Best Practice Teacher Tips

2
nd

Edition

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

“Education is not something that is done to you; it is what you do for yourself. Much of education may be compared to weight-lifting; when you lift weights to prepare yourself for a sport, you do not see immediate results. The weights are back where you found them – nothing changed there! Your body will not show the positive changes right away. In fact, if anything is evident, it is the soreness of your muscles! Yet you keep on because you know that ultimately you will be a better athlete if you lift weights properly. So, to, is education. Your teachers are here to help you “lift weights properly” with your minds. Through their guidance, you can develop your abilities to remember and reason. The opportunities for jobs that you might want to do depend almost entirely on your giving yourself a good education! Be helpful! (The Greatest Servant) said, ‘The greatest among you is the one who serves the rest.’ We learn best when we try to teach what we know to others.”
~Jennifer Agan On Behalf Of the Entire Ooltewah High School Faculty and Staff

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Curriculum & Instruction Assessment Technology Communication Pages 4-14 Pages 1523 Pages 2426 Pages 2729

Chapter 5

Classroom Atmosphere & Leadership (formerly Classroom Management)

Pages 3046

Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Literacy New Teacher Sanity Savers Appendix

Pages 4753 Pages 5460 Pages 6198 Page 99

Index by Author

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Chapter 1 – Curriculum & Instruction

If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. ~Ignacio Estrada

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Teacher
Bates

Tip
Sticky notes work well to teach substitution or composition of functions (anything that you plug something else into). Write what you are substituting on the sticky note and physically stick it where you are substituting in. Try to use literary pieces that appeal to young people when you work out your English or dramatic curriculum. It helps to build relationships with students and reduces discipline problems through personalization. Use different learning styles at the end of each book and incorporate learning stations to embed the material to help students own it. I use sticky notes to explain a specific problem to a student and then they can stick the example straight into his/her notes. Try to bring students into the discussion by using students’ names in the material. Even those who may not be paying attention, begin to seek out the meaning of different items. This engages the students on a very personal level. Try to involve students to stimulate schema before you begin a unit. This provides a personal connection with the text. You must be careful to manage the conversation so that it doesn’t get off task. Great for personalization. Have students act out parts of concepts to incorporate them in a physical manner. After studying a company, the students come up with a new product for that company to promote. They will present the product as a class. Trash-ball – Divide the kids up by some common trait (house number, shirt color, age, etc…) but create heterogeneous groups. Never single a student out. Ask the first group a question. The kids discuss the answer to the asked question (this provides peer re-teaching) and come to consensus. If they get the question correct, they can shoot the paper wad to through the hoop. They get one shot per question correct. If the first group does not get the question correct, the question is given to the next group. There are shot lines that determine the point value. Creates greater cohesion within a class. They are never in the same group. The size of the group is dictated by the absences that day. In English we often have long lessons involving stories in which it is very easy to lose the students' attention and cause them to have a glazed over look on their faces. I
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Blassingame

Briggs Bush Cates

Chilcoat Chilcoat

Cline

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Collins

Cook

Cook

Denton

have found that one to help keep them involved in the lesson is to break up the lesson into smaller portions and use different teaching methods for each portion. For instance, I may start out reading and call on random students to respond orally to questions I ask or comments I make. The random selection of students keeps them alert for fear of being called on and having no clue what to say. I may then have them break into small groups for the remainder of the story and do some sort of activity like create their own questions while they read. I have also found that giving strict time limits when they are working on their own or in groups is extremely helpful. During my many years of teaching a foreign language, I have come to the conclusion that it is BEST not to rely too much on any one adopted textbook. There is a wealth of materials that can be used outside of, or in addition to, the regular textbooks. For example, I have found excellent materials in magazines, creative workbooks, newspapers, computer web sites, short novels, and ideas from other good teachers. I believe that it is well worth the time it takes to search for other materials and to create tests different from those provided by the publishers. Be creative and plan more successful lessons from a variety of materials. Rulers of Art – Even thought this is an activity used in art; it can be easily adapted to other content areas. Obtain a box of plain wooden rulers. Have students randomly pick names of artists from a cup. They must research the artist and give a simply biography. Have students draw a typical piece of art from the artist on one side of the ruler and the name of the artist in the style that they used on the other side of the ruler. Once finished, collect all rulers and toss them onto a table for groups to place in chronological order. Because all students do not finish assignments at the same time, it is important to provide meaningful time fillers that teach a skill they will need for the class. In art, I provide a homework packet that gets progressively more difficult that teaches students how to look at a piece and draw it. This could be easily adapted to a packet that teaches study skills. From Scott Lang (premier student leadership guru): “You get what you give. Have high expectations for everyone across the board. If your expectations are less for them, they will give you best. Challenge the best kids. The bottom will be pulled up. Don’t teach to the middle. WinPage 6 of 108

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Eaves Eaves Farley

Franks

Fuller Gatewood

Hadden Hernandez

Hernandez

Win: If kid can’t play their part, everyone is affected. Hold kids accountable to help each other.” We must raise our expectations of our students. Watch as many programs and read as much as possible to provide real-world connections to your content. Use personal stories to bring your content to life. Constantly tie previous material to new work. This prevents the students from doing the “brain dump.” Also, it provides a way for students to create connections between concepts. When you know what things look good on a college application/resume, why not incorporate those things into your class? Service learning looks good and it not hard to implement as long as you have the training. By having the students write a two-page reflection on the activity, it makes them think about the experience instead of just doing it to get it completed. Even if you can’t build it into the curriculum, all teachers can encourage students to volunteer in their community. Have students work on quizzes or writing assignments as a group with individual parts. Using learning pods to perform activities activating different learning strategies and have the students move around the room to perform the assignments. Put students together and allow them to develop concepts. Use interactive games to create a collaborative learning environment. Providing a book on audio and have questions to stay on track. This provides accountability and keeps them on task. I like to make flash cards with different colored paper to distinguish between the sets. Flash cards are a good way to practice individual steps in a longer process. Matchbook foldables are a great way to review previous chapters. This activity can be used in all subjects and is fun for the students. For a demonstration, click the link: http://wrhs.pasco.k12.fl.us/wordpop/WordPOP/FoldSIA.html. Make sure that you have Apple QuickTime video. Three-step Interview Three-step interviews can be used as an introductory activity or as a strategy to explore concepts in depth through student roles. Purpose: To engage students in conversation for the purpose of analyzing and synthesizing new information.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Hughes

Hunt

Kelley

Description: The Three Step Interview is a cooperative structure that helps students personalize their learning and listen to and appreciate the ideas and thinking of others. Active listening and paraphrasing by the interviewer develops understanding and empathy for the thinking of the interviewee. Procedure: 1. Students work in pairs. One is the interviewer, the other is the interviewee. The interviewer listens actively to the comments and thoughts of the interviewee, paraphrasing key points and significant details. 2. Student pairs reverse roles, repeating the interview process. 3. Each pair then joins another pair to form groups of four. Students introduce their pair partner and share what the partner had to say about the topic at hand. I used this as a “relationship” tool plus I am trying to get speakers and I infuse their career interest as I teach vocabulary, literature, etc… 1. Where will I be next October and what will I be doing? 2. Where do I hope to be in two or three years? Will I have graduated? 3. Will I have taken the GED? 4. Will I be attending college? If so, what will I be studying or what program will be my goal? 5. Will I be going to work full time and school part-time or only working? 6. Will I be on my own, having to pay my own rent? 7. Will my family allow me to continue to stay at home without paying rent? 8. What are my strongest skills or assets that I can bring to an employee? What can I do to make a living? 9. Do I have any special training that will help me survive financially in the world? 10. Do I have one person I believe I can count on when life is tough and I need an “encouraging word?” I do not do bell ringers, instead, we start every day with a review. By doing this, the students have to recall the information from the day before which helps them focus in on what you are about to talk about. Especially with history, the students often have a difficult time connecting the dots, this really helps. In addition, the repetition helps them transition the information from short term memory to long term memory. Start with a problem. Talk about the problem.
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Lemon

Mann Mann

Ohnemus

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

Incorporate as many diagrams and real world examples as possible. Use open-ended questions to encourage thought in many directions. However guide the discussion to move them toward the answer while not giving them the answer. This gives them an opportunity to engage in the material on a more personal level. Try to incorporate as many of the previous learning as possible in an assignment to reduce the amount of “brain dump.” I use as many visuals as possible. If the topic is quadrilaterals, I use four sticks to represent a parallelogram which can easily be changed into a kite. When we covered the topics of volume and surface area I had the students make prisms, cylinders, and cones which had to have a given volume. Students react positively to something they can touch and see. Try to use as many analogies as possible when you cover concepts. Use as much differentiated instructional methods as possible. Remember that to differentiate the instruction can be based upon the academic level of the students (aka ability grouping), the interest areas of the students (adjusting a lesson to support their particular interest areas), and learning style (kinesthetic, auditory, visual, verbal) Effective Questioning Techniques a. Pose the questions first, b. Before asking a student to respond, allow 7-10 seconds before expecting a student to respond. (Most teachers wait only 1-3 seconds before expecting a response.) c. Never answer your own question. (If the students know you will give them the answer, there is no incentive to answer you.) I had to wait several minutes the first time around before they knew I was serious about not giving in and handing them the answer. It was a horrible few minutes, but after that the wait time did decrease… Use follow-up questions to self-correct and achieve success. How to Differentiate Instruction • Jig-saw questions and answers to the novel being studied (group all A’s together, group all B’s… once they are proficient with the material they were responsible for, have them combine their information with the other parts of the group) • Have students act out skits from the novel
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

• Put students into a group activity developed by student • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

learning Use individualized instruction, group work, and utilize visual and auditory options Incorporate more technology into instruction Group students for games by ability level Tie in current events into your curriculum for more relevance Post key terms for the day See students individually to clarify major areas of study Use texts with highlighted portions for certain students Use organizers for note taking Provide materials in multiple languages Provide multiple methods for students to express their learning Develop and utilize rubrics Change teaching style every 20-25 minutes to vary the interaction Develop more online activities for learning Fit in student taught lessons Incorporate more cooperative learning opportunities Assign projects with small groups and assess using a presentation where a variety of materials will be available Allow more student choice in topics with presentations to the class, video performance, or written prompts as an assessment of learning Offer more options for research papers Have students create a portfolio of their work With a documentary, allow many options for the product: interviews, photography, music… Use journaling to practice language skills Incorporate a differentiation of location for instruction (get out of the classroom) Utilize flash cards for concept attainment Mix groups from time-to-time to give students a different perspective Allow a differentiation of difficulty in projects Utilize graphic organizers instead of rote notes Allow students to attempt projects on their own before jumping in and taking over Work with tools of the trade to discover the rules of the trade Incorporate more demonstrations Incorporate more hands-on opportunities
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

interests to provide clarity • Match stronger students with weaker students and incorporate individual peer instruction to help fortify student weaknesses • Have students create posters from graphs on topics • Employ the “I am” poster to present a personalized description of who everyone is at the beginning of the term • Incorporate acrostic posters of student names using Spanish adjectives of what the person is like • integrate “wait time” into lessons when questioning is being utilized • Attempt to decide three fundamental skills that all students can master. Once they have demonstrated mastery, develop a task in which the students can create a creative, original product • include a multi-sensory approach to learning How to improve active engagement in your classroom 1. Instead of working the same old worksheet at their desks, divide the class up into groups and have each group find the solutions to different parts of the worksheet then have each group share their answers. 2. If students must memorize a lot of sequential information, put the information on sentence strips and have the students (in pairs or small groups) put the information in sequential order. 3. Have students retell your lesson as if it were a short children’s story. If you use a chapter in a book, divide the chapter up and have different groups tell their part. 4. Have students create mobiles that show relationships between information. See item 17 in appendix for more ideas. How to make a lesson “sticky” using the SUCCESs Model (from Teaching That Sticks by Chip & Dan Heath) 1. Keep the lesson Simple – Simplicity isn’t about dumbing down the content, it is about prioritizing. 2. Use the Unexpected – Before your lesson can stick, your students have to want it. 3. Make the lesson Concrete – When students experience the concept for themselves it sticks. 4. Make sure the lesson is Credible – When your content is shown in a real-life situation, they see its relevance.
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• Use examples and illustrations based on students’

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Ooltewah Professional Learning Community Phillips

Pitts

5. Incorporate an Emotional element into the lesson – By getting emotionally involved; they can connect to the lesson better. 6. Use Stories to illustrate your content – Stories are a simulation that leads to inspiration which creates motivation. The more things you incorporate into your lesson from this list, the stickier the lesson will be. Problem Solving Strategies List The faculty members of Ooltewah Elementary School, Ooltewah Middle School, and Ooltewah High School collaboratively compiled a list of strategies any student can use when they become stuck as to how to solve a problem. See appendix item 20. Give students an opportunity to get up and move during a class. Have an inside/outside circle for sharing information—homework check, test review, etc. The first time may prove hectic, but keep trying it until they get used to it. Tips on Making Learning Groups More Effective 1. In most classes, groups formed by the teacher are more successful than those put together by students themselves. The teacher can better balance a group with certain abilities, learning styles, etc., while students tend to choose their buddies. 2. Although it is sometimes difficult to do so in large classes, four to six members is probably the most effective size for a learning group. Larger or smaller than that tends to lead to inequities in work load, etc. 3. Plan for groups to remain together on various assignments throughout the semester. This repeated interaction will lead to more cohesiveness and a better work atmosphere. It is also a good idea to rotate assignments within the group so that one person is not always the spokesperson, the secretary, etc. 4. Arrange for each group to do a variety of assignments including written work as well as oral presentations… 5. Allow for groups to evaluate each other as well as other groups in assessing grades. 6. At times, it might be interesting to experiment with group tests, group research projects, etc. 7. Make sure students know that the group work will
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Pitts

Pitts

Silva Turner

Webster Webster

Whitener

be a large enough part of their overall grade to make it important to them and worthwhile. Too many students tend to dismiss group work as being merely a time-killer. 8. Monitor each group consistently to see that the group is on track and that each member is participating. Newspapers can be a valuable teaching tool and their content can lend itself to almost any subject area. In English I like to use headlines to teach puns and idioms as this word play is so often used to draw attention to a story. Through the years I have made a laminated set of headlines that illustrate certain types of phrases and literary terms. It is also interesting to study the writing techniques used in headlines, specifically no “a’s, an’s, and the’s” and many action verbs. Students gain valuable writing practice by writing sample headlines for newspaper stories from which I have removed the headlines. In reverse, it is also fun for students to create original news stories with information taken from just a headline. Incorporate physical activity and analogies into assignments to create connections with students. I use more seminars now in my teaching. I provide students with the material I wish to cover, and give them questions, issues, or topics. Then after they have had time to read and answer questions, we break into group and have discussion. This lends itself to more productive discussion and helps keep the discussion focused. Students are aware they are graded on their paper answers and their verbal answers as well. Contemporary Issues: I use a scavenger hunt with clues about specific articles. The students have to locate the articles, write the headline and a brief summary. Psychology: When we study the anatomy of the brain, students pick partners and draw each other’s brain. They stand against a wall, outline each other’s profiles, then fill in the areas requested (such as the brainstem, cerebellum, etc.) and label them. I usually have them write, for example, ‘Ben’s Brain — artist: Jessica). The kids get a kick out of it. Inside/Outside Circle 1. Students stand in two concentric circles, inside circle facing out, outside circle facing in. 2. Students face a partner, share on a topic, question

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

being asked by teacher or index cards can be used. 3. Students praise or correct each other. 4. Students turn and rotate X number of places (determined by teacher). Can be used to review vocabulary words/definitions or math facts

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Williams

Co-Teaching Models of Inclusion 1. Team Teaching – This involves whole class instruction or heterogeneous grouping. One teacher teaches part of the lesson and the other teaches another to the entire class. This can also be accomplished when one teacher leads an activity and the other leads another activity. 2. Station Teaching – This requires the class to be divided up into at least three groups that will rotate around to different activities or lessons in the room. Each teacher would be responsible to teaching/leading a certain lesson/activity as each group rotates to that lesson/activity. 3. Alternative Teaching – This requires the class to be divided into two unequal sized groups. In this case, each teacher would teach different things and participate in different activities that only the group that they are working with will participate. However, it is imperative that this method not become a scapegoat for the same students each time as they will then be labeled and inclusion will disintegrate, 4. Parallel Teaching – In this method both teachers will teach at the exact same time and the classroom is divided into two equal sized groups. The same content is taught to both groups, but may be presented in different ways. This is a great way to incorporate more differentiation into instruction.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Chapter 2 – Assessment

The lasting measure of good teaching is what the individual student learns and carries away. ~ Stanford Erickson ~

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Teacher
Bates

Tip
Use a homework sheet for each chapter and stamp it daily. The class warm-up is on the board and while they are working on the warm-up, you stamp their homework sheet. The stamp signifies that they have shown all of their work and have attempted every problem. Hardly ever check every single question. The homework sheet is taken up at the end of the unit as it is stapled to the homework all together. They want the stamp more than anything. From time-to-time, give a homework quiz to check for accuracy. To encourage team work, give group grades. Each member must help the others in the attainment of the grade. Provides that everyone wants to encourage the others to do well. By allowing them to choose their group members, if there are people that don’t tend to work, they have chosen their members. This puts the responsibility back on them If you want to know if your students are taking good notes and doing their homework, try a homework quiz that allows them to use their notebooks but nothing else. This ensures that students keep an organized notebook and you can spot check for notes and accuracy of homework problems. See appendix item 7. Using graffiti wall instead of KWL chart to see what kids already know about a topic; Portfolio as final project include examples of work and reflect on the work of the portfolio. Students must present their portfolio to their parents. This is raising the expectations of everyday work. Graded with a rubric which is given to students early. Use essential questions effectively by only having one or two per lesson. Leave them posted even after the unit is completed and refer back to the questions and by making compare/contrast connections between new material and previously learned material. Provide a handout to improve student presentations that takes into account their body language during the presentation. See item 14 of the appendix. Another tip that I use is called “Question of the Week.” I only do this for my first block class (Spanish II) in order to greet them and to practice Spanish at the same time. They are usually so tired and want to be passive in class. On Monday, a part of the “warm-up” is to list the “Question of the Week” on their class list of students that
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Blassingame

Bothman

Bothman

Bothman

Chilcoat Collins

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

I have given to them earlier. (They use the same class role for several week’s questions.) They then have to get up and ask two students the same Spanish question, and get a response. They check off which students they have asked on their list. From Tuesday to Friday, I greet each at the door and ask each student the “Question of the Week.” I help them if they have trouble with the answer. Then, as students come in, they ask two different students the very same question and check off their names. The constant repetition of the question and answer helps with long-term memory and helps me get to remember each student’s name. This gets each student involved at the beginning of the class. At the beginning of class, I ask a few students whom they asked and have them do so again so that the whole class can hear. These are some of the questions we have used so far this term (in the target language.) I do believe that any teacher could come up with good questions related to your subject matter or to lessons recently taught. We will put many of these questions and answers together for a conversation with a partner that counts as a test grade. Revisit material even after the unit is finished. Debrief tests/essays without student names to assess what was wrong with the assignment. Be careful not to test to the top even if you teach to the top. You should test to the middle. Be sure to ask lots of questions at all levels to force students to prove their understanding of the content that you have presented and facilitate critical thinking. In Business class, I give a quiz before the day of Test so they can tell what they need to work on. To increase the difficulty of a multiple choice test, add a fifth choice for each problem/question: “E. None of the above answers is correct.” This decreases the odds of guessing correctly from 25% to 20%, and places doubt in the mind of the student so that they are given more incentive to actually work out the problem, check it for accuracy, and be able to mentally defend their work – especially on those problems where “E” is the correct answer. When I grade a test and record on my grading program, I also write the current average on the test. In this way, the student sees how the grade affected his overall grade
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Cooper Curtis Fuller Haupt Ingle

Kelehear

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

and also keeps the students for asking me about their average....They know that the current average will be on the next test.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Mann

Mann

Mann

Bloom’s Cubes 1. Obtain a cube template online and place the six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy with question stems or key verbs on each side 2. Put students into groups of 3-4 students and have them roll the cubes to dictate the type of questions they will create from the lesson/chapter/unit you have taught. 3. This can also be used as a test review with the added incentive that you my use some of the questions the students create on the test/quiz/exam… See item 18 in appendix Fly swat Formative Assessment: Write some of your vocabulary terms that you have gone over that day on the board. Have the class divide up into groups based upon the number of fly swatters that you have. Have the students race to swat the correct answer. A variation of this could be to use the tiles on your floor and have multiple sets of vocabulary at one time. This way the entire class could engage in the activity instead of one person from each group at a time. As long as you take the information that they give you and use it to either change the way you teach a topic or as an indication of a need to re-teach, it is a form of formative assessment. Summary Ball (Formative Assessment) Obtain a beach ball with multiple colors (the fall is the best time as they will be on clearance at most stores). Do not inflate the ball completely to prevent injury and damage to your classroom. While you are teaching a lesson, demonstrate a concept, or play a movie, create a list of the most important things you are conveying. At the end of class, begin by tossing the ball to one of your students and have them (within 3 seconds) state a fact, concept, or idea that they learned during the lesson. If the student is able to do so, they pass the ball to the next student and they repeat the process. If the student that catches the ball cannot give a proper response, they must pass the ball to another student and then sit down. Remember, no responses may be repeated. To keep the seated students engaged, they must write down all of the responses given by the students who are standing to ensure that no one repeats an answer. This continues until there is only one student left standing. You can reward the student for their good listening skills with some small token (candy, 10-finger woo, points on a quiz,
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Mann

Mann

etc…). This also works if used after a field trip. Effective Questioning Techniques (Formative Assessment) 1. Plan your questions ahead of time to provide structure and direction to your classroom discussion. 2. Be very specific in the phrasing of your questions. This does not mean that questions can’t be openended. It simply means that they need to be answerable with some sort of defense of the answer chosen. 3. Ask questions in a logical and sequential manner to facilitate the absorption of the material. 4. Ask questions at a variety of cognitive levels, but pay particular attention to adding more high-level questioning to your discussions. Higher level questions could be based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy levels 4-6 or on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge levels 3-4. 5. Follow up student answers with questions that require them to clarify their initial answers, but don’t repeat their answers. You will encourage more students to pay close attention as they know there will only be one shot at hearing the response. 6. Provide at least 5 seconds of wait time after you ask a question to give students time to think. 7. At the same time, do not answer your own questions. Simply clarify the first question or ask probing questions to ascertain the response you want. 8. Be sure to use questions that encourage all students to participate in the discussion. Here is when paying particular attention to the body language of your students comes into play. 9. Encourage your students to ask their own questions as this transforms a teacher interrogation into a facilitated discussion. When you use a multiple choice or short fill in the blank test, have students fold their papers in half long ways. Have them number their papers beside the edge of each side. When it is time to grade them, all you have to do is stagger stack the papers across your desk and you can grade many at the same time. Just put your answer key in a different color; personally, I always preferred using a purple marker. Once you place the key at the beginning of the staggered stack of test papers, you can grade five
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Moorhouse

Moses

Murray

OHS Staff – Professional Development Session

or more answers on each paper at a time. It is easy for some students to over rely on the teacher and have you running all over the room helping students. To cut down on this, give each student an index card. On one side draw a green smiley face which means, “I understand and can do this by myself.” On the other side draw a red frowning face which means, “I need help.” When students are working on independent assignments, they can place the appropriate side of the card on their desk. This tells you at a glance who needs help and who does not. It also indicates which students can help others. To check if your students are taking good notes, I sometimes give quiz that allows them to use their folders, but nothing else. This ensures that students keep an organized folder and you can spot check for notes and accuracy of information. “Back Side, Left Edge” I collect a number of homework or daily grade papers that have many short answers to grade. I instruct students to turn their ordinary lined paper to the BACK side. Then they are instructed to number their papers down the back side, at the left edge. Then they write their answers right beside the number. Normally, students can get up to 25 answers at the “back side, left edge.” If there are more than 25 questions, they can fold their paper and number from 26 – 50 down the center fold of the back side of the paper. How does this save time and eye-strain? I prepare my answer key in exactly the same way as the students number their papers. Now I can place the student’s paper right beside the correct answers on the key. If the students had answered the questions on the front side at the “red line,” their answers would be separated from the answer key answers by an inch of more of space. That method makes marking the papers slower and increases eye strain because your eyes have to keep going backand-forth to see both the answer key and the student’s answers. Formative Assessment Indicators 1. Create a set of red, yellow, and green circles for each student. During instruction, the teacher can ask where is your understanding and the students would respond by holding up the appropriate circle. Red means, “I don’t understand at all.” Yellow means, “I need more examples, but I am starting to understand.” Green means, “I understand and you
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

can go on to the next concept.” Note: these will last longer if they are laminated and you can purchase loose leaf binder rings to clip the sets together. 2. Create a white circle/square/triangle… with true written on the front and false written on the back. This can also be accomplished by laminating two different colored shapes together and placing a large T for true on one side and a large F for false on the other. As you ask questions in class have the class hold up what they believe to be the correct answer. 3. Create a series of light bulb cutouts in different colors with the letters A-E on them. Make sure that all the A’s are the same color and so forth. This allows you to ask multiple choice questions and students can hold up what they think is the answer. These too last longer if laminated and can be clipped together using loose leaf binder rings. 4. You can have students use individual or group whiteboards to show their understanding. These can come from large, inexpensive pieces of shower board that can but cut down for free at either Lowe’s or Home Depot. One sheet can yield a classroom set as the pieces are 4’ by 8’ and costs around $12. “Ticket to Leave” – at the end of class, it is imperative that we take time to gauge how much of the lesson was understood. The Ticket to Leave allows teachers to ask 12 questions that are answered on the slip by the students. As students leave, they drop their “tickets” with you. This activity becomes a form of formative assessment is that you take the slips to see where holes in their understanding are to re-teach the next day. This MUST affect your instruction on the next day. See Item 13 of appendix. How to Differentiate Assessment • Provide a variety of questions from rote memory to application of concepts • Introduce the concept of peer or self evaluation as part of the grade • Use performance tasks to allow for the success of students who do not typically perform well on paper and pencil exams • Create some problem-based learning activities into the curriculum to encourage independent thought and the
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

Peck

Pickett

Pickett

engineering process • Implement electronic or paper portfolios to show student work and growth over time. If this involves a defense of the items within the portfolio it also allows for critical thinking and presentation skills to improve. (see appendix items 1 and 2) • Consider using a learning journal or learning log to gauge student understanding of your content • A student interview is an easy way to assess the learning of a student. However, it requires either another teacher keeping the class going or another assignment to keep the class engaged while interviews take place. Standardized Test Power Verbs These are the verbs that are found on every standardized test. Some students don’t perform well on these tests simply because they do not understand what the question is asking. Therefore, these words should be on posters around the classroom as a part of your word wall. See item 5 of the appendix for an article concerning these words and item 6 of the appendix for a set of posters. Using performance tasks with rubrics to alternatively evaluate student work. Grade the positives and ignore the negative. Mark what is correct and not what is wrong on a paper. Always correct first and praise second. For student engagement, give students projects with open ended results. An example from my class would be a design project (bridge, robot, catapult, etc …) where they have only general instructions and a test of the design in the end. These projects leave the student feeling “thrown in the deep end of the pool” but once they get their bearings, the challenge engrosses them. They thrive and throw themselves into the project when the results are truly their own. If you do this, it may be scary for some students (and for you) because the project itself may completely fail due to circumstances beyond their (and your) control. This possibility of failure seems to level the playing field and engages poorer performing students as well as the rest. Find time at least once each week to give immediate personal feedback on your student’s work. Many students worry about whether they are getting it right in the moments of doing, but lose that interest by the time they get back graded work. I have students show me a drawing and I look at it and mark it up immediately, explaining their mistakes or offering praise as I do. They can then
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take what I have explained and correct the current work and apply it to the next drawing. This gives them guidance when they are the most receptive.

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Smith, M.

Turner

Weathers

“Whip Around & Pass” Begin by asking a general question about your content. The only rule is that everyone MUST answer the question. As you whip around the class, allow students to say pass only one time. This pass provides for adequate think time. Using the worksheet that must be completed as an exit slip to ensure that students remain on task all period long. Stand at the door and look students in the eye. If they don’t have their assignment, they must stay in class until it is finished. Write them a pass to their next class. To review for an upcoming test, I will tell the class where in the book they can find where each question on the test was derived from. For example I will say, “Question one on the test came from page x and paragraph #.” Students are to read the whole paragraph. Think about the main idea of the paragraph. Then students are to make their own test. Provide a question from the paragraph, then answer their own question that they wrote from the paragraph. This is a daily/homework assignment that must be completed. Students are excited, because they feel they are getting a real gift, which they are. It brings them to the book, and the enthusiasm about reading the text book is amazing. On Fridays we play ‘Jeopardy’ on the board sometimes. I divide the class into 2 teams and list categories like ‘Sports’, ‘Business’, ‘Local’, etc. and ask questions that get progressively difficult, like they do in the game show. Other times I’ve played ‘Bingo’ in much the same way, just using a template I have on my computer and filling in different items, depending on what we’ve studied. See appendix item 11for a variation of a writing rubric. I like it because it is divided into categories. Also, I find the key questions particularly helpful.

Webster

Wood

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Chapter 3 – Technology

“Technology can change your classroom dynamic. It can engage students and hold their attention and foster exploratory learning, creative learning, life changing learning.” ~ Emily Witt ~ “There are a lot of positive uses to the technology in the classroom. The ultimate objective is to find the right path for students to maximize learning.” ~ Diana Oblinger ~

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Teacher
Carpenter, D. Hamrick

Tip
Swapping the use of the math lab with a math teacher to have access to computers and light boxes. In Microsoft Word, there is a track changes button which allows a teacher to write comments on papers without having to write all over papers. Provides a paperless way to edit student work without the stacks of paper on your desk. www.Wordle.net Use the above website to create word walls and various posters and designs. The more times you type a word in the box, the more prominent it will be. Students can also create comments describing themselves. Purchase a Microsoft fingerprint pad for your passwords on your computer. It makes log-in go very quickly and students don’t have the opportunity to watch you type in your password and break into your files/websites… If you need a quick PowerPoint on a topic but don’t have the time for all the bells and whistles, there is a good chance that someone else has already created it on the web. To search for a PowerPoint, simply type the topic followed by a space and filetype:ppt in the Google search box. Ex: “differentiated instruction” filetype:ppt Jefferson County Schools in Dandridge, Tennessee has one of the most comprehensive websites of teacher resources that I have seen. The fact that it is a Tennessee school district also means that their materials are already correlated to our state standards. You can find them at: http://www.jc-schools.net/teachers.htm If you are looking for help in diversifying your lessons, you will find not only definitions and examples at the Akron Global Polymer Academy website, but also video clips to show you the methods in action. http://agpa.uakron.edu/k12/best_practices/ Sometimes when you have ESL students in your class, it is hard to find good resources for them in their language. Also, when you meet with a parent, the language barrier can pose multiple problems. I find that Babelfish is one of the most accurate translation sites. http://babelfish.altavista.com/ If you are looking for strategies that fit the ActivationCognitive Teaching-Summarizing Strategy framework, a great site to explore is:
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Hamrick

Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

http://its.guilford.k12.nc.us/act/strategies/

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Mann Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

Myers Reed Sandusky Van Prooyen

If you are looking for tips on improving student written assignments, the Online Writing Lab (OWL) is great. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ The Wisconsin Literacy Education and Reading Network System is a great site to use to increase your repertoire of various teaching methods. http://wilearns.state.wi.us/apps/default.asp?cid=25 If you are looking for articles to facilitate more reading comprehension concerning current events, you may want to subscribe to the daily articles from http://www.izzit.org. Downloading a movie for a PowerPoint presentation 1. Install Real Player from www.real.com 2. When you see a movie clip online that you like, a button will appear above it asking if you want to download the clip. 3. Select yes and save the clip to your hard drive. It will automatically save inside your video folder in another folder labeled Real Player Downloads. 4. When you have created your slides for your PowerPoint, select which one will contain the movie. How to Make a Poster Using Excel Do you think Microsoft Excel is just for math and science? You’re wrong! You can use Excel for a number of tasks and activities that have nothing to do with numbers. How about making colorful posters for your classroom, for example? See handout 15 in appendix Eggspert review using Jeopardy template that can be found online. Teacher Web.com and Online Grade Reports to improve parent-student-teacher-case manager-coach communication EdHelper.com for any area is a great resource. There is a minimal fee. Here are some tutorial web sites for student use: Multiple subjects: www.hippocampus.org & www.cliffsnotes.com Math: http://intomath.com (great for high school math) http://sosmath.com (shows step by step solutions) English: http://owl.english.purdue.edu (writing helps) http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index.h
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tm Science: www.physicsclassroom.com

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Chapter 4 – Communication

“The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choices words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech.” ~ Edwin H. Friedman ~

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Teacher
Athey Bledsoe

Tip
Continue to tell students how good they are, how much they have learned already, and how good they are going to do on tests. Check email daily to ensure that you don’t miss important information. Many times parents will email and wait for a response. By checking and responding to email daily, the lines of communication stay open between the classroom and home. More is not always better. Do not just volunteer for everything because it is a good cause or because no one else will do it. To do a few things well is much more effective than doing many things at a sub-par level. See appendix item 8 for tips on successful parent/teacher conferences. It is vitally important that any and all communication between home and school is documented with not only who you spoke with, but also what was said. This can be used to prevent misunderstandings and confusion that may arise later. In some cases, it is better to have an administrator or counselor present during a parent-teacher conference. This can only be accommodated with sufficient notice. Use student’s names with educated titles to encourage students to aspire for higher. Don’t forget your walls when you begin to think about communication. Your walls speak to everyone as soon as they enter your classroom. Be sure to put positive posters, life affirming quotations, and encouraging words on your walls. Before parents arrive for a parent conference, create a folder with samples of graded work and current grade report from the student to be discussed. Use a table if possible, but not your desk as it reduces the distance between you and the parent both real and perceived. It is also wise to have a table with butcher paper, crayons, or colored pencils to keep any smaller siblings busy yet supervised during your meeting. Always start out with positive statements concerning the student. Remember that a parent-teacher conference is most effective when there is a two-way flow of information. Take copious notes from what the parent says. Also, do not end the conference until a success plan for the student has been crafted by all three parties (teacher, parent, and student).
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Carpenter, D.

Henson Jarvis

Jarvis Kelley Mann

Mann

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Mann

Mann

Pickering

Army ROTC Dept.

Williams, A.

As a courtesy, follow up conferences or other parental correspondence to ensure that all questions have been answered and to thank parents/guardians for their time. This should take place no longer than a week after the correspondence, but you should give the parent/guardian a day or two to digest the information. This would also be a good time to give feedback to the parent as to whether the success plan made during the meeting is making a difference for the better. Whenever possible, have the student lead the parentteacher conference. At the very least, have the student present. This reduces misunderstandings and hearsay that becomes convoluted when messages are passed from teacher to student to parent and vice versa. By having the student lead the conference, they must explain their grade and answer questions posed by both the parent and the teacher. This method also reduces the confrontational atmosphere that sometimes accompanies parent-teacher conferences. On those occasions when a note must be sent home, try this. Take a business envelope and write, do not type, the parents name and address without a return address. Next, use a stamp on the envelope — running it through the office stamp machine slows the letter down. Take your letter to the Main Post Office on Shallowford Road on a Friday afternoon. If you were able to secure the parent’s correct address, it should arrive on Saturday morning. Most parents get the mail out of their mailbox on Saturday as opposed to other days of the week. As the purpose of ROTC is to grow leaders, teaching them how to communicate is crucial. The ROTC instructors use a variety of source material to give students help in effective communication particularly when it entails the presentation of a project or information. See item 22 in appendix. It is imperative that all email correspondence concerning exceptional education students be kept on file. This can provide evidence not only of the existence of an individual education plan, but also of compliance with it.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Chapter 5 – Classroom Atmosphere & Leadership

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward ~

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Teacher
Athey Bates

Tip
Raise your expectations of students and their responsibility level to raise their achievement. Course Assignment Sheet –Every day I write on the board the date and assignment, (written assignments, lecture, or discussion, whatever we do for the day.) I give the students a table chart where there is a place for the date, section, page, and assignment for them to fill in and keep in their notebooks. I also keep a copy in my notebook. When someone is absent we all have at our fingertips what we did yesterday. Also, I stamp this sheet when I check to see that homework assignments were completed each day. This sheet also provides a place for grades to be input for each assignment and helps students keep track of their grade in class. See appendix item 3. From day one, begin building relationships with your students. Spend the first few days just getting to know your students and telling them about yourself. Use index cards to learn more about your students. Such as the following:
Where were you born? What is your favorite food? What is your name? What is your favorite and type of music? What are your plans aspirations after high school?

Bean

Blough Briggs

Briggs Buchanan

“They don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” Use student work to decorate your room. It gives students a sense of pride that their work is being highlighted and it gives the room a sense of ownership for the students. When taking attendance, only mark down a date when students are absent. This makes it really easy to count T4T, instead of marking who is present and absent everyday. Use a timer when you want students to stay focused on an activity. This is especially important during group work when a lack of focus can easily derail an assignment. From Capturing Kids Hearts: “Ask kids three questions: 1. How do you want to be treated? 2. How do you think your teacher wants to be treated? 3. What part do you have in
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Buchanan

Bush Carpenter, J.

Claborn Claborn

the conflict that is occurring in the classroom with the teacher/another student? Then as a class, How are we going to deal with our conflicts? The class creates the method and everyone in the class signs off on it along with the teacher. This creates a contract that sets expectations for all conflict resolution. However, you must be vigilant and consistent in its use to ingrain the principles. Eventually, once these principles are ingrained, the students begin to take ownership for its enforcement. Be open to discussion/dialog about situations.” TEACHER TIP: L0G – IN Students are required to log – in daily on a sheet provided for each of them. They keep these sheets in their notebooks. They receive a sheet for each month. To hold the students accountable for keeping up with their log – in sheets, the teacher randomly takes them up to be graded. The purpose of the log – in is to begin teaching the kids the responsibility of keeping important records that can be used as a reference point. In this case, each day the student is in class, they must log – in on their sheet one or more of the following ways. ~ Dressed out (DO) ~ Dressed out but not participating (DNP) ~ Not Dressed Out (ND ~ Not Dressed Out Properly (NDP) ~ Absent (done upon returning to school) ~ No School (holiday / snow day / etc.) See Item 16 in appendix Call on kids to answer questions that you know are off-task to re-engage them in the learning process. Building self-esteem is important. Differentiate assignments by ability level and praise students when they are successful. They will work much harder when they feel like they can accomplish the work. Give the students a weekly agenda and structure the time so that it follows the agenda. No surprises. Daily, write the agenda on the board. The power teaching score board keeps kids engaged in the classroom. Everyday is a new game and the students like to win, so for the most part they participate and stay focused. There are a few who don’t and those individuals are the ones who remain in the independent list and serve detention so they can practice following the rules. Eventually, they get tired of being singled out and they ask to be removed from the independent list. The only way to
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Claborn

Clavin

Clavin

Coggin

get off the list is by following the class rules, so if they are able to go an entire class period without breaking the rules, they can get off the independent list for the next class period. Know your students well and relate to them on a personal level. If you have a personal connection with the student, they will perform better in your class. Keeping dialogue journals with students in where they can express themselves and you can respond without being judgmental is a great way of getting to know your students. Writing nice notes in the progress reports, making an occasional phone call to the parents to let them know how well their kid is doing in class, showing up to extra curricular events are all excellent ways to win a student over. I begin each class period with a 5-10 minute journal warmup activity. Students have a one-subject notebook they use for this purpose, and I collect the notebooks and grade all entries at the end of the course. Warm-up activities may be a question about material covered the previous day, a set of ACT practice questions, or an open-ended question to gauge students’ understanding or opinion of a topic. Students know they are to begin immediately on the warm-up once the tardy bell rings. During the time students are working on the warm-up, I take attendance, check homework, etc. To take care of makeup work for absent students. Create a form template with the student name, date and the topic covered in class. Type in info or copy and paste lesson plan on form. Staple any handouts to the sheet. Improves accountability for students. I give one weekly great each week called a Work Skills grade. Everyone starts with a 100. The 100 is composed of 20 points a day in a 5 day week that students get for being present and on time, on task, in dress code, acting respectful, having a good attitude and participation in the class discussion. If a student is absent, I have their parents send me a note on the return day of school stating the reason for the absence. If I don’t get a note, I deduct the total points for that day. If they are tardy, I deduct 10 points for that day. If they put their head down, I also deduct 10 points. If they have any violation of dress code, poor attitude, etc, I deduct points. This grade helps offset other grades and give the students who might not do as well on a regular assignment a chance to bring up the grade. I have almost zero problems with students and I feel the Work Skills grade helps their attendance, attitude
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Collins

Collins

Curtis

and work ethic. Employers on our advisory committee have told us at different times that we needed to work with students on these skills. Each week in every class, I ask for a volunteer to be the class leader for the whole week. All the student has to do is to get the “warm-up” started and to help me pass out papers when needed. The “leader” is required to get to class as soon as possible and to pick up an envelope placed at the front board. Inside I have written what that student is to write on the board and any other directions needed for the warm-up. In my class, the directions are written in Spanish. Very little time is wasted that way, and most students know what activity begins the class. Each week the names of the class leaders are left written on the board until the end of Friday’s lesson when a new leader volunteers for the next week. I consistently reward the leaders with extra credit points. So far, I have always found a volunteer and have not had to use the same students twice in one term. I want everyone to have a chance to volunteer. During the lesson and at the end of class, these leaders often help with other easy tasks, like erasing the board, taking down signs, passing out homework, etc. Students feel important when they see that they are listed as leaders, and everyone can do what is asked of him or her. “Question of the Week.” I only do this for my first block class (Spanish II) in order to greet them and to practice Spanish at the same time. They are usually so tired and want to be passive in class. On Monday, a part of the “warm-up” is to list the “Question of the Week” on their class list of students that I have given to them earlier. (They use the same class role for several week’s questions.) They then have to get up and ask two students the same Spanish question, and get a response. They check off which students they have asked on their list. From Tuesday to Friday, I greet each at the door and ask each student the “Question of the Week.” I help them if they have trouble with the answer. Then, as students come in, they ask two different students the very same question and check off their names. The constant repetition of the question and answer helps with long-term memory and helps me get to remember each student’s name. This gets each student involved at the beginning of the class. Use index cards as time cards to keep track of attendance and daily grades. The students come in and take their
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card off the board mark their attendance and pass it back in. The cards that are left are absent.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Denton

Be consistent. Begin every day with the same expectations. Recognize that all students do not have the same abilities but expect everyone to achieve at their highest level. If an assignment is due, do not extend it on the day it is due. This punishes the conscientious student and rewards the slothful one. It also reinforces procrastination – a trait that will not serve them well in any aspect of life. If we, as teachers are consistent, our students will more likely model that behavior in our classroom. Most importantly, remember to laugh at yourself and smile at others – it makes the day much more enjoyable. Make the kids want to come to class daily by relating to their interests. Create positive correlations between your content and their everyday lives. Be observant of changes in student behavior as this may be a way to cement relationships with students. Each student picks a partner and if your partner is absent, you get two of whatever and place it in their partner’s folder on the wall. Student must sign the front of the folder when they return and when they go over 5 days absent, the signatures go into a gray box that indicates the amount of time-for-time that they owe. Many students with ADHD fidget during class. Allowing the student to keep his hands busy with a squeeze ball helps the student concentrate and release excess energy. Also, during the block give the student a time to move around with physical activities or a time to stretch. When you stamp assignments sheets, use multiple different kinds of stamps or a variegated stamp pad with alternating colors. Randomly choose a bell ringer to count as a homework/assignment grade. I try to sit “at-promise” students close to my desk to help with communication and encourage them to ask questions. See appendix for 8 simple rules for motivating students. Be sure to post your classroom expectations. When problems arise, allow the students to have some input into how to solve the problems. When they have input into the rules that govern them, they will take ownership of the rules and the class. To get the attention of a large number of students rather quickly, use the clap method. For example say, “If you can hear my voice clap once. If you can hear my voice clap twice.” As long as a few students hear you and are

Eaves

Gamble

Gentry

Hadden

Haupt Hollingsworth Hutsell

Jackson

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Lyons

Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

clapping the others will join in as well. However, you may want to vary this strategy a little by changing the number of claps or how the actually respond. This method works best if the teacher speaks at a lower tone. Keep a hard copy of lessons as well as on the computer. When students are absent, upon my giving the assignment the item, highlight the paper copy box. This gives proof that you gave the assignment. During first block when students are usually sluggish, spray peppermint or citrus air freshener in the room. Peppermint and citrus activates the brain and reduces foul odors. In a class that is too hyper to concentrate, spray lavender or vanilla in the room. These scents tend to calm the brain. The same effects can come from using music in the classroom. When students are lethargic, play Motown to get them moving mentally. When students are overly excited, play classical music with a lot of violins to calm them down. To ensure that students were prepared for quizzes, I required them to trade me their group assignment for their quiz. If they did not have their assignment, they could not take the quiz and received a zero for both assignments until they were completed. My grade program made it very easy to simply code the assignments as missing which printed out in a report. I prefer three-ring notebooks with tabs to file cabinets for filing. Each unit has its own notebook which includes all of the originals for group assignments, notes, handouts, quizzes, labs, tests, alternative assignments for students that require them, and any PowerPoint/video/laserdisc information I may need to present that unit’s information. It also includes all the keys for assignments and assessments under a separate tab that can be easily removed when the notebook is in use. This keeps everything in one place and any notes that I make to change things for the next time can be placed in the notebook on a sticky note. Student notebooks can really help students stay organized. I required a minimum 2 inch three-ring folder with six dividers. Each divider had a different purpose (1 – Science Dictionary, 2 – Formulas and Sample Problems, 3 – Notes and Handouts, 4 – Group Assignments, 5 – Quizzes, 6 – Tests and Exams). The table of contents was located on the inside left cover. This allowed me to take a timed notebook assessment by
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Mann

Mann

Mann

Mann

asking for random assignments from each section. As long as their notebook was arranged correctly, students could easily find all of their assignments and get their grade. Create a set of signs to place outside your classroom that indicate your class’s location just in case someone needs to find you. For example, if your class is in the library anyone that goes to your class will see where you are. This is especially helpful when the office is trying to locate a student. Print out your seating chart and place it inside of a glossy sheet protector on a clip board. This way you can walk around the classroom and make notes about students and take attendance while still actively supervising students. You can wait until the end of the day and record all of your observations or between classes. Once recorded, you can wipe the sheet protector clean and start over. Don’t waste time handing out papers (unless they are tests). Have a set location in the classroom, preferably near the door, for students to pick up their graded work and hand in assignments. As long as you empty the hand in container each class, you needn’t waste precious time taking up work. A way to get kids to class on time is to require that the last person to class each day have to give a summary of what was learned the previous day as well at the end of the period to summarize what was learned that day. The summaries should only take between 2-3 minutes.
(a great one for the art room but not recommended for every classroom)

McGuirt

Murray

I believe that a “kid” approved room atmosphere is very important. I’ve found that by allowing students to help decorate the classroom they feel like they are an important part in creating a room atmosphere that they approve of. What I’ve found to work in my art room is . . . when a student has all of his/her projects handed in and his/her daily behavior is appropriate, he/she can paint 1 block (of my wall) of his/her choice in my room. This block can reflect his/her personal interest (team names, club logos, personal style, etc.). In doing this, students are not only rewarded for positive student behavior but they also create an environment that they want to walk in to day after day. While standing by one’s classroom door is a requirement for all teachers for disciplinary purposes, this time is often the most valuable time of the day for developing
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Nelson

OHS Staff – Professional Development Session

OHS Staff – Professional Development Session

OHS Staff –

personalization with students. Often an observant teacher can study the “body language” of his/her students as they come to class and identity students who are struggling physically or emotionally. If the teacher follows up on such observations with a simple question expressing interest in and concern for the student, problems that might occur later in the classroom may be avoided. Also, the teacher may learn of serious problems that the student is experiencing that may call for school staff or parental intervention Hand out class rules and expectations, make student and parent sign it, and return it. Keep it on file until the middle of next term in case a parent or student wants to know why they failed. From Teach Like a Rock Star by Hal Bowman Classroom Leaders are… 1. Are long-term thinkers who see beyond today’s lesson. 2. Are interested in more than just what happens in the classroom. 3. Put equal emphasis on “intellectual development” as well as “personal development.” 4. Do not accept the status quo. 5. Understand, believe, and are committed to the world-changing, exponential effect of education. From Teach Like a Rock Star by Hal Bowman Emotional Associative Conditioning 1. Step 1: Determine their most desired emotional state (kid specific). Ask – What is the most important thing for you to have in your life right now? 2. Step 2: Put the student in a position to successfully access the emotional state he/she desires most. (Examples: “I love being with my family.” Therefore this kid needs more group work. OR “I want a car so I can go where I want.” This kid needs more choice in assignments.) 3. Step 3: Provide support and guidance to guarantee success 4. Step 4: Link the student’s emotional state to you by a. Helping the student make the connection between success and emotional state b. Providing public or private recognition c. Providing teacher recognition with a physical touch Your students will adapt to whatever values are present.
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Professional Development Session OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

For example, if being in dress code is something that you value, students will be in dress code while in your class and when they see you in the hallway. Make sure that your classroom rules match your values. Wretched Masses • Snapshot of this Student: This is your typical whiner. “I can’t do it” “This is too hard” “This is too much work.” This is the kid that hides behind the others hoping you won’t call on them. They are usually either quiet or extremely obnoxious. They don’t understand the material and constantly complain that the class is too hard for them. • But, why do they act this way?: They harbor deep feelings of inadequacy and really cannot do what you are requesting of them. Their brain does not have the confidence to believe that they are capable of being successful on the assigned task; therefore, they do things to divert attention away from their poor performance. • Scenario 1: You have an effective class management system whereby free time is earned for completing assigned class work. John never gets his work done and therefore never gets free time. You feel badly, but a rule is a rule. John and you are both frustrated. • Scenario 2: When you give Gail an assignment, all you hear is “I don’t understand,” or “I can’t do this!” She makes little effort and has literally given up. She is having great difficulty reading the grade level texts yet does not qualify for any special programs. • What can you do to help this student? o Make sure that they already know the answer before you call on them to give them confidence o Give them specific guidelines with the freedom to choose their own subject o Group students according to ability (sometimes heterogeneously and sometimes homogeneously) o Pair up higher and lower level students for peer support o Break down the assignment into smaller sections for more opportunities for success and to make the assignment less overwhelming o Allow them to write their questions about the material on an index card without their names.
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

Take up the cards and address the questions on the cards without indicating who wrote the question. o Options from http://www.youthchg.com/answers.html –  Be Reassuring  Give Specific Praise  Challenge Illogical Statements They May Make  Help Them Reframe Failure into a Stepping Stone to Success Attention Seekers • Snapshot of this kid: This is your class clown. This child calls your name so much during class that you want to change it before the day is done. If you walk into the hallway, there is no telling what you will find them doing to entertain the class when you return. • But, why do they act this way?: Some students need your attention and the attention of their classmates as well. For whatever reason, they get the idea that they are either being ignored or are not receiving the percentage of your time that they deserve. • Scenario 1: You teach a lesson and then give a follow-up worksheet to be completed by all pupils while you conduct individual student conferences. You are frequently interrupted with questions, and are unable to give your undivided attention to specific students during the individual discussion sessions. You find yourself increasingly angry at the class. • Scenario 2: Patrick is constantly calling your name. Even when he knows the answers to the questions, he needs your assurance that his answers are correct. You are sick and tired of reprimanding him for talking out loud without being called upon first. • What can you do to help this student? o Give positive attention for positive behavior. Be careful not to give negative attention. o Give them a responsibility in the classroom to help them feel important o Speak to them one on one (privately) o Ignore it to a certain point o Appeal to their sense of fairness o Use humor to redirect their attention
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o Give them preferential seating o Another option from http://www.youthchg.com/answers.html - Do not wait for misbehavior to happen. Do not take good behavior for granted. We do this with teenagers. We come to expect good behavior, and overlook their efforts. When a child demonstrates good behavior, notice it. Look for it. The more you notice, the more you will find. You will get more good behavior in the future. Anyone can catch children being bad. Turn this around. Catch them being good. It’s not easy. It takes practice. Control Freaks • Snapshot of this Student: This child will push your buttons daily. They must always have the last word and even if they don’t they will simply go back to their seat talking about how wrong you are to their classmates. This child is typically argumentative and defiant. • But, why do they act this way?: Many of your students have an inordinate amount of control in their homes. They may be raising younger brothers and sisters as well as themselves and, as a result, are calling the shots and making major life decisions. Then they come to school and cannot understand why everyone, including you, will not dance to their music. • Scenario 1: Jane angrily enters your classroom. She has just been reprimanded by another teacher for “fooling around” and has had the privilege of eating lunch in the library revoked for the rest of the week. In your class, she is refusing to do work, calls out and continues the behavior from the other class, adding to it her complaints of unfairness. The class is in danger of not earning the class reward of an extra recess period for having completed all of your assignments. • Scenario 2: Melissa is demanding and argumentative. If you say the sky is blue, she says it’s brown. She is always calling her peers inappropriate names and when reprimanded shrugs you off and refuses to listen to your requests. • What can you do to help this student?: o Be flexible o Give them as much choice as possible (such as how to complete an assignment) o Give them a situation to control that will be
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positive for the classroom. o Give them some supervised control in the classroom. o Allow them or appoint them as a group leader. o Appoint responsibility for their and possibly other groups actions. o Options from http://www.youthchg.com/answers.html  Here’s the absolute, no-fail way to win every power struggle with every kid every time: Don’t struggle for power. Think about it. The minute an adult wrestles with a kid for power, they’ve immediately lost. And, the younger the child, the more true that statement becomes. To give you an image, you want to take your “sails” out of their wind, so to speak. Here are some specific tips and tricks to use instead of getting caught up in the “Yes, you will”-“No, I won’t” battles when everybody loses.  Have your class or group establish rules about the number of talk-outs per hour, and to create a standing policy about what to do when problems occur. Without a recommended number for kids to follow, some won’t be able to discern a reasonable number on their own. Young people need practice providing self-governance most adults don’t need that practice. With this intervention, not only do you shift the problems away from being adult-kid to kidkid, but you are aiding your kids to practice essential self-management skills. Entertainment Junkies • Snapshot of this Student: This is the kid that comes to class and does little to nothing. They constantly complain that the class is boring and are often found asleep, texting on their cell phone, listening to their I-pod, or watching a movie on their video game instead of working on class work. This may also be the kid that hits kids as they pass by just to get a reaction. • But, why do they act this way?: In many classrooms, students sit for long periods of time without any active engagement of their brains. Their
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brains are not getting enough oxygen and they may yawn repeatedly, fall asleep, or think of other things while the lesson is being taught. • Scenario 1: Dr. Wong is disappointed in his students’ reactions to his teaching. Though he has some attentive and interested students, the majority of students look bored in his class, with that glazed-over look in their eye, and a surprising number skip class altogether. • Scenario 2: Duane is bored with school and with you. He is frequently caught sleeping in class or at the very least with his head on his desk. He is unmotivated and puts out little effort. When not sleeping, he is looking for ways to bother the other students so that they cannot complete their assignments either. • What can you do to help this student? o Offer a variety of activities with some that incorporate movement o Change activities often o Give them special responsibilities o Appoint them to be goal creators, small group leaders, peer teachers, or tutors of other students o Incorporate cooperative learning strategies o Use hands-on and visual activities o Use color coded charts o Options from http://www.youthchg.com/answers.html  Consider asking questions that promote deeper thinking, rather than generic questions such as “Are there any questions?”  Breaking up a lecture with questions and other activities will help keep students alert, interested, and learning while forcing students to think more deeply about the concepts and leading students to take more responsibility for their own learning How to Differentiate the Classroom Environment • Rearrange desks to promote learning • Use the board more effectively • Rearrange the desks into a circle formation to facilitate group discussion • Vary the seating arrangement from time-to-time • Examine your space, time, and materials available to become more flexible
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Phillips

Pickett

Pickett Ricketts

Sampley

Sandusky

the environment work for their needs Keep a log of minor incidents with a student who is constantly uncooperative. That way you have plenty of documentation when you write the referral. One incident may not seem significant to an administrator, but a pattern will show them you are not just in a bad mood the day you write the referral. I have a “student center” in my class. The assignment for the day is written on the board near the station. There are files for them to store their work in (completed or inprogress). The pencil sharpener is in that area too. This gives the students a routine feel to the classroom. They can check the board for daily work so they know how to get started and they know what to do with their work when it is done or where to store it if it needs to be worked on the next day. Set-up the expectation of teamwork. Set up extra credit on assignments if teacher sees the student helping another. Many times, early in the morning students are not fully awake and a bit lethargic. One remedy for this situation can be the use of simple nursery rhymes that they must respond to such as, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” As simple as it seems, it puts a smile on students’ faces and wakes their brains up to work. Watch students closely for the signs of depression so that early intervention may take place. Some of these signs include: • Being unusually irritable, grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or having angry outbursts. • Having unexplained aches and pains with no medical cause. • Being extremely sensitive to criticism due to a feeling of worthlessness. This is particularly prevalent in high-achieving students. This may lead to uncharacteristic tearfulness and frequent crying bouts. • Becoming less social that before or a sudden change in friends. To keep kids up to date upon an absence, give kids a calendar of topics (basically a lesson plan). To provide handouts, there is an area by the door organized by day. When they come in, they just look in the slot and pick up the handouts that they have missed on the days they were
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• Involve the students in discussions about how to make

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Sandusky

Seebach

Slack Smith, W.

Smith, W.

Smith, W.

Turner Veenstra Wellness Teachers

out. Administratively we must inform students of time-for-time. She created a form to keep track (see appendix item 4). Give it out at each progress report. Kids must sign off as proof of their fulfillment of the requirement. Challenge students to positively influence peer pressure. Become positive leaders for change. Be careful to applaud the students who may not get the A or B in class, but we know that worked very hard to get the D that they did earn. We must encourage them even if they are giving 100% and they only hit the D or C. Don’t forget their selfesteem. Kids must believe that you care about them as a person before they will accept that you care about them as a student. Last year I gave a grade called a work skills grade and didn’t realize how well it worked until I chose not to do it this semester. I give students 20 points a day that consists of attendance, dress code, participation, and class work. If they choose not to do these things on a daily basis then I take points off and it could result in low daily grades each week. For some reason I chose not to do it this semester and I wish I had. They actually want to have 100 work skills grades each week and want to know why they have points taken off if they see a grade lower than 100. Put rules or steps for problem solving on your wall in different colored sentence strips to draw attention to them. In fact, decorate your classroom with bright colored posters and artifacts to make the room more cheery. Everyone benefits from attractive surroundings. Put up all student work to encourage self-esteem. Nothing gets a kid’s attention faster than seeing their work on display for all to see. It also encourages better quality work because they know it will be on display. This also provides student ownership within the classroom. When assigning groups, consider creating single sex groups to encourage more concentration on the activity. See appendix item 10 for article on the myth of the troubled teen What we have started to do in Wellness for kids who decide not to dress out is have them go through a chapter in our Wellness textbook and answer the review questions. This will give them something to do that is related to the class and state requirements as well as

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Wilson

Wilson

Wilson

Wiram

Wright

Wright

allowing us to give them some credit for the class work. This will hopefully deter kids from not dressing out but if they get to 5 days of this then we will refer them to an administrator and or parent. A better way to take role – use a seating chart and mark attendance on the chart for the week. If a child is not in their appropriate spot mark them absent. When a kid is absent, place the assignments that they have missed in the folder that also contains the seating chart. Do a daily log on the board. Everything written in past tense of what was already done. The last thing in the log is the homework for the day. By writing it in past tense, when kids copy it in their notebook daily it makes sense. If you don’t get to it all, transfer the item to the next day’s log. Something that has helped me in organization is to have each student to keep a supplies envelope which contains colored pencils, ruler, and drawing pencil for lab. The students pick the envelope up at the start of the block, use it, and return it to the storage box at the end of the block. Saves a huge amount of “pass out” time and makes the students responsible for their own supplies. When I see the majority of the students in my classroom complying with a classroom rule and some not, I seek out a student that is in compliance. Then, I exuberantly compliment that student. The ones that are not in compliance get the hint and align themselves accordingly. There is a lot of power is positive peer pressure. All students want to be complimented authentically. This method works well as long as you don’t always pick out the same student. You cannot play favorites. The students see right through this tactic and will resent the student and your rules. Keep a desk-size calendar and document handouts, topics covered, etc on the calendar. The students are informed that they must check the assignment calendar on the first day of school. This places the responsibility on the child to obtain their makeup work and raises accountability. Every time that I collect an assignment from a class, I require that anyone who does not have the assignment write on a full sheet of paper that they did not turn it in to me. They have to write their names, the assignment name and the date. They have to state in writing “I did not turn in page 200 # 1-35” for example. I make sure that I get either the assignment or the notes from every student. To ensure that they do this, I do not let them pass the papers
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to the front. I walk to each desk and collect it myself. I keep these notes on file for documentation and parent conferences.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Chapter 6 – Literacy

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Teacher
Behling

Tip
Use music to teach your content vocabulary. I create a sheet with the lyrics but vocabulary missing. Have students listen to the song a few times and then attempt to fill in the appropriate word(s). For this method to be effective, it must include the active vocabulary that the class is using currently. Use debate to help students gain a personal interest in the material. Incorporating M.U.N. Place names of students inside of sentences that are used to teach the material. This provides more personalization. Have students write a small introduction about themselves and use this to construct teaching material. When deciding which literature to use, try to incorporate as much teenage voice as possible. If children can relate to the author, they will be more willing to listen to what the author has to say. S.P.A.W.N. (Special Powers, Problem Solving, Alternative Viewpoints, What If?, and Next) The purpose of this activity is to encourage the examination of complex issues and to extend student thinking in their writing. 1. Have students read a passage of text. 2. For the S of S.P.A.W.N., students are given special powers to change some aspect of the text or topic and they must explain what they changed, why, and the effects of that change. 3. For the P of S.P.A.W.N., students are asked to write possible solutions to the problems presented in the text. 4. For the A of S.P.A.W.N., students write about a topic or retell a story from a unique point of view. 5. For the W of S.P.A.W.N., students respond to a change that the teacher has made in the text similar to step 2. 6. For the N of S.P.A.W.N., students must predict what topic will come next or what will happen next in the story with their rationale for their statement. 7. The first time you introduce S.P.A.W.N., you will have to create individual writing prompts for each letter. As they become more proficient at it, students can create their own. 8. In science, this could concern an experiment. In history, it could be an event. In P.E. it could be a game strategy. I Have…Who Has… The purpose of this activity is to engage students in vocabulary instruction and increase their fluency and retention. 1. Use the template found in the appendix as item 19 2. The teacher must create a set of these cards while being
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Carpenter, D. Hughes

Mann

Mann

Mann

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

McIntyre

sure that the definition or description on the bottom of the card does not match the vocabulary tem at the top of the card. 3. The first student will begin by reading the “Who Has…” statement at the bottom of their card. 4. The other students in the room must all pay attention as it could be any of them that has the vocabulary term that matches the definition or description that was read. 5. If a student has the term that matches, they stand up and say, “I Have…” Then they proceed to read the other part of their card (Who Has…) 6. This continues until all of the cards have been read 7. If done correctly, you will end with the person you started with. Note: This can be done as a whole class or a smaller group activity. Also, you may want to have the student compete against other groups or classes to get the fastest time. This requires that everyone pay attention because if someone else does not know the answer, it increases the team’s overall time. Outcome Sentences At the end of each presentation, I have students reflect on their work and what they learned as a result of their assignments. Their answers are compiled in their notebooks in a journal section. This allows students to really think about their assignments even after they are over instead of just getting a grade and forgetting all about it. I use outcome sentences as starters for this reflection activity. You may want to start your sentences with: • I learned... • I was surprised... • I’m beginning to wonder... • I feel... • I discovered (or rediscovered)... • I now realize that... • I would someday like to... • I cannot agree with... • I would like to find out more about... • I reevaluated my assumptions about... • I was proud of the way... • I conclude... I better appreciate now... Use the students’ own original written compositions as an opportunity to provide reading material that is interesting to their classmates. My students write original stories in French and I correct them and type them up in a compilation with their
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Miller

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

classmates’ stories. Then, we have a reading day and read all the stories. They are motivated to create original, creative stories and the other students are eager to see what their peers have written. Vocabulary and grammatical forms always occur that we have not yet studied, so I footnote it and we discuss it when we read the stories. This is a teachable moment. Tea Party Protocol – Pre-Reading Activity (a National School Reform Faculty product) 1. Select a series of quotes from the upcoming text 2. Give each student a quote and allow 2 minutes for them to reflect on the quote. 3. Then have each student share their quote with two other people and discuss their quotes in 2 minute intervals. 4. Finally, have the whole group share their quotes for a group discussion and reaction session. Say Something Protocol – During Reading Activity (A National School Reform Faculty product) 1. Divide a long piece of text into parts. 2. Assign each student a partner. 3. The students read through the portion of text either orally or silently. 4. After the reading of the section is finished, one partner turns to the other and says, “say something about the section we just read.” Once the first speaker has “said something,” they swap roles. Rules for “Say Something” Responses to the Text a. Can make a prediction b. Can ask a question c. Can clarify something their partner misunderstood d. Can make a comment e. Can make a connection f. If a student cannot do either of a-e, they must reread the section 5. After the first section of text has been read and discussed, they move on to the next section and the process begins again. “I’m Thinking” Select a piece of text generally no longer than 34 pages from your textbook or some other source of information. Highlight on your copy the most important sentences in the text ahead of time. Provide a graphic organizer for students to fill in as they identify each sentence. Divide students into groups of no more than 3-4 students and provide a way for students to call out answers as a group. You will read only the first few words of the sentence and the groups
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

will compete to be the first one to find the sentence in the text. Keep score on the board or overhead. When groups find the sentence, they will add it to their graphic organizer for that section’s notes. Provide some sort of incentive for the group that wins (i.e. candy, time to talk, etc…) Word Splash Select a series of terms or phrases from the text students are about to read. Place these terms on a poster board or on the overhead. Have students predict from the words/phrases what the topic of the text might be. This is a great way to pique interest in the text. Shared Inquiry 1. Select a piece of text that must be read prior to the discussion and create a series of questions to facilitate the discussion. There should be at least one of each type of question, factual, interpretive, and evaluative. 2. Using a graphic organizer (see item 21 in appendix), prior to discussion, have students: a) write one item from the text they agreed with, b) write on item from the text they disagreed with, and c) write one item from the text they had questions about. Also, have them answer the factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions in the “Post Reading” boxes. 3. Arrange all students in a circle allowing them to face each other 4. Go over the Rules for Shared Inquiry a. If you did not read the text, you may not join the discussion b. No third-party opinions about the article are allowed. c. Only discuss the text provided. d. You must listen to the other participants and respond directly to them. e. Expect the facilitator to only ask questions. f. Your ideas/opinions must be supported directly by the text. 5. Begin the discussion by asking your factual question. The students must not only answer the question, but also provide the source in the text for their answer. Continue on through each of the other questions. 6. Remember, students can disagree with others’ answers, but must provide their support from the text. 7. After the discussion is over, have students re-answer the factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions in the “Post Shared-Inquiry” boxes. 8. To summarize, ask students if they still agreed with their original answers and what new insights did the discussion
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

provide. Note: This is best done with material with a little controversy or if the questions you ask are a bit controversial. Just remember the students have to be the ones doing the inquiry. Closed Word Sort 1. Select 20-25 words that are crucial to the text that you will read. Copy each of the words on separate index cards or pieces of construction paper. If you plan to use the words again, it is best if you laminate the words in advance. 2. Decide the categories that you will use to sort the words and print them on pieces of paper that are of a different color than the words themselves. 3. Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students and give each group a set of words and categories. 4. Give the students about 10 minutes to sort each of the words into the categories that you provided. 5. After that time, you can either walk around and check their answers and point out words that may be misplaced or have groups look at other groups’ word sorts. 6. Once this part of the process is complete, have the groups reconvene to decide if and what changes need to be made. Then have each group write a rationale for the sort they made. 7. At this point, have the students read the material the words came from and then make any changes needed to their sorts. 8. Finally, have each team write a rationale for the words that they placed in each category. Note: If you would instead like to do an open sort, you would simply leave out the step of providing the categories ahead of time. Three Levels of Text Protocol – During Reading Activity (A National School Reform Faculty product) 1. Appoint a facilitator and a timekeeper for each group of 34 students 2. Have students silently read the text provided and note any statements/terms that they agree with, disagree with, or have questions about (basically anything that sticks out) 3. Level 1 – Within each group, each student will share their statements/terms (less than 1 minute each) 4. Level 2 – Within each group, have each student share the reason they chose their individual statement/term (3-4 minutes each) 5. Level 3 – Once everyone in the group has shared and
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OHS Staff – Thursday Thirties

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Peterson Peterson Phillips

Rice

Silva

Sloan Sloan

Turner

given their reasons, decide as a group which is the most important statement or term and explain how it ties in with the topic/lesson being learned. (10 minutes) 6. Share each group’s findings with the class as a whole. Use of Journaling at the beginning, middle, or end of class. No matter how old our students are they love to be read to! Find any opportunity to read to students! Even when I was in the regular classroom I always began the year by teaching students HOW to study for my subject. Too many times we assume students know how to study already. Languages are skills, just like sports or playing musical instruments. I have to teach students that they must PRACTICE the skill on a daily basis to be successful. Each chapter the first month or so of class I would show them a different way to study and practice. The whole class would practice that way for that chapter. After those first few weeks, I let students choose how they liked best to study and expected them to do it each week. I tried to teach a different way for each modality of learning— visual, auditory, tactile, etc. This year I added a journal section to the notebooks my students must keep. Each Friday we take time to make a journal entry. The subject of the journal entry must be something learned that week. No restrictions on what was learned or where it was learned. I check notebooks/journals at the end of class on Friday’s. In addition to being a literacy exercise, this journal assignment encourages student’s reflective thinking and provides a record of their development. Journals as they relate to art. Students bring in objects to create art about. Then they write a reflection of what moment in time the items were taken from and how they applied to the artwork. Fold paper into 8 boxes. The journal comprises writing ideas that are presented in class, proof of active listening, etc… Increased accountability on both sides. Focuses on the process instead of the output. In sociology, we use current event from news articles to practice writing and critical thinking skills. We also use them to foster discussion and encourage reading comprehension. The students compose the word wall in the class which reinforces the use of vocabulary. Many times they include pictorial clues to the definition of the terms on the wall. We then refer to the word wall throughout the chapter, unit and for some words the entire semester. This helps them speak the language of the content better and fosters great comprehension. For my English students I am keeping a Writer’s progress log.

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

The students must list those skills that they missed on the first essay and correct those mistakes. It is noted on the rewrite and the chart if the student has then mastered the skill. If not the student may need supplemental work from the grammar book or a further rewrite.

Chapter 7 – New Teacher Sanity Savers

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward “What office is there which involves more responsibility, which requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

more honorable than teaching?” ~ Harriet Martineau ~

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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Teacher
Agan Blassingame Cook

Tip
Always be flexible. To survive teaching one must be positive in attitude, flexible in planning, and able to laugh at yourself and others. To save paper, create a check off sheet of all of the assignments you will complete in a semester on one sheet of paper that students will keep in their notebooks. Include not only the assignments, but also the categories of the assignments. Use this same sheet to keep track of progress reports. By keeping track this way, the students always know what their grade is in class and also they know at a glance what they are missing and what is coming up next. When you can leave very organized and detailed instructions for a substitute teacher, your can actually enjoy a day off. See appendix item 12 for template. Always expect the unexpected. In other words, be prepared for an activity that worked well today not to work tomorrow. Always have a back-up plan. Organize homework ahead of time onto an assignment sheet. When students return after homework is assigned, have them show that the assignment was completed. When this proof is provided, stamp the assignment sheet at their desks while they complete the class warm-up activity. At the end of the week/chapter/unit, all you have to check for is the assignment sheet and not all of the individual papers. If a child does not have a stamp for a certain assignment, they must produce it on that final day or they lose points on that week’s/chapter’s/unit’s grade. I like to put Word documents in columns on the front side, copy it, and then copy them front and back. I cut the page in half and have a front and back half page on half sheets in order to save paper and copy costs. To make inputting report card information easier, make sure that you put your attendance information on a computer for easy printout. Money and how it is handled has a way of causing more issues with employment than any other area. Although this is not a comprehensive list, here are some ways to stay out of trouble: • Log all money received from students and turn it in at the end of each day. • To prevent a conflict of interest, do not sign off on other bank accounts such as those for booster clubs. A booster club must have a president and treasurer for that reason. • No personal reimbursements will be issued for more than $100.
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Cooper Eaves Delaune

Hadden

Ingle James

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Mann

Mann

Maupin

Myhan

Naylor

Reynolds

Fundraiser requests must be turned in 3 weeks in advance as it takes that long for the superintendent to approve the request. • If a student brings you a check for more than the amount that was requested, you cannot give change out of your log bag. This check must either be returned to the student to be reissued by the parent/guardian with the proper amount or the student must wait until the check clears and a refund will be issued by the bookkeeper. • Make sure that you follow all of the proper purchase order procedures. Always begin with the end in mind. Know what items are going to be on your final exam or at least what standards must be covered on the final exam. This will allow you to make up your final exam as you go along through the term. Turn your tests into test banks using Exam View and you can create an exam easily that covers all of your content from the term. If you find an activity/lesson/handout/etc… that worked particularly well, place a post-it not on it to remind you to use that activity. Also, if you find that an activity may work better if you make some changes, note that on the post-it so you will remember what to change the following year. To prevent theft, lock all of your personal belongings up and do not leave students in your classroom without supervision. Do not give your keys to students to enter your room without your presence regardless of how trustworthy they seem. Also, to maintain the safety of the building, do not prop open outside doors. Here is my time saving tip for teachers! Know when the copier is in use. This is no joke! Learn when most of your colleagues are using the copier. You can sometimes wait 15 minutes to make just a few copies. Your copies have to be made, so you wait, stuck in line with a thousand other things you could be doing to prepare for the next day. About midway through my first year of teaching, I realized that the copier was never in use during the first few minutes of class. If you hurry to the copier you can beat all of those teachers who dared to use the restroom first! Create a checklist of assignments that allows students to know at a glance what work they are missing. When the check list is kept by the teacher, it allows the teacher to make notes about the student or assignment to be added to the gradebook later. I have had trouble with students not having pencils in class. I put out a can of pencils for the students to borrow and tell the students that they must leave their cell phone in my box to
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OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Peterson Phillips Rice

Rogers

Rox

remind them to return the pencil. When I started to do this, no one wanted to borrow ( or take) my pencils anymore! Use your planning period to plan lessons and grade papers. Paper for copies is ordered by the department heads each semester. Get copy machine number from Mrs. Bledsoe. Get keys to rooms from Mrs. Lyons. It is helpful to know where the copy machines are located and how to operate them. Copy machines are located in multiple areas of the building: 1 in upstairs new wing teacher workroom, 1 in downstairs new wing teacher workroom, 2 in main teacher workroom, 1 upstairs circle in small cubby hole near math classes One of the practices that I have used for many years and that has received a fair amount of positive feedback from students and parents is the practice of returning tests, quizzes, and lab reports the next day, graded. This, sometimes is difficult to accomplish. The tests consist of T/F, Completion, Multiple Choice, and Essay questions, along with 3 to 5 problem solutions. Most of the students, however, seem to appreciate the extra effort. The return of the test and the accompanying debriefing session serve as an excellent "line of demarcation" between major topics. Ooltewah High School Library Information About the Library Ooltewah High School’s library is located on the second floor, under the dome in the main building. We have over 15,000 books in the library. We also subscribe to magazines that students can use for research or for reading for pleasure. Last year, we served over 479 classes in addition to 11,516 students who came in on their own. The library has an automated catalog. This means that we no longer have a physical card catalog to tell us what books are in the library. Instead, this catalog information is available on library computers. Our current catalog program is Concourse by Book Systems. Passes  We require a pass, signed by a teacher making an assignment, for students who come to the library, except for students who come with their class or who come during their lunch.  During Directed Studies, students may come to the library with a pass, signed by a teacher making an assignment.
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The student should check in with their Directed Studies teacher first and sign out of Directed Studies before coming to the library. The student must then present the pass to get into the library and sign in the library for Directed Studies.  Please do not send students to the library without an assignment requiring the library. We usually have classes or testing going on in the library, and we have Directed Studies classes that meet in the library.  We reserve the right to ask students to leave the library. We may also close the library for testing from time to time. When we are closed, no students are allowed to come in for any reason. Signing Up for Library Time  There is a large calendar hanging on the door in the library office area on which teachers can sign up for library time. We have a lot of classes using the library so please sign up as early as you can. We ask that you sign up in pencil. If you do not plan on using the time for which you signed up, please erase your name so another class can use the library.  If you need to have your classes do research in the library, we recommend signing up for 2 days. Signing Up for Library Equipment  There are 2 equipment sign up books in the library  Mobile Lab: One book is for the Mobile Computer Lab. The Mobile Lab is a cart with 25 laptop computers available for teacher checkout. The Mobile Lab is normally housed in a back storage area of the library. When you sign up for the Mobile Lab, we ask that you send 2 reliable students (or you may come to get it) to take it to your classroom. In the classroom, the lab will need to be plugged in to two separate outlets (on different breakers) and the router will need to be plugged into an Internet port in the wall. It is best to plug in the cords with the power off, then turn on the power switches on the cart and on the router. When you are finished with the Mobile Lab, please return it to the back door of the library to be put away.  Other Equipment: The other book is for various library equipment, such as televisions and video or DVD players, the LCD projector (aka, a box light) or digital camera. Videos  We have a large collection of videos in the library. These
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videos tie into the curriculum. Only teachers may check out these videos; we do not circulate them to students. There is a notebook with an alphabetical list of our videos in the library video office. Videos can also be looked up in the automated library catalog. We ask that you check out videos you want to use in advance of the day you will need them in order for you to have time to review them.  If you want to use a video that we do not have in the library, you will need to fill out a video approval form and give it to Mrs. Graves for Mr. Foster to approve. We encourage you to keep a copy of the signed video approval form for your records. Handouts We have a number of handouts for students and teachers. These include: - Summer Reading List - MLA Citation Style - Library Brochure with information about electronic databases - How to access the Biography Database at the ChattanoogaHamilton County Bicentennial Library - Social Issues websites   Freshman Orientations We are available to give 2 orientations to Freshman English classes. The first orientation introduces students to the OHS library. Information covers where to find material in the library as well as library rules and how to check out books. This orientation can include a library scavenger hunt. The second orientation covers how to access electronic databases in the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) and how to evaluate websites. This orientation can include an exercise in using this information. We can also incorporate information on plagiarism and how to avoid it in either orientation. We can combine orientations, or we can create a lesson or handout on a topic that is useful to your class.

Equipment and Locations  Copiers: in the teacher workroom where you sign in, in the new wing downstairs teacher work area, in the new wing upstairs teacher work area (science workroom), in the upstairs circle work closet (203A), in the library (when not in use by students)
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 Ellison Die Cut Machine: In room 211  ScanTron (NCS Pearson) Grading Machine: In the upstairs circle work closet (203A) and in the new wing downstairs teacher work area.  Forms for NCS Pearson Machine: In the video office of the library. Please write your name, the form you are taking, and how many on a piece of paper and put it in the box by the forms. This is on a self-serve honor system. Let a librarian know if forms are running low.  Laminator: In the office area of the library. Please call ahead if you need to use this since it takes 20 minutes to warm up. We charge your department $0.25 per foot of laminating film used.  Integrade Grading Program: Available on the computers in the teacher workroom, on several computers in the library, on the middle computer in the Guidance area, and on computers in teachers’ rooms. The Technology Contact (currently Ann Rox) can load it on a computer in your classroom. Acceptable Use Policies These forms must be signed for each person each year.  Every person who uses a computer at Ooltewah High School must have a signed Acceptable Use Policy on file with the library. These forms should be distributed with other student forms in your Directed Studies. Signed forms should be returned to the library. The librarians keep a record of all forms received and send out lists of student names periodically. Before you bring your classes to the library for research, you should make sure all your students have turned in an Acceptable Use Policy form or some of them may not be able to use the computers.  Teachers must also have a signed Acceptable Use Policy on file. Keep all contact information for parents up-to-date. Make sure that contact information includes: parent name(s), cell phone, work address, home phone, and home address. Preparing for a substitute includes having a copy of your class roles, a folder with copies of the assignment already made, and lesson plan that engages students that the substitute can help them complete. This can be easily accomplished by simply leaving an answer key or a solution to the assignment. A profile of students that will need extra time/help/attention or special consideration as well as which students would be particularly helpful in each block is also very helpful.

Sampley Substitute Teacher

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Appendix
Item 1: Item 2: Item 3: Item 4: Item 5: Students’ Test Success Item 6: Item 7: Item 8: Item 9: Power Verbs Mini-Posters Sample Homework Quiz 25 Tips for Successful Parent Conferences Motivating Students: 8 Simple Rules for Teachers Student Portfolio Final Project Information Sheet Portfolio Grading Rubric Course Assignment Sheet Time-for-Time Notification Form Somebody Needs You, Power Verbs Help Ensure

Item 10: Interview: Richard Lerner (Myth of the Troubled Teen) Item 11: 6+1 Traits Writing Rubric Item 12: Substitute Guide Item 13: Ticket Out the Door Template Item 14: Giving Presentations Handout Item 15: How to Make a Poster Using Excel Item 16: Daily Log Template Item 17: Dale’s Cone of Active Learning Item 18: Bloom’s Cube Template Item 19: I Have…Who Has… Template Item 20: Problem Solving Strategies List Item 21: Shared Inquiry Template

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Item 1

Student Portfolio Final Project

What is a portfolio? A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student's efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas of the curriculum. It should represent a collection of students' best work or best efforts, student-selected samples of work experiences related to outcomes being assessed, and documents according growth and development toward mastering identified outcomes. What should be included in the portfolio? • Choose four* projects that have been completed during the course of the semester to include in your portfolio, at least two individual projects and two shared projects. • Use the reflection documentation section on the rubric to reflect on each of the projects. • Use the final summative reflection (Reflective Essay questions on the rubric) to share how all of the projects combined have helped you grow as a learner. *If you choose to work with a partner to showcase your portfolio, you must choose six projects to showcase. At least two individual projects for each of you and two shared projects. How will I showcase my portfolio? You will defend your portfolio to some of the OHS faculty and your peers. This will require that you explain your project choices for the portfolio, briefly summarize the projects, and how the reflection process has helped you grow as a learner. This can be accomplished in any format (i.e., speech, power point presentation, digital or e-folio, etc.). When will my portfolio be due? The portfolio will be due after the End of Course Test is administered, at the end of the semester. Why is a portfolio important? Portfolios can enhance the assessment process by revealing a range of skills and understandings one student’s parts; support instructional goals; reflect change and growth over a period of time; encourage student, teacher, and parent reflection; and provide for continuity in education from one year to the next. How will my portfolio be graded? The portfolio will be assessed using the rubric attached and will be worth five percent of your final grade. This includes your documentation, your self-reflection, and your parent/guardian’s reflection.

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Item 2 POINTS POSSIBLE 5 SCORE

Portfolio Grading Rubric
PORTFOLIO ITEMS (SHOULD BE IN ORDER AS LISTED)
Title page (including your name, date, teacher's name, and the name of your portfolio. Should be typed.)

20 30 20

Include your projects and their summaries in this section. With each document or
Documentation

project, you must explain why you chose that piece and why it is a reflection of your best work.

10 15

This can be a couple of paragraphs each. Reflective essay (Answer the questions listed below) Parent/guardian reflection and signature (see questions below) Parent/guardian must sign to receive credit. Self grading the portfolio You must give yourself a grade and explain why. Be thorough in your explanation Showcase Presentation of the portfolio to a panel of OHS faculty and peers.
TOTAL (Possible Score = 100 points)

Student Reflective Essay Questions (Typed): I expect very thorough and thoughtful answers. I expect well written and complete sentences in the form of an essay. 1. How much responsibility did you take for your learning? For example, did you use the book, look at examples in the book, and supplement class lectures with additional resources to help you complete the projects? 2. Name three things about pre-calculus/mathematics that you did not know before in relation to the content of the course. 3. In group project assignments, what role did you find yourself? Is this a role you wanted? How could you have worked within a group better? Why? 4. Is there anything that you can take from this class and how do you think it could impact your life (even in a small way)—this does not have to be content related? Or perhaps is there something you learned about yourself through taking this class? Parent/guardian reflective questions:(These do not have to be typed) 1. What did your sibling/child do well when explaining what they learned? 2. The piece of work from their portfolio that I found most interesting was… because…. 3. What did you learn about your child after reviewing their portfolio of what they consider their best work? Please have the parent/guardian sign their name at the end of the statement.
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Item 3

Assignment Sheet

Name Course Chapter Teacher

Date

Section

Page

Assignment

Stamped

Grade

# of Assignments___________ Total Points________

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Item 4

Time for Time Notification

The following student _______________________________________ has been notified of the need to serve time for time to successfully complete this course. This student is in my ______ period class, during the ________________ semester. Failure to serve time-for-time will result in a failing grade, and the course must be repeated to earn credit for graduation. Number of absences ___________ Number of tardies _________ [three (3) tardies = 1 absence] Total absences ___________ [five (5) absences are allowed] _________hours of time-for-time owed. ______________________________________
Student signature/date to signify notification of Time-for-Time Status

The following student _______________________________________ has been notified of the need to serve time for time to successfully complete this course. This student is in my ______ period class, during the ________________ semester. Failure to serve time-for-time will result in a failing grade, and the course must be repeated to earn credit for graduation. Number of absences ___________ Number of tardies _________ [three (3) tardies = 1 absence] Total absences ___________ [five (5) absences are allowed] _________hours of time-for-time owed. ______________________________________
Student signature/date to signify notification of Time-for-Time Status

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Item 5

Power Verbs Help Ensure Students’ Test Success
This strategy for improving student test performance is one that Larry Bell includes in his book Twelve Powerful Words That Increase Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap. In my experience I have often found that students will miss questions on a test not because they don’t know the answer but because the test vernacular was different from what they were accustomed to on tests their teachers gave. That awareness has led me to create a list of 12 “Power Verbs” that, when students know them, can make powerful differences in test scores. The 12 words are often seen on standardized tests but they are not normally used or discussed by classroom teachers on a daily, or even weekly, basis. It seems unfair to me that students might take the same kinds of tests all year long. They get use to tests that are all true-false questions, or tests that are constructed in any certain way. Then, when the big test comes, those students have to take a test that is very different from tests to which they are accustomed. And then we blame parents for the poor test results. Or the students’ economic situation. Or… But I have found that when you put the same kinds of words -- Power Verbs that empower students and teachers -- on regular teacher assessments as appear on most standardized tests, then you have given students a tool that will vastly improve their chances for success. Many of the at-promise students in your schools are like I was when I was a kid. Neither of my parents finished elementary school. They could not have helped me with some of my homework and some of these power terms. But if a teacher will spend 7 to 10 minutes a day introducing these words, they can have a big impact on test results. If a teacher includes these words on the tests she creates, that can make a big difference. If a teacher models the words in his classroom questioning techniques, he is preparing students to succeed on their tests. If a teacher challenges students to use the power verbs to create test questions of their own, then students’ awareness of and comfort with those words increases. It makes sense to me that it is hard for a student to pass a test if he or she can’t “read” the test. Doesn’t that make sense to you? Many schools I have worked with tell me that their test scores have been very positively impacted because they introduced their students to my 12 Power Verbs. Simply stated, students exposed frequently to the 12 Power Verbs do better on state tests than those who are not as familiar with them. To put it a different way, maybe you can ask yourself this question: How many times did you teach something that you know you taught well? You know your kids understood it, yet on the test day one of your best students raised her hand to ask, “Can you tell me what this question
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means?” You know you can’t answer that question when state tests are in progress, so you know that student doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of getting it right if she can’t even tell you what the question is asking. Let me give you an example: A student runs into a question that says something like - From the passage, what would you infer the author’s point of view to be? A student who doesn’t know what the word infer means is dead in the water. Will it matter how well the teacher taught the material (author’s point of view, in this case)? Will it matter how well the teacher reviewed the concept before the test? What you have here is a classic case of a Power Verb that trips up students. By using my 12 Power Verbs each day, an including them on tests, you can help students achieve success. My book, Twelve Powerful Words That Increase Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap, includes 88 ways in which teachers, administrators, and even parents can introduce and reinforce this vocabulary so students never fear the words and so they will have much more confidence when they sit down to take state tests. These 12 Power Verbs will allow students to start with -- to be familiar with -- some words that normally might confuse and frustrate them so that when they see other words like them they are more likely to tackle them. Every educator should take my 12 words and look around for other “power verbs” that might trip up students in their subject area or at their grade level. They should do something every day to make up for the lack of vocabulary with which many students come to school. My friends, somebody needs you. Larry Bell Copyright © 2007 Education World® 01/03/2007

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Item 6 Power Verb Posters

ANALYZE

take apart

COMPARE

check for likeness

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CONTRAST

check for differences

DESCRIBE

paint a picture with words

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EVALUATE

study and judge

EXPLAIN

make it clear

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FORMULATE

put the parts together

PREDICT Next ?

make an educated guess

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INFER
Shape of the head + Tail = Cat.

draw a conclusion

SUMMARIZE
IMPORTANT

give only the important information

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SUPPORT

give reasons for your answer

TRACE

present facts in a step by step sequence

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Item 7 Sample Homework Quiz (Example) Name: ___________________________________ (H) Pre-Calculus Quiz: Homework/Notebook Chapter5 (10 pts) Directions: Do not open your textbook. Open your notebook and find the following problems. Copy all your work in the space provided. Include the problem, all your solution steps and the answer. No credit will be given for just the answer. Notes Chap. 5 Sec 1 Ex 4b HW Trig Equations Worksheet (Verifying Trig Identities) Problem # 1 HW p. 324 # 7 HW Trig Equations Worksheet (Magic Squares) Problem # 2

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Item 8 25 Tips for Successful Parent Conferences Working for a Common Goal: Academic Success Communicating with parents is one of the most important things we do as teachers. When we can work together with a child’s parents toward common goals, we improve the atmosphere for learning. Most successful teacher-parent teams begin with a conference, usually one conducted before there’s a real need to meet. Of course, while parent conferences can be one of the most helpful techniques in a teacher’s “bag of tricks,” we also know that sometimes they can be a discouraging waste of time -- or even turn into ugly confrontations. Here are some tips to help make your parent conferences productive and successful: 1. Invite both parents Encourage both parents to attend conferences when possible. Misunderstandings are less common if both parents hear what you have to say and they'll be able to gauge the kind of support both parents give the child. Remember that both mother and father may not be available. Increasing numbers of Kansas children live in single-parent homes. Even with two parents, both parents often work outside the home. 2. Make contact early You'll get your relationship with parents off to a good start if you contact them early in the year, perhaps with a memo or newsletter sent home to all pupils. Give parents an outline of what their children will be studying, and let them know you’ll be happy to meet with them, and how and when they may contact you for conferences. 3. Allow enough time Schedule plenty of time for the meeting. Twenty to thirty minutes is usually adequate. If you’re scheduling back-to-back conferences, be sure to allow enough time between them (10 minutes or so) so you can make necessary notes on the just-conducted conferences and prepare for the upcoming one. 4. Be ready for questions Parents may have specific questions. They’re likely to ask: • What is my child’s ability level? • Is my child working up to his/her ability level? • How is my child doing in specific subjects? • Does my child cause any trouble? • Does my child have any specific skills or abilities in schoolwork? 5. Plan – Get your papers organized in advance Assemble your grade book, test papers, samples of the student’s work, attendance records and other pertinent data ahead of time. Have in mind a general but flexible outline of what you're going to say, including a survey of student progress, a review of his or her strengths and needs, and proposed plan of action. 6. Greet parents near the entrance they’ll use You'll alleviate anxiety and frustration and make parents feel more welcome.
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7. Get the name right Don’t assume that Jennifer Peabody’s mother is Mrs. Peabody. She could well have been married again since Jennifer was born. Check your records ahead of time to make sure you’ve got the parents’ names right. And don’t assume that the wrinkled gray-haired gentleman coming in with Johnny is his grandfather. It could be his father or an uncle. Politely ask. Double check names so you don’t talk to the Smiths about their son “Stan” when their son’s name is “Steve.” 8. Avoid physical barriers Don’t sit behind your desk or force the parents to squeeze into the children’s desks on the front row. Arrange conference table seating, if possible, so you’ll all be equals together. 9. Open on a positive note Begin conferences on a warm, positive note to keep everyone relaxed. Start with a positive statement about the child’s abilities, work or interests. 10. Structure the session As soon as the parents arrive, review the structure of the conference -- the why, what, how and when -- so you’ll both have an “agenda.” (Remember, of course, that parents often come with their own agendas or questions they want answered, so you’ll have to be flexible.) 11. Be specific in your comments Parents may flounder if you deal only in generalities. Instead of saying “She doesn’t accept responsibility,” pin down the problem by pointing out “Amanda had a whole week to finish up her book report, but she only wrote two paragraphs.” 12. Offer a suggested course of action Parents appreciate being given some specific direction. If Jane is immature, it might be helpful to suggest that her parents give her a list of weekly chores, allow her to take care of a pet or give her a notebook to write down assignments. (Of course, when you offer advice, let parents know you’re only making a suggestion.) 13. Forget the jargon Education jargon phrases like “criterion referenced testing,” “perceptual skills” and “least restrictive environment” may be just too much double-talk to many parents. 14. Turn the other cheek It is unusual to run into parents who are abusive and hostile, but it can happen. Try not to be rude, regardless of how you may be provoked. Hear out the parents in as pleasant a manner as possible, without getting defensive. If the situation is threatening or you begin to feel uncomfortable, end the conference immediately or call for assistance. 15. Ask for parents’ opinions Let parents know you’re interested in their opinions, are eager to answer their questions and want to work with them throughout the year to help make their child’s education the best. Confirm that you want to work together in the best interests of the child.
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16. Focus on strengths It’s very easy for parents to feel defensive, since many of them see themselves in their children. You’ll help if you review the child’s strengths, solutions and areas of need, rather than dwelling on criticism or stressing weaknesses. 17. Use body language Nonverbal cues set the mood of the conference. Smile, nod, make eye contact and lean forward slightly. You’ll be using your body’s language to let parents know you’re interested and approving. 18. Listen to what parents say Despite the fact we spend nearly a third of our lives listening, most adults are poor listeners. We concentrate on what we’re going to say next, or we let our minds drift off to other concerns, or we hear only part of what a speaker is saying. You’ll get more out of a parent conference if you really listen to what parents are saying to you. 19. Ask about the child You don’t want to pry, of course, but remember to ask parents if there is anything they think you should know about (such as study habits, relationships with siblings, any important events in his or her life) which may affect his or her schoolwork. 20. Don’t judge It may not always be possible to react neutrally to what parents say — their values may be very different from yours. Your judgment of parents’ attitudes or behaviors can be a roadblock to a productive relationship with them. 21. Summarize Before the conference ends, summarize the discussion and what actions you and the parents have decided to take. 22. Wind up on a positive note When you can, save at least one encouraging comment or positive statement about the student for the end of the conference. 23. Meet again if you need to If you feel you need more time, arrange another meeting later rather than trying to rush everything before the kids get back from art class. 24. Keep a record of the conference You may find it helpful later to have a brief record of what was said at the conference, what suggestions for improvement were made and so forth. Make notes as soon as possible after the conference while details are fresh. 25. Keep confidences Parents will tell you information they would not share with anyone else. Do not share “amusing” stories about the student’s family with family or colleagues. Your funny story could cause pain to those you have tried most to encourage.

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OHS---Parent/Teacher Conferences Date_____________ Student____________________

Those Present: 1. ___________________________________ 3. ___________________________________ 5. ___________________________________

2. ______________________________ 4. ______________________________ 6. ______________________________

Student/Parent Concerns: 1. ___________________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________________________________ 4. ___________________________________________________________________________ 5. ___________________________________________________________________________ Teacher Concerns: 1. ___________________________________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________________________________ Plan of Action: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Student Signature ________________________________________________________ Parent Signature ________________________________________________________ Teacher Signature ________________________________________________________

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YOU MAY WANT TO ASK THE PARENTS: 1. What are the student's spare time activities? Reading? Music? Socializing? Writing? 2. What examples the parents see at home of the student’s progress or learning at school? 3. What does the student say about school? The Teacher? Other students? Learning? 4. What chores or responsibilities does the student have at home? 5. Who does the student spend time with at home? In the neighborhood? 6. Are there recent or past events in the student's family which may impact readiness to learn? 7. What do you find to be the most effective discipline for the student at home? 8. What are the child's strengths? Weaknesses? How do the parents hope the child can grow? YOU MAY WANT TO TELL THE PARENTS: 1. The ways that the student participates in class and in which kinds of activities. 2. The degree of self-control the student exhibits and ways all can encourage this development. 3. How the child is accepted by and interacts with other students and other adults. 4. The ability of the student to handle grade level expectations, materials and assignments. 5. The subjects or topics in which the student has shown interest. 6. The ability of the child to express thoughts orally, in written or aesthetic forms. 7. The student's emotional "position" at school. Usually happy? Serious and intent? Lonely? 8. What should the teacher know to be effective in helping the student? What can

parents do?
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Item 9

MOTIVATING STUDENTS: 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR TEACHERS
By Lana Becker and Kent N. Schneider, East Tennessee State University becker@etsu.edu or kent@etsu.edu Reprinted from The Teaching Professor by permission from Magna Publications, Inc., Madison, Wis. www.magnapubs.com. Subscriptions and submissions at custserv@magnapubs.com August/September 2004 Principles of Accounting has the reputation of being a "hard and boring" course. It is difficult to motivate students to invest the time and effort necessary to succeed in the course. To meet this challenge, we have assembled a list of eight simple rules for keeping students focused and motivated. These rules are not original, and they aren't just for those of us who teach accounting classes. Indeed, most of these time-honored suggestions apply to any course students find hard and boring, and we think that makes them broadly applicable. Rule 1: Emphasize the most critical concepts continuously. Reiterate these concepts in lectures and assignments throughout the course. Include questions relating to these critical subjects on every exam, thus rewarding students for learning, retaining, and, hopefully, applying this knowledge in a variety of contexts. Rule 2: Provide students with a "visual aid" when possible to explain abstract concepts. A significant proportion of today's students are visual learners. For these students, a simple diagram or flowchart truly can be more valuable than a thousand words in a text or a lecture. Rule 3: Rely on logic when applicable. Point out to students which information is merely "fact" that must be memorized and which course material is based upon "logic." Show students how to employ logical thinking to learn and retain new information. For example, in the double-entry bookkeeping system, "debits" equal "credits," and debit entries cause assets to increase. These are "facts" or features of the system; they are not based on logic. However, once the student accepts the system, logic can be used to operate within the system. Continuing the example, if debit entries increase assets, it is logical that credit entries will cause assets to decrease. Rule 4: Use in-class activities to reinforce newly presented material. After a new concept or subject has been presented via text reading, lecture, or class discussion, allow the students to put the concept into action by completing an in-class assignment. These assignments can be short, but they must be developed to ensure that the students understand the critical concepts
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underlying the new material. Typically, the most learning takes place when the students are permitted to work in small groups, to refer to their text and notes, and to ask questions of the instructor while completing the assignment. If these in-class assignments are part of the course grading scheme, class attendance also improves. Rule 5: Help students create a link when teaching something new. If the student can link the new material to something already learned, the odds of learning the new material are greatly increased. Examples of possible links include: prior material learned in this course (e.g., the critical concepts described in Rule 1), material learned in prerequisite courses, and real-life experiences of the students outside the classroom. Rule 6: Recognize the importance of vocabulary in a course. Students often struggle with new vocabulary in many courses, especially introductory ones. To succeed in these courses, students must become comfortable with the new terminology. As subjects are presented, new and/or confusing terms should be identified and introduced to the students. Present real-world definitions and alternative terminology, in addition to textbook definitions. One way to help students assimilate the course vocabulary is to create a living glossary on the instructor website where new terminology is added, explained, and illustrated throughout the course. Rule 7: Treat students with respect. Patronizing behavior may be expected in primary school teachers, and drill sergeant strategies may be effective in military book camps. However, most college student will not respond well to these techniques. Give students their dignity, and they will give you their best efforts. Rule 8: Hold students to a high standard. If students are not required to maintain a specified level of learning and performance, only the most highly motivated students will devote the time and effort necessary to learn. In contrast, maintaining high standards not only will motivate student learning, it will also be the source of student feelings of accomplishment when those standards are met.

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Item 10

Interview: Richard Lerner

The Tufts University developmental scientist challenges the myth of the troubled adolescent in his new book, "The Good Teen" • By Eric Jaffe • Smithsonian magazine, September 2007 How did teenagers get such a bad rap? You can go back to the time of the Greeks and find teenagers causing problems. The scientific study of adolescence began in 1904, with G. Stanley Hall, one of the leading psychologists in the United States. Hall believed that all of our ancestral adult stages were compressed into a single life span, and that adolescence was the period when we went from being beast-like to civilized. He started adolescents off with this perception that they were biologically constrained to be in "storm and stress"—his phrase. For most of the 20th century, people used this model not only to study adolescents but describe them, to talk about them as dangerous to others. When did people start shifting their thinking? As early as the 1960s research began to show that only a small minority of the pathways through adolescence were characterized by storm and stress. But even today, if you ask typical parents why their kids are doing well, they say, "They're not taking drugs, they're not engaged in unsafe sex, they're not drinking alcohol, they're not engaged in crime." We all too often define young people as being positive because of what they're not doing. That's a very dispiriting message. Tell us about the "5 C's." The 5 C's are competence—not just academic but social, vocational and health competence. Confidence. Then character, that it's fundamentally important to do what's right. Connection, or working collaboratively with parents, peers, siblings, teachers, coaches. Finally, caring, a sense of compassion or social justice. How do we foster these? Through programs that embrace three characteristics: sustained relationships between adults and young people, teaching knowledge and skills to navigate the world and—this can be the most difficult—allowing kids to use those skills in valued community and family activities. Let your kids plan family vacations with you. Let them help set the menu for dinner. Or, if the parents give resources to charity, let young people help make that decision. And even though school administrators wince when I say this, let young people be on school boards. Let them sit on the Chamber of Commerce. Can we take what we know about "positive youth development" and implement it anywhere to anyone? The rule in human development, though it took a long time to recognize, is diversity. Every person is different, even monozygotic twins. No two people are in same place at the same time across their lives. You meet
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Al Gore at a presentation of An Inconvenient Truth and you sell your Jeep and buy a Honda hybrid, which is what I did. My neighbor didn't, and he still drives an SUV. We all come to any after-school program, any educational program with a different history. Where you are will depend on how far you can go. But the fact of the matter is, humans retain plasticity [the ability to change] across all their decades. There really is no young person that can't be improved. How much can they be improved? In what areas? How greatly they can be facilitated? That depends on a host of individual differences. But there is no young person who, in principle, cannot be enhanced. How come some kids with these good characteristics still engage in problem behaviors? The reason is, there are multiple determinants of behavior. The most popular activity kids engage in is sports. In sports you might get a message of competition: the only way you win is by your opponent losing. However, in youth development programs you get quite a different message of cooperation and collaboration. If a kid is engaged in sports and youth development programs at ten years old, he might be a little confused by these two messages. Isn't a bit of rebellion OK? Is some testing of limits good? Well, yes. Kids need to know how to deal with failure or blocked goals. What can be done to reverse the myth of the bad teen in the mind of the general public? Policy makers get re-elected by decreasing crime in their district, by lowering teen-pregnancy rates, not by promoting confidence in young people. People tell me all the time, the only way to change policy in this country is to give a politician a problem they can solve. I'm saying there are not just problems, there are possibilities of positive characteristics in kids. That won’t change unless members of our communities begin saying to politicians, yes, we want to prevent, but what are we doing to promote? Can you sum up your findings in one sentence? The capacity for young people to develop in positive ways, and to make important differences to themselves and others, is phenomenal. What kind of adolescent wants to grow up and study adolescence? No one's asked me that, ever. I always wanted to be someone working with young people. I thought I would be a phys-ed teacher and a track coach. Then I went to Hunter College in the Bronx, which is now Lehman College. I didn't fit in as a phys-ed major. I went home one night with the college bulletin—I lived in Brooklyn and had an hour-and-forty-minute train ride. I was looking through the bulletin, it said: art, biology, anthropology. Then I get to psychology, and it said, the psychology of personality. I'm 17 years old. I go, hey, I have a good personality. It said, social psychology. Hey, I like parties. It said, the psychology of sex. Wow, that I know I like. I came in the next day, went to the registration and said I’m declaring as psychology major. And that was it.

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Item 11 6+1 Trait ® Writing Rubric

Name: ________________________________________________________ Description: 6+1 Trait ® is the property of Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Used by permission. 5
Ideas Key Question: Did the writer stay focused and share original and fresh information or perspective about this topic? This paper is clear and focused. It holds the reader's attention. Relevant details and quotes enrich the central theme.

3
The writer is beginning to define the topic, even though development is still basic or general.

1
As yet, the paper has no clear sense of purpose or central theme. To extract meaning from the text, the reader must make inferences based on sketchy or missing details. The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details, or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion; there is no identifiable internal structure. The writer seems indifferent, uninvolved, or distanced from the topic and/or the audience.

Organization Key Question: Does the organizational structure enhance the ideas and make it easier to understand?

The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or theme. The order, structure, or presentation of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text.

The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion.

Voice Key Question: Would you keep reading this piece if it were longer? MUCH longer?

The writer speaks directly to the reader in a way that is individual, compelling, and engaging. The writer crafts the writing with an awareness and respect for the audience and the purpose for writing. Words convey the intended message in a precise, interesting, and natural way. The words are powerful and engaging. The writing has an easy flow, rhythm, and cadence. Sentences are well built, with strong and varied structure that invites expressive oral reading. The writer demonstrates a good grasp of standard writing conventions (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, paragraphing) and uses conventions effectively to enhance readability. Errors tend to be so few that just minor touchups would get this piece ready to publish.

The writer seems sincere but not fully engaged or involved. The result is pleasant or even personable, but not compelling. The language is functional, even if it lacks much energy. It is easy to figure out the writer's meaning on a general level. The text hums along with a steady beat, but tends to be more pleasant or businesslike than musical, more mechanical than fluid. The writer shows reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions. Conventions are sometimes handled well and enhance readability; at other times, errors are distracting and impair readability.

Word Choice Key Question: Do the words and phrases create vivid pictures and linger in your mind? Sentence Fluency Key Question: Can you Feel the words and phrases flow together as you read it aloud? Conventions Key Question: How much editing would have to be done to be ready to share with an outside source? 1 – exhaustive, 2 – Extensive, 3 – Moderate, 4-5 – Very Little

The writer struggles with a limited vocabulary, searching for words to convey meaning. The reader has to practice quite a bit in order to give this paper a fair interpretive reading. Errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage, and grammar and/or paragraphing repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.

Presentation

The form and presentation of The writer's message is the text enhances the ability understandable in this for the reader to understand format. and connect with the message. It is pleasing to the eye.

The reader receives a garbled message due to problems relating to the presentation of the text.

A service of the Utah Education Network Comments, e-mail: resources@uen.org

Item 12

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Substitute Guide
OHS
Teacher’s name: _________________ Date of absence:_________________ Teacher’s schedule and room assignment: Block 1: ____________________ Block 2: ____________________ Owl Time: ____________________

Block 3: ____________________ Lunch: ____________________ Block 4: ____________________

Agenda (please write this on the board for students to see) _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Notes to the Substitute: _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________ Reliable students: Block 1: Block 2: Block 3: Block 4: Teachers who can help:

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Attendance Procedures: _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________ Location of Seating Chart: ___________________________________ (See reverse side) Dear Substitute Teacher: I am very grateful that you have agreed to cover my classes. I have very high expectations for all of my students. We normally have a well-disciplined learning environment. Students stay in their assigned seats and complete assignments as directed. Please leave detailed notes on how each class met these expectations. Thank you and have a great day at Ooltewah High School. Kim Cooper BLOCK 1:

BLOCK 2:

BLOCK 3:

BLOCK 4:

Owl Time (Activity Period):

Additional information I need to know:

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Item 13

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Item 14

Giving Presentations
Body Language- what you say without speaking

Head
• • • EYE CONTACT is the most important Do not mess with your hair or nose No gum Use some gestures, not theatrical, just natural Use your visual aid (it is an AIDI!) Professional Dress-tuck in your shirt, etc Don’t fidget Hands and arms: with and without notes, speaking or not • • Don’t move around, well, maybe a little Don’t lock your knees Stand tall Shoulders back Chin up DO NOT LEAN on anything No hands in pockets

Torso
• • • • •

Legs Posture
• • • • •

Voice- the sounds that are actually made by your mouth
What you say • Watch for vocalized pauses (is it a word or a grunt?) • Use language you are comfortable with • E-NUN-CE-ATE • Transition between partners or topics How you say it • Not too slow, not too fast • Move your lips = no mumbling • Loud enough for everyone to hear • Smile! Random tips: Try to be interesting…give a presentation that you would want to listen to. Take a deep breath and keep going… we all mess up! Practice the day before…the order, the words, the technology

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Item 15

How To Make a Poster in Excel
Use Excel and Follow these easy steps: Following these steps will create a poster which will be as wide as two pieces of paper and as long as two pieces of paper. You will create it using Excel and after printing it simply assemble the 4 sheets into one great poster! Easy Steps: 1. Open Microsoft Excel. 2. Go to FILE on the menu bar and choose PAGE SETUP. 3. At the Page Setup Screen, Page Tab, select SCALING and set it to 200%

4. Now select the MARGINS Tab and change all Margins to .5 and the Header and Footer to zero and Click OK.

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5. Now you will see the Excel worksheet. Remember 4 rectangles mean 4 printed pages. (See highlighted blue area)

6. Begin making your poster - you can add text, graphics and all the usual Microsoft Office Tools (like word art, clip art and even other objects)
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7. When you are done with your poster, save it and print. It will print on several sheets and you will simply trim as needed and glue together.

No need to buy a poster printer - this will work for many purposes... how about instructions for centers or specific programs, students can create motivational posters (choose quotes and illustrate and print), share student electronic projects, and so on!

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Item 16

DAILY
MONTH
DATE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 DAY

LOG

STUDENT: _________________ BLOCK: _____ O F : _____________________________

Item 17

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Dale's Cone of Active Learning
Dale's Cone diagrams effectiveness of learning according to the media involved in learning experiences. The chart illustrates the results of research conducted by Edgar Dale in the 1960s. According to Dale's research, the least effective method, the top of the cone, involves learning from information presented through verbal symbols, i.e., listening to spoken words. The most effective method, the bottom of the cone, involves direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experiences.

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Item 18 Zone 1: REMEMBERING
(Recall or recognition of specific information) Key Verbs – tell, list, describe, relate, locate, write, find, state, name, identify, label, recall, define, recognize, match, reproduce, memorize, select, recite, draw

Zone 5: EVALUATING
(Judging the value of ideas, materials, and methods by developing and applying standards and criteria) Key Verbs – judge, select, decide, justify, argue, debate, verify, recommend, assess, discuss, rate, prioritize, critique, evaluate, defend

Zone 2: UNDERSTANDING
(Grasp of given information) Key Verbs – explain, convert, interpret, outline, discuss, distinguish, predict, restate, translate, compare, describe, relate, generalize, summarize, put in your own words, paraphrase, demonstrate, visualize, find out more about

Zone 6: CREATING
(Putting together ideas or elements to develop an original idea or engage in creative thinking) Key Verbs – create, invent, compose, predict, construct, design, imagine, propose, devise, formulate, hypothesize, originate

(Using strategies, concepts, principles, and theories in new situations) Key Verbs – solve, show, use, illustrate, construct, complete, examine, classify, choose, interpret, make, change, apply, produce, calculate, manipulate, modify

Zone 3: APPLYING

Zone 4: ANALYSING
(Breaking information down into a story of your own Writeits component parts) Key of your vocabulary using allVerbs – analyze, distinguish, examine, compare, words. Add an illustration contrast, investigate, when you are done. categorize, identify, explain, separate, advertise, take apart, differentiate, Page 102 of 108 subdivide, deduce

OHS Best Practice Teacher Tips Volume 2

Item 19

I Have…Who Has… Template
I Have… I Have…

I Have…

Who Has…

Who Has…

Who Has…

I Have…

I Have…

I Have…

Who Has…

Who Has…

Who Has…

I Have…

I Have…

I Have…

Who Has…

Who Has…

Who Has…

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Item 20

Ooltewah Professional Learning Community Problem Solving Strategies List

1. 2. 3.

Use a graphic organizer Sketch a picture Read the end of the problem first, and then work backwards 4. Look for clue words 5. Validate your answer with peers (Cooperative Learning) 6. Re-read the problem 7. Assign symbols to give facts 8. Determine what you know and what is unknown 9. Identify important info vs. distracters and eliminate these 10. Identify variables that can lead to doubt 11. Use simple arithmetic 12. Number line 13. Visualizing 14. Cooperative Learning 15. Underline key words 16. Estimate 17. Assumptions 18. Look for “gaps” in information 19. Check answer 20. Use previous knowledge 21. Ask questions 22. Code the text 23. Underline the question
It is our goal that you can use this strategies list in your classroom when working on difficult problem-solving with your students. As we all know, sometimes, the answer isn’t as important as the value of the process. 

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Item 21

Shared Inquiry
What I agreed with…

Key Details in Text (to support opinions)

What I disagreed with…

What I still have questions about…

Factual Question

Interpretive Question

Evaluative Question

Post Reading Answer

Post Reading Answer

Post Reading Answer

Post Shared Inquiry Answer

Post Shared Inquiry Answer

Post Shared Inquiry Answer

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Item 22

Oral Presentation Skills A Practical Guide

Adapted from a handout written by C. Storz and the English Language Teachers of the Institut National de télécommunications, Evry France. I. Preparation and Planning A. Who is my audience and what is my goal? B. What equipment will I need? II. Structure of an Oral Presentation A. The Beginning or the Introduction 1. Get the audience’s attention and signal the beginning 2. Greet the audience and introduce yourself 3. Give the title and introduce the subject and objective 4. Indicate when questions from the audience will be fielded 5. Make a transition between the introduction and the body B. The Middle or the Body 1. What will I talk about? 2. How in depth should I go with my information? 3. How do I plan to arrange my ideas/points? (sequential, logical…) 4. How will I keep the audience’s attention? C. The End or Conclusion 1. Content 2. Dealing with difficult questions 3. Summary of part 2

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III. Visuals A. What media will you use? B. What should you put on a visual? C. Text to put on a visual including size, layout, font and size, and colors D. How many visuals should you use? E. How should you present a visual in a presentation? IV. Creating Interest and Establishing a Relationship with the Audience A. Give unusual facts or statistics B. Audience participation C. Use a variety of media D. Ask rhetorical questions E. Emphasize/Highlight important items V. Body Language A. Why is body language useful? B. Exhibit positive body language C. Avoid negative body language VI. Voice and Pronunciation A. What is pronunciation? B. Use your voice and inflections to create meaning, importance and atmosphere

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Index By Author
Agan 55 Army ROTC Dept. 29 Athey 28, 31 Bates 5, 16, 31 Bean 31 Behling 48 Blassingame 5, 16, 55 Bledsoe 28 Blough 31 Bothman 16 Briggs 5, 31 Buchanan 31-32 Bush 5, 32 Carpenter 25, 28, 48 Carpenter, J. 32 Cates 5 Chilcoat 5, 16 Claborn 32, 33 Clavin 33 Cline 5-6 Coggin 33 Collins 6, 16-17, 34 Cook 6, 55 Cooper 17, 55 Curtis 17, 34 Delaune 55 Denton 6-7, 35 Eaves 7, 55 Farley 7 Franks 7 Fuller 7, 17 Gamble 35 Gatewood 7 Gentry 35 Hadden 7, 35, 55 Hamrick 25 Haupt 17, 35 Henson 28 Hernandez 7-8 Hollingsworth 35 Hughes 8, 48 Hunt 8 Hutsell 35 Ingle 17, 55 Jackson 35-36 James 55-56 Jarvis 28 Kelehear 17 Kelley 8-9, 28 Lemon 9 Lyons 36 Mann 9, 18-19, 25, 26, 28-29, 36-37, 48-49, 56 Maupin 56 McGuirt 37 McIntyre 49 Miller 48-49 Moorhouse 19-20 Moses 20 Murray 20, 37-38 Myers 26 Myhan 56 Naylor 56 Nelson 38 Ohnemus 9 OHS Staff 9-12, 20-22, 38-43, 50-52 Ooltewah Professional Learning Community 12 Peck 22 Peterson 53, 57 Phillips 12, 43, 53, 56 Pickering 29 Pickett 22, 43 Pitts 12-13 Reed 26 Reynolds 56 Rice 53, 57 Ricketts 44 Rogers 57 Rox 57-60 Sampley 44, 60 Sandusky 26, 44 Seebach 45 Silva 13, 53 Slack 44 Sloan 53 Smith, M. 23 Smith, W. 44-45 Substitute Teacher 60 Turner 13, 23, 45, 53 Van Prooyen 26 Veenstra 45 Weathers 23 Webster 13, 23 Wellness Teachers 45 Whitener 13 Williams 14, 29 Wilson 45 Wiram 45-46 Wood 23 Wright 46

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