Instructional Skill: Pacing

Simply put, pacing is the speed (or lack there of) with which you move through your lesson or parts of your lesson. Strong pacing gives students the illusion of speed – that the lesson is unfolding just quickly enough to keep up. The instructional skill in pacing is to create this perception for students. Doing so gives students a sense of progress and change so that they know they are gleaning important new ideas and information. There are several ways to improve pacing. Take a look at the ideas below! Continue reading “Instructional Skill: Pacing”

Indicating Importance

On days that it feels like you have a lot of ground to cover in a single lesson, you may find yourself wanting ways to highlight the most important take-aways for students. In this week’s newsletter, you’ll see five different ways to indicate importance as you teach. These strategies and more were covered in Jessie’s Immersive Professional Development last week. Take a look and as always, reach out to your instructional coach with questions! Continue reading “Indicating Importance”

Ratio: Active vs. Passive Learning

When you have a lot of content to teach and not much time, it’s easy to use up all of the class time lecturing. But it’s also important not to lose sight of one of teachers’ biggest goals: having students do most of the cognitive work in the classroom. That means they should be doing as much of the writing, the thinking, the analyzing, and the talking as possible. You’ll know you’re doing this when you find that you are rarely doing anything in the class without the help of your students. It’s not always easy to, but here are some easy ways to start, brought to you by Doug Lemov’s book, Teach Like a Champion

Continue reading “Ratio: Active vs. Passive Learning”

Instructional Skill: Responding to Data

Most of you are already pros at doing all the things great instructors do to collect data on students’ progress through assessments, checks for understanding and “pulse checks” with the class. However, it can be a trick to figure out how to use that data quickly and effectively. The quicker you intervene after recognizing the gap in mastery, the more likely the intervention is to be effective. Moreover, the sooner you repair misunderstanding, the less likely it is to get in the way as you move on to more complex material. It benefits both students and instructors to solve learning problems while they are simple and can be addressed with additional problems, a short activity, or a re-explanation that takes three minutes now rather and thirty minutes when things are tougher later on. So, here are some quick ways to respond to student data: Continue reading “Instructional Skill: Responding to Data”