Blog

Designing Lessons to Build Confidence

By this time in the school year, teachers are no doubt realizing that students want and need structure and direction in their learning. When students experience success early and often, it helps build their confidence. This success depends on well-designed lessons. Because assessment guides this design, teachers focus as much as possible on the goal—on…
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Beliefs About Children

Here’s a metacognitive exercise for teachers and caregivers alike.  Make a list of beliefs you have about children and the teaching of children.  Begin by thinking you will produce a list of at least ten items, and then push yourself to think of as many more as you can.  Often when we push past what…
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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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