I began playing guitar when I was five years old, and a guitar has been a constant companion of mine to this very day. Learning to play guitar provides some great challenges, but it also provides tremendous feedback. Notes are either right or wrong, and you know the status immediately. The guitar allows you to … Continue reading Make Your Classroom Like A Guitar Circle Jam Session
The importance of the adult-child relationship cannot be underestimated. Countless studies point to the conclusion that students who have a positive relationship with at least one adult in the school have higher attendance and achievement levels than those who do not have such a relationship. It’s important to remember that ANY adult – teacher, aide, … Continue reading Relationship-based Learning
We’ve been revisiting the nine research-based high-yield instructional practices identified in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works. As teachers, we know the power of collaboration based upon our PLC successes and based upon the focus we placed on collaboration just a few years ago. According to Marzano and his team, the meta-analysis shows that cooperative learning … Continue reading High Yield Strategy: Cooperative Learning
How important is creativity? It is vitally important. It might save a civilization. Just ask Arnold Toynbee. Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) was a British philosopher and historian of great renown. He taught at King’s College for much of his career, and he studied the rise and fall of civilizations extensively. In 1934 his twelve-volume A Study … Continue reading How Important Is Creativity?
The word “intentional” indicates deliberate and purposeful action. Are there things that you can purposely do in your classroom that will help students perform at higher levels? According to author and researcher Jeff Marshall, the answer is yes. In his book The Highly Effective Teacher: 7 Classroom-Tested Practices That Foster Student Success, Jeff Marshall identifies … Continue reading Intentional Teaching
Have you ever tried to put together a jigsaw puzzle without seeing the picture first? It can be an overwhelming task that is fraught with frustration. Developing a collaborative classroom can sometimes be like that. As teachers, we want to see how collaboration will look. We want a clear visual exemplar of how the tasks … Continue reading How Does Collaboration Look?
If you’re having difficulty getting started with collaborative learning in the classroom, you might consider using the Jigsaw technique developed by Elliot Aronson. He and his students have developed and refined the technique since 1971. The technique relies on creating small groups and making individuals an “expert” within the group. Aronson and his students provide … Continue reading The Jigsaw in the Classroom
If you’re a fan of television sitcoms, you might recall the show “Home Improvement.” The lead character, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, had a penchant seeking out bigger, faster, and stronger tools. His catchphrase was, “More power!” Most of his attempts to upgrade his tools were successful . . . at least a short period … Continue reading Unleash the Power of Cooperative Learning
While classrooms are often filled with student chatter, that chatter is not productive in nature. Teachers must be intentional in their planning for student collaboration. In the article Maximizing Those A-Ha Moments with Intentional Collaboration by Nataki Gregory, four steps for intentional collaboration are identified: Set the purpose – Talk about why it is important … Continue reading Four Steps for Intentional Collaboration
Collaboration within the classroom has been the subject of study for a number of researchers. Of particular interest to teachers are studies that point to effective structures, tasks, and skills that can be addressed in a variety of classrooms. In a 2018 publication titled Learning with Others: A Study Exploring the Relationship Between Collaboration, Personalization, … Continue reading Seven Elements of High-Quality Collaboration