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Lacey Smith's Blog (18)

Beyond Formulas: Making Math Relevant for Students

I found a great TED Talk video that detailed some of the biggest issues with classroom math instruction today and how we as teachers can work to solve these concerns. The speaker, Dan Meyeer, explained that the five biggest issues in math instruction now is that students lack initiative, lack perseverance, lack retention, have an aversion to word problems, and have an eagerness to simply know the formula.

One of my biggest takeaways from Dan's speech was accepting that…


Added by Lacey Smith on September 10, 2013 at 9:01pm — 1 Comment

What is the Collaborative Classroom?

The collaborative classroom has 4 main characteristics, which are characteristics I hope to keep in mind when establishing my classroom environment:

- Shared knowledge among teachers and students, where teachers can share their vital knowledge and experiences about content with students while also valuing and building upon the previous knowledge, experience, language, strategies, and culture of her own students. 

- Shared authority among teachers and students, where a…


Added by Lacey Smith on April 23, 2013 at 10:27pm — No Comments

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in Your Classroom

This article provides teachers with an abundance of easy-to-implement strategies for promoting creativity in their classroom. I tried to pull out some of the best strategies that I would like to use in my own classroom.

1. Use emotional connections. Research shows that the best creativity instruction ties into the emotions of the learner. For example, giving students a project that ties into solving an issue within their community (ex: homelessness) can help sprout creativity…


Added by Lacey Smith on April 23, 2013 at 9:59pm — No Comments

Effective Assessment in a Digital Age

During my content exploration I found an interesting article that provides readers with a great deal of information on how to create effective assessments for 21st century students. Within the article, I found a helpful chart that provided assessment strategies for each of the different perspectives on learning. 

1. Associative - an assessment where concepts and competencies are frequently assessed at a micro level and in combination through macro-level tasks.



Added by Lacey Smith on April 20, 2013 at 7:36pm — No Comments

Critical Thinking Pin

I found a great pin on Pinterest that provides teachers with specific structured questions that can be used in any lesson plan to incorporate critical thinking skills. The link provides a table that is broken down into each of the critical thinking areas- knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Within each section is a variety of questions and key terms that teachers can use in their individual lesson plans to engage students in that specific critical…


Added by Lacey Smith on April 20, 2013 at 7:21pm — No Comments

The Evidence-Based Classroom: Including All Students Through Differentiation

I really liked this article because it provided numerous ideas and suggestions for how teachers can monitor and collect evidence of student understanding in her classroom. 

For example, the article provides suggestions for small products students can create to demonstrate how they can apply what they have learned in the lesson. This includes:

- Read it, Write it, Draw it

- Find the Lie

- Graffiti Wall

- Exit Pass

The writer also…


Added by Lacey Smith on April 15, 2013 at 10:53am — No Comments

Unpack, Upgrade, and Bring your Lesson into the 21st Century

This is a great website that provides educators with resources on how to revamp their lesson plans to better integrate 21st century skills.

The site provides teachers with templates they can use to better organize their lesson plans to ensure that they are incorporating 21st century skills and literacies and creating roles to empower learners in the classroom. Some of the 21st century skills the site believes in incorporating in the classroom are: collaborating, communicating,…


Added by Lacey Smith on April 10, 2013 at 7:57pm — No Comments

Peace Corps Worldwise School Curriculum

Global competency is a 21st century skill. Students need these skills in order to compete in the job market.

The Peace Corps have thus created the Worldwise Schools curriculum, a way to bring global learning into the classroom. The program provides easy-to-integrate lesson plans to teachers and tons of creative ways to connect students with issues facing the global community. These lesson plans directly relate to course content!

All of the resources are…


Added by Lacey Smith on March 19, 2013 at 6:28pm — No Comments

Developing a Globally Aware Student- 5 Minutes at a Time

I found a great site that provides teachers with quick resources you can use in your classroom to reinforce the importance of global competency among your students.

1. BBC News Daily Pictures- provides 10 images from the previous day, highlighting key newsworthy events, celebrations, or geographical wonders. 

2. GapMinder- an online program that takes valid international data from various sources, including the UN, World Bank, and government files, and…


Added by Lacey Smith on March 19, 2013 at 4:58pm — No Comments

Project-Based Learning Ideas Pin

I pinned a great article on Pinterest that broke down numerous ideas and suggestions for project-based learning ideas that can be incorporated into the classroom. All of the ideas are broken down into its respective multiple intelligence category.

By being aware of all of the multiple intelligences that exist among your students in the classroom, a teacher can pick the best project that will tap into all of her students' knowledges and allow them to demonstrate their skills…


Added by Lacey Smith on March 12, 2013 at 10:43am — No Comments

Seven Essentials for Project-Based Learning

Important things to keep in mind when creating a PBL for my class:

1. A Need to Know

2. A Driving Question

3. Student Voice and Choice

4. 21st Century Skills

5. Inquiry & Innovation

6. Feedback & Revision

7. A Publicly Presented Project


Added by Lacey Smith on March 7, 2013 at 1:14am — No Comments

Creativity Starts Here!

Nurturing creative minds is essential in schools.

Something we discussed in class today was the importance of students developing resilience. One such way to develop resilience is through creativity. In an educational society that is constantly pulled in numerous directions about how to educate today's children, something that may be overlooked in classrooms is the use of creativity.

It is important for us as future educators to emphasize the use of creativity…


Added by Lacey Smith on March 6, 2013 at 1:36am — No Comments

Throw Out Rules & Consequences...

I really enjoyed this article! The classroom that Mark is describing sounds incredibly successful and enjoyable for students. Students should be able to be in an environment where they are free to hold discussions, feel comfortable talking…


Added by Lacey Smith on February 17, 2013 at 11:42pm — No Comments

Technology on Valentine's Day :)

I found this great video of a teacher who created an "e-Valentine's Day card" for all of her students. This is such a thoughtful and sweet way to show your kids you appreciate them!

This idea could also be integrated into the classroom to have students practice their video-making skills and learning how to utilize technology in day-to-day activities.

Added by Lacey Smith on February 15, 2013 at 1:11am — No Comments

Creating Classroom Rules

I found a short Youtube link that demonstrated a class working together to create their class rules. The teacher started off by having her students brainstorm a list of rules that they thought would be important to follow in the classroom. After they created their list, the teacher challenged them to place each of the rules into larger categories (such as "safety" or "respect"). Having the students categorize them improves children's understanding and ownership of these…


Added by Lacey Smith on February 14, 2013 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules

I really enjoyed reading this article and learning about fun activities you can do with your students to establish classroom rules and norms. Going over rules in a classroom can often be mundane and uninteresting to students, especially since rules are something that students have been constantly reminded of since they day they first entered…


Added by Lacey Smith on February 10, 2013 at 7:12pm — No Comments

Answers to 4 Questions Asked at the Start of Class

I really enjoyed reading this article. These are questions we will hear frequently as teachers, and it is important for us to both anticipate this questions and provide our students with answers that will support and encourage them to succeed in the classroom.

It's important to have…


Added by Lacey Smith on February 8, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Using Apps in the Classroom

An interesting slideshow about the top 5 apps that teachers like to use in the classroom. I had never really considered using apps in my own classroom, but now that technology plays such a large role in our students' lives, maybe it is something worth considering. 

I personally liked the "Toontastic" app- it's such a fun and easy way for students to show their…


Added by Lacey Smith on February 7, 2013 at 10:33am — No Comments


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