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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

Test-Taking Know How…Do your kids have it?

Bubble sheet

There’s a lot to be said about being prepared for taking a test.  One major part of test preparation is content knowledge.  If students have a deep understanding of the content, we might assume they would do well on an assessment.  Although this seems logical, it is not always true. Sometimes, the way a question is worded or the vocabulary ... Read More »

What’s New in Schoolnet?

Schoolnet Logo

NCDPI recently shared updated information about new resources and test items available in Schoolnet.  Coming soon, over 78,000 new materials will be added from PBS Learning Media and over 10,000 from work completed by the Governor’s Teacher Network. In terms of assessment items, NCDPI has already added over 55,000 K-12 ELA and Math assessment items from Certica Solutions (formerly NWEA) and ... Read More »

North Newton Whiteboard Tables Provide Creativity Outlet

Students writing

The North library has recently added whiteboard material to some of the tables.  The 3rd graders used the whiteboards to create a Venn diagram comparing two books they read.  The 4th graders utilized them to take notes while using a database to research North Carolina state symbols for a group social studies assignment. Read More »

Close Reading and Annotation – What Do They REALLY Mean?

Students writing

There has been a great deal of buzz around the phrases “close reading” and “annotation” since the Common Core State Standards were introduced a few years ago.  However, these terms have become ambiguous over time, and people really aren’t sure exactly what they really mean in terms of classroom practice.  Help, however, is on the way.  The resources below on ... Read More »

3-2-1 – A Reflection and Summarizing Strategy

Teacher talking to class

This strategy provides a structure for students to record their own comprehension and summarize their learning. It also gives teachers the opportunity to identify areas that need re-teaching, as well as areas of student interest. Click here to learn more! Read More »

Why Do We Teach Math Differently Now?

Math clipart

Parents, students, and sometimes even teachers, ask the question, “Why is math taught so differently now?” If you have about 9 minutes, this video will clear up any questions you might have about why we structure math concepts so differently now.   Even if you don’t have 9 minutes, the real reason is provided in the first two minutes, so check ... Read More »

Special Offer Extended to N-CCS

Reader's Theatre

Adria Klein is an acclaimed author and a professor in the Department of Educational Research and Policy at California State University, San Bernardino. She has recently launched a reader’s theater website called eReader’s Theater. She has collected reader theater plays that range from Kindergarten to fifth grade and beyond and put them on one easy-to-navigate website. Using reader’s theater in your ... Read More »



What is it? Cubing is a versatile strategy, similar to a contract, which allows you to plan different activities for different students or groups of students based on student readiness, learning style, and/or interests. You will create a cube-usually different colored cubes for different groups of students. On each of its six faces, you will describe a different task related ... Read More »

I Have the Question. Who Has the Answer?


The teacher makes two sets of cards. One set contains questions related to the unit of study. The second set contains the answers to the questions. Distribute the answer cards to the students and either you or a student will read the question cards to the class. All students check their answer cards to see if they have the correct ... Read More »


Student on laptop

In two minutes, students recall and list in rank order the most important ideas from a previous day’s class. In two more minutes, they summarize those points in a single sentence. Then, they write one major question they want answered. Finally, they identify a thread or theme to connect this material to the course’s major goal. Read More »