Training the Voices In Your Head (Awkward Practice)

Pitch Perfect AnnouncersOne way to highlight the role of the Color Commentary Voice is to model it with students – both what it sounds like when it’s MISBEHAVING and what it might sound like when its’ COOPERATING. To do this, I ask for a volunteer with a strong reading voice to read aloud from something educational I want to cover anyway.

Pre-Reading Rationale, KWL, and Anticipation Squares

Warming Up

Pre-Reading Assignments (Overview)

I hate any moment in any training that begins with some variation of “Do you remember when we were in school?” or “Here’s the old stupid way to do things that no one actually does but makes for a good starting place for my example?” I find them contrived and offensive. 

My Five Big Questions (Essential Questions in History / Social Sciences)

Most of us are assigned some fragment of curriculum to teach with far too little time to cover it adequately. It's the nature of public education, perhaps even a necessary evil. I'm not sure what a class would look like that claimed in a fluid whole to cover all of known history, everywhere in the world, since we first wiggled forth from the primordial ooze. 

The textbook would be huge - even without ancillaries. 

Level Questions (More Interesting Than They Sound!)

Homesteaders and a Cow on the RoofIt is sometimes helpful to talk about 'Levels' of Questions. This concept is not new, and different workshops or different subject areas define the levels a little differently. That doesn't matter - what matters is clarifying them in a way you can live with in order to give your students a tool for asking better and more diverse questions.

Asking Good Questions (And You Don't Have to Mean It)

Question GirlOne of the fundamental skills I try to teach my students is to ask good questions. And they don't have to mean them.

I mean, it's great if they do. If there's something in class which catches their attention - even for a moment - by all means, they should speak up. "Why yes, Jacobie - we DID used to value 'due process' in this country... long, long ago."  

Why Kids Learn (a.k.a 'The Seven Reasons Every Teacher Must Know WHY Kids Learn!')

To Save Time

I’ve been in the classroom for 16 years and doing this blog for about 18 months. I don’t have a Master’s Degree in anything, nor am I pursuing one. I don’t like most edu-books and haven’t done independent research on how or why kids learn or don’t. I consider myself thus supremely qualified to write on this topic.

There will be no footnotes.