Did you know that students score an average of 23 percent higher on tests when they are proficient typists? That’s why it’s crucial to find a typing program that delivers measurable results you can see in your students. Setting students up for success in the typing classroom means setting the teacher up for success first.
As a high school teacher, you’re looking to make the biggest educational impact on your students before they complete their formal K-12 education. So, it’s no wonder that you’re always looking for new and better ways to prepare them for college and give them every chance to succeed once they get there. But then you realize that while your students have plenty of opportunities to hone their reading and writing skills as part of your normal curriculum, what’s really lacking is how to transition from being a high school student into being a college student. The first step in going to college is navigating your way through the lengthy college admissions process. And unless all your students have the financial resources to pay for a private admissions consultant, they’re really going to be left on their own for this.
Fortunately, you understand that each of your students deserves the chance to attend the college of their dreams. Your mission to help them master the skills they need to write the very best college admissions essays they’re capable of. To get you started, we’re sharing our favorite tips on developing a creative writing unit that incorporates college application essays. That way, the students in your class can watch the acceptance letters start rolling in.
Winter break is winding down, and you’ve been enjoying every single second of turning off your alarm clock, taking afternoon naps, and having movie marathons with friends. You might not feel quite ready to kick into full gear with your classroom on the first day back to school in January. Don’t worry: you can keep relaxing because we’ve done the planning for you! We’ve pulled together some fun winter-themed activities you can use to ease your students back into the school year after winter break. The bonus is that you can send your students home with these activities to do on snow days too.
Whatever you do, do not enjoy your winter break. Don’t relax, don’t catch up on sleep, don’t enjoy extra time with your family, and certainly don’t eat so many delicious foods that you slip into a warm and cozy food coma. The only acceptable way to spend your upcoming winter break from school is to spend every waking moment reading, thinking, planning, and creating activities for your return to school in January. Because you’re a teacher, after all, which means that your personal life and level of sanity don’t actually matter. Remember, giving every ounce of your energy away to students was something you committed to long ago. And you surely can’t break that commitment now.
Or, can you?
Most people have heard the phrase, “If only there were more hours in a day,” and no one relates to it more than teachers. One of the greatest challenges a teacher faces is figuring out how to maximize their time with their students. With so much to teach, and only so much time in a class period or a day, how can teachers make every instructional moment count? An option that may provide teachers with more interactive class time is the flipped classroom model. Continue reading “Don’t Flip out: Flip Your Classroom! Plus, FREE Classroom Activities”
Remember when you were a kid and report card time rolled around? You waited nervously all week, raced to see your grades before your parents did, and held your breath the entire time they sat through parent-teacher conferences.
Even if you were used to getting good grades and a glowing report from your teachers, there was always that chance that this would be the marking period where something would go horribly wrong, and you would have to face the disappointed looks on your parents’ faces.
Next, you’d scramble to find some type of reasonable response like, “What are grades in school really?” or “Do grades matter in middle school?” And, of course, your parents would not be amused. So when another 9 weeks ended, and your grades weren’t all that shabby, you had a big sigh of relief—until the next report card session rolled around, anyway. Continue reading “Special Report: Progress Reporting at Every Level”
Mark Van Doren once said that “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery,” and the esteemed poet, writer, and professor surely gained that wisdom through a lifetime of experience. Students learn best when given the proper guidance and the freedom to make meaning on their own. And as you think back to all of those lesson plans that you so meticulously crafted and all of those activities that really hit their mark, you realize just how much freedom truly does impact individual learning. Because whether you record videos for asynchronous learning online or develop group activities for synchronous learning in the classroom, what matters most is that you’re encouraging your students to explore various topics and make connections that matter.
You’re sitting down to design the perfect lesson plan for your class. You want it to be fun, engaging, and lead to purposeful discussions. The ultimate goal is for each student to build new knowledge and develop new skills so you consider how to connect it to their personal lives and make the content really matter to them. You also think back to what you’ve done recently in class and brainstorm how to create a smooth transition from one important topic to the next. And you suddenly realize that your sense of creativity is firing on all levels, and you’re getting excited about all of the new activities you’re developing. The only thing left to do is tailor them to work well with the learning management system (LMS) you use in class. Because you know that a good LMS can make a big difference in how your students receive information from you—both inside and outside of the classroom environment.
A thousand years ago when I was in high school, we didn’t have computers. A computer? What’s that? Nobody had a computer. Steve Jobs (Apple) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) were 12-year-old boys. We didn’t text a thousand words a minute with our thumbs on our cell phones. Our phones stayed home when we went out. It was a slower and different world. In that world, typing wasn’t a skill that seemed necessary because it wasn’t necessary to the average person. Typing was relegated to the clerical side of life on earth. If you were someone’s secretary, you knew that you’d be expected to be able to type. Otherwise, the rest of humanity didn’t see the necessity of learning to type.
Think back to when you learned to read. Did you begin by learning about letters and letter sounds, or did you jump into reading novels? Most likely, you had a teacher or adult guiding you in learning the basics of phonics before attempting more challenging word reading. This process of progressing from foundational skills to more advanced with appropriate support is known as scaffolding. You’ve probably heard this term used before, and you’ve also probably utilized elements of scaffolding in your own classroom without even realizing it. Scaffolding is a powerful way for teachers to help their students become confident and independent learners, as well as meet necessary learning goals. Whether you teach first grade or high school, all students benefit from effective scaffolding in order to retain information and progress as learners.