Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Collective Teacher Efficacy

Quoting John Hattie, "Teachers need to say - I cause learning."

High expectations matter. Teaching is not just about the kids, the resources, the curriculum. We can't just close our doors and teach.  Collective teacher efficacy is part of a big story. It's not a thing just by itself. ~John Hattie

Teachers need to be having collaborative conversations without judgment. We need to bring artifacts and ask each other if this is reasonable growth for 10-12 weeks of learning.

John Hattie does a wonderful job defining collective teacher efficacy in this video.

 I cause learning -- and you do too. What we do matters -- and it matters every single day.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Missing Foundational Skills

I've been creating checklists for students in my RtI group.  My district has us give a Words Their Way spelling test that I wasn't all that excited to give at the beginning of the year, but the data it gave me changed my mindset! If you give an assessment and do nothing with the data, it's simply a waste of time. I linked the spelling test in the document below - it's FREE online through Pearson. It also has directions on how to administer it -- well worth the time to read and learn how to grade. If you give this, please don't teach the students how to spell the words on the list. Then, you'll only be grading how well they memorize. Give it COLD. Then, use the data to adjust your teaching. That's what good teaching is all about. Let me know if you have questions. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

For the LOVE of Reading...

I have a class of good readers, but do they LOVE to read? I've been focusing too much on teaching them HOW to read, but I'm not doing enough to foster their LOVE of reading. Sure, they love to be read TO ... but I want them to WANT to curl up and read instead of wanting to sit in front of a monitor and play a computerized game.

How do we balance everything? 

Recently, I've gone OLD-SCHOOL. :) After 15ish minutes of self-selected reading, we're doing music/mix/meet which is SO easy now that GoNoodle ( has so many fun Zumba and KidsBop songs available. 

When the music stops, students stop. When instructed, students find a partner or trio closest to them. [When you allow trios, no one is left out.] Then, talkers and listeners are assigned. The teacher says something like, "The person closest to the window is the talker." The listener simply has to listen. When instructed, he/she repeats back to the talker what was heard. I generally call on a few to share with the whole class. 

This is so easy to do -- I'm not sure why I ever stopped doing this on a regular basis. It used to be part of my daily routine. It's a great way to mix up the entire class [beyond their small groups], get oxygen to the brain [movement matters], and add some fun into reading time. You can foster the love of reading while teaching some soft skills too! 

What are you doing to foster the LOVE of reading in your classroom? I'd love to hear from you! 

Words Words Words

I love words, and my students do too! One of my favorite ways to teach word work is by having students go on scavenger hunts to find words. They also like to brainstorm in groups.

Padlet is one of the easiest ways to organize these hunts/brainstorms. You can make 40 Padlets for FREE too! Students simply click the plus sign and add their words to the right column. I password protect mine and click the button that lets me moderate answers -- gotta keep these kiddos as protected as we can when they're online.