Friday, November 12, 2010

12 tips for flexible grouping article

This article highlights excellent ideas for teaching. Cue cards are something new I am trying and so far it has been beneficial. Flexible grouping takes a lot of work but gives the students higher-quality learning in the end. I truly believe this is the change that public education needs right now.

Here are a dozen things to consider when setting up and implementing independent and small-group activities in order to foster that result:
  1. Provide instruction and activities that match students of varying skill levels.
  2. Assess student progress frequently by monitoring student work and error patterns to identify what needs to be re-taught.
  3. Avoid using worksheets as the primary focus of small-group work. Worksheets should be kept to a minimum, if not eliminated altogether.
  4. Establish clear routines for students to follow. Model and practice those routines. Rehearse the expectations and review expectations frequently.
  5. Notice positive group behavior. Research indicates that teachers should give students more positive comments than negative comments.
  6. Calmly, quietly, and quickly approach and redirect students who are off task. Use a nonverbal cue, a cue card (see cue card example)
  7. Use proximity control. The co-teaching environment makes this much more doable.
  8. Use assessment data to create lesson plans and determine the groups.
  9. Keep groups small, preferably three to four students to a group. Sometimes it might even be appropriate to have pairs.
  10. Change groups as students grow or test out of a curriculum section.
  11. Describe, show an example, or model the expectations for assignments and activities as well as examples of what the outcome should, and should not, look like.
  12. Correct misbehavior and teach appropriate behavior and expectations (we cannot assume that students know what to do)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RTI Elementary Leadership training DAY 1 10/14/10 CONTINUED

What can I do about the students who forget information?
3-minute timed review
- 1 min to think by themselves - 1 min  to share with one partner - 1 min to share with another partner

recycle the lesson (culmulative review)

Common errors of reviewing saying “do you remember?” “any questions?” and using NO culmulative review

Use Mnemonics!!!
USE GUIDED NOTES  (a teacher-prepared outline i.e. Fill in the blank)

OPPOSITIONAL CHILDREN - quick rewards such as TIME WITH TEACHER lunch etc
***Staff development “what do I do about the...”

What can I do about the students who fail to see the relevance of my instruction?
Teach students WHY the objective is important
-FOCUS on personal relevance “if you use this skill with... you will be able to....”
-EXPLAIN how a negative consequence could be avoided “if you do, you will avoid losing...”
-DISCUSS the effect on others “other students may not want to work with you if you dont know it, parents will be happy, etc”

Use rationale questions - incorporate questions (with point values) on quizzes or tests that are related to the personal relevance of the objectives.

WHY common errors - “because I said so” “because it’s on the test”  “because you will need it when you grow up” “because it is important. Trust me” “ failure to make personally relevant connections to student’s life

RTI Elementary Leadership training DAY 1 10/14/10 CONTINUED

Use probes every 6-8 weeks - CBM (curriculum-based measurement) it is rate-based
Daily Classroom Behavior Report Card - Paws rules chart to gain points/rewards
Shelley would like us to implement writing probe suggested at RTI training
Within the Teacher Guided Instruction is this acronym GROWIQ
G=gain attention R=Review O=Objective W=Why I=Input Q=Questioning
Telling the students the objectives will help to prime their brain to pay attention
Ticket out the door will help to assess knowledge by letting them know ahead of time what it is
What Will I Do Log EXAMPLE:
ex. punctuation4/15ex. Write sentences using correct punctuations

What do I do with students who do not respond to instructions?
-First determine if it is a skill deficit or it is a performance problem
-If it is skill deficit then teach them to look at a person, acknowledge, do the task immediately, check back if necessary, look say ok, do it right away!
TEACH INTELLIGENT BEHAVIORS (look smart, act smart) (kind of like reading mastery’s STAR)
S=sit N=nod A=act interested  P=participate P=prepare E=evaluate
PROMPTING - say something like “this is an instruction” or “get ready for an instruction” (like RM)
Use an auditory or visual SIGNAL to alert students of instruction
You/Me game (like RM Teacher/Student game)
- Make sure to give individuals with behavior problems EARNING POWERS
BEHAVIOR BINGO - similar to the cir the letters with POPCORN
Green card is a cheat sheet for this conference
** USE OPEN BODY positions (no cross-armed, hands-on-hips, and finger pointing)
6 steps to increase OTR (on-task response)
1. everybody get ready to say/tell
2. keep it a secret or signal by touching forward
3. whisper share oyour idea with your partner
4. when I pull your name, say your idea or your partner’s idea
5. have class repeat individual’s response
6. repeat the process until 100% participation
Choral responding - model it - use signal after you say “everybody get ready to tell me”
Participation board
Participation Buddies (clock buddies like Aubra uses)
COMMON ERRORS of participation
-Too few questions -dont say who can tell me... - dont tell the name of the student being called on until question is asked - No thinking time
What can I do about the students who disrupt my instruction?
Teach how to get teacher’s attention appropriately.
-look at the teacher - signal somehow - wait for acknowledgement - ask questions in a normal voice
Take digital pictures to show the expected behavior and what is NOT an expected behavior.

RTI Elementary Leadership training DAY 1 10/14/10

RTI Elementary Leadership training DAY 1 10/14/10
Montana RTI Teams Bozeman, Great Falls, Billings
Presentor/Trainer Susan L. Mulkey
presentation will be on the OPI website
RTI Essential Components
1.Strong Leadership
2. Ongoing Assessment
3. Evidence-based Curriculum and Instruction
4. Collaborative Teaming
5. Data-based Decision making
6. Fidelity of Implementation
7. Ongoing Training and Professional Develeopment
8. Community and Family Involvement
*The ones in red are the ones we are focussing on 

Personal learning log ideas are highlighted in yellow
Have you ever wondered what I can do about students who do not participate during my instruction, forget info, don’t understand or generalize, don’t work cooperatively, don’t compete assignments, don’t perform well with traditional test
Did you know that TEACHER VARIABLES account for more variance in students achievement than any other factor, particulary in high poverty schools
Teaching is and Art and Science
Do you agree? the more we know about the science of teaching… the better we can artistically apply knowledge
TEACHING is not telling and LEARNING is not being told
Good teaching differs with the ROBUSTNESS of the variables

TEACHING is not telling and LEARNING is not being told
Good teaching differs with the ROBUSTNESS of the variables
Memory logs – index cards, personal learning log
Index card format

Write the BIG IDEA or name of strategy or intervention


Detail the strategy
Notes to jog your memory

Look, Lean, Whisper Partner strategy
TEACHING should be PASSIONATE - students know when you care or dont
Student Engagement by repeating (culmulative review)
TGIF = what each lesson should look like (as far as time spent)
T=Teacher Guided Instruction G=Guided Practice I=Independent Practice F=Final Measurement     20%_______________                    _____75%___________________           10%___________
Start with the END in mind 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Math Camp at its best!

B&B is in its final year. I am sad! I found out today, however, that our 5th graders get to go to the Montana Learning Center for Math, Science and Indian Ed! I am very excited to bring them to such a beautiful place!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to school here we come!

As a science teacher I appreciate this:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010



This book is for anyone who wants to move into the digital age of awesomeness! Teachers need to check this FREE digital book out too!