Recent Posts by Donna Miller

Structuring Success

As teachers, we need to structure success for our students.  Building structured success means that we need to anticipate worst-case scenarios while we assume the best about our students.  Being prepared will actually prevent many problems because when we prepare for the worst, we often avoid pitfalls.  Asking what could go wrong allows us to…
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Valued Characteristics

Two years ago, I wrote the following reflection as a way to share with my preservice teachers, a method for inviting students to focus on characteristics/dispositions that we value as teachers—one of which is certainly motivation! If we do this survey on the first day of class, we begin to build relationships while we also…
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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

As a teacher, I bet you didn’t know you were in the CIA: Curriculum is the content, the goals and achievement expectations that will build mental muscle for learners. Instruction is the technique and form, the strategy, and the hands-on learning experiences designed to help the learner meet the goals and expectations. Assessment is the…
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Strategies for Increasing Confidence and Reducing Anxiety on Test Days

Sprinkle the desks with shamrock confetti and call them good luck charms. Sprinkle the desks with glitter and call it magic fairy dust. Give every student a lemon drop and/or simmer lemon oil in a potpourri pot (lemon essential oil promotes focus and clarity). Spritz everyone with lemon scented spray (Lemon balm is an herbal…
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