Every teacher’s goal is for students to use critical thinking in the work they do. Students who can think critically grow into lifelong problem solvers. Critical thinking with students means that they can take information and analyze it, draw conclusions, form and defend opinions with data to back it up, reflect on their work, and approach problems in a systematic way. Where does that begin in the classroom? And how do we promote critical thinking in the lessons we do with students? Here are a few suggestions:
21st century skills are essential components in any classroom—the ability to collaborate with others is a critically important skill for work readiness and success in life. But how do we ensure that our learning experiences for our students involve these skills? And how can we embed opportunities for collaboration in a classroom structure?
As summer begins to wind down and the first week of school approaches, we often find ourselves losing sleep thinking about all of the things we need to do to get organized. Before that first week approaches, here are 18 steps to organize yourself with technology:
Are you swamped throughout the school year? Do you get resources delivered to you, but just don’t have the time to look at them? How many sites have you bookmarked during the school day, never to go back to?
As our school year winds down, summer is usually the time we can take a break and relax. It is also the perfect time to catch up with some resources we found over the school year and just didn’t have a spare moment to peruse.
Here are some tools and resources to organize these educational finds we have stumbled across:
We know what it’s like to attend a one-day professional development event and never have any follow-up training. It is just as frustrating to listen to a trainer and not be able to practice what you learned because the equipment is not readily available. Additionally, many of us have struggled through a training never being able to touch a piece of technology equipment.
It’s not always easy keeping up with all the online tools, websites, blogs, and classroom resources that are available to us as educators. We often spend time searching online for the best fit for our classroom needs—sometimes not getting the results we anticipated. Here is a list of highly recommended educational resources to support teaching and learning:
New education technology purchases can be just as exciting as that shiny new toy given to a kid as a gift. But without proper planning, these new purchases can result in disastrous effects. Here are some mistakes to avoid when planning for new technology purchases:
As educators, we know how easy it is for students to say they understand a concept and are ready to move on. However, this is not always the case, so consider using formative assessment to determine what should happen next in your classroom.
The purpose of formative assessment is to gather feedback from your students in order to determine what your students have learned and help you decide on the upcoming instructional measures. Good formative assessment can provide immediate feedback and will impact how and what is being taught. In planning for formative assessment, ask yourself some questions such as: What is essential for my students to know or be able to do after my lesson? How might I assess that? How will the data change my teaching? We live in a digital age, and technology is a great tool for formatively assessing students in a way that makes the process more interesting for them.
Professional development can mean a variety of things to educators and can be provided to us in numerous ways. This might include attending yearly conferences, participating in district meetings and workshops, taking online courses or webinars, or connecting with other educators through social media. Have you ever considered “do it yourself” professional development through the means of blogging? Blogging provides opportunities to connect with other educators, improve your professional practice, and personalize your professional development with relevant and specific content to meet your educational needs.