White or SMART Boards and Worksheets

This week I was watching a teacher show a class of students how to use a specific graphic organizer with the whiteboard. Worksheets work well with white boards and SMART boards as the students have a chance to brainstorm a few together before venturing off to do one on their own. If we think about our lessons along the lines of  before, during and after, working with new graphic organizers as a group can be quite beneficial. Not only that, when you use graphic organizers, you are using an evidenced based practice because all students can benefit from organizing their thoughts.

This week, I've been looking at some research about using graphic organizers in math, stay tuned as there is some exciting evidence pointing to greater achievement with problem solving.

Be sure to check out all 4 categories of graphic organizers.
Have a great week, Dar

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A Small Tidbit of Advice

A teacher asked me what one piece of advice could I give him that he could implement this year to support confidence and self esteem. I thought for a moment and came up with one of my pet peeves.  A pet peeve you say? Yes, because it leads to a better way of doing business.

When educators are selecting teams or groups of students, it is often convenient to let the students select their teams or groups. At this point, I cringe. Somebody will always be the last one picked. Enough said.

This year, make a comittment to always pick the students yourself, whether it be by a draw (I love the popsicle stick idea) or just number the students off with a 1,2 or a 1,2,3,4. Do not allow the students to pick their own groups or teams.

If you have a SMART board, you'll find the random group selector quite handy. Simply put your student names in and select the number of groups, the randomizer does the rest. (To access, go to the SMART exchange site and type in random group generator.
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