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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

Predict-O-Gram: A Vocabulary Strategy for Pre-Assessment


Looking for a new way to introduce a concept, unit, or theme?  Provide students with a list of terms, vocabulary words, or concepts found in an upcoming reading. For example, if the students were preparing to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the teacher might share the following terms: depression, segregation, jury, trial, South, Alabama, lawyer, racial segregation, kids, jail, ... Read More »

Pre-Assessment Strategy: Brain Dump

brain image

Whether you need a pre-assessment or quick focus and review, Brain Dump will provide you with information about how much information your students know or have retained about a specific concept or topic. Ask students to either dump all information they know on a sheet of paper or orally with a partner or group. Ask students to share information with the group ... Read More »

Two-Minute Tuesdays

Leah Hayes teacher of the year

Leah Hayes, the 2013 Teacher of the Year at South Newton Elementary School, recently shared one of her best strategies for connecting with parents.  Her strategy:  Two -Minute Tuesdays. My best relationship building tool is “Two Minute Tuesday.” Each Tuesday that we are in school, unless someone in my house is sick, I send each parent a text message or an E-mail sharing ... Read More »

Creating Quality Clear Learning Targets

NC Falcon

To what extent do students understand what they are supposed to learn in your class? How do you know?  These questions provide food for thought as to how we share our knowledge with our students. Often times, we make assumptions that students know what we want them to learn. Clear Learning Targets provide one method that we can use to ... Read More »

Are your essential questions REALLY essential?

essential questions

In his critically-acclaimed book, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen R. Covey said, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of y our destination.  It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right ... Read More »

Interactive Notes

student on computer

Whether students are reading fiction or nonfiction, Interactive Notes provides students with specific “look fors” before, during, and after reading. This literacy strategy provides structure and choice as teachers can choose “some” specific tasks or have students choose tasks from the list. Click here to view a PDF version of Interactive Notes. Read More »