Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
We’re kicking off our week of Tchers’ favorite things by gifting you with time. Well, sort of! Since we can’t literally give you more time in your day, or give you a longer prep period (though we wish we could!), we hope to cut back on your planning time by showing you a few easy strategies you can try right away.
Demonstrated by some of our long-time favorites, like Sarah Brown Wessling, to brand-new teachers like Marquis Colquitt, these four new videos will give you fresh tools for your teacher toolkit.
Here are two fun ideas to bring wonder into your lessons:
Creating Curiosity About a Topic
Tch Laureate Sarah Brown Wessling has a fun idea for creating curiosity about a topic: a box of mystery objects. Whether you use a box, bag, or another container, the idea is pretty simple. Choose items (or pictures of those items to make prep time easier) that help your students think about an upcoming concept, whether that means objects found in a story, materials used for a scientific exploration, or historical artifacts. Then, invite your students to ask questions and make their own connections. Their brains will be warmed up for the next part of the lesson. Watch this strategy in action here. To see Sarah’s entire lesson, watch Scaffolds for Critical Thinking.
Inviting Wonder with Video
Tch Laureate Joshua Kwon starts his lesson with a short video to pique student interest before starting an algebra task. Students record their questions and share out, and Joshua connects their wonders to the day’s lesson. Watch this strategy in action here. To see the rest of his lesson, watch Coding in the Algebra Classroom.
Once you have your students excited to learn, here’s a tip for helping them focus on the directions for a task:
Helping Students Follow Directions
Watch how new teacher Marquis Colquitt takes time to guide his students through the directions for a task. Notice how simple actions like highlighting and repetition help students follow along as he reads. And if you want to see more from Marquis, check out how he works with his instructional coach Tch Laureate Josh Parker in this video.
Want to help your students lead the learning? Here’s a way to help them craft discussion questions:
Helping Students Write Text-Dependent Questions
Watch how Sarah Brown Wessling engages students in a quick mini-lesson on writing text-dependent questions. She starts them off with a template and some suggestions, and the students take it from there. To see the rest of the lesson, watch Pinwheel Discussions: Texts in Conversation.
These four strategies take very little prep time and can help your students be more focused, excited to engage, and ready to own their own learning. Try one out and let us know how it goes!