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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

The Frayer Model for Teaching Vocabulary

Frayer with directions

The Frayer Model has been a common research-based vocabulary graphic organizer that has helped students make sense of vocabulary for years.  Using a Frayer Model increases depth of understanding of word knowledge as well as encourages students to think critically about vocabulary.  Teachers can modify the categories to add additional challenge or to increase rigor.  Check out this resource on ... Read More »

Teaching Tolerance – Fostering Empathy and Understanding in Our Students

Teaching Tolerance Logo

We hear a lot today about teaching kids skills such as grit, empathy, and integrity.  Unfortunately, these skills aren’t overtly labeled in any curriculum we teach, but as educators, it is our job not only to teach content but also teach skills that help our students develop into quality human beings.  One site that can help our students understand the ... Read More »

Argument Writing Components

The first standard of the Common Core Writing Standards is devoted to argument writing. Sometimes argument writing seems very similar to informational writing (Common Core Writing Standard #2). They both incorporate information, and they have similar basic text structures: They must begin with an introduction that states the topic and end with a conclusion. However, their aims are different and ... Read More »

Deeper Classroom Discussions

students in a circle

We know them, the students who LOVE to participate in collaborative discussions.  They seem to constantly have something to add to the conversation.  These kids keep our classes lively and keep teachers on their toes!  We also have those other students who, during class discussions, rarely speak up – preferring instead to listen. However, if directly asked a question, often ... Read More »

Set and Keep High Expectations for All Students

Set high expectations that challenge students to be their best. One expectation should be, is that our students do not line up at the door to wait for the bell because we are too busy making them the best!   5 Ways To Set and Keep High Expectations: Be clear and specific about your expectations. Don’t leave gray area and ... Read More »

Three Recommendations for Teaching Middle and High School Students to Write Effectively

Student writing

Recently, there has been a renewed focus on improving the content writing skills of middle and high school students. A new Educator’s Practice Guide was published in November, 2016 by the IES (Institute of Education Sciences) titled Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively. This report presents writing instruction recommendations aligned with several earlier research reports including Writing Next (2007) and Writing to ... Read More »

AIG Support At Your Fingertips

AIG Students in the Makerspace

During our March Instructional Core session, we will be analyzing data on our AIG students’ proficiency and growth across the district to kick off our three month focus on supporting students who have mastered content prior to instruction as well as those who master content more quickly than average students. Teachers across the district have asked for information on how ... Read More »

K-5 Teachers Receive Professional Development Through NT3 Grant

Angie Sigmon & teachers

Newton-Conover is one of two school districts in North Carolina to receive the National Board NT3 Grant.  This two-year grant provides the district with more than $100,000 to improve teachers’ capacity for deeper understanding of quality teaching.  Resources, coaching, professional development opportunities, and learning experiences are all part of the National Board grant.   Currently, we have 14 National Board ... Read More »

Instructional Core Support Document – A Work In Progress

Instructional Core Support Document Logo

As we move into second semester, we are concluding our Instructional Core sessions on Introduction to Content and moving into the Differentiated Pathway.  The next several months, we will explore how to address the needs of students who have mastered content or who have demonstrated a strong understanding of content prior to instruction. As you plan lessons or look for ... Read More »

How do you create student buy-in, in your classroom?

Teacher and students

Are your students involved in the decision making processes? Here are six easy ways to create student buy-in: 1. Involve students in the conversation 2. Empower students to make decisions 3. Create agreements 4. Follow-through quickly 5. Reset expectations 6. Praise and reward students for positive behavior When we involve students in our everyday classroom processes, they start to take ... Read More »