Teaching Tips

This is an ongoing list of teaching tips and information I plan to add on to periodically.

  • For teaching elementary students reading it may help ask them “What if…?” questions while reading the text. With later information they may revise their answers. Also comparing an abridged version to an unabridged version to see if abridged version left out any scenes or character elaborations. Ask them questions such as “What do you think Anne of Green Gables would do in this situation?” or “How would his mother feel or react if she knew this right now?” Have them come up with their own endings. (source: “You Gotta Be the Book” notes, not sure of the page)
  • Heart.org/handsonlycpr has a 60-second video to learn how to save a life. Most teachers are required to take a CPR class every year and the American Heart Association has some great CPR and First Aid resources.
  • Vary assignments from individual to small group to whole class.
  • Routines are good for substitutes.
  • Plan work for when students finish ahead of time, it is good classroom management.
  • Try learning centers.
  • Be familiar with students and, of course, the material you are teaching them. Know students are at different levels and make accommodations. Use checklists and benchmarks
  • Recommend books to students and know books in the library and ones you are presenting.
  • When teaching reading to children and read and write alouds. Teach comprehension skills and see if they are overlooking context. Children benefit from being taught vocabulary, context, repetition. Pay attention to they way the children are speaking.
  • For teaching reading to children you can type an Internet search for “Letter Identification Score Sheet”  It should include an area for the test score, confusions, letters, unknown, comments and the recording key (alphabet name response(A), letter sound response (S) incorrect response (IR record what child says).
  • aim to incorporate different learning styles in every lesson. For instance, in a spelling lesson for those that learn well with movement (kinesthetic learners) have students come to front of the class and throw a small toy basketball into a hoop after a correct response. The correct spelling could be written on the board for visual learners. A quick internet search on learning styles brings up good info and sites such as learning-styles-online.com.
  • Reading instructors of the lower elementary level should use and be familiar with sight words or simple common words.
  • Use varied teaching/learning approaches. Provide teaching strategy diversity. Make it exciting, meaningful. Over 25% of young adults prefer the kinesthetic learning style and only 6-7% of teachers prefer it. Incorporate physical movement in learning.
  • Create a “real life” curricula, it ‘hooks’ young adults when it ties into real life.
  • Use activities that facilitate self-understaning. Search for opportunities to explore themselves, psychosical.
  • The arts are needed, but are typically the first subjects cut. Include the arts in lessons, especially areas that promote self-expression for young adults.
  • Any change have, provide young adults with choice in projects/activities.
  • Create a challenging but not overwhelming academic program (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development)
  • Provide ‘safe’ opportunities for hypothetical thinking. Do not allow young adults to be laughed or ridiculed at by peers/teachers.
  • Checklists and rubrics are good assessment tools for middle schoolers. Some rubrics allow for a comments section for each part of the activity.

Did you know…?

  • Some teachers will tell you “Good teachers beg, borrow, and steal” meaning no one is able to make up every lesson from scratch, they watch and ask for info from lessons from other teachers and use multiple resources and worksheets from other sources
  • The National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a “Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children” and a “Teaching Tolerance Project.” The Anti-Bias Curriculum found by age two children are aware of gender differences and between three and five try to figure their identity in gender and skin color and by four or five engage in gender defined roles and racially select friends
  • The American Association of University Women (AAUW) in an Education Week article found in 1998 boys still tend to out score girls in math and science on exams such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
  • You can view websites in languages that use other alphabets on a personal computer by changing the control panel settings to allow for multilanguage support. The control panel should also be able to tell you how many fonts you have and to allow you to add new fonts.
  • Some computer games can be educational and can promote puzzle solving skills and strategic thinking. There is a Mensa for Kids with games. Other game sites include Interplay, Logitech, iD Software, Westwood, Microsoft, Soleau Software, NiceTime Entertainment, Argos Gameware, Broderbund and many more. You can try to solve the Rubik’s cube virtually at http://www.npac.syr.edu/projects/java/magic/. There is an ArcadeGamesOnline.com and GZKidZone.com offers reviews of games for parents. Some other sites include freegamesonline.com and free-gaming.com (has puzzles) and chesslab.com
  • As for learning a foreign language it is probably best if you  took lessons since a young child, but it is still possible to learn as an adult. Stick with one language until you reach at least the upper intermediate level. Studying a language is great and as many benefits such as memory improvement and there are people successfully learning foreign languages at forty years old and older. It would probably take at least five years of intense learning until a proficient level is reached. It is a myth older adults cannot learn a foreign language.

Teaching Textbooks – many of the websites and readings and tips are from notes and textbooks listed below from my days as an elementary education major

  1. Classroom Teaching Skills (Special Eighth Edition, James M. Cooper General Editor Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, New York Copyright 2006)
  2. American Education (12th Edition, Joel Spring, Queens College, City University of New York, McGraw-Hill, Copyright 2006) http://www.mhhe.com/springae12e for student resources
  3. “You Gotta BE the Book” Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm Foreword by Michael W. Smith, Teachers College Press Copyright 1997 Columbia University
  4. American Red Cross: First Aid Responding to Emergencies Forth Edition (redcross.org) Copyright (C) 2005 by The American National Red Cross Printed in the United States of American Say Well (R) A MediMedia Yardley, PA USA Company Composition by Graphic World Printing/Binding by Banta Book Group shopstaywell.com
  5. Strategies That WorkTeaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding (Stephanie Harvey & Anne Goudvis (c) 2000 Stenhouse Publishers http://www.stenhouse.com
  6. Crossing Over To the Middle: Becoming an Effective Teaching of Young Adolescents (Third Edition, Illinois State University, College of Education, Douglas Hatch, Vicky Morgan, and Gary Weilbacher Pearson Custom Publishing (C) 2007 ISBN 0-536-43082-9
  7. Literacy Assessment: Helping Teachers Plan Instruction (David J. Cooper and Nancy D. Kiger 2005 Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company)

Professional Educational Organizations

  1. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  2. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  3. American Educational Research Association
  4. American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  5. American School Counselor Association
  6. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  7. American Vocational Association
  8. Association for Childhood Education International
  9. Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities
  10. Association for Educational Communications and Technology
  11. Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) http://www.nmsa.org http://www.amle.org
  12. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  13. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
  14. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  15. Home Economics Association
  16. International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education
  17. International Educational Resource Network
  18. International Reading Association
  19. International Society for Technology Education (ISTE): http://www.iste.org journals on education and technology
  20. Kappa Delta Pi (KDP)
  21. Lutheran Education Association
  22. Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
  23. National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)
  24. National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)
  25. National Association for Core Curriculum
  26. National Association for Gifted Children
  27. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  28. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  29. National Association of State Boards of Education
  30. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
  31. National Business Education Association
  32. National Catholic Education Association
  33. National Center for Education Statistics
  34. National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE): http://www.ncee.org standards-based reform
  35. National Council for the Social Studies: http://www.socialstudies.org/resources
  36. National Council of Teachers of English: ww.ncte.org
  37. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  38. National Middle School Association (NMSA)
  39. National Rural Education Association (NREA)
  40. Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)
  41. Reading is Fundamental (RIF)
  42. Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  43. The National Center for Research on Evaluation Standards and Student Testing: http://cresst96.cse.ucla.edu
  44. West Virginia Federation of Teachers
  45. And Many More! MastersInEducationGuide.com has a good list. Join one and go to the meetings.

Published by SewIsabel

Spare-time aspiring fiber artist, gardener, beekeeper and sew much more! Author of SewIsabel.com.

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