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Posts by Don Marlett

7 Assessment Strategies That Put Aside Paper and Pencil

Traditional Assessment When you think of assessments, the traditional method is of course paper and pencil. And when you think of paper and pencil “testing,” you may think of the required countless hours of grading that inevitably follows. As a teacher, this is often one of the most challenging barriers to overcome when planning lessons…

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3 Quick and Easy Review Strategies

Don’t forget that all students need time for strategic review. This might mean for semester or final exams, or it might mean after a series of related lessons. When it’s time for review, don’t revert back to the “old way” of doing things — worksheet packets or a silent study hall. What students have accomplished…

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6 Guided Reading Mistakes You Might be Making

An important time to support struggling readers is during guided reading. However, just because you are doing guided reading does not necessarily mean that you are supporting your struggling readers. Here are six common guided reading mistakes you might be making. You are using books that are too difficult. If the books that are being used…

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Engage Students With Exemplary Essential Questions

Why Is A Lesson Essential Question More Effective Than An Objective? Chances are that if you have been in education long enough, you have been asked at least one time or another, to display the standard(s) you are currently teaching on the board for students to see. The rationale behind posting the standard on the…

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Scaffolding Supports Student Success

How can the use of scaffolding support student achievement? “Start with where you want them to be (the grade level standard) and make it learnable.” (C. Boyles). As educators, we have the very complicated task of ensuring that all students are successful learners, but how exactly do we do that? How do we make sure…

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What is Symphonic Planning?

Using a single research-based strategy or a single exemplary practice effectively in a lesson will yield positive results for learning for most students. And depending on the strategy or practice, it produces much, much more learning than not using it! Usually, teachers have a few strategies that they like to use with students. Choosing whether…

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3 Simple Questions for Monitoring Student Learning

How is student learning monitored for flexibility and connections to real life? Monitoring student learning is an ongoing challenge. Students can complete an assignment, but still not be flexible with their learning. They have trouble making connections or explaining a task in a different way other than the examples you have used. For example, when asked…

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Classroom Walkthrough Tips for Focused Support

How do you narrow the focus of walkthroughs? Typically when principals plan for and schedule walkthroughs, they are looking at teachers and for best practices. Moss and Brookhart (2013), however, suggest that a better plan is that they begin to observe what’s happening in the classroom from the students’ perspective rather than just checking off…

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Building a Supportive Environment for a Differentiated Classroom

How do you start making your classroom super supportive for differentiation? Before you can begin to build support for a classroom where customized assignments are the norm instead of the exception, you must learn all that you can about differentiation. Develop your own professional knowledge. There are numerous resources available such as books that offer…

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Providing Scaffolding for Students

How can scaffolding help students become successful with the grade-level curriculum? When I think of scaffolding, I think of the temporary support structure erected on the side of a building that allows workers to access parts of the building that they may not otherwise be able to reach in order to accomplish a particular task.…

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