EOY Prep w/@perkyPLEF

Time for REVIEW!


The Progress Principle

Are you recognizing your students' progress? Are you noticing their setbacks? And not only that -- but are you learning something, taking something away from it?

Hopefully so. It's something that really allows us as teachers to make mid-plan changes to our instruction for the benefit of our students. Below is a quick video featuring Teresa Amabile, a professor in Harvard's Business school and leading researcher on organizational psychology. In it, she talks a little bit about the Progress Principle and it's implications for managers and business progress.

Teaching vs. Managing

The Progress Principle is something I think we can take something from as teachers. Change out some words from Amabile's video, and we can find relevance in what she's saying. In the end, she's suggesting good managers do the following to help their people make the most progress:

  1. Set clear goals, making sure their workers know what they're going for and why
  2. Provide support, either from themselves or connecting their workers with people who can help
  3. Free their workers from distractions, taking off burdens they reasonably can, so workers can focus on the real task at hand
  4. Provide "nourishment" -- recognizing small achievements and progress, fueling the flame
  5. Encouraging group support, recognizing group success, and encouraging camaraderie

Don't tell me that those things aren't part of the recipe for effective teachers!

Now, I'll be the first to say that I don't agree that a school is a business, but I do believe there are some things that we, as teachers, can take away from the way good businesses help and manage their employees. In the end, we are like managers. We have to, while we teach our little ducklings, manage them. While we teach them content, we maintain order. While we facilitate their work, we guide them. While we ensure their understanding and review their products, we grow them.

And much like Amabile suggests with the Progress Principle, when we recognize students small progresses -- their tiniest victories -- they find more value in their efforts and make even more progress.

some top tools to start using

These tools are great for opening or closing your class, or using as an informal assessment for student understanding. You might even use these as an extension of your review! If you want some help on how you might implement these in your classroom, let me know! I'll be glad to come by and help you plan.


Ever use post-it notes in your class with students, or been to a PD with a Parking Lot of questions? This is kind of like that, but better! Padlet is a PHENOMENAL tool to use in your classroom, ridiculously easy to make and use, and pretty much friendly to any kind of device. You can use it to brainstorm with students, where they're posting their thoughts on a wall (like sticky notes on chart paper), where they're creating a sort-board (where they've written and categorized topics/concepts/terms/thoughts), posting up their ticket out, or filling in a KWL as a class (provided, you upload a KWL jpg as a background). Best of all: it's freeeee. Free for all. There are paid subscriptions, but you don't need them.


Mindomo is a concept-mapping tool! How can you go wrong with making concept maps at this time of year (or ever, really) ?? Use this in your class to help student students begin grouping concepts they've learned together, making those connections we dream they'll make! You can also use these to see what students are already connecting together, checking which connections make sense and which ones need clarification. Mindomo is an app on our tablets, as well as a web-based tool -- but the app is easy, and already there, and also... FREE. :) There are subscriptions you can get, but they're unnecessary. Consider having an activity or two in which you supply students with terms, and they have to create a concept map/web.


Are you already using Quizlet in your classroom? If so -- POINTS FOR YOU. If not -- WHY? Quizlet is an easy-to-use, free, rockstar of a tool that is friendly on all devices. Quizlet is a tool for creating online flashcards for students to access. While that doesn't sound exciting, let's all remember that recall/remembering is the base for pretty much everything else you're going to do. See DOK Level 1 or Bloom's Revised Level 1. Not only does it serve as flashcards, students can play matching games and take self assessments, have it read the vocab word to them for them to spell, or even try a race against the clock in Space Race. As a teacher, you can create a class, have students join, and assign vocab sets to them (either self-created, or publically shared ones you find). Or you can create a public set, and just share a link! :) Check here for Quizlet For Teachers easy user guide.

Where's Your PLEF?

Your PLEF can be found taking side ways selfies of himself using Quizlet on the Amplify tablets. Please let him know if he can help you in any way integrate new teaching strategies or technology into your lessons -- he's more than happy to help with the process.