A National Board Certified Teacher in Milton, Mass., includes as much hands-on learning as possible to create interactive lessons. David Romeo, a middle-school science teacher, says his inquiry-based approach includes rotating chemistry stations and lessons based on students' own interests and learning styles. For a recent assignment on the digestive system, students were allowed to write a poem, perform a skit, create a model or take a test.
Having elementary-school students sit a classroom rug for lessons or story-time is a tradition, but one instructional coach says it also can be a recipe for student misbehavior. David Ginsburg offers one proactive solution adopted by teacher Tracy Allen, who has students who typically misbehave on the carpet bring their chairs to the perimeter of the rug -- rather than sending them back to their seats -- so they can continue to participate in class, but not create distractions.
The emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests has eliminated much of the trust and respect from the teaching profession, writes Horace B. Lucido, a retired teacher and author. He offers 10 suggestions in this blog post for practices and policies that states, districts and schools can implement to improve the profession. Lucido suggests allowing teachers to follow best practices and adjust lessons as needed, prohibiting the setting of goals based on test scores and enhancing parent-teacher communication.
Florida lawmakers have sent legislation to the governor that would replace the state's textbook review committee, which includes teachers and citizens, with a three-person panel of subject experts appointed by the state's education commissioner. Under the bill, local districts would ask teachers to weigh in on how the approved texts could be used in the classroom. However, the legislation has drawn criticism from some who are concerned about bias in school textbooks.
Fifth-graders at a science, technology, engineering and math school in Ohio recently hosted a Space Day for kindergartners at neighboring schools. The older students set up booths with information and demonstrations about the universe, including one that taught students about the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies. Teachers said the exercise was a way to teach kindergarten students more advanced topics, and allow older students to learn more by teaching others.