I continue my mid-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:

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2013 – So Far

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers In 2011

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2010

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice To Teachers — 2009

In addition, you might find these useful:

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice In 2011

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2010

The Best Reflective Posts I’ve Written About My Teaching Practice — 2009

Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2015- So Far:

I’ve got to recommend my Ed Week Teacher column and its accompanying BAM! Radio Shows.

All of the many – and I mean many – student hand-outs in my new book on student motivation are now on the publisher’s site and can be downloaded for free — no registration is required. Just click on the “eResources” tab. And Routledge has been kind of enough to do the same for the zillion student hand-outs in my previous two student motivation books, too, though for those books they’re called “Supplemental Downloads.” Jossey-Bass has done the same with hand-outs from my last book on teaching English Language Learners (by the way, a sequel to that popular title will be published in 2016).

“It’s Been A Pleasure Having You In Class This Year”

How I Learned Differentiation appeared in Teach Thought, and is excellent. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.

I think these excerpts from my third book on student motivation are useful:

Modelling Writing and Rich Tea or Hob Nob? from Class Teaching both make great points and offer suggestions about the role of teacher modeling in writing instruction.

Useful Collection Of “Growth Mindset” Animations

Adventures with gallery critique is by Andy Tharby. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

Last year I briefly referred to a study done in the United Kingdom evaluating what teaching strategies work best. A recent post by John Tomsett prompted me to revisit that meta-analysis from The Education Endowment Foundation, and it’s clearly worth exploring deeply (it’s official title is “The Teaching and Learning Toolkit). The report provides a John Hattie-like list of various interventions, along with their costs, the quality of evidence supporting each one, and the number of learning months research has showed it to gain for students. Though I say it’s Hattie-like, some of its findings seem to conflict with his. I’m very impressed with the UK analysis, and am planning on digging into it over the summer.

Google’s New “Expeditions” Looks Like An Insanely Cool Way For Students To Take A Virtual Field Trip

Read This: “Teachers More Likely to Label Black Students as Troublemakers” is by Renee Moore.

A Teacher’s Role in Fighting Racism is from Education Week.

Uncomfortable Conversations: Talking About Race In The Classroom is from NPR.

History Lesson: Giving Students Freedom to Create Their Own Projects is by Brison Harvey at Ed Week. One point he makes that I think is particularly intriguing is letting his students develop individualized rubrics for their independent projects.

Tips for Using iPads in the Classroom is from Edudemic.

Why I Prefer Pre-Teaching to Remediation for Struggling Students is by Justin Minkel.

Here’s My Chapter On Elements Of A Successful Lesson, Along With Student Hand-Outs THEY Use To Teach

“Quizizz” Is A Great Game-Playing & Game-Creating Site For Classes!

Justin Baeder at Principal Center Radio interviews me about student motivation and my new book, Building A Community Of Self-Motivated LearnersIt was a fun conversation, and you might find it interesting…

Thanks to reader Vincy Murgillo for letting me know about the Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune. It provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and provide decent “critical thinking” questions that students can respond to in the comments. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments. And it’s all available for free!

Reading Strategies, Student Engagement, & The Question Of “Why?”

Help Students Close Read Iconic Images is an excellent post by Frank Baker in Middleweb.

Concise and Precise Micro-writing is from Alex Quigley, and offers some very good suggestions.

Here Are Some Examples Of Using “Concept Attainment” In Writing Instruction

Goal-Setting Lesson Plan

The Limits To The Power Of A Growth Mindset (& The Dangers When We Don’t Recognize Them)

Three Useful Growth Mindset Resources

I’ve previously posted about Reading Teacher, a great site for beginning readers that’s been around for awhile, but just stopped charging for its use (see “Reading Teacher” Is A Good Site For Very Beginners). At that time, though it was free for individual use, you still had to pay if you wanted to create a virtual classroom. They recently announced that it’s now free to create a virtual classroom of 30 students to track their progress. The site says that if you have more students, you can just create another free account using a different email address to create a second virtual classroom.

Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning is a brand-new report from the American Psychological Association (APA). Though there’s nothing in it that regular readers of this blog wouldn’t already know, it nevertheless provides what might be the best readable compilation of important strategies around Social Emotional Learning Skills, assessment, and classroom management that can be found anywhere.

Apps, Apps Everywhere: Are Any Good, You Think? is the title of my article in ASCD Educational Leadership. In it, I share my choices for the best eleven mobile-learning apps out there.

“Edueto” Has Got To Be One Of The Best Teacher & Web 2.0 Sites Of The Year

Hands-Off Teaching Cultivates Metacognition is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Metacognition.

Teaching MS History: Themes or Timelines? is from Middleweb.

Every Teacher’s Guide to Assessment is from Edudemic. I’m adding it to A Collection Of “The Best” Lists On Assessment.

The Best Resources For Learning About Restorative Practices – Help Me Find More

Two Good Pieces Of Simple Writing Advice For Students – Share Your Own

The Question-Asking Exercises I Did With My Students Last Week (Hand-Outs Included)

Two “Must Use” Resources From The UK On Education Research

Here’s an exceptional older post by UK educator/blogger Alex Quigley. It’s titled Questioning – Top Ten Strategies and, as you’ll see, it has to be one of the best and most practical list of recommendations out there. I suspect that many educators, including me, are going to be referring to it often.

8 HABITS OF CURIOUS PEOPLE is from Fast Company, and could be a very accessible article for students to read. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Curiosity.

The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong

Managing Student Cellphone Use In Class

Options, Options, Options….

The Purposeful Pause: 10 Reflective Questions to Ask Mid-Lesson is by Angela Stockman.

The Best Resources On – & Advice For Using – Donors Choose (Please Share Your Experiences!)

The Best Commentaries On “Teach Like A Champion” – Help Me Find More

3 Tips to Make Any Lesson More Culturally Responsive (and it’s not what you think!) is by Zaretta Hammond.

You Can Read The Entire Ed Week Chat We Did On Classroom Management

I have previously posted about Richard Byrne’s fabulous search engine for video sites other than YouTube (see If You Don’t Have Teacher Access To YouTube At Your School, Then This Search Engine is a “Must”). He’s just updated it. Now, with the limitations YouTube’s Safety Mode is putting on teachers whose schools have been allowing YouTube, his search engine will be a “go-to” tool for many of us who haven’t needed it previously. You can read about the Safety Mode issue at my unfortunately very popular previous post, Our District Just Activated Awful YouTube Safety Mode – What’s Been Your Experience?

Thinking Creatively About Homework is from John Spencer. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Homework Issues.

3 Simple Ways to Differentiate Instruction in Any Class is by A. J. Juliani. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.

Lesson On Importance Of Asking Good Questions

American Educator, the quarterly magazine of the American Federation of Teachers, always has interesting and useful articles in it, and this Spring edition is no different. The most useful one to teachers, though, is clearly the one by Daniel Willingham. For The Love Of Reading: Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit is a must-read article for every educator. It’s adapted from his new book, Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do. I’m adding it to The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading.

Here’s A New Strategy I’m Trying To Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation

Good Videos On A Growth Mindset, The Importance Of Learning From Mistakes & A Lot More

The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More!

It’s “Question Week” – Here Are All My Related “Best” Lists In One Place

The Best Resources On The Educational Value Of Doodling

The Best & Most Useful Free Student Hand-Outs Available Online – Help Me Find More

Expeditionary Learning has created a number free, and good, curriculum units for English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. You can download them here, and read more about them at Middleweb.

(Not) Blooms. is from The Agility Teaching Toolkit(@ASTsupportaali), and offers a unique perspective on explaining Bloom’s Taxonomy to students. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom.

10 Intriguing Photographs to Teach Close Reading and Visual Thinking Skills is an excellent post from The New York Times Learning Network. I’m adding it to the close reading list and also toThe Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.

Three-Two-One Is A Simple & Effective Summarizing Strategy

Quote Of The Day: “There Was A Misunderstanding” About CCSS & Non-Fiction Texts

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using With “Smartphones Don’t Make Us Dumb”

Great Article On “Being The Best At Anything” & How I’m Using It In Class

Ways To Prioritize Social Emotional Learning Without Grading It

Should Teachers Be Allowed to Touch Students? is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Posts About The Power Of Light Touches In The Classroom.

Amy Mayer has created what I think is an excellent visual about student choice, and has given me permission to publish it here. You can see/read more of her at work at the FriEdTechnology blog and follow her on Twitter at @friEdTechnology. I originally saw the visual on a tweet by Aaron Brengard.

The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching

I’m going to add this post to two “Best” lists:

The Best Posts & Articles About Providing Students With Choices

The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students