Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quick Ideas to Enhance your Instruction this Week

Over the last week, teachers have been talking test prep, Black History month, and SmartBoards.

Test Prep
My advice on test prep is that you incorporate chunks of time throughout the week into yoru curriculum. Create questions that look like Terra Nova questions on your classroom assessments and tests. Give multiple choice in your warm-up to provide some practice. Design questions using materials you already have in the classroom. For example, if you want the students to solve a set of math problems or analyze a map or graph in your starting activity, also provide a slip of paper that has mutliple choice answers and a time limit to make the problem solving at the start of the lesson model the testing experience.

The key to test prep isn't that students only practice solving problems, but that they know why their answers are correct or why they were not correct. Review the steps, thought process, and rationale students used while solving the problems or answering questions. Teach test taking skills, "inner dialogue", and self-assessment strategies that students can use when the big test comes along. Teach simple, but often overlooked skills, like shading in a bubble, reading directions carefully, and managing time.

Black History Month:
I love thematic units!  By bringing in new ideas and motivating topics into the curriculum, students become more excited about what they are learning. It also motivates me as a teacher to learn more about our nation's rich history. We all know, you don't have to be a history teacher to incorporate the contributions of African Americans into your curriculum. What ways are you bringing Black History month alive in your classroom?

Are you interested in learning more on these topics?

From Scholastic Instructor:

Test Prep Advice:

Ways to bring Black History Month into your middle school classroom:

Quick Tips for Using an Interactive White Board:

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