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Rating: 6 votes, 5.00 average.

Marzano, PTL, learning goals

Posted 12-11-2010 at 08:30 AM by imalith

Last week I finished up my last PTL, Professional Teaching and Learning class. I also had an opportunity to see Bob Marzano speak at a 2-day conference.

I've been reflecting on this and drew a few conclusions. PTL is about observing other teachers' classroom and reflecting on indicators or criteria that relate to good teaching. There are only a few major indicators, so it is easy to focus on them. The problem is that teachers have to leave their classrooms for the observations and many times you will look for evidence and have a "not today" moment. The spontaneous "pop-in" is not conducive to finding good teaching, hence we waste time. perhaps a teacher is working on a routine activity again, not productive to our conversation.

Marzano's idea is more complicated. There are 18 indicators. Teachers can analzyze their own teaching skills based on his rubrics. After this analysis you make a choice of which to focus on for improvement....
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

The Strain of Restraint

Posted 12-12-2010 at 04:45 PM by Speced9

When it comes to the little things involved in running a classroom, there are certain activities I'd rather just handle myself. You'll never catch me calling the custodian to open a window, or submitting a work order to put up a projector screen. It just isn't done. Heck, I'll even borrow the dolly and move file cabinets around if I have to. Chalk it up to the monster we call male pride. Still, there's a lot of assumption when you're the token male in the building.

That fact is most evident when it comes to the CRISIS PLAN. In the days following Columbine, like many schools across the country, my principal drafted such a plan in case a crazed, gun-toting meth head found his way into our hallways. Everyone else had jobs like "Public Relations Contact" and "Authority Notification". My job was to "secure classroom doors and locate the intruder". I know it sounds incredible, but it's the honest truth. My job was to leave my classroom...
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

That's good.....No, that's BAD!

Posted 12-28-2010 at 01:57 PM by Speced9

Anyone remember the old That's good and bad skit on Hee Haw? That's the way I felt after seeing the hernia surgeon today.

That's good....No, that's BAD!

After a quick exam, the doctor confirmed that I have an indirect inguinal hernia.

That's bad!
No, that's good.

The doctor says it's in its early stages and can be successfully repaired.

Oh, that's good!
No, that's bad.

Since it's an indirect hernia, I can't do the less invasive laparoscopic surgery. I have to go through the cut 'em open, sew it up surgery.

Well, that's bad!
No, that's good.

They were at least able to schedule it on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, so I already have the day off.

Hey, that's good!
No, that's bad.

You see, I'll be down about a week and unable to go to school.

Aw, that's bad.
No, that's good....
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

PLC meetings

Posted 01-15-2011 at 07:20 AM by imalith

PLC or professional learning communities simply means collaboratation. When I was initially introduced to the idea it all seemed so simple. I was told that the previous name for PLC was "outcome based education" but that had been brushed aside as things often are in the education world. The question however always weighed on me. Why did outcome based education fail?

Our school has been working in PLCs for about 6 years and I have witnessed the full spectrum. Fortunately, my PLC is amazing. I work closely with 3 other sixth grade LA/reading and history teachers. While we are at different levels of our teaching experience, everyone is willing to contribute and work towards improving instruction. Currently, we are working at a high level of productivity and improving student learning.

On the other hand, I'm witnessing several of my colleagues suffer through PLC meetings that are stagnating and a waste of time. Just one unwilling participant can...
Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.

In Defense of Teachers Everywhere

Posted 04-22-2011 at 03:27 AM by musicbug

What I wouldn't give to be able to send the following letter to parents everywhere.

Dear Parents:

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion as to how this whole "school thing " works. So we avoid misunderstandings, read and keep the following to refer back to throughout the year.

What Teachers Do?
Teachers educate between 20 and 35 children at a time moving them toward mastery of basic reading , writing , math, science , and social studies. Teachers work with the children in small groups to differentiate and enrich education experience.

In order for you child to benefit from the said instruction they need the following:

1. Parent Support. This is not as difficult as it seems. Check your child's backpack each day You will find all sorts of important information: notices, returned assignments, homework and communications from the teacher. To make...
Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.

Using Blogs in the Classroom

Posted 07-13-2011 at 09:57 AM by Mariely

We've all heard of blogs, read blogs, and maybe even written one too, but how can these online interactive journals be used in the classrom? I've recently sat down to further ponder this question. Wait 'til you see what I've come up with.

To start, I initially thought about using a classroom blog a few years ago but that idea fizzled away due to lack of planning on my part. In the end it was a flop and I forgot about it entirely until recently.

There I was making updates to a few pages on my website when I saw the link to my old classroom blog. I looked at it and what I saw was pretty sad. There were only two entries posted and a few comments from three years ago. I did think about ditching the entire idea and forgetting about the blog, but then I remembered that the original idea to use it was brilliant. So I decided to really take time and decide how I would use it, what changes I would make, and how would I introduce it to students and...
Attached Images
File Type: pdf (414.9 KB, 741 views)
Rating: 541 votes, 4.99 average.

Clip Chart Behavior Management System

Posted 07-08-2010 at 08:45 PM by Mariely
Updated 07-09-2010 at 05:06 PM by Mariely

I would like to thank my fellow PT'ers for sharing their comments, thoughts, and info. on the Rick Morris' Clip Chart behavior management system. This system has given me new insight on how to manage behavior. I'm going to be implementing it this upcoming school year with a few minor changes.

To start, I decided to flip the colors and not use pink or purple. Instead I will be using the following colors (in parentheses you will find the conduct grade I will use for each level):

BLUE: Outstanding (A)
LIGHT BLUE: Great Job (A)
GREEN: Ready to Learn (A)
YELLOW: Think About It (B)
ORANGE: Teacher's Choice (C)
RED: Parent Contact (D)

I will only give an "F" in conduct if the student is constantly and severely disruptive. Also, if a student moves their clip down to Teacher's Choice and/or Parent Contact, he will complete a small slip with his name, date, and check...
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Clip Chart Sample-Sanchez.pdf (92.0 KB, 3851 views)
Rating: 55 votes, 4.71 average.

Camping Theme 2010-2011

Posted 07-10-2010 at 11:13 AM by Mariely

For the 2010-2011 school year my classroom is going CAMPING! Well, we are not going to any place in particular but my entire class will become a Camp Site! Welcome to Ms. Sanchez’ CAMP WANNALEARNALOT! Here are some of the ideas I have gathered for the camping theme:


"Warming Up with a Good Book" (use a campfire graphic on the board)
"Camping Out with a Good Book" (use kids in a tent graphic)
"Pack of Reading Strategies" (backpack with reading strategies coming out of it)
"Camp Read A Lot"
"Hiking Up the SuccessMaker Mountain"
"Hiking the AR Trail"
"Climbing the AR Mountain"
"Climbing the SuccessMaker Mountain"
"Rafting the AR River"

"Campfire Tales"
"Campfire Stories"

"A Forest of Words"...
Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.

Once Upon a Time

Posted 04-06-2010 at 05:18 PM by BookMuncher

Once Upon a Time, a very long time ago (in the year two thousand and six) in a kingdom called Pennsylvania, a young teacher started a blog. All she had was a pretty silver Dell laptop, bestowed upon her by her school district, and her day-to-day experiences teaching first grade. She taught and she blogged. She taught and she blogged. People from far, far away logged onto their black and silver and pink laptops and onto their gray desktops (and even onto their classroom computers!) and they read the teacher’s blog. Pretty soon, the blog had a merry group of readers. At all times of day and night, they talked and shared about all things reading.

And the blog grew. And the young teacher grew. The two of them (the blog and the teacher) became part of each other. Years passed. The teacher started teaching second grade. For four years they grew up and up and interwined more and more. The young teacher changed the way she taught because of the smart things her readers suggested
Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.

Melissa Forney Writing Conference '09

Posted 06-27-2010 at 05:06 PM by Mariely
Updated 07-01-2010 at 09:59 PM by Mariely

Last summer, I had the great priviledge of attending my third Melissa Forney Writing Conference. She is a dear friend and an inspiration to me as well as other teachers. I learned a great deal from the conference and I would like to share some of that information on this blog.

Day 1: Writing a Beginning, Grabbers, Middle, Ending, and Zingers

Melissa had us practice writing a beginning to different topics she gave us. Each time we wrote a beginning to a topic, she asked us to share it, and then share out. She helped us differentiate between a grabber and a beginning and told us to only write a beginning for the sake of this activity. Afterwards, she asked us to write a new beginning to the same topic. She had us repeat this process about two to three times. It was a great revision activity and a great way to help students learn that there are different ways of saying the same thing.

Here's an example of...

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