Instructional Inspirations

Cool Things to Try & Celebrate @MHS

Instructional Strategy to Try: Discussions with "Accountable Talk"

Looking for a new strategy to try for your #PineapplePD? Here's a great one that addresses collaboration and communication skills (M-9). Thanks to Susan Schall for trying this in her English 11 Class! (Scroll down for her video!)

If you're struggling to get your students to have worthwhile discussions without it sounding like either absolute chaos or crickets chirping, try some of these academic conversation sentence starters. Have students work in pairs first to practice with the stems, then in a small group before extending it to whole class discussion. As students use the sentence starters, their conversations will become richer and more focused.

See it in Action at MHS!

Try these discussion stems in your classroom! Sign up for a time I can come watch this in action and I'll make you a full-color laminated set of signs for your room with your favorite stems and colors! Click the bar above to sign up on my calendar!

What are your instructional challenges? Shoot me an email with something you would like some advice on and I'll feature it in a future newsletter!

I Can I Can!

Thanks to those of you who have been posting your daily objective and I can... statements on the board. Your I can...statement should relate to something a student can visibly show/do to demonstrate they have learned the material. A clear learning target can be "assessed" by a student completing a task to demonstrate their ability to meet the target. Exit tickets are great for this!

Here is a good article about how an art teacher is using I Can statements to get her students to take more ownership of learning. If you need help crafting your I can's, please ask me or one of our ICs!

I Can Statements for CTE, Arts, PE, & Core

Here's a great list of I Can's... that covers many of our CTE and elective courses in addition to core areas!

Brain Break: I Can Statements for Politicians

Check out educational comedian Gerry Brooks explain the I Cans that our politicians need!

Busted! Cool Student Work

Traci Willis shared this video made by Caleb to describe how the earth was made. The project goal was for students to creatively and accurately share one of the stories read about and discussed in Genesis 1-11. Check it out below!

What I Love About It:

  • Student creation helps kids take ownership of their learning and express their creativity!
  • Respects copyright with images / music created by the student and included in the rubric.

Gummy Bear Government

Mrs. VanDyke's students created representations of different types of governments using gummy bears. They had to provide written explanations of their governmental systems.

What I Love About It:

  • Uses different learning styles to incorporate hands-on and artistic activities.
  • Ties in a literacy component with writing
  • Teaching with metaphors and non-linguistic representations can boost retention by 27% (Marzano, 2001)

Did your students create something cool lately? Share it with me and I'll feature it in an upcoming newsletter!

Check Out Some Cool Stuff on the #PineapplePD Chart!

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Bathroom Pass Creativity

I've enjoyed seeing all of the different, unique ways you've been sending kids to the restroom. Some of our teachers report the more outrageous the bathroom pass, the less likely the kids are to ask to go! Thanks for helping us ensure students are in the right place and maximizing their instructional time. Here are a few of my favorites!