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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

Teaching Vocabulary and Comprehension Through Cloze Activities

paper and pencil

The Cloze Procedure features a passage from text that contains blanks where words are deliberately omitted.  It is designed to measure a student’s comprehension, but may also be used to activate prior knowledge about a topic.  To create a Cloze Activity, choose a passage of text and delete words based on a word count formula, such as every 5th word.  ... Read More »

Anticipatory Sets – Preparing Students for Content

Instructional Core logo

The November Instructional Core focus in Newton-Conover is Anticipatory Sets. Anticipatory Sets are…   Designed to engage students’ attention at the beginning of class/unit Often called the “hook” Serves as a focus for the day or the entire unit Reappears later in the lesson   Learn more about Anticipatory Sets by accessing the NCCS Anticipatory Sets Support Document. Read More »

Accountable Talk in the Classroom

Two people talking

Accountable Talking with others about ideas and work is fundamental to learning.  Not all talk sustains learning.  In order for classroom talk to promote learning, it must be accountable to the learning community. Teachers can use accountable talk sentence stems at any point in a lesson to structure meaningful conversation. Examples of when to use accountable talk are below: Before ... Read More »

Learning From Error Analysis in Math

word: error

Everyone makes mistakes! Many times these mistakes lead to important discoveries.   It is critical for teachers to pay attention to the errors that occur in the work of their students. One strategy teachers can use within the classroom is error analysis.  Error analysis helps teachers identify which steps the student can perform correctly in math and what specific errors ... Read More »

Using Sentence Frames in Your Classroom

Scrabble Board

Do you have students who struggle finding the right words to explain, describe, or clarify what they may be thinking?  So many students are able to understand more than they can speak. One of best ways to engage English language learners (ELL) in actively acquiring new material is to connect their background knowledge to the new topic. Sentence frames allow students to make ... Read More »

October Instructional Core Focus: Essential Questions & Clear Learning Targets

Screen Shot of presentation

During the month of October, all schools received a refresher on Essential Questions and Clear Learning Targets.  The goal was to reinforce research-based instructional practices that are already in place to ensure that we have a clear, district-wide understanding of the terms and expectations. Marzano (2005) related that students who understanding what they are learning perform up to 27% higher ... Read More »

Google Drive in the Classroom

Google Drive logo

Using Google Drive in the classroom is such a great tool.  It allows students to create documents and slides for classwork, projects, and assessments.  The best part is Google Drive automatically save drafts of students work!  So, no longer do I hear, “I can’t find that.”  It is all saved for them! Read More »

Virtual Field Trip to Mars


Discovery Education and Lockheed Martin are teaming up to offer a virtual field trip to Mars for middle school classrooms around the world. The free event is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. PT Oct. 4, during World Space Week. During this inaugural event, kids in grades 6 to 8 will be introduced to STEM concepts and careers in deep space exploration. They’ll ... Read More »

Classroom Management – Tips and Tricks

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At some point in every teacher’s career, classroom management is a challenge.  Check out this new article on Teaching Channel that addresses five ways to improve classroom management. Read More »

Off Task and Non-Disruptive

Bored child

Does your student? Quietly blend in while doing nothing, doodling, or appearing to work Spend a lot of time looking through things, desk, locker, etc Say they are getting to the task or are working on something and produce few results Quietly mumble, hum, or make slight sounds to self Day dream, look out window, around the room, look past ... Read More »