Teaching Tips

38 weeks 2 days ago
We at DSC believe that building relationships and establishing a sense of community in the classroom are essential so that the hard work of learning and real student engagement can take hold. It’s that front-loading that pays dividends for months to come.Because the start of the year sets expectations and the foundation for everything that follows, we invite you to download and use the... (5)
42 weeks 4 days ago
Kathleen is an intervention teacher in Pinellas County, Florida. She and her colleagues have been strategically providing interventions to third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders. Data analysis revealed some students required explicit instruction and practice with phonics and word study instruction. They grappled with ways to provide this support. Their questions and wonderings led them to explore the... (1)
45 weeks 3 days ago
All year, your students have developed as writers and have produced lots of writing along the way. They may not have thought much about those early drafts. Bringing them back to where they started and guiding them in reflecting on their progress can help make concrete those skills they have learned. Try this lesson, adapted from the Being a Writer Teacher’s Manual for grade 3. In this...
46 weeks 1 day ago
Whew…the end of the 2013–2014 school year is in sight! Time for us all to catch our breath and celebrate all that our students have accomplished this year. This is also a time for reflection on our teaching and a time for thinking ahead towards the new school year. Because, we all know, teaching is a full-year commitment that goes well beyond our contracted student time. So as we...
46 weeks 4 days ago
Once again I am surprised at the minds of children!Recently, I was surprised with the use of the vocabulary words we had been learning by one kindergartner. We were reviewing vocabulary words after reading the book, Planes. I read about Tara the Tiger, Vets, and Planes to my five- and six-year-olds. We had moved on from the vocabulary words pounce, wild, tame, and assist to land, depart, cargo,... (2)
48 weeks 2 days ago
Supporting teacher learning from year one to year two of implementation has sparked many invigorating conversations. We notice that the first year of an implementation primarily focuses on the teacher learning of the program, materials, and shifts in pedagogy. As teachers become familiar with using the SIPPS program, the focus can then shift from teacher practice to student learning. Below are... (1)
49 weeks 4 days ago
In the last SIPPS tip, I shared ideas to strengthen students’ transfer of letter-sound knowledge. In this post, I tackle the issue of sight words. In my experience with my own readers, I find that some students possess strong phonics skills but struggle to learn sight words. In some cases, my students can correctly recall the word but lack automaticity. In other cases, my students simply... (5)
50 weeks 4 days ago
When first using SIPPS lessons with my readers, my focus and attention went to logistical considerations such as grouping decisions, materials organization, and learning the prompts and cues so that my lessons were fluid and well-paced. After this “settling in” period, most of my questions and reflections focused on one essential question: Are my students transferring the skills they...
51 weeks 2 days ago
Topic Choice in Writing In Best Practices: Bringing Standards to Life in American Classrooms, Fourth Edition, Daniels, Hyde, and Zemelman say, Schooling should be student-centered, taking its cues from young people’s interests, concerns, and questions,…asking kids what they want to learn (pp 10–11). Paul Houston, the author of Giving Wings to Children’s Dreams, says,... (1)
1 year 1 day ago
Is Calling on Hands An Archaic Practice? Many years ago, I can remember long lectures given by my teachers that were only interrupted by the calling on hands to see if anyone knew the correct answer to some question. I also remember being thankful that the same three or four students continually saved us by raising their hands while the rest of us continued to enjoy our day dreams. For today... (3)
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