Speak Out, Listen Up! Tools for using student perspectives and local data for school improvement - Heidi Erstad, WATG Board Member
This year’s WATG Conference will feature sessions around engaging student voice. This IES document offers guideline for using three tools that educators can use to gather and analyze local data to listen to students on school-related topics or problems:
Download a copy of this document here
Another Ian Byrd super tool! Use the drop-down menus to mix & match SCAMPER skills, thinking skills, literary elements, literature, and products to stretch students’ thinking with creative literature response tasks.
Want to explore? Visit http://byrdseed.com/respondo/
Some students with gifts and talents struggle with learning and attention issues. The Understood.org site was designed for parents, but can also be used by educators to better help understand and navigate learner issues such as attention, organization, time management, social skills, motor skills, and more.
Resources in “Your Parent Toolkit” include, for example, the fascinating “Through Your Child’s Eyes”: simulations and videos to experience firsthand what it’s like to complete tasks when you have trouble focusing or experience other learning / attention obstacles; the practical Tech Finder identifies expert-selected assistive technology targeted toward helping learners manage a range of issues.
Interested? See https://www.understood.org
Richard Cash, a 2017 WATG Conference keynoter, shares the following free resources for classroom teachers seeking to stretch the learning of students:
Interested? See http://www.nrich.consulting/resources.html
A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that British educator Tom Sherrington “think[s] are effective and make life interesting.” These small snippets are good reminders of those solid teaching practices that may have slipped out of our repertoire, e.g. dialogic questions, personal projects, expert knowledge.
Interested? See https://teacherhead.com/2014/05/11/the-pedagogy-postcard-series-all-in-one-place/
MIT’s BLOSSOMS video library has over 100 math and science lessons designed by diverse master teachers from around the world, available at no cost to schools. Each 50-minute interactive lesson mixes video instruction with problem solving and critical thinking activities. Teacher’s guide, handouts and add’l resources provided. Lessons are searchable by CCSS and Next Generation standards. Topic clusters include lessons for Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry Mole, DNA, Environmental Sustainability, Evolution, Newtonian Physics, and Probability, among others.
Interested? See https://blossoms.mit.edu
Teaching Channel Back to School Starter Packs
The Teaching Channel is a GREAT resource for seeing effective teaching and learning in action. To help teachers prepare for the start of school, the Teaching Channel has also developed downloadable checklists organized by grade band to help both new and veteran teachers get off to a good start with Classroom Setup, Lesson and Unit Planning, Class Culture, and Self-Care.
Note that you’ll need to register for a free Teaching Channel account to access this resource.
The Thomas Tallis school in London has developed and published a set of school/teacher-friendly materials to guide instruction and assessment based on the OECD’s document: Progression in Student Creativity in School. This document identified 5 creativity habits of mind: Inquisitive, Collaborative, Persistent, Disciplined, and Imaginative.
The Tallis school’s habits page features posters explaining each habit of mind, a pedagogy wheel, and an assessment wheel to help students reflect on progress in developing their Habits of Mind. The pedagogy toolkit is a particularly rich source for teachers on how to engage students in each habit.
Small cues of connection and inclusion can be powerful ways to communicate to kids that they ‘belong’ in advanced classrooms or programs. These cues are particularly important for populations historically marginalized by advanced learning programs in schools, including students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners, for instance.
PERTS out of Stanford has developed great materials for teachers that provide strategies for promoting belonging, along with other mindset-focused topics, with students. You can access these materials here.
Our 2016 conference keynoter Lisa Van Gemert has a collection of free downloadable resources for teachers. Some examples of resources include:
Have a great free teacher-friendly online resource you want to share? Take a minute now and email your suggestion to email@example.com using subject line TOOLS TO USE TODAY. Please include the name of the resource and the link along with your name and school/district/organization (so that we can credit the suggestion!)
Tools to Use Today
Note: WATG neither endorses nor recommends specific products and programs. This column is for informational purposes only.