I continue my end-of-year “The Best…” lists…
The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.
For some, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.
You might also be interested in:
In addition, you might find these useful:
Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014- Part Two:
I think teachers will find posts at my Education Week Teacher column very useful, including The Ten Best Classroom Q & A Posts Of 2014. They are all categorized here. My related BAM! Radio show might also be helpful.
Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities is from Edutopia.
How to Read Professional Development Books: 7 Tactics You Might Not Be Using is from Teaching The Core.
500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing is from The New York Times Learning Network.
56 Examples of Formative Assessment is by David Wees.
Effective teaching: 10 tips on what works and what doesn’t is from The Guardian. It’s a very interesting summary of a meta-analysis on research done over the years.
10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds is from Teach Thought. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment.
8 Formative Assessment Data Sources that Help Students Become Better Learners is from Teach Learn Grow. I’m adding it to the same list.
Common Core Reading: The Struggle Over Struggle is from NPR, and I think it’s very good.
50 Ways to Teach With Current Events is from The New York Times Learning Network.
Road Tested / Lesson Closure: Stick the Landing is from ASCD and offers several good idea about ending lessons.
The New York Times Learning Network, one of my long-time favorites for teaching resources (it was the first site listed on The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet — long before I started writing about teaching ELLs for them) has published a list of their most popular posts. It’s a gold mine!
Talking to Learn is by Elizabeth A. City.
Bryan Goodwin has written an excellent piece in ASCD Educational Leadership. It’s titled Research Says / Which Strategy Works Best? It’s a concise description of the differences between short-term memory, working memory and long-term memory, with teaching hints for all three.
Speaking Volumes is by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey.
Deeper Learning Described and Defined is a useful post from Learning First.
The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies is a very good post by Maurice Elias over at Edutopia.
Carol Ann Tomlinson has written a great post over at Peter DeWitt’s Education Week blog. It’s called Inventing Differentiation.
Formative, Summative, Interim: Putting Assessment in Context is from Teach Learn Grow. I’m adding it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.
Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation and Growth Mindset in Writing is from Edutopia.
It’s Not Just Words: 10 Smart Word Choices of Smart Athletes is from The Huffington Post, and offers some good advice on word choices that teachers can use, too.
Teaching and Learning with Science Media is from PBS affiliate KQED. I really like some of the PDFs that they offer, and they could be very useful to classes other than science.
Rick Wormeli has a typically great article that’s titled Motivating Young Adolescents. It includes a list of “Top 12 Demotivators” that I think should be taped to every teacher’s desk.
Twelve Alternatives to “How Was Your Day?” is by John Spencer. It’s designed as a list of questions for parents to ask their children, but can easily be adapted by teachers for reflection activities. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Student & Teacher Reflection.
Time to Debunk Those PBL Myths is by Suzie Boss at Edutopia.
Reader Idea | Personal Writing Based on The Times’s Sunday Routine Series is a very useful post at The New York Times Learning Network. It’s a simple teacher-suggested lesson plan that includes some very useful student hand-outs.
Smart Homework: How to Manage & Assess It is by Rick Wormeli. Smart Homework: 13 Ways to Make It Meaningful is also by Rick Wormeli. I’m adding them both to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.
No More Language Arts and Crafts is a must-read post by the one-and-only Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer.
Combining Creativity and Standards-Driven Instruction is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Advice On Helping Students Strengthen & Develop Their Creativity.
Scott McLeod sent out a tweet about a forty page PDF document titled “Bloom’s Taxonomy: What’s Old Is New Again.” It’s written by Cecelia Munzenmaier, MS, with Nancy Rubin, PhD. I’ve got a lot of resources on The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom list, but this document provides the best overview and must up-to-date history — and how to implement it in the classroom, that I’ve seen anywhere. Granted, it’s forty pages, and that might be more than many want to read, but it is clearly worth the time and the effort.
Promoting Student Metacognition is a very nice chart of questions students can ask themselves.
Stress management is a critical skill for our students to learn, not to mention being an important one for us teachers, too! I have a pretty good lesson it in my Self-Driven Learning book (you can download the hand-outs for free), and I also have a popular related “Best” list — The Best Resources For Learning About Teens & Stress. The Harvard Business Review has published a short and concise piece sharing various stress management strategies, and it’s excellent. I will certainly be adding How to Handle Stress in the Moment to my lesson and to that Best list. It talking bout stress in the work context, but is easily applicable to any stressful situation.
Apparently, long ago when, for awhile, I moderated a classroom management forum at Edutopia, I invited readers to share their best classroom management tips. Well, Edutopia put them all together in a a nice slideshow that I think readers will find useful.
— ASCD (@ASCD) July 2, 2014
In The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom, which is — by far — the most popular post I’ve ever published, I include videos using Star Wars, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, and other movies to teach Bloom’s. Here’s another such video, and this one uses scenes from Harry Potter. Unfortunately, it has embedding disabled, so you’ll have to go to the link on YouTube. Of course, I’ll be adding it to that list.
I’m a big believer in helping students develop metacognitive skills, and have included related lesson plans in my books and have an extensive The Best Posts On Metacognition list. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a free book, along with a short blog post, on the topic. It’s specifically geared toward using metacognition in math class, but the advice is pretty universal.
Teaching Tolerance, the organization justifiably well-known for developing very good social-justice oriented teaching resources, has unveiled: “Perspectives for a Diverse America… a literacy-based curriculum that marries anti-bias social justice content with the rigor of the Common Core State Standards.” It’s a very ambitious site, and I think most teachers will find the highlight to be 300 great texts, often from larger works, all set-up to print out and copy for students. Those are a gold mine! I hate to say it, but I generally found the site’s set-up to be fairly convoluted and confusing to navigate, though others may very well feel differently. But, whether you agree with me or not on that, I’m sure you’re going to agree that the texts are a wonderful resource. You do have to register in order to access the site, but it takes a minute to do so.
— Ashley Hurley (@ashleyhhurley) February 2, 2014
I’m adding this very useful infographic to The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations: