2880 Chapters
Medium 9781935542056

Chapter 7 Attitudes

Mary Kim Schreck Solution Tree Press ePub

Most students’ attitudes toward school are a result of their perceptions of their abilities to master material, their likes or dislikes of subjects or instructional methods, and their positive or negative views toward the educational experience as a whole. This chapter discusses the need and ability to change some of the attitudes about learning that might hold a student back from doing his or her best work or becoming engaged. Changing an attitude is like moving a fulcrum on a diving board; just a little shift creates a big difference.

First Thoughts on Attitudes

Our attitudes toward ourselves regarding our strengths and weaknesses often determine how eager or reluctant we are to try new things, invest in risk taking, and exert effort. Take a few minutes to think about how your attitude toward your ability to succeed in school has played a role in your behaviors, your choices, and your performance. Try to think of a situation in which your attitude blocked you from making a specific choice.

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Medium 9781936763238

Chapter Three: Quality Homework: The Result of Quality Design

Eileen Depka Solution Tree Press ePub

Quality Homework: The Result of Quality Design

No one has any interest in assigning or being assigned tasks that waste time. Correcting assignments that are poorly or incorrectly done is both discouraging and time not well spent. When students learn and then practice procedures they are unsure of, they can potentially solidify an incorrect understanding. Taking care in what we assign allows us to ensure that we identify quality tasks for students. Evaluating the timing of the assignment is equally beneficial. Work assigned too early, prior to the student having a solid base of preliminary understanding, will result in frustration and poor performance. In this chapter, we discuss the features necessary for designing quality student work, including the use of assignment evaluation, Bloom’s taxonomy, and Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. We also look at creating a menu of options for students and evaluating the quality of their work.

Recognition and Design of Quality Work

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Medium 9781935249719

Chapter 5: Inclusive Teaching

Martin Henley Solution Tree Press ePub

LIKE PROSPECTORS SEARCHING FOR PRECIOUS STONES, educators are always searching for the best way to teach. And educators strive like prospectors to discriminate between fool’s gold and the real thing. Many claims are staked about the best way to teach—whole language, phonics, direct instruction, constructivism, cooperative learning, computer-assisted instruction, learning styles, drill and repetition, multisensory instruction … the list goes on and on. Yet for every teacher who strikes gold with a particular method, there is another one who goes bust.

Several years ago, I attended a meeting of special education college faculty and public school special education administrators. The administrators had some very specific complaints about new teachers. An administrator of a large urban school system was particularly unhappy with preservice training. He said, “Every year I have to train our new teachers in the Orton-Gillingham method. We use Orton-Gillingham to teach our students with learning disabilities, and I’m tired of doing the colleges’ job.” Many of my higher-education colleagues exchanged bemused glances. One instructional approach for that city’s 3,700 students with learning disabilities seemed more like fool’s gold than a shining example of individualized instruction.

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Bill Barnes Solution Tree Press PDF


Move Your Vision to Action

Creating a highly successful mathematics program requires the thoughtful planning and skillful actions of an effective mathematics leader. A skilled leader engages stakeholders in the pursuit of a common vision for exemplary mathematics teaching and learning. An elite mathematics leader understands the importance of systematically building capacity and the fact that this process takes time, patience, careful monitoring, and continual nurturing.


In Key 1, you learned how to develop and nurture a highly functioning collaborative team that takes stock of your current program realities and then develops a vision for a better future in student learning. You learned how to leverage the talents of the MLT to design a strategic plan with regularly monitored performance measures. You learned the importance of intentional and thoughtful celebration.


In Key 2, you explored strategies for building the capacity of all stakeholders to deliver on these clarified expectations. You considered professional learning experiences designed to strengthen teachers’ content knowledge and improve their facility with each of NCTM’s (2014) Mathematics Teaching

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14 Secrets of the Rich Classroom Climate Mindset

Eric Jensen Solution Tree Press ePub

The title of this mindset plays off the word rich in the book’s title. Similarly, the word rich refers to substantial, bountiful, ample, and plentiful. This metaphor is important because your classroom climate must be rich in affirmation, rich in relevancy, rich in engagement, and rich in relationships. The richness that you share with your students must feel like the good life. And, you’ll learn how to do that in the next few chapters. This short chapter focuses on the claim that a rich climate is worth your time and the evidence to support that claim.

I remember very clearly two different middle school teachers. I have vivid memories of working harder for those teachers than I had for any other teachers. It was as if there was a supercharged motor inside me, and I almost couldn’t stop myself. I just kept reading, writing, and doing extra credit for both of them, until one teacher actually said to me, “That’s enough!”

As you might guess, this was an unusual behavior for me. My grades in middle school were not good, and most teachers called me a behavior problem and a slacker. What on earth got me so fired up to work my tail off for those teachers? The class subject? The content? The teacher? I liked the subjects and teachers, but what really turned me into a high performer was the class culture. Those two teachers were really good at creating a class culture that fostered student achievement. There was camaraderie, competition, and curiosity seemingly every day. What this personal experience showed me is that the same student who is, by all accounts, acting lazy in one teacher’s class environment, may actually become a highly motivated learner in another teacher’s class. You see, classroom climate is no accident. Teachers who have great climates for learning are quite purposeful.

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