studies teacher who attended a session I did on effective grouping strategies for students asked if I would help out with an assignment she had been given. She realized it wasn’t set up effectively and wanted my thoughts. Warning: I’m about to point out some problems

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a boy signs thumbs down - Most Teachers Do Group Work All Wrong

Most Teachers Do Group Work All Wrong

Students’ grades should never be dependent upon the work or lack of work of other students. No exceptions. Ever since group work came to the fore of preferred pedagogy, this issue has remained ignored. Most teachers don’t even think about it when they’re assigning group work. They simply put the

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scissor - fine motor skills

How to Develop Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

Our kids can’t cut. It’s costing us a lot of money. It’s costing them a lot of learning. Normally, I don’t write articles for the website with lots of citation to research, saving that for journal articles. However, I’ve put some in here because I think it’s important to recognize

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