Reality Over Rhetoric! ELL & the Year Ahead

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A few days after the November election, I had a meeting with Angie Estonina and Lisa Kwong, two talented educators who lead professional learning efforts on ELLs for San Francisco Unified School District.

With our webcams on, the mood was a bit somber — the election talk of deportations, walls, and targeted registries hung in the air as the rhetoric suddenly became more real. In fact, it felt a bit suffocating. In education, we all have days when we feel weighed down by how much needs to be done and by our professional and personal puzzles, but the unknowns of impending political shift pushed on us from the sides, making us feel the squeeze of change.

I even started wondering if an upcoming presentation I was about to do in Canada on ELLs with school districts from Ontario/Montclair, California, and Yakima, Washington, was even relevant. In retrospect, it was incredibly sad to even think this. But this was my state of mind. It was easy to go there when the personal and professional intersects — my nine-year-old son who is of half Mexican descent asked if he was going to be deported. This was not a question I had at nine years old.

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Overcoming the Challenges of Teaching Science in Elementary School

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Teaching in elementary school is a challenging task and educators are often confronted with many obstacles. One obstacle to overcome is carving out the time for science classes. With all of the subjects competing for young minds, it’s difficult to create a flexible schedule that can accommodate all the valuable information children need to master. Another potential hurdle is a feeling of uncertainty among teachers about science itself. I often hear teachers say, “I only took a few science classes. How can I teach science effectively and efficiently?”

There are ways to teach science well and manage time efficiently by counting on just a few resources. I find it’s easier to remember these resources if I organize them by theme: Teachers Helping Teachers, Teachers Helping Themselves, and Communities Helping Teachers.

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Lesson Study: Choosing a Mathematical Goal and Task

Getting Better Together

This entry is the first post in the series Getting Better Together: A Lesson Study

Don’t you just love those days when a math lesson goes really well? A lesson where, at any given moment, you could look around and see students engaging in a task, persevering through problems, talking with one another about the mathematics, making connections, and in the end, be able to demonstrate understanding of the mathematical goal for the day? While it’s an amazing experience we probably wish we could have every day, there’s also much to be learned when a lesson doesn’t go quite as well.

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ELLs: Perspectives and Pedagogy

Tch Next Gen Science Squad

Like most teachers across America, I have students that are described as English Language Learners (ELLs). It seems an opportune time to raise awareness among educators about the state of flux in the demography of learners in our classrooms and to offer research-based principles and approaches for their education.

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Tch Tips: Four Ways To Practice Goal Setting With Students

Teaching Channel Tips

Welcome to The New Year!

A time to celebrate, reflect, and set goals. As teachers, we naturally set goals for ourselves in January. Even though it’s a midpoint in the school year, for some reason January feels like a fresh start. But what about our students? Do they use January as a time to reflect, reboot, and set goals for themselves? While hopefully reflection and goal setting are a natural part of your class culture (and if not, check out our Growth Mindset Deep Dive for ideas), January is a great time to ask students to reflect and set some larger learning goals to work toward over the rest of the school year. Here are four ways you can help:

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Five Tools and Processes for Translating the NGSS

Tom:

As the school year is approaching its second semester, I’ve started to both reflect on the progress I’ve made as well as look ahead to the standards that need to be addressed by the end of the school year. As a STEM teacher within Greenon Local Schools, my primary focus is on Science and Engineering Practices. Something that has always been a major challenge is how to accurately take inventory of the standards and then develop an outline that ensures the needs of my students have been met by the time they leave my classroom.

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Tch Year in Review: 16 Most Read Blog Posts of 2016

2016 Year In Review

As we look back on 2016, we’d like to take a minute to turn an eye to our Tchers’ Voice blog.

In 2016, our community published 545 blog posts!

We think that’s an amazing accomplishment because we know our community of educators gives two of their most precious resources — their time and expertise — to make Tchers’ Voice a home for innovative, passionate ideas and a place where we can all get better together.

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What is Teacher Leadership? A Candid Conversation

Tch Laureate Team

Last April, a group of colleagues and I applied to the New York Teacher Leadership Summit (powered by Teach to Lead). It was billed as an opportunity to:

  • Develop the skills to design and advocate for a teacher-led initiative  
  • Network and build relationships with critical national thought partners    
  • Connect with teacher leaders and administrators from across the NY Metro region

Driven by our love for our south Bronx public middle and high school students, we aspired to improve our practice. To do so, we wanted more professional learning opportunities and a structure to help us share what we learned with each other. We submitted a proposal that would allow us to do just that. Our proposal was one of twenty selected from across New York State, and we were excited to join other teams working to create opportunities for teacher-led learning and leadership at their schools, in their districts, or across the state.

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Tch Year in Review: Most Watched Videos of 2016

2016 Year in Review

It’s been another amazing year at Teaching Channel!

As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to take a little time to reflect on the work we’ve done together.

As you know, growth is at the core of Teaching Channel’s mission. We believe in not only teacher professional growth and student growth, but also growth in what we do behind the scenes, so we can continue to help build this vibrant and engaging teacher community. This year the Tch team set out to innovate and reimagine the kinds of resources you can find at Teaching Channel.

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Tch Tips: Helping Students Make Meaning In Math Class

Tch Tips

In math class, we often see students pull numbers out of math problems and operate on them without thinking about the context. Many students arrive at an answer, but don’t realize their answer doesn’t make sense within the context of the problem.

When this happens, we’re left wondering many things that are extremely important in our future planning:

  • Are they struggling with the math?
  • Are they struggling with comprehension of the text?
  • Are they making sense of the problem as mentioned in SMP1?

After reading Brian Bushart’s blog post, I’ve found that taking the numbers and questions out of the problem itself engages students in making sense of contexts. Students are then able to notice and wonder about the context without the worry of having to solve for something.

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