Wall to Wall 2.0

Learning tools, tips, and resourcse

Technology Tools for Educators

LessonCast - Struggling to find the perfect lesson for a new topic? Looking to change things up a bit? LessonCast is a website where experienced teachers submit- via all different formats- a lesson idea or classroom management strategy in less than 3 minutes. Now, this site is still growing, so expect a few glitches here and there. But, this site does offer free help to teachers. In fact, it is often said that this site provides a virtual mentoring relationship.


Bitstrips - This tool allows students to create their own cartoon characters and comic strips. The first 30 days are free, but after that there is a minimal cost.

The Differentiated Classroom

Equity Sticks

To encourage participation, use equity sticks (or some other type of tool) to randomly call on your students. But, the trick to making this strategy work is to pre-plan your questions. It is important to use different levels of questions and appropriately match them to your students. Now, this is NOT about giving "easier" questions to some and "harder" ones to others. It is important to have high expectations for all learners. But, starting with leveled questions can help build your students' confidence, encourage them to share, and fuel further learning.

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset

With the push to encourage and teach the growth mindset in our classrooms, it is equally important to be cautious of the false growth mindset. Do you fully understand the concept of the growth mindset? Check out Carol Dweck's recent article.

Math Strategy/Intervention of the Month

The Frayer Vocabulary Model

In order for students to solve mathematical number stories or word problems, they must have an understanding of the relevant vocabulary. You cannot identify the properties of quadrilaterals if you do not know what the term quadrilateral represents. The Frayer model is a concept map that enables students make relational connections with critical mathematical (or any content area) vocabulary terms.


How do you use it?

  1. Identify a mathematical term
  2. Define the term in your own words
  3. List characteristics of the word
  4. List and/or draw examples and non-example of the word.


Video: http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/index.php/tool/frayer-model

Reading Strategy/Intervention of the Month

Ask, Read, Tell

In order for students to comprehend a text, they must be able to monitor their own progress while reading it. Struggling readers often lack the skills to effectively monitor their comprehension of assigned readings and apply fix-up skills when needed. One way to help students develop these skills is to teach them the cognitive strategy: Ask, Read, Tell (ART). Whenever a struggling reader is assigned a challenging reading, they are trained to apply a the 3-step ART sequence.


  1. ASK: Before reading the text, the students look over the title of the passage, ask what the topic is likely to be, consider what they know, and generates 2 questions that the student hopes to answer by reading.
  2. READ: While reading, the students stop after each paragraph to determine whether they have adequately understood the section of the reading and if necessary, apply comprehension fix-up skills.
  3. TELL: After reading, the students attempt to answer the 2 questions posed earlier based on what they read. Finally, the students meet with others to tell each other what questions and answers they produced.


Here is a copy of the ART student worksheet: http://www.interventioncentral.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pdfs_blog/cognitive_strategy_reading_comprehension_ART_1.pdf


List of fix-up skills: http://www.interventioncentral.org/academic-interventions/reading-comprehension/reading-comprehension-fix-skills-classroom-toolkit

Zing!

This website provides access to thousands of free ebooks.

Behavior Strategy/Intervention of the Month

The Rubber Band Intervention

Are you looking for a tool monitor the frequency of problem behaviors in your classroom? This easy-to-implement intervention has you keep track of student behaviors using rubber bands placed around your wrist.


Steps:

  1. During any period of the day, place 6 rubber bands around one wrist at the start of each half-hour. Each time that you verbally remind or prompt a student about his or her behavior, transfer a rubber band from one wrist to the other.
  2. At the end of each half hour, count of the number of rubber bands remaining on the original wrist. If at least one remains, your student earn a "+" for that half hour.
  3. Briefly approach the student at the end of each half hour to review his or her behavior and have the student, if earned, placed a "+" in his or her monitoring chart.
  4. When the student has earned a pre-determined amount of "+" points, he or she can trade them in for a prize.
  5. As your student's behavior starts to improve, gradually decrease the amount of rubber bands you start with.


Monitoring sheet: http://www.interventioncentral.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pdfs_interventions/rubber_band_challenge_chart.pdf


Tip: Use different colored rubber bands for different students.


Note: You can also use this strategy as a reminder to provide positive reinforcement. Make it a goal to give six positive statements during the day. Every time you reinforce or acknowledge positive behaviors, move the rubber band to the opposite wrist.

Let's review our goal from the start of the year. How are you building connections with your students on that real, human, and personal level?