Malleable Misconceptions

Article by Chad Huelsman

Everyday our students enter our classrooms with preconceived notions about knowledge and their abilities. It is imperative that we, as educational influencers, identify these preconceptions and take the proper measures to support students in advancing their learning. David Ausubel (1963), an American psychologist known for research work on “meaningful learning,” stated “the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.” Even though Ausubel’s insights into teaching and learning are critical to advance new knowledge, Audrey Sewell (2002) posits that our students’ prior knowledge can either be a “bridge” or “barrier” to new learning for them, especially when it comes to addressing student misconceptions.
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Classroom Routines

Article by Kathleen Jones

Imagine a classroom environment that has clearly established routines. What words come to mind? Peaceful? Safe? Fun? Productive? Now, imagine a classroom environment that has little to no evidence of classroom routines. What words come to mind? Chaotic? Unsafe? Stressful? Dysfunctional? Without routines and structure, opportunities for students to learn are minimized.
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Staff Culture’s Impact on Student Culture

Article by Katie Currens

One thing I’ve learned with my own kids is that children watch and listen to everything. Literally everything. Those moments when you are joking about buying an island and running a banana stand will soon turn into questions from the teacher or their friends because “I heard you’re moving!” We know how observant kids are and we learn this during our educational courses. Yet sometimes we forget that they are also observing our interactions with our colleagues and make assumptions based on what they see.
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Beyond Compliance: Understanding Best Practices

Article by Jenni Stadtmiller

“Make sure you have your standards and objectives listed on your board.”
“You better have your agenda up.”
“I’ll be coming around to look for your lessons plans for the week.”
“Don’t forget your exit tickets.”

Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Some days education can feel like you are checking off boxes on a list for all the things your administrators are coming around looking for. However, these items are not meant to be a compliance piece, where we put them up and don’t think about them again. Research shows that these items actually have impact on student learning. Let’s find out how.
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What’s in Your Suitcase? Unpacking Standards

Article by Dorothy Reynolds, Sharon Cooley, and Pam Groach

Why is unpacking the standards an important aspect of teaching?
Imagine yourself on a family vacation with your suitcases filled to the brim! Your spouse wants you to quickly gather your beach items and head to the beach. But wait! Where did you put the sunscreen? Which suitcase has the popup shelter? How about the swim suits? And your wide brim hat? Yikes! Before you make your way to the beach, maybe you should unpack the suitcases and organize your belongings. After all, you do have multiple events scheduled this trip. You do not want to find yourself on the beach without the essentials.
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Starting the Year: Remember to Establish Habits!

Article by Dora Daniels

When thinking about the beginning of the school year, it’s important to plan for classroom transitions and how things are going to flow. Here are some good prompts for opening the year:

  • How are students going to enter the classroom? What are they going to do when they walk in?
  • How are students going to be prepared for the class?
  • How are students going to know where they are sitting?
  • How are students going to transition and turn in papers?
  • How are students going to transition at the end of class?

All of these items need to be practiced for the first two or three weeks of school. While we might want to introduce such ideas once, many students need multiple exposures before these behaviors become habit.
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Sharing Data with Families

Article by Katie Currens

As the school year ends many teachers are actively preparing portfolios or summaries of individual growth for students to take home. This is a wonderful way to make sure the parents and guardians get their hands on the data you’ve been collecting throughout the year. However, the reality is that many of those acronyms and numbers mean nothing to families. It’s important that we work to ease frustration by providing a clearer understanding of student progress.
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I’ve Collected Data. Now What?

Article by Katie Currens
By the end of the year it is not uncommon to see files no longer in drawers, but resting on desks and cabinets throughout a classroom. It’s not because educators have become lazy. Rather, they’ve collected so much data and evidence of student growth that they can no longer fit all the files in their respective places. As the school year ends there is often a debate of “what’s next?” What should one do with all this data now that the student has completed this year?
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Ohio’s Revised Learning Standards – Resources and Strategies

Ohio’s Department of Education (ODE) recently announced its new “Learning in Ohio” webpage. In addition to the revised standards, ODE also provides other resources and strategies that can be useful to classroom teachers. This item summarizes some of our favorites for ELA.
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Finding Time for Tech

Article by Katie Currens

Many teachers don’t have time to fit keyboarding or computer games into their already too-tight schedules. As a consultant, I like helping teachers look at their time in a different way. We certainly don’t want to add anything to plates that are already full, so instead we can look at how to integrate technology into what we already do. Below are a few ways you can add a technological spin in your class.
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