Archive for the ‘Teaching Help’ Category



April 26, 2017

I have mentioned it before, but I highly recommend For $1 per month, you get a very flexible planning calendar that you can automatically share on your teacher webpage. I also use it to make notes on particular lessons and reflect on how those lessons went.


I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but I have notes from previous years as well as reflections from this year. When I set up next year’s classes, I will copy this year and edit/move the reflections to the notes tab.

Also, if several teachers from your school sign up, you get free months! We have 10 teachers using it at my school, so I get an additional 6 months free!


Smart Questions

August 19, 2012

Found at Fast Times of a Middle School Math Teacher (via High Heels in High School):

SMART Questions

  1. I don’t understand ___________ part or step.
  2. I don’t understand ___________ vocabulary word.
  3. Could you repeat ____________ part or step?
  4. How did you get _____________?
  5. Why did you do _____________ (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, etc.)?
  6. What part of the story problem let you know to do that?
  7. What helped you understand that problem (notes, key words, equations, etc.)?
  8. Do you understand how we got this answer?
  9. Where did you get ___________ (side length, page number, note, etc.)?
  10. Could you clarify the problem?
  11. Did we …?

She then printed out these questions and put them on those display holders you see at restaurants, so that students could always see them as they worked in their groups. She said that:

After about a month of using these sentence stems I started to notice that it seems to take a while to find a question. Having 11 different questions is a bit overwhelming. If you think about using this strategy you might want to limit the card to 5 or 6 questions and have the same questions on both sides.

And I agree. I do like the idea of giving kids something to say besides, “I don’t get it,” or “IDK”.


Nuggets From GT Training **Updated**

August 9, 2012

Last week I attended 30 hours of state-mandated GT training. Woo. Fortunately, the presenter was good, and she made it not too unbearable. One thing she did that I appreciated is that she took the first 15 minutes of each day’s session (when people are still trickling in) and shared different web sites that she had found useful.

Content/Lesson Plans Thinkfinity Lesson plans Curriki Curriculum wiki Math Mistakes Wiki Ideas to Inspire Lesson plans, tips Teachers’ Domain PBS Resources

Tools Library of Congress (’nuff said) Stock.XCHNG (stock photo exchange) PhotoFunia (photo editor) (also includes Keep Calm poster maker and Hogwarts Letter) TinEye Labs Multicolor Image Search (search for CC images based on color) Baudv!lle (ecards and calendars) FindSounds (Audio sample search engine) ESC Region XIII’s PDAS page (Good for forms)

Assessment and Assistance

June 18, 2012

From Education Week’s Coach G’s Teaching Tips,

[I]it’s better to assess how all students are doing before you assist any students.


#sbarbook Twitter Feed 8/13/10

August 14, 2010

Read the rest of this entry ?


Building Relationships

July 21, 2010

Ever since my first year of teaching, I have written each of my students a note for Thanksgiving telling them why I am thankful to have him or her as my student (some notes are harder to write than others). When I hand them out, students usually have trouble believing someone would take the time to write so many notes by hand.

What I don’t tell them is that many of the notes are written for me — it changes my attitude toward a kid if I’m having to think of things to be thankful about as opposed to complaining about. It helps me build relationships with the students because I took the time to focus on that student individually.

I’ve occasionally felt I should be doing more of this type of thing–especially since I am always getting new students. I really like what Grace has done, and I’m thinking S and I can do this sort of thing on a regular basis.


SBG Scale

June 3, 2010

I’m swiping this from Matt Townsley:

Each Learning Target is scored using a 4-point scale:
4 – demonstrates thorough understanding
3.5 – high level of understanding, but with small errors
3 – demonstrates understanding, but with significant gaps
2 – shows some understanding, but insufficient for a passing grade
1 – Attempts the problem

He’s also got a post I’m interested in on how to explain all this to parents.