Classroom Climate Toolbox

Nilmini Ratwatte-HenstridgeBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: Consider the importance of establishing a classroom climate that is warm. This post shares lesson ideas you can try to establish and incorporate into your own routines. It is important to consider student voice when building climate. To make climate a first priority in teaching, there are 3 items to include in your teacher toolbox. (1) Build empathetic relationships. … Read More

3 Strategies to Boost Students’ Speaking and Writing Skills

Stephan HughesBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Lead Better, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: Substitution tables are a helpful tool for students to practice using different words and expressions. They also help improve their vocabulary and confidence in English communication. Pre-teaching lexical bundles and collocations aids vocabulary and fluency development. They familiarize students with common word groups and natural phrase combinations. Assigning timed speaking and writing activities encourages clear and efficient expression. This … Read More

The Gods of Education. Are They Worth It?

Brian MillerBlog, Connect Better, Innovate Better, Lead Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Schools, like cathedrals, have gods that they worship, which shape their values, priorities, and practices. The gods of education can be both burdensome and dangerous, demanding sacrifices and affecting the unintended consequences of serving them. Identifying the gods in education allows for a critical examination of their impact and whether they are worth prioritizing, as they are tools that … Read More

21 Questions for the End of the School Year

Steven WeberBlog, Reflect Better

TL;DR: The final weeks of the school year are filled with a range of emotions as students and staff say goodbye and reflect on their growth together. Reflecting on the instructional design, learning culture, academic interventions, relationships, equity, professional growth, and self-care can support personal and professional development. The importance of asking the right questions, embracing uncertainty, and celebrating the … Read More

Connection Over Compliance

Robin ShrumBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better

TL;DR: Student engagement goes beyond compliance and involves attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion for learning. Authentic engagement requires establishing connections with students to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Strategies for fostering connection in the classroom include showing genuine interest in students, providing choice and voice, conducting morning meetings, being intentional in planning, incorporating real-life connections to content, … Read More