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Showing posts from October, 2018

5-Minute Energizers to Activate You and Your Students

We're officially in the grind. I ask my teacher colleagues how they're doing, and the standard response is a sigh: "I'm really looking forward to catching up on grading over the 3-day weekend," "I'm counting down the days until Thanksgiving," "I have 20 letters of recommendation to write."
If we're feeling this way, our students are too! Here are super quick activities to inject energy back into your classroom: Snap, Stomp, Clap (Partners) Each person counts off to 3, i.e. Person A: "1", Person B: "2", Person A: "3", Person B: "1", etc. When everyone gets the hang of it, try it again, but replace 1's with a snap of the fingers (snap, 2, 3, snap, 2, 3, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 3's with a stomp (snap, 2, stomp, snap, 2, stomp, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 2's with a clap (snap, clap, stomp, snap, clap, stomp, etc.) Gift Giving Game (Partners) Person A pantomimes givin…

"Sorry Ms. Witcher, but I hate science."

This week I want to share a quick story of a student comment that I've been chewing on. I have a student in my 8th grade science class who I really enjoy working with. She's funny and frank and a few days ago she said something that just kills me:
"Sorry Ms. Witcher, but I hate science." I followed up in the way I usually do:
"Oh, that makes me so sad! Tell me, what subject do you like?" We went on to have a great conversation about her love for social studies and English, her favorite and least favorite books, and what she does in her free time. The next day, she brought it up again and added the detail that hit me hardest:
"Ms. Witcher, do you know why I hate science? I had this teacher in fourth grade who didn't explain anything and then failed me in math and science."
This explains a lot. It's wild to me that a student could hate a subject--but I get it. I hated math as a student...and now I teach math. It has me thinking, what changed…

Anatomy of Useful Feedback

Useful feedback is... It tells the learner... Teacher feedback might look like... Peer feedback might look like... Try Floop